Friends Of Baxter

Distant Reiki supports horses, ponies and donkeys at Hope Pastures

No matter what the type of animal, situation or location, Reiki is most well known for its relaxation properties but from years of experience, we know that it can do much more.

Reiki has recently been offered to a number of horses, ponies and donkeys at Hope Pastures. It a joy to practice this compassionate therapy and the added pleasure of receiving great feedback makes it especially worthwhile.

This therapy is often added as a support to other care or veterinary treatments and the cases below are no exception. The Hope Pastures staff, volunteers, vets, other care providers and new owners all do a wonderful job but it’s lovely to know that Reiki is also contributing to the improvement in the physical, emotional and mental well-being of these beautiful souls. Animals only take Reiki should they wish to do so, and we certainly feel the energy flow when it is offered.

Due to COVID-19, Reiki has been sent distantly by Friends Of Baxter Animal Care’s distant healing group in recent months and Hope Pastures’ senior Welfare Co-ordinator welcomed the opportunity for Reiki to be sent to seven equines in their care suffering from stress, fear, medical conditions or recovering from surgery.  For various reasons, Covid related and otherwise it was a few weeks before we managed to discuss the feedback and we were delighted to receive the updates below.

Coco was suffering from recurring hoof abscess, requiring him to be stabled and a minor operation for Sarcoids

UPDATE: No more abscesses 😊. Coco is much better”.

Fly was very nervous and scared of being confined in small spaces

UPDATE: “Fly is absolutely fine now and happily going into a stable every day, he is a much calmer pony in all ways!

Logan had left his Hope Pastures family for a new home and was described as ‘stressed out’, shaking his lips repetitively (a stereotypical behaviour).

UPDATE: Logan is much less stressed and happier now. He’s in a field with other horses”.

Piper had been rescued recently rehomed from Hope Pastures. Having been through a lot of change this final move was suspected to add more short-term stress although in his best long-term interest.

UPDATE: “After initial Reiki, Piper was settling in but challenged a field mate, especially over hay, and received a kick that required Vet treatment, antibiotics and painkillers. Following further Reiki, he is now much better, he has settled in his home and he fits in the herd better too”.

Hercules arrived at Hope Pastures bursting with excitement. Acting this way all the time would be too much for other horses to cope with. Consequently, he was struggling to find a new home

UPDATE: Hercules is more settled but he is just back from the hospital after an operation on his legs and needs to spend 3 weeks in his stable which will be hard for him as he is such an active pony. More Reiki would be lovely to help his rehabilitation”.

Freddie an ageing Shetland pony was struggling with his weight, stiff in his hindquarters and on medication for Cushing’s disease.

UPDATE: “Please can you continue to send Reiki to Freddie”.

With these positive updates came a request from Hope Pastures:

“Instead of those that are now better, we would love Reiki to be sent to 4 more ponies and horses with issues ranging from food aggression, fear of being restrained, malnourishment & lethargy and adaptation after being abandoned by prior owners. I’ll send you the details. I’m even thinking about learning Reiki myself”

For more information about Hope Pastures see

By Friends Of Baxter Animal Care Distant Reiki Group

Reiki Supports Sammy’s Recovery

Sammy is a sweet and gentle, elderly Labrador and after struggling to breathe he was taken to a veterinary hospital. Being in an unknown environment must have added to the distress caused by his condition and a late-night call was received in which Reiki was requested for him.


Reiki was sent straight away to support Sammy’s veterinary care and treatment. Energy flowed, slowly initially and then increasingly. His anxiety could be felt from hundreds of miles away but gladly it reduced and a sense of relaxation followed. Animal Communication was used briefly to explain where he was, what was happening and how it came to be that Reiki was being offered to him distantly.


In the morning Sammy’s owners fed back, delighted that he’d been picked up from the hospital. He was better than expected. Stents had been fitted. A smile all round 😊.

However, two days later, another late-night call urgently requested more Reiki. Sammy had not reacted well to the cortisone and his owners were naturally worried and upset. Immediately Reiki was sent and the heat and tingling in my hands indicated the energy flow. After half an hour, intense tiredness suggested he would be asleep. Further Reiki was offered to Sammy for a little longer. Animals always take the lead and we allow them to take as much energy as they wish, if and how they wish.



