“I was born to the rhythm of horseback,” fashion designer Stella McCartney tells me rather poetically over Zoom. “My first moments with a horse were when I was in my mom’s belly and she was riding while pregnant with me.”
Years later, McCartney’s heart still beats to the gait of a horse—see her Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear show and latest campaign starring fellow horse-lover Kendall Jenner—and she wants to share that life-changing experience with the world.
“I wasn’t brought up with the idea of equine therapy because that’s a new term,” she says. “But I have seen the ones I love have healing experiences with horses, including myself. When my mother passed away, I started riding her stallion and that was so intensely emotional for me.”
So when a chance email from new-wave spiritual leader, Never Alone cofounder, and mental health advocate Deepak Chopra arrived in McCartney’s inbox (and she realized “it wasn’t a joke”), things started to fall into place. The positive effects of horses on mental health were a major topic of conversation while the two had tea: Studies show it not only helps with physical strength and balance, but improve one’s trust, as well as relieve symptoms of stress and depression. A partnership between the McCartney’s vegan brand and Chopra’s foundation felt like a natural next step.
The partnership is named the Healing Power of Horses, and it includes sharing a global directory of equine therapy clinics (all be vetted by the Chopra Foundation), an educational platform where people can learn how to access the benefits in their community, custom meditations, and a limited-edition charitable Stella McCartney Falabella bag adorned with the words of poet Cleo Wade.