Home » Blogs » Equine Therapy » The Mythology of Equine Archetypes

The Mythology of Equine Archetypes

horsecrpdWhile much has been written about human archetypes, and mythology in general, little has been authored about the role that horses play not only in myths, but also in our own understanding of archetypes, and of ourselves. However, there are two important publications that do pertain to this subject.

Linda Kohanov, a practitioner of equine facilitated psychotherapy and author of several books, including The Tao Of Equus, has recently written a new book, titled, “Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery,” which also including 40 cards designed to help promote understanding of these equine archetypes and of ourselves.

Working with Kim McElroy, who is renowned for her equine artwork, the book explores the way in which horses can guide our understanding of ourselves and the archetypes that may be at play in our lives, and has been quite well received.

Another powerful accounting of equine archetypes and the role of the horse in mythology has been written by Beverly Kane M.D., who is best known for her development of the “Medicine & Horsemanship” program which is the monograph for the Medicine & Horses course syllabus as taught at the University of California San Francisco and Stanford University medical schools.

Titled, “The Mythology of Horses” Kane’s work explores the five archetypes that horses can embody, and the myths, stories and fables that pertain to each. Kane then also discusses the way in which of these archetypes can be seen in our present-day relationships with horses. A comprehensive and intriguing account, “Mythology in Horses” provides a thought provoking read, and a profound understanding of why we incorporate horses into our lives in the ways that we do.

With works like Kohanov’s and Kane’s that incorporate archetypes and mythology into equine-facilitated therapy, hopefully our understanding of ourselves through horses will be enhanced, which, of course, is just one of the many gifts that horses offer.

For more information about kohanov’s work, visit: and for more information about Kane’s work, visit:

Stallion photo available from Shutterstock

The Mythology of Equine Archetypes

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

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Dorotik-Nana, C. (2013). The Mythology of Equine Archetypes. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Mar 2013
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.