The Horse Cure: Rescue Horses, Rescue People

“He knew I was hiding something,” remarked an Unbridled Change client whose situation is described in the book, The Horse Cure – Remarkable horses bringing miraculous change to humankind. Yet, the rescue horse knew and through an Equine-Partnered Psychotherapy and Coaching (EPPC) session the truth came out.

The something was undetectable by the coach, facilitator and founder of Unbridled Change, Michelle Holling-Brooks, who is also the author of this book. The something was also unknown to Cami Murnane-Johnson the on-site therapist.

Michelle and Cami observed the behavior of “Wiscy” as he pulled their client, Brenda, out of survival mode into relationship mode. Being a very young, yet sizable horse, Wiscy commanded respect. Yet, he could be quite playful. He sensed something was wrong and he kept at the broken woman until she finally confessed. “Did you see him? I don’t know how he knew, but he knew . . .”


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The Horse Cure: Rescue Horses, Rescue People

Eight stories of transformation such as Brenda’s fill the pages of the book, The Horse Cure. Each story is carefully chosen to highlight the truly magical transformation Equine-Partnered Psychotherapy and Coaching sessions can ignite in broken people. Each horse has come to Unbridled Change from a rescue situation. Perhaps this makes them more suitable for their job. These stories are true, and reflect miraculous change where rescue horses, rescue people.

The Horse Cure is a gathering of stories similar to Brenda’s. Stories where rescue horses are the vehicles which drive real transformation in people. Broken people in need of being rescued as they are struggling from heart-wrenching pasts. Some clients are mere children who have to carry the wretched weight of abuse inflicted upon them. The horses become their sanctuary, their mirror to their souls, their place of true healing.

Bringing to Light the Undervalued Soul of Horses

Reading these stories, one can’t help but mull over an aspect of horses that may go undetected or undervalued. This aspect is their soul, or their sensitivity to human emotions.

Since reading this book, I have been more aware of what I bring to my riding sessions. What do I need to confess or work through before swinging my leg over a horse? I still remember the day I came to the barn full of grief. As I stepped out of the car and walked towards the tack room, Go-Ten a favored pony, immediately lifted his head when he saw me. Right at that moment he let out an understanding nicker. He just seemed to know I needed his special greeting that day. I went on to ride Carrera and found release from my grief with every step.

Horses are much more than a power house or a recreational/sport outlet; horses truly see into your soul. This reality plays out over and over through the stories in The Horse Cure.

Be Present at Each Therapy Session

Author Michelle Holling-Brooks writes with such detail regarding the actions, activities and communication, you feel present with her for each therapy session. You experience the the change in the clients right along with Michelle, Cami and the client.

These eight stories of habits, reactions, and defenses being changed and altered for good result in lives impacted for the betterment of all. Clients grow through free-flow interactions with a horse facilitated by a EPPC coach and therapist. This is not Therapeutic Riding where clients benefit physically and mentally from riding horses. This is humans interacting with horses who can reflect, mimic or uncannily understand what is going on inside of a broken person.

The reader is along for the ride, per se, for each one of the coaching sessions recorded in the book. One observes the progression of change in each client. However, because the program is free-flow, horsemanship skills are not the focus. I found myself fighting the urge to step in and “help” a few of the clients. I wanted to be sure they would, in fact, come away with horsemanship skills. This was not part of the therapy. So, I had to keep reminding myself that when I “saw” improper technique being exhibited by untrained clients.

Become More Mindful of a Horse’s Soul

The result of reading The Horse Cure has made me more mindful of how much I can learn about myself through my equine interactions. I have become more mindful of their soul and how it connects to me. This book truly documents how rescue horses rescue people.

The Horse Cure – True Stories – Remarkable Horses Bringing Miraculous Change to Humankind is written by Michelle Holling-Brooks. It was first published in 2019 by Trafalgar Square Books, North Pomfret, Vermont. 


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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family.

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