Last October Chrissy Teigen, model, TV personality and wife of John Legend, opened up about the miscarriage she endured due to a partial placental abruption. The loss of her son, Jack, twenty weeks into her pregnancy, was more than she could bear and she has since been an open book on how she’s been coping ‒ and not coping ‒ with the emotional trauma. She also recently gave up drinking alcohol, remarking, “I was done with making an a** of myself in front of people (I’m still embarrassed), tired of day drinking and feeling like s**t by 6, not being able to sleep.”

This past week Teigen took to Twitter to announce that to help heal from the experience she was turning to an activity that we horsepeople all know can be the best form of meditation and therapy: riding.

Teigen wrote, “My therapist says I need something that I do for just me, as I have absolutely nothing currently lol. Today begins my journey into the horse world. I hope this dude likes me. He’s so handsome and appears lazy, I love” along with a photo of a lovely dark bay horse lying in a stall.

Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) is a treatment involving riding and/or other activities around horses to help people suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance or physical abuse, and many other issues. The science around the treatment agree that EAT helps build confidence, communication, social skills, boundaries and more. And because horses have similar behaviour as people including social and response behaviors, it’s not difficult for those in the program to make a connection to a horse. EAT is a recognized medical treatment in Canada and most countries around the world.

Currently on Amazon Prime is the moving documentary A Mind Like Still Water about a group of experienced horsewomen who attend a horsemanship clinic at Happy Dog Ranch given by world-renowned horsemen Jim Masterson and Mark Rashid. These women aren’t new the sport and brought their own horses to the clinic and while they were expecting “tips and tricks” to better connect with their animals, what they got was an approach to life that changed them forever.

As for Teigen, who is new to horses, it appears the sport has already lifted her spirits. She posted a series of hilarious videos as she attempted to squeeze into breeches and tall boots – we can relate! In one she wrote, “holy s***. horse people: the boots! i always thought breaking in boots meant the foot part but does it mean the calf part because I’m dying over here.”

And in another… “Not even at the horse part yet lol What the f*** who can fit into these”

Later on Instagram Teigen posted a photo where she is wearing the breeches and boots beside her daughter Luna, 4. “first ride AND first jeans for Luna. she had an epic jean meltdown, really beautiful acting 10/10”

Teigen was caught on camera by New York Post’s gossip sheet Page Six out with her family taking riding lessons in Malibu. It should be noted that in none of the photos is Teigen on a horse, only her famous husband and Luna are mounted, with her son Miles, 2, looking on from the ground. Both Legend and Luna are being led around by handlers in the ring. Teigen is on foot watching wearing a less-formal but still stylish look: denim breeches.

Given her therapist suggesting she do something “just for me” it seems counterintuitive to not actually be riding on her own. But instead she seems determined to introduce the whole family into the sport. Perhaps she’s taking to heart the old adage that families who play together stay together. Unfortunately, Teigen has also had to endure criticism for her choice to ride from people telling her it is a tone deaf decision during a time when people are struggling financially (although in her defense she is not buying the horses, just taking lessons).

In any event, we wish her success and hope that horses help her mental and emotional wellbeing as they do for so many of us lifelong horse lovers.


Related reading:

Why it Works: Examining the awesome power of equine therapy

16 Ways Equine Assisted Therapy is an Effective Intervention

Bringing Awareness to the Mental Health Crisis and Equine Therapy

Study Finds Equine-Assisted Therapy Reduces Post-Traumatic Stress in Youth

Canadian Researchers Study Horses Helping People with Eating Disorders