From Gandalf’s Shadowfax to the Lone Ranger’s Silver, horses are integral partners on the mythic hero’s journey. “Horses…have become associated in our collective imagination with aspects of the human journey at its greatest,” writes Broersma. Those willing to reframe their lives as mythic journey can access courage, support, and partnership in this hands-on wisdom compendium.
Broersma, a healer, educator, and horsewoman, harnesses practical and visionary ideas for living a mythic life, partnering with horses, and creating the largest possible vision for service in the world. The stages of the hero’s journey provide touchstones for the author as she shares her personal story—from training horses for competition to promoting therapeutic horsemanship. Her horses have been her sentient partners in educating disabled clients, troubled teens, and just those yearning for a more soulful relationship with their animals.
The unique appeal and power of horses in expanding life purpose to mythic proportions is illustrated with insights from legendary stories such as the Celtic Epona, protector of horses; it was believed this goddess and her horses were leaders of the soul in the after-life. Chapter-end sections called “Try This” offer experiential activities and games. One such exercise develops riders’ sensitive communication and subtle touch, so crucial to horse-human interactions. Activities list time the required, materials needed, and directions.
Occasionally readers may feel like they’ve intruded into an interesting conversation, but missed the introductory context, as in discussions of the imaginal body. Similarly those unfamiliar with the work of Jean Houston may be puzzled by some concepts. (Houston has written the book’s foreword.) The chapter “Allies for the Journey” addresses the many readers who do not enjoy ready access to a horse, illustrating how much can be accomplished through vivid imagining, including learning to step into an ideal body.
For readers enchanted by possibilities for “…expanding human potential in the areas of mind, body, and spirit through powerful experiences with horses,” Broersma constructs a heady mix. The book promises to enthrall horse enthusiasts, trainers, educators, therapists, and anyone seeking positive life change with a mythic and equine flavor.