The following morning Reiki was readily taken and energy flowed consistently. The energy feeling was less stressed … much more relaxed. Relaxation is the most common response to Reiki and a very positive one. When we or animals relax and sleep, our body in its best state for self-healing and tissue repair.


Shortly afterwards Sammy’s owners provided an update: “Sammy asked to go outside at 3 am and did his business, drank, ate and was in a much better mood again. He’s just eaten again. He is MUCH better. 1000 thanks. We will no longer be giving him cortisone”


The veterinary check-up three days later also brought good news: “Everything is fine… completely fine 😊. Sammy is in a good mood again. Thank you for your great support”.

A further message, just two weeks after Sammy went into the hospital, brought the best news of all. “He is great again and can breathe normally for the first time in years. We are so happy!!

The Rehabilitation of Dave

A major part of work in 2019 and 2020 became the voluntary offering of Reiki to benefit animals in rescue centres and sanctuaries – helping other charities to optimise their animal care and speed up rehoming. 💕

During the lockdown, we learned that a local centre, Prickly Edge Hedgehog Rescue was so busy taking in hedgehogs in need of care, that they sought some help in order that more could be rescued.


They were looking after 50 hedgehogs but little Dave really stood out. He’d sadly been attacked by a dog and needed time and care to give his wounds time to heal. David and Maria, two of our trustees, adapted their conservatory to be the ideal hedgehog habitat. They heated it to help Dave thrive initially. The temperature was then gradually lowered to prepare him for life outside when he was ready for rehabilitation to his natural environment.

David and Maria have done Reiki and Animal Reiki training through Friends Of Baxter Animal Care and have volunteered with us to offer Reiki to many animals in a variety of situations. They relished the opportunity to offer Dave Reiki to build up his strength and promote positive healing. He was believed to benefit from many a session of holistic complementary therapy from a little distance away.


Fast forward two months, not only had Dave reached his 800g weight goal for hibernation but he weighed in excess of 900g! Not wanting Dave to miss his creature comforts when he was released into their secure garden, he was treated to a choice of two purpose-built hedgehog igloos and a safe log pile close to the conservatory. These gave him a selection of venues where he could hibernate and somewhere that he could always come to feel safe after a wander around. His dedicated hedgehog garden was a generous 6x3m 😊


For a couple of weeks, food put out for him disappeared daily, suggesting regular visits, and CCTV was being considered to keep an eye on him and ensure that Dave remained fit and well until he chose to curl up and sleep for the winter.


Dave, the little wounded hedgehog, 🦔 had been rehabilitated and returned to the outdoors – happy and healthy.


To learn more about Prickly Edge Hedgehog Rescue see (

Seeing is believing for Electra and her kittens


Electra was a stressed mum of 5 young, fit, healthy, extremely active and playful kittens. She just wanted some rest but her babies were constantly jumping about, playing, play-biting her tail and seeking loving, as they were with each other. Her pupils were almost as big as her eyes and she looked exhausted.

We sat a few feet away with some gentle soothing music playing quietly and offered Reiki to all six. Mum started to relax and although the kittens carried on initially, they were clearly slowing down. After a few minutes one kitten jumped up onto their shared bed, another followed, the third lay down next to mum and the fourth moved into the adjacent compartment to lie down in peace. Within no time at all, the two on the bed were unable to keep their eyes open and the final kitten jumped up to join them.

Soon, they were all so relaxed that they lay content and asleep. We continued to let the Reiki flow for a little while. Silence pervaded and not just in this pen, but throughout the Kitten House. Three quarters of an hour later, when we took a peek they hadn’t moved.

Staff popping into the Kitten House described the effects of the Reiki as a miracle, unable to believe that these little livewires were fast asleep and mum too.

We understood that all 5 kittens and mum were off to a foster home that afternoon, where the kittens could have more space to grow and develop. This should also enable mum to find a quiet place for her to have restful naps. This sleep should have relaxed them nicely to also help with their adaptation into their new environment but most importantly it gave mum the desperate rest she had been craving.

This is just one of many ways in which Reiki can benefit animals. To read more case studies see To adopt a cat, see

Sue Malcolm and Julie Ackroyd