To my horse Allarista - Thank you Allie
I dedicate this page to Allarista. After years without a horse of my own - I decided I wanted to ride again. After a long search, Allie came to live with us, I soon discovered that a lot had changed about myself and the way I related to my horses. The old "show them who's boss" mentality was still there, but didn't feel right. I corrected her harshly whenever she got out of line - it's all I knew. It didn't work this time; I ended up with a horse that didn't like or trust me.
My old way of thinking wasn't working, and I didn't have a plan B to fall back on. My aggression was replaced by fear, as images of all manner of horse to human violence marched through my head. I worried about being bitten, stepped on, kicked etc. Guess what? She read my mind - she bit, kicked & stepped on me!
The realization of what was happening was a major turning point, and I began seeking an explanation for what was unfolding before my eyes. Here was a "clean slate" young horse and with all my previous horse experience; I was ruining the whole deal. I couldn't even lead her across the pasture without both of us being in a panic, let alone consider riding her.
This is the point where many horse owners deem their horse stupid or crazy, and sell them. Something told me not to do that - instead I went on a quest for answers. I found them in Linda Kohanov's books; they chronicle what many have known on a gut level. There is more to this thing with horses - there are reasons they behave the way they do - and there is a way to navigate all this that is productive and rewarding for everybody.
Now I see Allie through different eyes. I am training her, but she is MY teacher too. She didn't buy my "tough gal" act. I can't bring my problems to the barn and expect her to solve them by feeding my ego; by being an obedient servant. She is my mirror - if I'm neurotic and stressed out, then she is too - until I address my own issues in a productive way, she continues to remind me that I need "training" too.
Now I look forward to going to the barn; I used to dread it. Some days our "school" sessions are wonderful - like magic - hopefully a glimpse of more to come. Some are disastrous - leaving me feeling sick inside and terribly inadequate. I study my role in these wonderful and disastrous sessions - congratulate or apologize, and I go back the next day and try again.
Thank you, Allie, for not being an easy "stress-relieving hobby" for me. You're making me a better person for it, and hopefully we'll get this together some day.
The Tao of Equus - The Way of the Horse
Linda Kohanov's experiences with horse ownership has led her on a journey that she never would have imagined in her wildest dreams.
Read about what the horses in her life have revealed to her; a way of looking at the horse/human dynamic that goes far beyond "horse whispering." These books are full of thought-provoking ideas unlike any you've ever experienced. A whole realm exists outside the "predator/prey" dynamic that many horse owners have sensed the existence of, but were reluctant to acknowledge.
Kohanov's books are eloquent, rich, and well researched. You will find yourself reading about current findings in psychology and brain science right alongside references to the Bible and ancient mythology.
"The human habit of suppressing feelings is notoriously unsettling to a species that survives by being able to gauge a predator's intentions at a distance. A person who is "emotionally incongruent", who acts one way while feeling the opposite, appears dangerously out of focus to the equine awareness system."
"These horses are the "high sensitives" of the herd. Standard desensitization techniques can have an unexpected effect, making them withdraw or panic... they often end up at the killer's because they can't be 'fixed'."
*Gina's note: "These books are some of my all time favorites. I review a LOT of material in consideration for our catalog - and whenever I pick up one of Linda's books I end up reading something that helps me through some struggle that I am experiencing. They technically are not how-to type horse training texts, but I can honestly say that I have learned more useful things about the dynamics of interacting with others (horses and humans) from these books than all others I've read combined."
Tao of Equus Books - Pair of Books
"Know the yang, but keep to the yin." Philosopher Lao-tzu's quote applies to modern life as much as it did 2,500 years ago. "Taoism is best known in popular culture for the 'yin-yang' circle, it's 2 interlocking tadpole like symbols representing the balance of opposites in the universe & in the human psyche: white & black, creation & destruction,
male & female, conscious & unconscious, sound & silence, doing something & doing nothing. To the relentlessly assertive, patriarchal Western mind, the Taoist picture of reality at first appears contrary to everything we believe because it asks us to consider the opposite of our normal inclinations." -page 38 -The Tao of Equus
Tao of Equus logo was designed by Linda Kohanov and is copyrighted.
Tao of Equus Ladies Caps
The Tao of Equus Book
Soft Cover, 384 pages
The Tao of Equus - literally translates as "the way of the horse". Author Linda Kohanov is the owner of Epona Equestrian Services, an Arizona-based collective of trainers and counselors that explore the therapeutic potential of equestrian pursuits. Although she does discuss horse training and horse behavior, Kohanov is most interested in what horses can teach us. Moving beyond the realm of horse whispering, Kohanov studies how horses awaken intuition in humans while also mirroring our unspoken feelings and fears. At its core, this book reminds us to be mindful as we approach the horse-human relationship. Like human-to-human relationships, we have to do our own
personal and spiritual work before we can expect to create a meaningful and cooperative interspecies connection.
Read The Tao of Equus
Excerpt Pages 8-14
Riding Between the Worlds
Soft Cover, 288 pages
Two years ago author and horse trainer Linda Kohanov wrote The Tao of Equus, a daring multidisciplinary exploration of the powerful spiritual, emotional, and psychological connections between people and horses. It created a worldwide demand for her workshops and lectures. She received over 1,000 letters from readers describing their own strange and wonderful experiences with horses. In Riding between the Worlds, Kohanov continues sharing the story of her own journey of healing and transformation further developing the ideas introduced in The Tao of Equus. The Tao of Equus laid the theoretical groundwork for expanding our emotional, mental, and spiritual view of horses, Riding between the Worlds concentrates on the extraordinary stories that
support this view.
Read Riding Between the Worlds
Excerpt Pages 128-135
Item #TCTOE - $19.95
Tao of Equus Ladies Caps
Six panel low profile twill construction, with smaller bill to better fit women. Back closure is brass slide buckle. Choose light pink or light blue
Tao of Equus Hooded Sweatshirt
Tao of Equus Super Soft Fleece Lined Hooded Sweatshirt
This fleece is lined (hood and body) with the softest, fuzziest fleece we've ever felt. Sleeves are lined with thermal, like our other sweatshirts. Additional side seams give a flattering, ladies' fit without being too tight.
We've embroidered it with our Tao of Equus interlocking horse logo. Cotton/polyester blend washes and dries beautifully with no special attention.
Color is Desert Rose.
Rider's Prayer Tassel Bookmark
FREE with the purchase of any book!
A Rider's Prayer
Dearest Creator in Heaven,
Give me strength to guide my horse.
Make my hands soft and my head clear.
Let my horse understand me and I him.
My heart you have blessed with a special love of these
Let me never lose sight of it.
My soul you have gifted with a deep need for them.
Let that need never lessen.
Always let my breath catch as the sun gleams on an elegant
Always may my throat tighten at the sound of a gentle nicker.
Let the scent of fresh hay and a new bag of grain be sweet to
Let the touch of a warm nose on my hand always bring a smile.
I adore the joy of a warm day on the farm.
The grace and splendor of a running horse,
The thunder of its hooves makes my eyes burn and my heart
Let it always be so.
Dearest Creator grant me patience,
For horses are harnessed wind, and wind can be flighty.
Let me not frighten or harm them.
Instead show me ways to understand them.
Above all, dear Creator, fill my life with them.
When I pass from this world,
Send my soul to no heaven without them.
For this love you have given me graces my existence
And I shall cherish it and praise You for it for all time.