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  • Writer's pictureChanti Cleland

Healing Horses

Over the years I have been blessed to work with many amazing horses some of whom have gone through abuse, neglect and trauma that makes you shake your head in disbelief. It is these horses that have helped me be who I am today as through supporting them and learning from them I have adapted and changed the way I work and the results are just so inspiring.

You will understand a little bit about recognising the signs of trauma in a horse as they display "shut down behaviours" such as :-

  • Standing very still and tense.

  • Shallow breathing

  • Avoiding eye contact and physical contact with you

  • Standing very still and slightly flinching when you touch them, or go to touch them

  • Lack of curiosity at new situations

  • Dullness in the eyes - eyes seem lifeless - there is no light.

  • Freezing, swaying, ear pinning at contact or attempted contact

This type of emotional “shut down” can also cause physical issues such as:

  • Suppressed immune system

  • Weight loss

  • Ulcers

  • Diarrhea

It is for this reason that I decided to not do a "hands on" approach and I gave the horses as much physical space as possible so that they could move away if they chose too. In fact I stayed on the opposite side of the fence to them - so that they would not feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable.

As I started the session the horses were stood together at the opposite end of the paddock, I closed my eyes and focused on looking deeper through my heart. I let go of all the awful stories that Emma had shared with me, centred myself and focused on my heart breathing and sending heart breath to each horse. I was so attuned to holding this heart space that it wasn't until I heard a gasp from Emma, that I slightly opened my eyes to discover 7 horses all stood right in front of me.

I noticed each horse breathing slowly and deeply - in fact I realised that we were matching our breathing techniques together in synchronicity, their lower lips loose, one hind leg cocked, body relaxed with no tension.

As I brought the session to a close the horses stretched, yawned and then asked for scratches from myself and Emma. Emma was in tears and I confess I could not stop smiling.

Throughout this session and others since I am reminded that I am not the healer, but merely a practitioner who opens and holds space for the animals to move into if they choose to, that builds compassion, love, trust, and that creates the right conditions for the animals I work with to self heal; and this is what Intuition and Healing Sessions with your animals is all about.

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