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Famous People and The Horses They Love

patrick swayzeWhile we may know some famous horses such as Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Barbaro, or Man O’ War, what is not so well known are the many famous people who love horses. So as part of an equine therapy series, I thought I would shed some light on the many well-known people and the horses they love.

Patrick Swayze:

While Swayze’s profession was as an actor and dancer, and there aren’t many people who aren’t familiar with the movie, “Dirty Dancing,” his true love was Arabian horses. He and his wife, Lisa Nieme, kept several mares and foals, the first being an Egyptian bred mare named Aleenah.

When asked why he chose Arabian horses, the actor responded, “I grew up with horses. My father was a cowboy in Texas. We lived in Houston. At the age of eight, I visited the Gleannloch Farm and from then on I was lost! I dreamed of nothing but Arabians, and when I imagined Arabians, they were Egyptians!”

Swayze’s favorite, however, was a chestnut stallion named Tammen. This magnificent animal typifies just what Patrick dreamed of as a child, but to the celebrity, he was more than just a horse, he was a friend. “He has such a terrific personality,” said Patrick. “He is a very powerful and dynamic stallion – and yet so gentle and calm when kids are around.” For Patrick he was the epitome of sheer elegance and beauty.

And many judges have agreed – Tammen has had a successful and varied show career.

Certainly, Patrick’s fame seems to be one reason for Tammen’s popularity, as many owners send their mares to him to be bred.

What fascinated Patrick so about the Egyptians? “Their beauty,” he said. “I like the form of the head, the proud trot, the harmonious physique. Everything fits together and is in accord. There is a natural balance in everything. I am a dancer, and I can tell when a body is made with function in mind. A healthy Arabian is built for function! And that fascinates me.”

To read more about Swayze and the relationship he had with his horses, click HERE.

And here is a wonderful video of Patrick and his beloved stallion:

Photo by Alan Light, available under a Creative Commons attribution license

Famous People and The Horses They Love

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. (2012). Famous People and The Horses They Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Jul 2012
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