Mo's Reviews > Connecting with Horses: The Life Lessons We Can Learn from Horses

Connecting with Horses by Margrit Coates
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Aug 25, 09


I find it difficult to rate this book. On the one hand, it's a good, clear introduction into its subject. It gives a lot of examples of how horses may be very helpful in healing processes, it explores the ways this is done in 'the field', and it is generally a very pleasant book to read because it is so uplifting. It has such a message of hope, that I don't want to be overly critical of it.

And yet, there was something missing. As I felt it, this never really went below the surface. While there was a lot of talk about how *great* it is to connect to horses, no practical advice was given on how to do this - at least, not much. Succes-stories abound, the healing power of horses is illustrated again and again. And that's great, it really is, but I already knew horses are great.

Also, I was less than pleased with Coates' quick dismissal of some techniques used in natural horsemanship. While she is certainly entitled to her opinion, and has every right to put it in a book, her treatment of this subject matter was a bit one-sided. I just sorta felt like she was throwing the child out with the bath-water, and also like she didn't give her 'opponents' in this field a fair say. She just presented her view on the manner, but never went into any of the counter-arguments that would've arisen naturally from her arguments. That's a shame, for I would've loved a more in-depth treatment of this area. I do think Coates has a lot of useful things to say here, it just seemed like she never got around to saying them.

So, is this a bad book then? Absolutely not, it 's just that I was expecting more and was a bit disappointed, so it's faults stand out fairly clearly for me. Maybe this was due to my own expectations, and others will get completely different things from this book. Also, I think it would be a really good introduction for people who just want some general information on this subject.

However, for those looking for a more in-depth treatment of equine assisted therapy, I would still recommend 'The Tao of Equus' by Linda Kohanov. While that book also focuses on the author's personal experiences and ideas, Kohanov bares her own soul in a way that Coates never does. For me, that makes all the difference. Coates *talks* about what horses can do, Kohanov *shows* it.
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