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The Healing Power of Horses

Post written by Tiffany Coury, Chairman of the Nevada Chapter Board of Directors

I was infatuated with horses before the time I could walk. I always felt a longing to be in their presence, though it was hard to understand why. I saw them as creatures beyond the veil, ones with innate and humble power words could not fully capture.

As the years went on and my experience with horses grew, my love and respect for them grew, too. It wasn’t until everything around me came crashing down, however, that I realized their true power and gifts.

I found myself in my 30s, unable to have children, divorced, diagnosed with an autoimmune issue, and one of the only shining lights left standing in the world that had crumpled around me was my horse, Niko.

Niko was my 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood who held all of my dreams of showing competitively on his broad back. I made sacrifices in my divorce settlement to ensure Niko could come with me, wherever that took us.

It wasn't long after all of these changes happened that I got the call that Niko came in lame from his turn-out. We weren't sure what happened to him or the severity for a few weeksNiko had nearly ruptured his medial collateral ligament and his prognosis was guarded.

It is only now, 13 years later with Niko at the beautiful age of 24, that I can happily share with you the gift Niko shared with me. It was a miracle indeed, but I needed time to digest it.

You see, when I broke, Niko broke.

When I thought I was doing everything I could to rehab him back to a sound horse, he was doing everything he could to rebuild me and my confidence, and to heal the wounded parts I would only let him see.

He mirrored me and I was blessed enough that he guided me divinely, as only he could, through every step of my healing process.

The past 13 years have brought us the ability to compete in show jumping, at a height Niko's body could still do. It's brought us bareback rides, trails, and lying together in his paddock watching the clouds sweep by. He came, and still is, my hero, my therapy, and one of the most fulfilling relationships I've ever had.


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