Read our brand new therapeutic story!
“SuperThor” is about emotional defenses and explores how true courage and strength comes from feeling our emotions, rather than from being ‘tough’. The star of the story is Thor, one of the most gentle horses at Healing Hooves. In the story Thor gets his feelings hurt and is teased by another pony. As a result he tries to be tough to be the ‘superhero’ he thinks his name is all about. He has some important lessons to learn!
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For a short period of time we are making the pdf version of this book available for free. More info below!
Thundering hooves woke Thor with a start, and he blinked back the cloud of dirt thrown up by the horses galloping nearby. The gate to the big field must be open at last. Thor jumped up and ran as fast as he could on sleepy legs to join his friends. After a long winter of eating hay, that grass would taste so yummy.
But just as he got there, the gate closed. “Sorry, Thor.” The farmer gently rubbed his neck and fastened the jangly chain. “All that spring grass is just not good for a small pony.”
Thor gazed out at his larger friends enjoying their treat. Why couldn’t he be out there too? It just wasn’t fair. Dubh, an older pony who wasn’t allowed spring grass either, joined him at the gate, with a big sigh.
The two ponies stood together, heads hanging over the gate, eyes sad. But before long, Dubh noticed the fresh hay the farmer had left out for them and nudged Thor gently, “Let’s go eat.”
Later that week, Thor chewed slowly on a mouthful of hay beside Dubh, enjoying the warmth of the sun on his back. He had noticed two curious things—every day the farmer opened the gate to let the big horses out to eat grass, and every day she closed the gate before the ponies could join them. Thor’s ears twitched: He didn’t understand why the farmer stopped him from going out with the big horses, and he didn’t like it one bit. But it felt a little better with Dubh beside him.
Just then, Teddy, an even smaller pony who never got out in the big field, pushed in front of Thor and grabbed a mouthful of hay.
Thor snorted and struggled to regain his balance. Teddy was short, but when he barreled into him like that, it hurt!
“What’re you looking so miserable about again, Thor?” Teddy demanded, his mouth spilling hay as it started to snow. “Still wishing you could go out with the big guys?”
Thor stared at the smaller pony, who was now standing in the middle of Thor’s lunch.
“What’s wrong with you, Thor?” Teddy lifted up his small head. “Aren’t you named after some superhero or something? Superheroes are supposed to be tough. Maybe they should change your name to Super Crybaby instead.”
Teddy ran off, hay forgotten, singing a little song to himself:
“There once was a pony called Thor
Who cried and became such a bore
He couldn’t go out
But was too scared to shout
‘Super-crybaby’ suits him much more”
Thor stared at the pile of hay he had been enjoying only moments before. Now, it was all mixed in with the spring snow—just like Teddy’s words were getting all mixed up in Thor’s heart:
“Crybaby. Such a bore. Superheroes are supposed to be tough.”
When the gate closed in his face again the next morning, Thor remembered Teddy’s song. His nostrils flared and he stomped his foot. He could be tough.
Thor marched over to the hay and shoved his way in front of Dubh. He ground Dubh’s breakfast into the dirt with his back feet and snatched a huge mouthful from the biggest pile of hay. If Dubh looked sad, Thor didn’t care. He didn’t even notice. He was Thor “The Superhero” now, not Thor, “the super-crybaby.”
A few steps away Teddy’s head shot up and his tail twitched. He trotted over as there was obviously something to investigate.
Later that afternoon Thor and Teddy ran around the field together looking for something to do with all their superhero power.
They waited till Dubh was fast asleep in the shelter and ran by as fast as they could, flinging dust and dirt up into the old horse’s face.
They stood in front of the water trough for a long time, not letting Disa, a gentle pony who never pushed past anybody, get by for a drink.
Then, before bedtime, when the barn cat wandered over for a snuggle, they kicked up their heels and chased her right out of the field.
This unfriendly behaviour went on for several days. At first, Thor really did feel like a superhero. Every time that gate closed, he got a new surge of power, and he used that power to show Teddy and everyone else how tough he was. He wasn’t a crybaby, he was Thor!
But after a while Teddy grew bored of playing with Thor and went off do something else.
Thor trotted over to eat breakfast with Dubh, but Dubh ran away and hid behind the shelter. This left Thor with the biggest pile of hay all for himself. He chewed slowly. It didn’t taste so good today. Why had Dubh run away?
To read the rest of this story – and to see all of the illustrations that go with it – just send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or request it in the comments section below, and we will share the file with you to download your free copy of the book.
Available for a limited period of time!
There is no cost to download this books from Healing Hooves but please share our page and resources with others, and tell us what you think of our stories in the comments below or on our page.
If you’d also like a physical copy of the book please let us know.
Love it!!!!!!! Especially the part about Teddy standing in his breakfast lol
Such great stories Sue – I have actually talked about the stories when explaining to other people part of what we are learning at Healing Hooves! Thanks for being willing to share and putting it in a frame that makes sense!
Love your stories! Thanks for sharing!
