Book Reviews

The Wild In Us by Thirza Voysey

Horses show us where we are not telling the truth of who we are to ourselves and others. They show us where we are living from our ego, and not from our heart.

Thirza Voysey

I first heard about Thirza Voysey and her book The Wild in Us in an interview with Alexa Linton on The Whole Horse Podcast (Episode 75). After listening to her share her story with Alexa, I decided I needed to read her book immediately as I connected so much to what she shared about her life, and her path with horses. She came to horse wisdom later in life as I did, after her divorce. She began to recognize how her highly sensitive nature and the anxiety that she had struggled with since childhood combined what she called the “cement blocks of responsibility” (pg. 54) were taking a physical toll on her body. The voice of her book is warm and relatable, like sitting with a friend and sharing life stories. Tracing her journey and all of the ups and downs normalizes that our goals may be clear, and yet the path is winding. I enjoyed the way that she divided the chapters into sections associated with different chakras/energy centres and appreciated the clearing suggestions and journal prompts, and many pages are dog-eared now so that I can go back to re-read my favourite parts. I know one day I’ll have to go our to her farm, which she aptly named Soul Farm on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Naked Liberty by Carolyn Resnick

I was the “horse girl” that talked with the animals. My community had identified my purpose. It felt good to be needed by my family and friends, but it felt better to be needed by my community.”

Carolyn Resnick

In the summer of 2020 when I began my mentorship with Mena Canonico of Liberty Lane, one of my first pieces of homework was to do a search for the Water Hole Rituals by Carolyn Resnick. Early in Mena’s world travels, she attended a clinic by Carolyn and has been inspired by her way of being and learning from horses ever since. Reviewing the journals from those early days led me to do another search and see if Carolyn had a book to read about the rituals, as I find reading to be my way of deepening my understanding. Sure enough – I came across Naked Liberty and I ordered it and began reading immediately. I love Carolyn’s storytelling style, she paints a beautiful picture of what growing up in the desert was life for her as a young child, and how the support and trust she shared with horses, was given back to her by her family and community. This book paints a picture of how a child who felt a special bond with horses, continued to pursue her passion and create a life aligned with the vision in her young mind. She shares her ups and down, what she learned the hard way, and how persistence, dedication and compassion are integral to reaching your goals. I had the pleasure of listening to Carolyn and her business partner, Nan Zintsmaster on the Warwick Schiller podcast, Episode 61, just a couple of weeks ago, and then having a Zoom meeting with Nan that afternoon. Nan and I spoke more about our shared passion for developing an authentic connection to horses, and to find out more about the training program that Carolyn, now 80 years old, created to bring the Water Hole Rituals to life for horse owners and equestrians around the world. Click here for more information about the Resnick Method Liberty Horsemanship.

The Compassionate Equestrian by Allen Schoen and Susan Gordon

If changing the way you work with horses could change the world…would you do it?

Dr. Allen Schoen

I came across this book on the website of Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner and Equestrian Canada Coach, Juliana Tina of Conscious Equine Connections. I was drawn immediately to Juliana’s commitment to putting compassion at the centre of her work with horses and humans, and decided to order this book she recommended to take a deeper dive into what inspires her work. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The balance of storytelling by Susan Gordon about personal experiences with her horse Willie, and the veterinary expertise shared by Dr. Allen Schoen relayed into a book that is warm, heartfelt, and grounded in current scientific research. I appreciated the format of the chapters, the included excepts from peer-reviewed studies, the mindfulness exercises, and the questions for self-reflection at the end of every chapter. I highly recommend this book, not just for the equestrian community, but for all those who seek to live a more compassionate life.

The Equine Listenology Guide by Elaine Heney

When you work with a horse at liberty, you give your horse the freedom of choice

Elaine Heney

I watched Elaine’s documentary, Listening to the Horse, and immediately loved her storytelling, and her approach to the care of, and partnership with horses. so proceeded to look for a book that would reflect the ideas shared in the film, and help guide myself to get off to a good start as a beginner horsewoman. I chose Elaine’s Listenology Guide, and was thrilled upon receiving it because unlike some other books with a lot of heavy text, her book includes helpful illustrations, and is written in a tone of the knowledgeable “horse girl next door.” I love her tales of her experiences with her horses, and the book has led me to purchase and participate in her courses. It’s so nice to have such an incredible resource available to equestrians!

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