Read about the Adventures of Cutie and Friends …. Story synopsises below 

Healing Hooves Therapeutic Stories for children, Counsellors and Parents – now available to purchase!

Please e-mail us to order: sue@healinghooves.ca or follow this link for more details.

Some pain is too painful to touch directly.  It is normal, and often healthy, for us to build up defenses to protect ourselves from overwhelming vulnerability, trauma and emotional pain, just as our bodies would grow a scab over a physical wound.  However, in the longer term, these same defenses sometimes also stand in the way of our healing.   Rather than directly challenge these defenses by trying to touch the pain or trauma directly, at Healing Hooves we realize that a more indirect or ‘one step removed’ approach can often be much more effective and appropriate to reaching our most vulnerable clients.

 

One way of doing this is through experiential work with the horses.  The client who is afraid to trust works with the horse who is also afraid; we explore what that horse might be struggling with and what he might need.  Or the client who is grieving the loss of a loved one works with the pony who lost his best friend, and talks about what that pony might be feeling.

 

Another way to work ‘one step removed’ is through stories.  At Healing Hooves we have been using carefully chosen stories to do this work for many years and often have parents take these stories home to read to their children again and again.  We have also written many stories of our own where we were unable to find a book that explored what we wanted to explore, or where we simply preferred to have the story be about horses! 

 

After years of sharing these stories with our clients we have finally been persuaded to share them with a wider circle. 

 

 

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Thus the adventures of Cutie, Skye, Disa and the rest of the Healing Hooves Herd are now available for you to purchase and share with your children and clients.  We hope that you will find them as healing, touching, and at times highly amusing, as hundreds of children have found at Healing Hooves!

 

Stories to be read to children of all ages …..

1. Molly and Cutie’s Run

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 Molly woke up very VERY early in the morning.  It was the very first day of spring break and she couldn’t wait to go ride her pony Cutie all day long.   She was planning a big adventure and was so excited to tell Cutie all about her VERY big and important plans.  

  

But a series of events thwart Molly's well laid plans and she gets madder than mad!  See how Cutie helps Molly run out all of her mad to find her sad about the things which are not working for her that day.

This story is an excellent way to help children explore their frustrations in an indirect and non threatening way.  It helps parents and counselors alike normalize feelings of frustration in a child and walk them through the maze from ‘mad’ to ‘sad’.  Also acts as a tool to help children find ways to express their feelings which do not hurt anyone or get them into trouble.

To order your copy of this story please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca

 

2. Amanda’s Animals

Amanda got up early most mornings so she could help Mommy with chores around their little farm.  First Amanda helped Mommy take a fresh bowl of water to her dog Jack.   Jack thumped his big black tail on the floor and reached up to kiss Amanda on the nose.  Amanda giggled.  “I think Jack loves his bowl of fresh water Mommy” said Amanda.  “I think you are right” said Mommy, “I think Jack does love his bowl of fresh water ... but I know he loves you even more.

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But when Amanda gets sick for a few days and can’t take of her animals she wonders if they will stop loving her. See how Amanda learns that her animal friends love her for who she is, and not for what she does ... and that Mommy loves her even more than that!

This gentle story explores and reinforces the unconditional nature of love.  It is also an excellent resource to help bring emotional rest to an insecure child by showing them that they do not need to ‘earn’ the love of their parents, and that love is never conditional on their behavior or achievements – it is the infinite  gift which every child is entitled to take for granted!

 

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To order your copy of this story please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca

 

3. Skye’s Nap

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Skye and Cutie were having a nice nap out in the field one sunny afternoon.  Well Cutie was having a nice nap, Skye still had one eye open and one ear pricked up as usual.  Cutie liked having his nap near Skye, he always knew that Skye was watching over him.  Cutie felt safe when Skye was near.

    

When Cutie starts to wonder when Skye gets to have HIS nap he worries that Skye has nobody to take of him, and that concerns Cutie very much.  After various efforts by Cutie to take care of Skye, Cutie realizes that while it is hard for Skye to trust others to take care of him, he does indeed have a safe place to rest, and that it is not Cuties job to make this happen!

This story helps us to explore the struggles some children – and adults – have to allow others to take care of them.  What may initially present as strength and independance (or defiance) this story shows can often come from a deep insecurity and fear of being hurt and let down by those we should be able to trust.  This story demonstrates and explores the deep need we all possess to find emotional rest and security, and reassures children that it is not their job to provide this for the adults in their life!

To order your copy of this story please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca

 

4. One More Day With Penny

Cutie slowly opened one fuzzy little eyelid.  He had just been having a lovely dream about a field full of ginormous juicy carrots that he wasn’t in a hurry to wake up from.  But as he gave a big long stretch he noticed his tummy actually felt very empty, so he decided to go see what there was for breakfast.

