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My First Equine Case Study

Recently, I treated the first horse that I didn’t own although I am familiar with the mare.

The horse in question is a 12-year-old Welsh Cob X and currently competes regularly in prelim/novice dressage. I visited the mare where she is kept and the treatment took place in her stable. I trust this mare and felt safe treating her this way with a mixture of hands-on and hands-off therapy.


It is important to ask any animals for their permission to use Reiki on them. Animals can refuse treatment but most are happy to accept.

Prior to my visit, I thought about my intentions for the horse and what she may be seeking from the treatment. Although I am familiar with the mare, I had not seen her for 6 months so my intentions could only partially be set until I had met up with her again and communicated with her.

It is important to ask any animals for their permission to use Reiki on them. Animals can refuse treatment but most are happy to accept. At the start of each treatment, you need to spend time connecting and communicating with them in order to observe their behaviour and mannerisms.

On this occasion, I decided to bring the owner into the reiki session. You can treat animals and their owners together in a variety of ways. You can treat the animals with the owner present and accepting of the Reiki, you can treat the animal through the client by placing your client’s hands-on their animal and then placing your hands on the client or you can treat the client seated near to the animal, normally outside of the stable or the paddock.

The horse's owner joined in with some meditative breathing exercises before I started using Reiki. I then asked her to be open and accepting of the Reiki energy and to set her own intentions both for herself and for her horse.

Often physical issues have emotional root causes. Reiki works first on the deepest issues and then works outwards over a course of treatments.

When I was ready to start the Reiki treatment, I stood at the back of the stable and took a few minutes to ground myself and to ask Reiki to guide energy through me for the horse’s greatest good.

The horse I was treating has a history of physiological issues affecting her hind leg but I explained to the owner that the Reiki goes to where it is needed most. Often physical issues have emotional root causes. Reiki works first on the deepest issues and then works outwards over a course of treatments. I, therefore, focused my intention on opening my heart to create a beautiful healing space of peacefulness and asked the horse if she would like to connect with me.

I stood quietly for 10 minutes and let Reiki work its magic. I observed the horse’s behaviour which remained calm and she happily nibbled on her haynet. I then moved to her shoulders and started the hands-on treatment. I treated along her back, loin, croup, loin, stifle and thigh. During my treatment of the near side, the horse displayed a reaction to me working on her back in the region behind where the saddle sits. The horse stopped eating, turned her head towards me and immediately rested her nearside rear leg. The horse seemed content with me treating the area so I continued.

Moving to the offside, I started at the shoulders and immediately upon moving to the area under the saddle, near to her withers, I felt a strong energy and the horse again stopped eating and sought comfort from her owner. I lifted my hands away from her and treated her hands-off until she was comfortable with me placing my hands on her again.

Towards the end of the treatment, the horse seemed to become more aware of the Reiki energy and more accepting of my hands and the treatment and she stopped eating and started falling asleep. Her eyes became heavy-lidded and she fought to keep awake. There was no evidence of lip-licking on this occasion but she did lower her head and looked rested and relaxed. The mare then started directing me to her opposite side where she wanted me to treat and she became more comfortable with manoeuvring me around her stable and positioning herself towards my hands. She did this, particularly around her rear end and was quite forceful in her determination to position me so that I would lay my hands on either side of her croup.


After a short while, the horse decided that the treatment should end and she asked me to disconnect from her. She did this by moving away from me and breaking the contact connection, but still remained engaged and connected with me. She was happy and relaxed and was no longer as sleepy. At the end of the session, the mare sought out my hand and insisted on putting her nose into my palm to rest there and clearly felt relaxed after her first Reiki experience.


At the end of the session, I discussed the horse’s behaviour and mannerisms with the owner and she explained that the horse had not displayed normal behaviour and the owner was surprised at how sleepy horse we came and that she’d not once been distracted by yard distractions.


Overall the treatment with a very rewarding experience for myself, the horse and the owner. I aim to revisit this horse again and it will be interesting to see if her reactions change as she becomes more familiar with the sensation of the Reiki.





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