Horse Book Review: Horsefeathers: The Therapeutic Effect of Equus

Horsefeathers on the Heart

A Book review by Sonia Berry


Horses...they can mean so many things to different people for so many different
reasons.


Upon obtaining this book, I read the back cover as I do with any new
material I read. This particular book promised a tale of growth and
understanding. What unfolded in the pages was even more than that.
There were literally moments of uncontrollable laughter, and then
tears brimming as I read of a child's story and how they 'found'
horses.


Horsefeathers: The Therapeutic Effect of Equus is an honest journey that one woman
takes through the unconditional love and courage of horses. It is
the story of Lillian Tepera and her family as they go from boarding
one horse to building a farm of their dreams and setting up a
therapeutic riding program. Throughout the story you are introduced
to the stars of the farm; the horses. They are the rock steady main
characters that make the program possible. It was never an easy road
though. Lillian encountered her fair share of downs in the form of
vet bills, dangerous horses and even death. Through all that you are
still able to see the sparkle in her eye emerge from the pages as she
gets joy from watching a severely disabled child progress.


Being a horsewoman myself, I had to laugh at the constant 'setbacks' that
come with owning horses. I also had a few moments of epiphany as I
really took in the lessons that these horses were teaching us. One
of those stories involved 'Henk'. Henk is a young Friesian gelding
that seemingly would rather be with people that horses. His lesson
that I still remind myself of on a daily basis after reading the
book, is to slow down. This lesson was taught to Lillian as she was
behind schedule for a vet visit and rushing to bring all the horses
in from the field. Henk took his time and the faster Lillian walked,
the slower Henk walked. It was a reminder of how we all need to just
slow down sometimes and enjoy the present instead of always trying to
get to the future. Henk would prove many more times throughout the
book that his character is undoubtedly suited to therapeutic riding.


I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has been touched by
horses. Although at times the book can get caught up in the 'jargon'
that goes along with riding and training horses, it is still a story
that young and old could take something away with.

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