Equine Rehabilitation with Reiki

by Kathleen Prasad

Featured in Equine Wellness Magazine ~ Vol. 11 Issue


Healing Hands using Healing Touch for Animals or Reiki

Follow these simple Reiki steps for powerful rehabilitation results in your horse!

If you love to ride your horse, chances are you’ve rehabbed him from an injury at one time or another. There are many ingredients for creating a successful journey back to health and soundness, and sharing Reiki with your horse can be a very helpful part of the healing program. Besides helping you navigate the difficulties of rehabbing with a peaceful outlook, Reiki can give you the opportunity to deepen your bond with your horse!

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a meditative practice that nurtures heart-to-heart connections with your horse. Healing starts where our hearts connect, and because of it’s gentle approach in which the horses leads each session, it’s ideal for helping even the most sensitive horses heal from injury.

When rehabbing your horse, stall rest and a controlled exercise program may be recommended. Reiki can be extremely beneficial for helping your horse stay mentally peaceful and happy while exercising less. It can also help balance his body, mind and spirit – creating ideal conditions for powerful self-healing.

If your horse is recovering from an injury, you’ve got lots of time to just “be” with him – often we spend the time with our horses “doing” things. Since Reiki is really about “being”, rehab time is ideal Reiki time.

Exercises for sharing Reiki with your horse

So how do we “do” Reiki with horses? I like to use the term “share” instead. Through our Reiki meditation practice, all we are really “doing” is returning to peace and harmony within ourselves. Once we are in that balanced space, our horse can shift more easily back into balance himself. Thus, to really help a horse with Reiki, we first need to get in the right state of mind. We have to let go of our agendas, of the pressure to get the horse better, of our desires to force this and fix that. Instead, we have to practice stilling our minds, opening our hearts, and just being with our horses.

Try this Reiki exercise

  1. Choose a quiet time to be with your horse. Afternoon naptime, when your horse is quietly grazing, or dinnertime (once he is settled) is an ideal time to share Reiki. Choose a place to stand nearby, without directly touching your horse.
  1. Take a moment to let go. Take stock of your thoughts about your horse in this moment. Observe the things you are worried about, the things about the situation that frustrate you, or any other bothersome thoughts and emotions. Imagine these thoughts and emotions transforming into clouds in the sky. Watch them float away. Just let them go without judgment.
  1. Center yourself and set your intent. Place your hands on your lower belly and breathe deeply. Visualize roots coming down from the bottoms of your feet, anchoring you deep into the earth. Feel yourself stable and strong like a tree. Imagine your heart is radiating a beautiful light. Hold an intention of perfect health, wellness or well-being in your heart and mind.


Kathleen and Kodiak

  1. Create a “Reiki Space” for healing. Expand the light of your heart throughout your whole body. Every cell is full of this beautiful and bright light. This light is full of perfect healing, harmony and balance. Imagine this wonderful healing light can radiate out of your body into the space around you. Slowly expand your hands outward from your belly as you visualize the light shining out.
  1. Invite your horse to share this space with you. As you stand radiating this beautiful light, look deeper than the physical/emotional struggles your horse may be facing. See your horse’s heart as a beautiful, perfect and bright light just like yours. Realize that at the heart, your horse is full of healing power! At the heart, in this moment, all is well, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Invite your horse to connect with your heart and share this bright space of perfect balance.
  1. Let go of physical touch. If the horse chooses to come to your hands at this point, Reiki may involve direct physical contact in the form of light touch on areas of the body he is comfortable with. Your horse will guide you in this. Although Reiki is just as effective without this direct contact, because it’s really about a state of heart and mind, for many horses the power of touch is a very strong way to convey compassion and care while nurturing a heart-to-heart connection. Just follow your horse’s lead.
  1. Relax and just “be”. Continue to stand in a relaxed way, focusing on your roots, on the light at your heart, and on the intent of perfect health and wellness. Let troubling or distracting thoughts float away like clouds in the sky. Observe your horse moving closer or farther away, or standing quietly with you, without judgment. Notice the signs of relaxation, happiness and connection that your horse may show.
  1. Give thanks. After a time, your horse may disconnect and move away, or become more active. This is often a sign that “Reiki time” is over. Bring your hands back to your belly and feel yourself grounding as you set your intent to finish. Take a moment to thank your horse for connecting with you before you leave the space. Realize that the Reiki Space is a place where separations soften, hearts unify and healing happens for all. Notice any feelings of peace, well-being and healing that you feel within yourself.
  1. Follow these steps every day or as often as possible while your horse recovers. Notice how much easier the rehabilitation process becomes for both you and your horse!

Sharing Reiki with our horses is about being completely and utterly present in the here and now. When our horses are injured, our first instinct might be to run from difficulties, hide from suffering, shift our focus into anger over past causes, or worry about future outcomes. With the openness and compassionate presence that Reiki meditation brings, we can learn to see from the heart instead of focusing on all the outer things that are “wrong”. In this way, we can support a return to balance. Be patient, “be Reiki” and you will not only support a beautiful healing rehab journey, but also deepen your bond with your horse.


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