Inspired By a True Story, New Novel Supports the Field of Equine Facilitated Therapies

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A newly released novel by award-winning writer Catherine Madera supports the growing interest in equine facilitated therapies. Inspired, in part, by a true story Rain Shadow offers a compelling and tender look into the healing power of the human-animal bond.

Award-winning writer, Catherine Madera’s just released novel Rain Shadow is a timely exploration of the healing power of using horses in therapy. Madera, the 2010 winner of the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award was inspired to write the novel after publishing an article about “Hero,” the Oregon horse that survived multiple gunshots to the head in 2008. Hero now lives at an Oregon ranch that serves at-risk youth and families.

     Set in the Pacific Northwest, Rain Shadow tells the tale of an abandoned, savagely wounded mare that forms a bond with a lonely young woman—Taylor—who struggles to rebuild her life after suffering devastating rejection and loss. The mare’s outward appearance a mirror of her inward condition, Taylor finds hope in her uncanny connection to the horse that survived against all odds. Facing challenges together, the two forge a healing bond of friendship and discover that love—and second chances—blossom in unlikely places. Madera paints a story rich with complicated individuals—both human and animal—and uses culture and geography unique to the region to enhance the plot.

    “Horses possess an amazing ability to read and respond to human emotion,” says Madera, a lifelong horsewoman. “They are empathetic, supportive companions to wounded human beings.”

    Equine facilitated therapies have experienced tremendous growth in the last 20 years and have gained respect as a legitimate avenue of treatment for mental health. A magazine editor and author of numerous inspirational non-fiction stories, Madera co-authored a manual on equine facilitated psychotherapy with professional therapist and international speaker on the topic, Leigh Shambo. It will be released in 2012.

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