As a family, the McCormick’s already had a deep love and reverence for their horses and as psychotherapists, they had a successful therapy practice using horses as part of their treatment program. On vacation in Scotland Drs. Adele von Rust McCormick, Marlena Deborah McCormick and Thomas E. McCormick had a chance encounter with a Scottish shepherd, and thus began their exploration of Celtic mystic spirituality.


“Horses embody the sacred and bind us to the life force”.


The Celtic spiritual tradition recognizes the divine in all things, and over a period of time, the authors, along with their horses, co-created a healing method that integrates and balances body, mind and Spirit. Throughout the book, the authors integrate the healing stories of their patients, and courageous and sometimes astonishing stories, of the horses in their lives. They are frank in their initial reluctance to return to a church-organized religion they had left, but through the intervention of one of their horses, they overcame this reluctance. As a result, they met a priest who embraced the Celtic view of spirituality, and were further enriched in both their healing practice and in their faiths.


I came to this book with an open mind, and beyond a lifelong love of horses, didn’t really have any expectations as I read. The authors point to the need for balance in all things, and in their therapy, any patient imbalance is reflected in the patient’s horsemanship, or lack, as the case maybe. The authors make a strong case for this, as they are experienced horse-people, they are in an excellent position to asses their patients, as well as their healing, through the handling of horses.


~review by Karen Phillippi

Authors: Adele von Rust McCormick, Ph.D, Marlena Deborah McCormick, Ph.D, and Thomas E. McCormick, M.D.

New World Library, 2004

pp. 190, $21.95