Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 4

Frosty – a case study
Frosty is a 12 year old Exmoor X mare.  She looks like a typical Exmoor pony: brown coat and darker points with a pale muzzle.  When I first met her she was living at HorseWorld in Bristol, a centre for Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming of equines. Prior to this she had been living semi-wild and unfortunately the herd had been through some traumatic experiences which left Frosty very wary and nervous around people.

Straight away I could see that I would need to take things very slowly and gently with her, respecting her needs and allowing her to set the pace.  On my first couple of visits she would be brought in to the stall for me to offer her healing and I would stand a couple of feet from her and just send healing from a distance, keeping my energy low and allowing her the space and time to process.  Each time she showed signs of accepting and responding to the healing – licking and chewing and her eyes becoming softer and sleepy.

After my first visit I received an email saying that there had been a visible difference in Frosty.  She had seemed less anxious and had initiated contact when out in the field, something that she would not previously have done.

On my fourth visit Frosty came to greet me at the stable door, something she had not done previously.  This time, when I went in, she was loose in the stall and she didn’t move away or show any signs of being nervous.  As I started to offer healing she sniffed at my hands.  She still reacted a little anxiously to noises outside of the stable and I sensed that it was still difficult for her to relax completely, however the healing energy fascinated and enthralled her, pulling her in with its quiet, loving reassurance.  I felt that she wanted to release to it but that she still wasn’t ready to do this 100%.

She began to mouth and chew and then she let out 2 massive yawns which was the first time I had seen her release in this way.

As I continued standing quietly, offering healing she took a step closer to me and began to snuffle at me – my hands, my clothes and my ears – and then stood quietly with her head in front of my chest.  She appeared to be much more comfortable with me and to be enjoying the healing energy.

On one of my last visits to see Frosty, she allowed me, for the first time, to move down one side of her body and to give healing there.  This felt like a big step with her.  She was not comfortable with me working on her off side, however, and apparently she is generally more sensitive there.

I recently heard that Frosty has moved to a new home and is settling in well.

Sometimes animals, like us, require time to process and let go of the past and their fears but it has been wonderful to watch this little pony as she slowly becomes less anxious and more settled.

If this blog has struck a chord with you, you might also be interested in my workshop entitled “If horses could talk... looking at providing a more natural environment for the equines in our care in order to support their wellbeing.  It covers topics such as diet, lifestyle, body language and interaction with the guardian / rider.  If you would like to find out more about how this course could help you to develop a deeper understanding of your horse’s needs, helping him to be happy and healthy and strengthening the bond between you, just give me a call.

For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website:


* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.


(You can read this article in full here)



Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 3

So what can you expect from a typical healing session?

When working with a horse, it is helpful for me to begin by getting some information about the them and the environment in which they live.  It can be helpful to see them in their stable, or in the yard, and for you to put a headcollar on them  and to loosely hold the rope while I work.  It is best for them not to be eating during the session, however it is good to have some fresh water within reach.  Healing works best when the body’s cells are well hydrated as this allows the energy to flow most effectively.  Animals are in tune with this need and will often drink during a session.

I spend a few moments being quiet before putting my hands on or near the horse to begin healing.

This therapy works holistically, treating the whole animal rather than focusing on any particular symptom.  It is completely natural and non-invasive, offering a sense of calm and deep relaxation.


(I also have a powerpoint presentation explaining more about how energy healing works.)


After the session
After having healing it is advisable, where possible, for the horse to take it easy for the rest of the day – no long hacks or strenuous work schedule.

It can take up to 48 hours for the effects to fully work through their system.

The cleansing process
After having a treatment the horse may go through a cleansing and rebalancing process.  This can result in them feeling a little ‘under the weather’.  This is due to previously stored toxins and tensions being released and eliminated as the body adjusts to the new energy.

Senior / ill horses

One area in which healing is especially helpful is when an animal is getting older, or has become terminally ill.  Healing can support you and your animal through this time, helping you to share a special closeness and to make the most of the time you have together; through this challenging period, and beyond.  Please feel free to download my brochure on bereavement and loss.

Next week I’ll share a case study of a lovely little mare that I worked with.


