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Horse Sense and the Human Heart: What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality Paperback – November 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Horses can teach us about trust and love and be part of a therapeutic healing process for troubled humans. The authors, both practicing psychotherapists, use horses in their treatment program with mentally disturbed patients, who often bond with their equine companions even when they are unable to relate to other people. The McCormicks explain how horses, quick to sense pretense, force people to rely on their instincts and to be honest with themselves. But riding is only a part of the authors' treatment program. Their clients establish close relationships with the animals by feeding and grooming them, cleaning their stalls and equipment, observing them at work and play, and learning about the long history of humanity's interaction with the horse. The healing process begins when clients learn to relate first to horses and then to their therapists. This is a fascinating book, though its appeal may be limited to those with an interest in psychotherapy or in the therapeutic use of animals. Recommended where interest warrants.?Deborah Emerson, Monroe Community Coll. Lib., Rochester, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Adele von Rust McCormick, Ph.D. and Marlena Deborah McCormick, Ph.D., have been psychotherapists for over 30 years. Currently, they are co-direectors of the Institute for Conscious/Awareness and co-founders of the Three Eagles Equine Experience in Calistoga, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
Every horse in the authors' stable is an anthropomorphic Lassie. Their horses know just what lessons their clients need to learn, are sweet and loving to anyone who approaches with an pure and open heart, but collectively act crazy a la Black Beauty if someone is on drugs or just plain untrustworthy. One stallion trumpets and paws at the ground because he "knows" that there is a foal trapped under a fence several miles away. A horse tumbling off a cliff has terror in her eyes, not for herself, but for her rider. A mare's negative reaction to a student's tension and anger is because she "knew" that the student was ready for the lesson of being forced to take resposibility. Furthermore, the authors' intense focus on the traits of their beloved Peruvian Iberian breed (a fine breed, to be sure) ends up implying that there is something special and magical about the breed itself, rather than horsekind in general. I am an avid horse lover, and at no time did I feel that any equine in this book was a real living, breathing beast.
Metaphysical abilities are attributed where none are necessary. A student realizes that the more she concentrates on staying away from flowerpots in the corner of the arena, the closer she and her mount get to them. The fact is, all beginning riders learn the lesson "look where you want to go". There are physical reasons for this that have more reasonable explanations than "vibrations" or "path of energy". I can't argue that any of this is false, because it isn't. However, the psychospiritual and metaphysical aspects of horsemanship as presented here are too syrupy for my own sensibilities.
There is little that is presented in this book that I would challenge or disagree with, but the presentation was too nonsensical to have been inspiring to me, and in fact, I had a very difficult time trying to discover what the true message of the book is. If I'd never had experiences of my own with horses and were handed this book to convince me to back a new venture using horses in psychological therapy, I doubt I'd write a single check. Although I have the strong feeling that the authors are experienced horsewomen and competant psychiatrists, there was nothing in this book to truly convince me of this. The only reason I gave this book 2 rather than 1 star(s) is because it may have interest for psychotherapists with little exposure to horses.