August 2019 - Horses Go Where Reiki Flows
Written by by Cheri Gross
Friday, 02 August 2019 01:55
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Energy force modality is often called “first aid in your hands.”

by Cheri Gross

Lots of lucky equines throughout California are experiencing the power of Reiki. Never heard of Reiki? Head over to Sometimes called “first aid in your hands,’ reiki is a universal life force energy. Reiki energy flows through the reiki practitioner to the person or animal (horse in this instance) being presented with the reiki energy. Reiki is not new; it’s been practiced since the 1800’s.

Reiki helps to heal, calm, soothe and comfort equine and human recipients. Reiki can help ease pain in times of need such as after surgery, recovering from emotional or physiological stress, and during healing processes. Reiki is comforting at end of life for people and animals.

I’d been a yoga instructor and practitioner for years, and had a client ask if I knew reiki. She felt energy flowing through my hands to her, healing and comforting.

Circumstances aligned, and within a few months, I found myself embarking in a Reiki I course, followed by Reiki II, Reiki III and ultimately going through the reiki mastery journey.

Along my reiki mastery path, I noticed animals were especially receptive to reiki energy. Sometimes, it seemed that reiki was oozing from my being, and through my eyes.

Dogs started to love me. And I am not a dog person. It almost got to be embarrassing -- animals would stare at me, and follow me with their eyes, if not physically.

I had several instances where humans invited me to provide reiki for their animals. That included dogs who’d gone through surgery, had tumors, been in accidents, and needed healing. It included cats who had experienced trauma, and pets going through end of life transition.

In all situations, the animals were receptive, and notably responsive. They would generally relax or completely fall asleep. They’d became very calm, or twitch, and close their eyes. Some had changes in the pulse or breathing patterns. I’d see a soft look in their eyes, or observe them enjoying a moment of peacefulness. Their humans commented on the deep relaxation and calmness of their animals after receiving reiki.

Then my interest peaked. In one of our reiki mastery courses, I heard about a family of horses who were extraordinarily bonded with each other and their human. Their fascinating story included a birth and a death; all-encompassing life connections between the equine family. It was so touching and effervescent, I will be eternally moved by their sensitivity and deep emotional bonds.

I continued to hear amazing first-hand stories about horses being energetically sensitive beings, and responding especially well to reiki energy. I yearned to experiment with reiki for horses, simply by being in a state of meditative awareness and compassion. As a yoga practitioner of decades, that state of calm and loving kindness arises quite often and naturally for me.

Simply Being

Connecting with the owner of a nearby horse ranch, we met and discussed reiki. I offered to provide reiki for horses and their owners who wish to try it. Strolling through the property, talking and walking with the owner, we passed by several of the stalls. Each horse had its own personality- that’s for sure. I noticed some were oblivious to my presence, while others seemed to be affected by my presence in their realm of being. A few, actually twitched and looked up, locking eyes with me. A couple even walked over towards where I stood and tried to connect with me physically. I did not reach out, nor extend my arms or hands. I was simply letting reiki energy flow from my eyes, and from my heart. I felt a compassionate state of awareness around these magnificent creatures.

It turns out that is how one is encouraged to offer reiki to horses. By simply being, with emphasis on the being part, in the presence of the horse. When there is connection, when the equine feels moved, or spiritually touched, honored, or acknowledged, then the reiki flows.

I was so intrigued by this, I decided to contact an expert. Enter Kathleen Prasad. Kathleen has been offering reiki to animals for quite some time. She makes a clear distinction between “giving reiki,” “sending reiki” and offering reiki. She has tried, experimented, and found what works and what does not work. So much so that she wrote a book about Equine Reiki, Heart to Heart with Horses: The Equine Lover’s Guide to Reiki. Kathleen developed a reiki system specifically for animals, including horses.

Her approach is one of being in a state of meditation with the animal and allowing the animal to decide that they would like to enter the reiki flow. Thus, she’s trademarked it Let Animals Lead™. Anyone who knows animals, knows that the animals always lead anyway. So, it is honoring that, and allowing it to be the way with reiki, too.

Here is a little about the Six Pillars of Let Animals Lead. It differs from the way many reiki practitioners approach reiki with humans. Principles of the six pillars are:

  1. Based on traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy. The focus is on meditation, without emphasis on physical touch.
  2. Taught as a mindfulness meditation that is done with animals. As opposed to an energy therapy that is done to animals.
  3. I’s a flexible practice of meditation. You can be out walking and interacting with horses, as opposed to sitting with your eyes shut.
  4. Touch is not used, unless animals seek it out. Even then, hands are not used to bring healing to the horses. Hands are an expression of compassion that horses instinctually feel.
  5. Mental focus techniques are used, to develop an “all is well” peace of mind. Focus is on seeing the horse as perfect and beautiful, complete and well in the moment. It does not focus on what is wrong.
  6. Acknowledge and honor each animal as a spiritual teacher and healer.

If you’d like to learn more about reiki, or even take a reiki training course, many resources are available. Kathleen’s Let Animals Lead course is offered around the world. Kathleen, based in Northern California, travels and teaches reiki in many places. For more information visit

Author Cheri Gross is a free-lance writer and Reiki Master, in Southern California.