5 Star Reviews · Blog Tour

#BlogTour #BookReview – The Spell of the Horse, by @pam_billinge @Blackbird_Bks #HorseSpell

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for The Spell of the Horse, written by Pam Billinge and published by Blackbird Digital Books.

Blurb:

The ability of the horse to sense emotion, energy and spirit is way beyond what most of the human world realises. A must-read for those wishing to understand the spiritual connection between horses and humans.

When Pam’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she began to notice the way her horse responded to her emotional turmoil. Thus began an exploration into the spiritual relationship between horses and humans and their infinite capacity to help us heal. Building on her remarkable discoveries, Pam began her pioneering work as a horse-led coach and therapist. By sharing her own path to redemption through personal tragedy, and other stories of healing inspired by the incredible interactions she has observed between horse and human, Pam puts forward her uplifting insights about the true nature of the horse, setting out some simple principles to help the reader transcend life’s challenges.

Discover the lessons which horse behaviour have taught the author about

* managing anxiety
* surviving bereavement
* letting go of fear and finding courage to live with joy and purpose
* listening to inner wisdom without overthinking dilemmas, allowing the right things to happen in life without force

This memoir will appeal to fans of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, The Wild Other by Clover Stroud and H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Pam Billinge is a body psychotherapy professional and leadership coach at the top of her game in the UK field of horse-led therapy.

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My Review:

The Spell of the Horse is a wonderfully emotional read. It is a combination of a memoir covering the ups and downs of the author’s personal life as well as her career in horse-led therapy, so can be read as a self-help book too.

Reading about some parts of the author’s past were very emotional, and at times I felt tearful, probably not helped by my grandad dying while I was in the middle of reading this book. This memoir covers the author’s experiences of love, loss, grief, anxiety, stress and heartache. It was fascinating reading about how her changing emotions had an impact on the behaviour of her horses, as well as how her horses helped her get through the hard times.

Seeing how people reacted to the therapy with horses was wonderful to witness. It was so heart-warming seeing them improve and how much of an impact a horse can have on a human. This book describes the most powerful sense of a horse being spirit and energy, rather than sight or sound, and I truly believe that based on how I feel around horses. There is something overwhelmingly therapeutic about horses.

I could relate to the author’s descriptions of anxiety. I too am a coper, so struggle to admit any of my weaknesses, and generally try to push through it. I’ve had anxiety most of my life, but as I’ve got older, I’ve got better at hiding it from the outside world. One thing I really took from this book was the reminder that life is about ‘being’ rather than just ‘doing’. Sometimes we’re too busy doing things that we forget to stop long enough to enjoy being in that moment, appreciate what is around us and love life.

Whether you know a lot or very little about horses, I think this is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone who at least has an appreciation of how special horses are. I don’t claim to know much about horses at all. My knowledge goes about as far as describing their size and colour.

For example here is a brown horse and a white horse in fields a few minutes walk from my house in 2011:
Or how about these mixed coloured beauties about twenty minutes walk from my house last year:

I’ve only ever ridden a horse twice in my life. Once when I was nine years old and again when I was fourteen. Despite my lack of knowledge, my fascination goes back to my childhood, starting with my obsession with My Little Ponies. I was still playing with them when I was twelve years old, and would always choose them over dolls.

As an adult I have to go over to horses in a field when I’m on country walks. It’s hard to describe, but I feel a very strong pull towards them, and if they are in the mood to interact with me, I’m left with this happy floating sensation inside me, as if in that moment I’m truly at peace with the world.

These horses lived in a field around the corner from my house for a few months last year. I saw them most days while walking my dog and developed a close bond with them. The field now has two different horses in it, but I still miss these two. They had such fun characters and would trot across the field to see me each day: 

There is something magical about horses, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who falls in love with a horse in the countryside and imagines them with a magical invisible unicorn horn. On that note, I should probably end here before I get accused on living in a world of my own again.

The Spell of the Horse is definitely a book I highly recommend if you have an appreciation of horses and enjoy memoirs and self-help books.

5 Stars

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Where to find this book:

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Here are the details of the blog tour in case any of you wish to follow the rest of the tour 🙂

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