I am often asked this question so I thought it would be useful to answer it here. 

There are many reasons why a horse may need help to heal him or herself, but at the root of all reasons is the fundamental one: No matter how well we look after our horses, every single horse, except those living in herds in the wild, are living in an unnatural state, which for a prey and flight animal is very stressful. Horses need the freedom to be able to run if they need to, as that basic instinct is what they use to save their lives in the wild. Instead most of them are kept in fenced pasture or in stables, or a mixture of both, and they are led or ridden back and forth between the two with no liberty at all. Despite domestication since around 4000BC, over six thousand years ago, they have not lost their natural flight instinct. 

Some horses adapt more easily than others and some hide their stress better than others, but for all it is a highly unnatural way of life. It has become accepted that horses crib-bite, windsuck and weave in their stables (and some at the pasture fence particularly if turned out alone) and there is a whole industry manufacturing remedial items for sale to remedy these 'vices' - cribbox to paint on the stable door, boredom-buster toys to put in stables, weaving grills to attach to stable doors and even mirrors to provide 'companionship' in stables. This is basically putting a plaster on to cover up a wound and doesn't actually cure the situation, but healing can help them to let go of stresses and relax in their environment helping them to become more content and helps them to let go of their stress and frustration which otherwise can build up and cause other issues - physical and behavioural.

The fact that we ride our horses can cause problems in itself because although the horse is an incredible athlete it is not designed to be an athlete whilst carrying a human on its back. The horse may enjoy being ridden but it can cause physical problems particularly in the back, but also in the joints, the head and the neck, as well as emotional and psychological problems which are often interlinked with the physical stress. Horses can also worry about pressures from owners whilst being ridden and in their performance, particularly those in competition. Reiki can help them to release and communicate those worries and once they have done so they don't hold onto them any more - unlike us humans, once it is released it is gone.

Horses try to communicate with us but are often cannot do so. Many are frustrated because they need to tell us that something is not right in their lives, whether it's environmental, social or pain-related. They don't always like where they live, other horses on the yard, or indeed people on the yard. They may have an ill-fitting piece of tack that has gone unnoticed but is causing discomfort or headaches, which are difficult to pinpoint as an owner. Horses are also much more sensitive to the many energies around us than we are so it has a greater effect on them, whether good or bad energy. This frustration builds up and can affect them both physically and behaviourally if it is not released. Horses also need to release negative emotions and trauma that may have happened to them earlier in their lives. It could be grief of losing a companion (or weaning a foal), moving home or changing owner, amongst many other life events. And again, although they have long memories, they don't hold onto their stress and sadness - once Reiki helps them to release it it is gone. Releasing these emotions often has a knock-on effect and improves the horses behavioural and/or physical issues as they are all interlinked. This is why Reiki is a holistic treatment.

As well as helping horses to absorb other bodywork treatments such as chiropractic and physiotherapy, Reiki can help to heal wounds and aid recovery from injury and operations. It can also sometimes help to pinpoint a physical problem that owners have had trouble finding the location of and sometimes can cure a problem that has been dormant or unnoticed therefore, again, having a knock-on effect on the horses whole (holistic) health.

There are so many things that Reiki can help with, but whatever else it does for your horse it will give them an overall feeling of tranquillity and contentment. This is important as it is something that you will see in a wild herd of horses as they strive to live peacefully, without conflict, but not so often in the domesticated horse.

Something to remember is that Reiki always does good - it is always a positive treatment and can never do harm.

Please note that Reiki is a complementary therapy and not intended to replace veterinary treatment or advice.