(You can read this article in full here)


For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website:


* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.


Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 2

Animals are particularly receptive to energy healing as they are generally very open and accepting, without the conditioned concerns that we humans often experience.

Energy Healing:

  • involves the transfer of natural energy
  • relaxes and re-energises
  • stimulates self-healing ability
  • is non-invasive — there is no physical manipulation or massage involved.
    Only a light touch is used

It can be used to support many issues including:

  • the immune system
  • cell repair
  • detoxification
  • enzyme function
  • oxygen uptake
  • absorption of nutrients
  • wound repair
  • pain relief
  • balancing
  • release of endorphins
  • a sense of wellbeing and calm

Horses are a little different from most of the other animals that share our lives, for several reasons:

  • their size – most horses are much bigger than the average ‘pet’
  • their nature as a herd animal
  • the nature of our interaction with them, particularly riding

When we domesticate an animal and keep it in a human-controlled environment we can find that the animal begins to exhibit unwanted behaviours.  I believe that these behaviours can be viewed in a similar way to dis-ease, in that there is a trigger which we can discover and so learn how to improve the experience of the animal in question.

Research has shown that “horses are sentient beings…reflecting various emotional states when stressed or happy” – Ellen Kaye Gehrke, Ph.D.  They also act as mirrors for us, helping to reveal stresses and discomforts in our lives.

Gehrke and her team studied Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and discovered that:

During the experience of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness or depression, heart rhythms become more erratic or disordered (or incoherent). Conversely, sustained positive emotions such as appreciation, love, or compassion are associated with a highly ordered, or coherent, pattern in the heart rhythms, and can be regarded as an indication of physical and mental health states.”

When they put a horse together with a human, and measured their respective HRV they found that:

The horses perceived, in the moment, coherent or incoherent human HRV and began reflecting that human HRV in their own behavior. It became apparent that the horse’s heart rate would synchronize with the human’s, although it did not appear that the human would reflect the horse’s emotional state.”

This has profound implications for the horse-human bond.  Horses pick up on what we are feeling and their behaviour mirrors those feelings back to us.  For this reason it can be very beneficial to share an energy healing session with your horse.  Not only will it help you both to feel relaxed and promote wellbeing, it will also enhance the bond of love and trust between you.  When I offer healing I am working at a level that impacts on these heart rhythms.  I become still and ‘present’ and invite you both to share in that feeling of peace and inner harmony.

Next week I’ll look at what to expect from a typical healing session.


(You can read this article in full here)


For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website:


* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.

Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 1

Energy healing in its many forms has become a very popular way for people to enjoy deep relaxation and enhanced wellbeing.  If you are a horse owner and have experienced this sense of peace for yourself, you might have wondered if your 4-legged friend would benefit from some healing too.  If this is the case, read on, because I’ll be explaining a little bit more about how healing works and how it can benefit not only you but also your horse and the relationship that you share.

Albert Einstein said:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. 

Match the frequency of the reality you want

and you cannot help but get that reality. 

It can be no other way. 

This is not Philosophy, this is Physics”

We can measure this energy, and even photograph it (using Kirlian photography).

Kirlian photo of a Coleus leaf

Energy Healing works with the life-force energy, enabling the body to fully relax, which in turn allows healing to take place on many levels.  This makes it a very powerful therapy and yet it has no negative side effects.

Each of us may have a slightly different understanding of the term ‘wellbeing’.  To me, it is not simply the absence of disease.  I believe that wellbeing encompasses all layers of our being: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  The details of how this looks and feels may differ for each individual, but for me it’s about being able to truly enjoy each day to the full, being comfortable with who you are and feeling confident and capable to deal with anything Life brings.

All animals (including humans!) are made up of millions of cells which are inter-connected and inter-dependent.  Chemical and electrical messages (in the form of hormones and nerve impulses respectively) constantly flow around the body, co-ordinating all its functions and — when well — maintaining a state of balance and harmony.  This is known as homeostasis.