  

But when Cutie reaches the feeder he realizes his old friend Penny is not there as she should be.  When he realizes she died in the night Cutie experiences a roller coaster of anger, disbelief and grief.  But Skye is there for him and helps him find ways to hold on to his memories of his old friend that will stay in his heart forever.  Find out how Cutie and the rest of the Healing Hooves herd decide they would spend one more day with Penny, and at the same time hold on to their memories and feelings for their old friend forever.

This story explores the many facets of grief and of finding ways to ‘hold on’ to loved ones when we can no longer be with them.  This one step removed approach allows parents and counselors to explore these feelings and struggles with children in ways which are less likely to overwhelm.   

 

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To order your copy of this story please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca

 

5. The Bestest Pony in the World

 

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Cutie knew he was perfect for his humans, Molly and Amanda.  When he came to their farm he was thirty seven and a half inches tall and they were aged three and five.  They were perfect for each other in every way.   

 

But as time passes Cutie’s humans get bigger, and he doesn’t.  Afraid what this may mean Cutie comes up with a plan to make sure they still love him.  Read how Cutie learns that he does not need to be big, fast, jump high or anything else for his people to love him.  They will always love him, just as he is.   

This story helps show children the unconditional nature of love.  It challenges the views that love can or should be ‘earned’   and presents it in its true form – as the infinite gift to which every child – and Shetland pony – is entitled.

To order your copy of this story please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca  

 

6. The Magic Horse Hair

    

Molly and Amanda were both feeling very, VERY excited.  In a few days they were going on a big trip across the Atlantic Ocean to visit their Grandad in Scotland.  Their pink princess wheelie bags had been packed with all their favourite toys for over a week now, and they were impatient to get going!

 

But when the girls realize going away means leaving their animal friends behind – that they can’t fit them all in their pink wheelie bags – they start to worry.  Discover the ‘Magic horse Hair’ which allows Molly and Amanda to stay connected to all of their animal friends, no matter how far away they travel.

 

This story helps children find ways to ‘hold on’ to those they love when they cannot be with each other.  Even better, it shows the adults in their lives how to do the holding on, so that the children don’t have to.   It explores how love and relationships go far beyond and far deeper than physically ‘being with’ a person.

 

 

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To order your copy of this story please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca  

 

Stories intended for adolescents and adults ……

1. Jack and Abby

Jack came to us from the local humane society. He used to live in the city and didn't do too well there as he kept breaking out of his tiny city yard to chase bikes, cars and whatever else happened to be moving at the time.  He generally managed to get himself into a lot of trouble, put himself in quite some danger, and cause much chaos in the process.  He likely caused his previous owners much anxiety too!  ……….. Abby started smoking marijuana when she was 13.  By the time she was 15 she had moved onto crack cocaine and she and her friends would frequently go through hundreds of dollars worth in one night.  For Abby’s parents those years were a living hell.  For Abby, they were worse.

This story follows how one set of parents comes to better understand their daughter's struggle with addictions and what she needs, through her interactions with a dog with an uncontrollable fear of thunder storms:

Abby started to cry. “Jack must have been so scared those times he ran, he wanted to stay, he knew it was the right thing to do but his legs just wouldn’t listen, would they.”  As she buried her face in her horse’s thick mane the words came tumbling out through the sobs “ the poor dog, he knew how much he was letting you down, how much of a disappointment he was, and every time he screwed up again he was so so scared you wouldn’t let him come back this time.  He was so scared he would lose you.  But no matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t help it. Poor poor Jack.  Once he started running he just couldn’t make himself stop!” 

 

2. My Journey Home

I remember a time when I felt safe.  It seems like a long time ago now but I can still remember her gentle touch, her quiet reassuring voice and how her eyes seemed to light up and twinkle whenever I approached.  I was not perfect and sometimes I did things which upset her; but I knew she would always love me – just the way I was. It was a good feeling which I never really thought about at the time, it’s simply how life was, and it just felt right. But somehow that all changed.

Following a horses’ journey through various homes this story explores themes such as peer attachment, defenses, fear, hope and despair.  It demonstrates some of the underlying sources of surface behavior, especially for a horse – or a child - who has been uprooted, and provides hope that we can all find our way back home.

 

3. Dancing with Skye

Working with a horse at liberty is very much like dancing a delicate and intricate dance.  In many ways it feels like there is an invisible string connecting you and the horse, a string that can at one moment feel like it is made of the strongest twine and the next moment disintegrates into thin air…..

This story explores the delicate dance of working – be it with a horse or a child - within your level of natural power.  And the dangers that exist when you try to increase this power using force or coercion!

To order your copy of any or all of these stories please e-mail us at:: sue@healinghooves.ca