Giving Reiki to Horses

by Tom White

I treated my first horse with Reiki soon after my Master attunement as a favor to the owner, who was concerned that her 27-year-old gelding had developed fairly serious allergic reactions to certain biting insects. I was introduced to Major in his stable and found myself suddenly on my own with the horse looking intently at me. He did not like my camcorder case and tried to take it from me. That was duly handed through the door, after which he frisked me from head to feet. Satisfied I was not another veterinarian come to give an injection, he stood back but looked interested.

I spent some time simply talking to him and stroking him and as Reiki began to flow I scanned to search for “hotspots.” His back and hips were hottest, so I worked there, gradually moving up to his heart and head. The change in Major was amazing. Within 20 minutes he was so relaxed that he was swaying slightly, eyes almost closed. Occasionally he would look to see what I was doing. Finally, I reached his head, which he eventually rested over my right shoulder as I reached up and placed one hand at the base of his skull and the other on his forehead. To finish, I swept along his body, nose to tail, once on each side, and he became alert again. I was surprised to find that almost two hours had elapsed. As the owner joined us, Major returned to me and placed his forehead against my chest, leaning gently on me and closing his eyes. He remained like this for a few minutes before going out into the field.

After this wonderful experience I obtained a Reiki for Horses manual, which explained more about chakra locations and gave valuable advice on horse body language and temperament (see bibliography below). The most rewarding case I have had to date was a thoroughbred Arab stallion, a racehorse owned by a group of businessmen . He was called “Acceleration,” but rarely did so. Mostly he liked to be in Neutral or Park. Always very fast in practice and training, he was somehow unable to repeat this in a race. He caused a lot of amusement during a televised race when, as the trap wires lifted, he trotted forward a few feet and began to graze happily at the side of the track. The rider was an agitated blur bouncing up and down trying to make him run.

It took six sessions 7 to 10 days apart to completely clear whatever it was that was stopping him. Despite his flighty temperament, once introduced to me and another practitioner who worked with me, Acceleration always appeared to enjoy his sessions. He was very gentle and affectionate to us, gently nuzzling and nibbling our hair or clothes—much to the surprise of the stable staff and trainer. As with Major, he also liked to stand and have his head held gently at the end of a session. During the course of therapy, Acceleration steadily improved his performance, and after his fifth session he won his first race.

Treating a horse with Reiki can be an amazing experience. If you have not yet given Reiki to a horse, I would encourage you to try it. As with human clients, when treating a horse, it is important to carry out a thorough initial consultation to check the history and gain as much information as possible. You may have to get permission from a veterinary surgeon to treat the horse. Horses are large, powerful animals—always make safety your priority. Pay attention to what the owner or trainer tells you and be alert for signs of trouble. I always check escape routes when I’m in a stall with a horse. If I need to treat a horse on my own, I ask that the owner or someone knowledgeable about THIS horse be present or within sight. As a matter of courtesy and my own safety, I always comply with any request made by the horse that I should leave.

There are many Web sites offering good advice regarding the safe handling of horses and how to read horse body language. If you are not used to being around horses, ask for advice, read up on the basics, and follow the rules. Initially, I was afraid of being in the same stall as a horse, but I have developed a deep love and respect for these sensitive and wonderful animals. They are deeply intuitive and can sense your intention to help and will often respond in a wonderfully moving way.

It is a profound experience to see such a large animal respond in the way I have described, simply by gently touching it and allowing the Reiki energy to flow through your hands. For me, it was a clear and quite unexpected demonstration of the power of Reiki. Thanks to the horses, I am sure I have become a more effective therapist with my human clients.

Suggested Reading

Hands on Healing for Horses and Riders, by Claire Wilder.

Healing for Horses: the Essential Guide to Using Hands-On Healing Energy with Horses, by Margrit Coates.

Animal Reiki: Using Reiki to Heal the Animals in Your Life, by Elizabeth Fulton and Kathleen Prasad.

This article appears in the Fall 2007 issue of the Reiki News Magazine.