This is a great story and right at the end of blurb it seems Thor was starting to do some reflection on the outcome of his behavior
I will send you a link to read the rest of the story!
I think being a “Super Hero”, like Thor, is acknowledging and allowing ourselves to feel. Scarier, sometimes, to be vulnerable than to be tough. And tough is certainly way lonelier than strong – like Thor learned… great stories. Huge lessons and written like fables for the kids…
thanks Elizabeth, I’m glad you like the stories!
Great story!! Could be particularly relevant to children who have been bullied or are acting as bullies?
yes, I think this could be a great story for both! We also explore the bully profile during the foundation training within our section on the alpha complex and independence
Would like a copy of this one please, Sue
Hi Shreyasi – ‘Super Thor’ is included in a story collection which you have access to through the training course – in sections 10 and 17
When you are here in person we do have physical book versions of all of these you can take a look at and are welcome to buy. I find a ‘real’ version much more useful if you are using them with clients and/ or want to rad them to someone.
Another really good read, so relatable for people.
I appreciated how the story highlighted the courage to be vulnerable to feel all of our feelings. I like how Thor was able to shake “away all his pretending to be something he wasn’t”.
I like how this highlights how behaviour can stem from misunderstanding when no explanation is given for limits that are set.
This story does a great job highlighting how emotional defenses can sometimes lead towards inauthentic behaviour that doesn’t really reflect who we are.
can I please get a copy so I can finish reading it.. 🙂 Thanks
I have sent you the link by e-mail Shawna!
hi sue 🙂 would love to finish reading Thor’s story thanks!
I will e-mail you the link!
Great story Sue! I am glad that I’d purchased the full set when I was at Healing Hooves in person. I hadn’t read this book, until today! I grabbed it to finish the story as I wanted to know how it ended! In the second half of this book, I especially love the part where Dubh realizes that, ” maybe superheroes felt all sorts of feelings.” I agree whole heartedly, to make space for all of our feelings truly is empowering!
I’m glad this inspired you to read the rest of the story! This story was originally written for a specific client but has become a favourite for lots of people!
I would like the rest of this story as well!
Hi Melanie – ‘Super Thor’ is included in a story collection which you have access to through the training course – in the section on emotion
I think this story would be great for children to read/hear and understand or recognize their own behavior!
Thank you Sue – keep them coming!!! I love that parents can sometimes hear us reading these stories and that they are touched by them as well 🙂
you are welcome Michelle! I actually really encourage the parents to read these stories to their kids and will often send them home with books in between sessions – that way they both receive the attachment message and it hopefully creates an attachment experience through the process of sharing the story together.
Such a good story! Great example of how the bullies are trying to prove something, there’s move beneath that behavior.
I would love to read the rest of the book too please.
Hi Denay – you actually have access to this one as a part of the collection in the frustration section of the training course
Sue this book would be really good for primary aged children experiencing, or engaging in bullying. There are many complex issues addressed about how a person’s/child’s behaviour impacts others, learning to anticipate how other’s may feel, the bully’s insecurity and misuse of power, respecting others’ personal boundaries, and how healthy, relationships are formed and maintained. You certainly packed this story with a multitude of learning opportunities!
I love that you have seen so many of the themes built in here Patty!
Hi Sue! I was thinking of you recently when I was driving by the ranch on a recent road trip out your way. I worked with you briefly many years ago when I was Violence Prevention Coordinator with the Calgary Humane Society. I would really love to read the rest of Thor’s story and would appreciate receiving the PDF link. Many thanks, Cathy P.S. I came to your site via the link in the When Words Collide program; sounds like you have a very interesting session.
HI Cathy, it is great to hear from you! I have emailed you a link!
So interesting reading everyone’s responses to these stories. It is neat to hear everyone’s perspectives and insights.
Great story and great theme about learning how to express emotions.
This story could be a great example of what happens when we let others dictate what emotions are acceptable. Teddy teases Thor for feeling sad (and maybe jealous or left out) and Thor just takes Teddy’s word for it. If Teddy thinks Thor’s emotions are silly, they must be. We do this, too, even as adults. Instead of accepting our own emotions, we sometimes let others dictate for us what emotions are acceptable. Lots of great learning here!
Can’t wait to read the rest of the story in the later trainings! I really enjoy how Teddy and Thor get so caught up in proving how tough they are they forget to notice how they are affecting others as they work these feelings out. Such an important message here when we forget how our pursuit of gratification can affect those around us.
Thor’s defenses are protecting his vulnerabilities. What a lovely story for clients that may have big defenses happening.
I agree Jen! I often like to remind parents (and myself!) that we only need armour where there is something vulnerable to protect! It can be a very helpful reframe when we are greeting by someone’s defenses!
I love this, “we only need armor when there is something vulnerable to protect” … another gem.
Great story too… I could see myself integrating the frustration wheel within this story as well.
Yes – that traffic circle seems to apply everywhere!
This is great lesson. Love it! I have enjoyed reading about the horses again as it has been a while since I was out your way. Can I please get the link for the rest of the story. Thanks!
You have a link to the story collection (which includes Super Thor) in the course material!