Psychotherapist Borrows Horse Sense for Book on Human Behavior

as published in the LATimes

Hanging with the Guys ~ Terry and best friend, Apache the Mongalarga Marchador from Brazil.

Hanging with the Guys ~ Terry and best friend, Apache the Mangalarga Marchador from Brazil.

It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and to be honest, my wife Terry and I took a little time off, yesterday, to just hang out with the horses.  No ground work, no trail riding, we just let the horses do their most favorite thing to do in the world, eat.  And to make it more special, we let them out of the pastures and allowed them to hang with us in the yard so that they could go over and poke at the dually, drink out of the Koi pond and turn over Terry’s potted plants.  But perhaps most importantly to note, with a very large area of fresh, green grass to chow down on, they were never more than 60′ away from us…they still wanted to be near us.  And with that in mind, we share this particular article with you today, it points to how much we as humans can learn about interaction through the behavior of horses.  Great food for thought and fodder for the soul.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T


Psychotherapists have plumbed all sorts of relationships in their quest to understand and improve human communication, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before they studied horse sense. Herd behavior, changing habits, building trust — it seems that people have a lot to learn from Equus ferus caballus.

Psychotherapist Tara Bennett-Goleman long ago joined the ranks of those who appreciate the equine perspective. She makes a strong case for what horses can inspire us to do, as opposed to what we can train them to do, in her latest book, “Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom From Self-Defeating Emotional Habits,” which just came out in paperback.

After the publication of her first book, “Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart,” Bennett-Goleman and her horse, a 12-year-old mare, began studying with renowned “horse whisperer” R.J. Sadowski, who trains horses with what he calls “horsemindship.” As she learned how to connect with horses, Bennett-Goleman came to see so many metaphors for human communication that she eventually attained a sort of equine equivalent to a Zen aha moment: “The way we humans act and think of ourselves as separate and in control of things must appear strange to a horse, even predator-like,” she writes. “But horses seem to accommodate our foolish ways, accept us anyway, and even find creative ways to remind us that we’re really part of the herd.”

In “Mind Whispering,” Bennett-Goleman synthesizes mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, a touch of neuroscience and Indian classical dance — and her long-standing love of horses. “Failing a common verbal language, you speak to a horse with body language, and we in turn begin to understand them through their movements.” There are, she believes, crucial take-aways for Homo sapiens sapiens: (CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read more at the LA Times

7 comments on “Psychotherapist Borrows Horse Sense for Book on Human Behavior

  1. Beautiful video….grace, power and beauty in motion. (-: Thanks for the article R.T. … glad you and Terry had chance to spend the day with your beautiful horses. I’m sure they were loving it! (-:

  2. You can learn alot from horses. Bullying….and herd socialization….life and death reactions and pennance. As well freedom of personal space ….the desire to belong….the desire to win. The desire for family and how to put up with wild romping happy children…the way to deal with most anything. If you cant learn from a horse you arent listening. I think FEEL good sunday was well spent for you and we love doing the same. Generous time spent.

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