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Equine Therapy: A Personal Experience, Part Five

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This blog is the last in a series of an accounting of a personal experience with equine therapy, and is also an excerpt from my most recent book, ON THE BACK OF A HORSE: Harnessing the Healing Power of the Human-Equine Bond, now available on Amazon.

I slid off his back and as I hit the ground, my knees buckled, sending me right down to the ground, beneath Nimo. I just sat there. I didn’t want to move. And I couldn’t, really. Sitting under a 3 year old stallion is hardly safe under any circumstances, but just then, I didn’t care. I didn’t feel any fear, and couldn’t stop crying in any event. 

I must have been there for almost an hour, and Nimo just stood over me, nuzzling my hair. I had never seen this side of him. He was so concerned and caring, I’d had no idea he had that in him. He didn’t seem to care about the other horses. It was like he knew he, like all the rest of the horses, depended on me, just like one of their own. And if I weren’t ok, they wouldn’t be either.

I don’t think I had ever felt that cared for in my life. It was as if this was the first moment of clarity in a lifetime of confusion. I had trained and shown all sorts of horses, of course, and the years had taught me a lot about horses, and life; still I had never understood just how profoundly intuitive they were.

All this time, I thought they didn’t know what I was trying to hide from everybody else. Yet Nimo was trying to tell me he couldn’t not know.

Photo by Tom Wardill

Equine Therapy: A Personal Experience, Part Five

Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT

Claire Dorotik-Nana LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in post-traumatic growth, leveraging adversity, and other epic human achievements. Claire has written multiple continuing education courses for Professional Development Resources, Zur Institute, and International Sport Science Association. Claire has also authored multiple books, including:
Leverage: The Science of Turning Setbacks into Springboards and On The Back Of A Horse: Harnessing The Healing Power Of The Human-Equine Bond. For more information about Leveraging Adversity or Claire, visit

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APA Reference
Dorotik-Nana, C. (2011). Equine Therapy: A Personal Experience, Part Five. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 16, 2018, from


Last updated: 17 May 2011
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 May 2011
Published on All rights reserved.