Riding Between the Worlds:Expanding Our Potential Through the Way of the Horse

By Linda Kohanov
Copyright 2003 Linda Kohanov
ISBN: 1-57731-416-6
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way
Novato , CA 94949
Hardcover, 6" x 9", 250 pages
Approx. $23 US

In "Riding Between the Worlds", author and trainer Linda Kohanov shares accounts of clients, colleagues, and her own that support her unique theories about the wisdom of horses and their relationships with humans. Linda is clearly not the only one who acknowledges the horse as partner, mentor, therapist, and even psychologist, as is demonstrated in this intriguing sequel to "The Tao of Equus". This new book exemplifies the reality of another dimension in the equine-human connection.

"Riding Between the Worlds" relates several stories of client breakthroughs and how they and the horses interact and transform, and it is evident that there is more depth to these encounters than meets the eye. These interesting scenarios would baffle or bore all but the most intuitive observers, however this is where Linda excels - as director of Epona Equestrian Services, she knows her horses and she knows human psychology. The stirring and even chilling personal accounts are interesting and thought-provoking, involving both the horses and the humans

The reader gets an idea of the book's contents with such chapter titles as these: Does the Horse Have a Buddha Nature?, Tornado Head, Fear of Feeling, The Messages Behind Emotion, The Music of Connection, Rasa and Merlin, Year of the Black Horse, Dispelling Human Nonsense, and Equus Noeticus. The chapters narrate and describe various horse-human encounters with a different approach, taking the reader into realms that few other authors have explored, let alone acknowledged to even exist. It is riveting reading, and Linda's descriptive writing style turns indescribable moments into beautiful pictures.

In addition to being intrigued and entertained, the reader is also enlightened to how the human mind and emotions can affect both the human and the horse. We internalize our insidious, emotion-based patterns and our culture rewards us for it, and the horse has an uncanny ability to mirror them to us, and unearth core feelings that even meditation and counseling can leave unresolved. One can readily identify with a scenario or two in this book, and understand why people, and the horses around them, behave the way they do. Linda explains why and how emotion is information, and backs up her ideas by providing scientific evidence and supportive literature throughout this text.

Thankfully Linda points out the lack of enlightenment in some areas of the 'holistic' world regarding the importance of emotion and the messages it provides. It is true - too often, instructors or clinicians may focus on suppressing, getting rid of, or overcoming 'negative' emotions, which merely perpetuates a vicious cycle, instead of recognizing and acknowledging the emotions and the messages behind them. With equine-facilitated psychotherapy, emotions and personal feelings can be recognized and acknowledged rather than bypassed, and the wisdom and usefulness of all emotions can be understood.

This book also recounts the hair-raising story of an amazing foal birth, and provides an Appendix containing Karla McLaren's Emotional Message Charts, which break down each emotion into its message, what to ask ourselves about it, what develops from the intensification of that emotion, and comments about it. A helpful index is provided as well.

We are all riding between the worlds right now.freedom/captivity, spirit/nature, mind/heart - between the common and the uncommon, between opposites, between species. We humans are gradually acknowledging that nature has more dimensions than the physical and visible. If we allow the horse to journey with us, it will surely be a lot more rewarding, enjoyable, and insightful. Reading this book is like a form of therapy in itself - it can truly help us expand our potential, through the way of the horse. "Riding Between the Worlds" inspires the reader to accept counsel from the horse, and to improve the quality of life for oneself and the horses - and all of nature.

Self Defense for Trail Riders

By Scot Hansen
45 minutes
Approx. $40 US

Safe riding doesn't just involve having a safe horse - there are other factors to consider as well, such as predators - in particular, human ones. It may not be a huge statistic, but it does happen. Self defense while riding is rarely mentioned in the usual horse safety discussions, but that could change now. Thanks to retired mounted police officer Scot Hansen, "Self Defense for Trail Riders" video is now available. Hansen is a natural horseman and seasoned rider who has ridden and survived some of the most challenging real-life obstacles and situations during his career. By popular request, he is also teaching a self-defense course for riders.

In this unique and riveting video, Scot Hansen teaches the viewer how to recognize an approaching predator, what to say and not say (and why), how to avoid getting pulled off the horse, when and how to use the horse to one's advantage (both on and off the horse), and lots more. Safe tack and equipment are also discussed.

Hansen instructs while also putting himself on the line as the attacker in this video. He explains that in learning self defense, riders need to fight their instincts because their instincts are actually the opposite of what they should do. Most of the time we should NOT do some of the things we would typically think of doing. He demonstrates what to do instead, and shows why and how it works. Horses have large, powerful bodies, so knowing how to use them to our advantage and not end up having them used against us is vital to our safety. It is clear that learning these maneuvers gives confidence to both rider and horse, and with a little sensible training, the horse can become the rider's best ally.

"Self Defense for Trail Riders" is professionally produced and fun to watch. It presents the information in an easy-to-follow instructional format. The maneuvers are clearly demonstrated with different horses and riders, and the outtakes at the end are a fun bonus.

Whether you ride alone or with others, "Self Defense for Trail Riders" can help you learn how to anticipate trouble and how to defend yourself while riding on the trails. It just may save your life.