The Horse Cure

True Stories: Remarkable Horses Bringing Miraculous Change to Humankind

Michelle Holling-Brooks



ASHLEY was locked in closets as punishment, and physically and sexually abused, resulting in an angry and violent child who threatened her adoptive family—until she met Cocoa and Radar, the horses that helped her learn to trust again. 

BRENDA was diagnosed bipolar and lived through humiliating domestic abuse, but three horses—Delilah, Wiscy, and Diesel—helped her establish a sense of self-worth, hope for the future, and ultimately, the will to go on.

NICK was angry, suicidal, and a veteran with combat PTSD, who now says, “Horses literally saved my life.” 

Inspired by her own childhood trauma when she spent seven days in a coma, awakened to a severely compromised body and brain, and rebuilt her life with the help of a horse, Michelle Holling-Brooks founded Unbridled Change, a non-profit Equine-Partnered Therapy organization that helps match horses to individuals in need. Here she shares amazing stories of the people she’s worked with and the “horse cure” that changed their lives.

Survivors of trauma, loss, illness, abuse, stress, and depression can face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But today, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that horses play a crucial role in therapy for those struggling with significant psychological and emotional challenges. Horses respond to angry, inhibited, heartbroken, defiant, terrified clients in many different ways, often breaking through defensive barriers via their physical presence, or by pointing to areas of psychological distress not immediately apparent. The horse’s response guides the treatment team, as well as the client, in the healing process. 

Additional Information

Author: Michelle Holling-Brooks

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 508

Illustrations: 40 color photos

ISBN: 9781570769368

By Michelle Holling-Brooks

Michelle Holling-Brooks has been a certified professional in the field of Equine Assisted Therapies since 2000, and is a lifelong equestrian. A life-threatening illness in her early teens inspired her commitment to her work and the founding of Unbridled Change, a non-profit equine-partnered therapy organization, in 2008. Holling-Brooks has over 20 years of training with a number of organizations in the field including: EAGALA, PATH, and Natural Lifemanship. She is certified in Mindfulness and Life Coaching, is a Reiki Master, and has specialized training in the areas of trauma, PST, and attachment work.

AJ Morey is Associate Vice Provost for Cross Disciplinary Studies at James Madison University and the author of four books. She is certified as an equine specialist for delivering horse-assisted mental health therapies, and was a co-founder of a nonprofit that used horses in therapy sessions with veterans and at-risk youth.

 Horse Nation Says:

“It shows us the power of utilizing horses to heal and grow.”