Milton Erickson once told a story about a horse that wandered into his family’s yard when he was a young man.

Book cover for "My Voice Will Go With You"

Even though the horse had no identifying marks, Erickson decided to return it to its owner.

In order to accomplish this, he simply mounted the horse, led it to the road, and let the horse decide which way it wanted to go. He intervened only when the horse left the road to graze or wander into a field.

When the horse finally arrived at the yard of a neighbour several miles down the road, the neighbor asked Erickson, “How did you know that that horse came from here and was our horse?”

Erickson said, “I didn’t know—but the horse knew. All I did was to keep him on the road.”

Milton H. Erickson (1901-80 ) was an American psychiatrist and hypnotherapist. He is noted for his extensive use of therapeutic metaphor and story as a method of addressing therapeutic change.
My Voice Will Go With You – edited and with commentary by Sidney Rosen.