Mindful work with horses, says neurosurgeon Allan J. Hamilton, can enlighten the human handler as much as it benefits the horse. Evolving over 30 million years to become the quintessential prey animal, equines have developed acute right-brain survival skills, such as leadership, awareness, empathy, and cooperation. In particular the horse has finely honed abilities to lead, communicate, and connect not with words, but with the vital emotional energy described in the Buddhist tradition as chi. When we learn the language of chi, we become more effective as leaders, more attuned to others, and more joyful as human beings.
Zen Mind, Zen Horse begins by examining how the equine and human brains function, often related to their respective roles as prey and predator. Going on to draw insights and wisdom from spiritual traditions such as Zen Buddhism, Ayurvedic healing, and Yaqui shamanism and from the great horse cultures of the Mongolians, Bedouins, and Native Americans, Dr. Hamilton shows the importance of developing right-brain awareness and quieting the left-brain dominance of our Western brains.
Seamlessly integrating spiritual principles and practical applications, Dr. Hamilton shows how to apply the chi-based approach to every aspect of horse-human communication, including: • The act of grooming as a spiritual practice • Techniques of alpha-horse leadership that make others gladly follow • Gaze, stance, and gesture as training tools • The irresistible power of infinite patience
Ultimately, the author shows the depth of insight humans gain into themselves, as well as horses, after working with these amazing animals.
about Allan J. Hamilton
Allan J. Hamilton, MD, is a Harvard-trained brain surgeon, a renowned horse trainer, a developer of equine-assisted learning programs, and the author of The Scalpel and the Soul,which won a Silver Nautilus Award in 2009. He is professor of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona and a medical script consultant for the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy. He raises Lippizan horses on a small ranch in the outskirts of Arizona.