If something disrupts this balance it results in dis-ease.  Thankfully the body is an intelligent system and so it generally knows how to restore its equilibrium.  Although this is a natural process, sometimes the body can be overwhelmed, or get stuck in a condition of disharmony.  When this happens it can benefit from support to help ‘kick-start’ the journey back to wellness.

Our modern world has come to believe that disease is a ‘mistake’ of some kind, and that it is to be feared and avoided wherever possible.  In contrast, I believe that dis-ease has a purpose.  It comes from the body’s response to something that isn’t working and, if we explore the nature of the disease, it can lead us to identifying a trigger and thus deal with the issue and make any necessary changes in order to return to the natural state of balance.  This greater awareness also helps us in maintaining a good level of health and reducing or avoiding dis-ease in the future.

Next week I’ll look at the benefits of energy healing and how this relates to horses in particular.


(You can read this article in full here)


For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website:


* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.


Something we need to consider when our horses are stabled is what and how we feed them.  Think about how the horse eats and drinks in the wild.  Here they graze for up to sixteen hours a day, eating grass growing on the ground.  In contrast we often feed concentrates at set meal times and provide hay in nets tied to the wall at head height.  This is not natural for horses and can lead to tooth and digestive problems.  It is far better to provide food at floor level for indoor horses, with a good supply of hay that they can graze on throughout the day.  Water too should be at floor level and it is best if it is given in a bucket, rather than a self-refilling trough.  This means that the guardian can keep an eye on their horse’s water consumption which can be an indicator of their general health.

Hard feed is often high in sugar (even, sometimes, the ones that claim to be suitable for laminitic horses) and in chemicals such as mould inhibitors and preservatives.  These can be harmful to a horse’s digestive and metabolic systems and should be avoided.  You can find organic feeds through Thunderbrook’s, Simple System Ltd, The Pure Feed Company and others.

Another point I’d like to mention here is that much of the pasture land that we have here in the UK is actually designed for fattening livestock for market.  It is often high in sugars which can lead to laminitis and other metabolic diseases (you can read more about this in another blog post, here).  A horse’s natural diet is actually made of tough ‘old’ grasses, more like those found in wild meadows.  Also the chemical that are often used on pasture and surrounding farmland are toxic and can affect horses’ health.  It is therefore best to source hay made from unfertilised, unsprayed meadow grasses.

Horses will also appreciate having things to do.  This could include:

  • spending time with his buddies in the field
  • playing in an arena or school
  • going for walks to explore the local area
  • browsing in the hedgerows
  • being groomed by their guardian.

When they are on their own in the stable it can be a good idea to leave toys for them to investigate so that they have mental stimulation.  Anything new should be introduced sensitively and of course it must be safe to leave with an unsupervised horse.

Taking the time to empathise with your horse will help you to develop a deeper understanding, and thus a closer relationship with this amazing animal.  They in turn will respond as your communication becomes clearer, and they will thrive in this richer environment.  I’ll be writing more about this in the next series of posts.


(You can read this article in full here)




Many of the situations in which we keep horses mean that it’s not possible for them to be turned out all the time.  We therefore need to think of ways of making their time in the stable more ‘natural’.  For example, think of how the horse interacts with his surroundings when within a herd.  He likes to be able to see around him and to see his herd-mates.  Horses prefer to be in light, airy stables where they can see out, and preferably where they can see, and even touch, other horses.  Stables such as these below are not natural for horses as they are dark and there is no view of the outside:

By contrast the stables below are preferable as they allow the horse to see much more of what is going on and give him some outdoor space:

It is also a good idea to have the doors of the stables close enough to one another so that the horses can reach out and touch noses:

However, stabling is never ideal.  A recent study by Nottingham Trent University showed that stabled and isolated horses suffer higher stress levels and are harder to manage. Humans think that stables provide them with a warm and cosy sanctuary but the horses themselves find them a miserable and stressful experience (reported in The Barefoot Horse magazine, Issue 6, 2015).  Possible alternatives are the Paddock Paradise (or ‘Track’) and Equicentral Systems.  (I mentioned Track Systems briefly in another blog which you can see here)

I’d like to also briefly mention box-rest here.  This is sometimes necessary following injury or illness but we also need to be aware of the horse’s need to move, to have company and to avoid stress in order to heal.  They also need daylight in order to synthesise Vitamin D.  One option therefore might be a restricted area outdoors where they can still see and interact with other horses.  An example of this is shown in this YouTube video.

