Many Brave Fools: A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency...and Horses
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
ISBN 10: 1570768870
ISBN 13: 978-1570768873
A moving memoir of a courageous codependent woman who found hope and healing on the back of a horse.
Codependency, a compulsive behavior sometimes known as “relationship addiction,” is often characterized by a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship that is emotionally destructive―even abusive. For years Susan Conley found herself trapped, married to an addict whose health, welfare, and safety she valued far above her own.
Over time, Conley watched as she lost contact with her own needs, desires, and sense of self. But then at forty-two, after yet another crisis came to an anticlimactic resolution that left nothing healed and little to hope for, she decided, having never so much as touched a horse, to take up riding.
Here, with humor and honesty, Conley chronicles her experiences, sharing how her pledge to rediscover herself following her divorce was aided, abetted, and challenged by the horses in her life.
“They were as large a part of my recovery as were any of the self-help books I read, personal development workshops I did, and 12-step meetings I attended,” she writes. “The struggle to heal the wounds of a dysfunctional marriage was actually made easier via the real wounds received from horseback riding.”
Many Brave Fools explores the ways in which horses enriched Conley’s life, and how the process of making herself into a rider also helped her become the person she most wanted to be: not the “ex-wife of an addict,” but a responsive, confident, even courageous woman, entering the prime of her life.
"Conley allows the reader to experience falling in love with horses all over again, and she highlights the extent to which horses can heal wounds that feel too big for any other remedy. Any reader can find a piece of themselves in her as she gives her heart to horses. —UnTacked Magazine
"A very good read." —Catskill Horse.org
"An interesting read that really sheds life on co-dependency and how horses can help us to heal." —Woman's Way
"We all know that horses have therapeutic properties, but Susan Conley takes things to the next level in her revealing tale of recovery that was spearheaded by horses. After struggles with an abusive marriage Conley was searching for rediscovery and recovery. With no prior background with horses, Conley picked up lessons and chronicled her experiences in this honest and humorous story of how horses brought her back to life. Many Brave Fools is a personal tale of how a beginner equestrian worked through emotional turmoil—one ride at a time." —Equine Journal
About the Author
Writer Susan E. Conley has a Master of Philosophy in Irish Theatre Studies from the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, an Honours Degree in Psychology, and a diploma in Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning. Conley is the author of three books: Drama Queen, The Fidelity Project, and That Magic Mischief. She lives in Dublin, Ireland.