Healing Shine - A Spiritual Assignment
Comments by Heidi Bylsma
I wanted to share with you all about the book Healing Shine by Michael Johnson. It is a paper back that costs more than most at $30.00, but it has more than most in it, too... I must say, this book, which was recommended to me by Gina, has been INCREDIBLE. I think any of you who have ever loved a horse who has shown you that you were in need of being his or her student to *really* learn a thing or two...well, you will LOVE it!!!! I laughed and cried my way through this book! I highlighted all the things Michael wrote that sounded like he had been in my head or watching Harley and me since our journey began together over 4 years ago. It was stunning and astonishing. Honestly.|
Using an "Oklahoma Cowboy" style, he does weave some spiritual strands through this story. He mentions God some, so if you don't care for that sort of thing, be forwarned. But he does it so well, I don't think most would be offended. It is a heart warming combination of rustic cowboy humor and tender humility and spirtuality, if truth be told. Not preachy at all (honest!).
In a nutshell, Michael tells about how he thought he knew everything there was about breaking a horse from his upbringing breaking and training horses with his uncles...he ended up (relatively late in life) learning quite a lot from a "difficult" horse who entered his life. Then, once he was even able to finally *ride* Shine, he tells about his plans to make him into a great roping horse....well...things were different there, too.
Michael quotes great horsemen like Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance...but it isn't just another packaged up version of what those great horsemen have said. He uses quotes from these men to punctuate his own personal lessons learned.
One thing I LOVED about this book was the way the text is interrupted every now and then by an interjection by his horses! It is as if his geldings were out in the barn or something, found the manuscript and make editorial comments! It is powerful and at times quite funny!
I LOVE this book! I think you will too!