In the last part of this series I’ll look at diet and other ways to support your horse’s wellbeing and therefore the bond between you.


(You can read this article in full here)


Last week I mentioned that stabling can be stressful for horses, so what can we do to provide them with a more appropriate environment?

Where at all possible it is best to try to create natural conditions as far as possible.  Ideally this would be for the horse to be turned out, day and night, with other horses, to form a herd.  This needs to be handled sensitively however as, in fact, this is still an artificial situation for the horse.  In the wild herds are made up of family members.  The lead stallion looks after a ‘harem’ of mares.  He mates with all the mares, meaning that he is the father of the foals.  It is his responsibility to protect his family from predators, to warn when danger is approaching, to ward or fight off rival stallions and to discipline other horses who get out of line.

The herd also has a lead mare who is usually an older and more experienced mare.  Her role is to find grazing areas for the group and to lead them to water.  She also leads the other horses away from danger while the stallion protects from behind.  She is typically the leader in day-to-day matters.

Mares will only mate with the lead stallion, unless a rival has snuck in to snatch a female.  Foals are usually born in the Spring, and often at night, the mare moving away from the rest of the group to find a quiet, safe spot to give birth.  Within one hour the foal is normally ready to stand, and within two it is strong enough to run.  At this point the mother will lead her foal back to the herd.

Fillies will be chased away from the herd when they are sexually mature (one year or older) and will soon join another stallion and his harem.  Colts will also be removed from the herd when they are sexually mature (two plus years old) and will join a bachelor group.  This group consists of other colts and stallions without a harem of their own.  They spend their days eating, sleeping and practising fighting for when they win their own group of mares.

A stallion’s life can be hard, looking after his herd and fighting to win mares, grazing and access to water.  Stallions will generally avoid full fights whenever possible, trying instead to win through displaying their size and strength.  Sometimes however fights do occur and these can be severe.  Most older stallions have scars which bear witness to their many battles.  Bachelor bands can be crafty and can spell trouble for a stallion.  Sometimes one of the band will fight the lead stallion of the herd while another steals the mares. (

This description is actually rather simplistic and the herd’s social structure is more complex.  The group often acts as a single entity.  The horses will spread themselves out to graze, each animal facing in a different direction, effectively giving them an all round view to watch out for predators.

A horse’s usual way of interacting is one of cooperation, synchronisation and leading / following, rather than dominance.  Any member of the herd who sees a threat can lead the others, by starting to run.  The rest sense the movement and follow.  This cooperation encourages cohesion within the herd, allowing them to live together peacefully, so maximising their chances of surviving.  The horses will also follow leads in terms of moving off to look for new grazing or water.  In the day-to-day life of the herd, horses tend to defer to those who are older or more experienced.  These horses are the ones who appear calm and assured, rather than those who are nervous, or even those who are bossy.  Horses like to feel safe, and they are attracted to those who make them feel this way.  They are also very sensitive to the energy of others and they can quickly assess who makes them feel relaxed and who doesn’t.

In the herds that we create we need to respect these sorts of interactions and the social structure that develops.  If we don’t, we could be exposing horses to the risk of bullying or of one being ostracised by the others.  Within a herd you can notice that certain horses will tend to spend a lot of time in each others’ company.  Looking at the herd as a whole you will see pairs of horses grazing, standing, playing or grooming together.  These pair bonds can be very strong so it is worth being aware of which horses spend a lot of time together and of how they all fit together in the herd.  Having a pair bond provides company for a horse and also means that there is an extra pair of eyes looking out for you.  Being on your own, without a buddy, even in a herd, means that you are more likely to fall prey to a predator.  As humans we need to be sensitive to these bonds and not make sudden changes, either by adding a horse to an established herd, or by removing a horse from his buddy.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, it just is not possible to offer 24/7 turnout for our horses, so next week I’ll look at some ways to support their wellbeing when they are indoors.


(You can read this article in full here)