Friends Of Baxter

How Reiki Changed Ruby's Life

I first met Ruby in February 2018. She was up for sale and located in a busy town centre setting, I rode her out in the town centre and was very happy that she was a very calm horse and totally unphased by anything.  Having bought her on a four-week trial, it was apparent that she was extremely frightened on arrival at our home, troubled by the open spaces with nothing but countryside in view.

She backed away from anyone entering her stable.  Trying to put on her head collar was a major task.  She also had extremely bad scabs on her lower legs, from standing in deep mud for a long time and she refused to let us touch her legs, pulling them away from us. On one occasion when I was able to get close enough to place a finger-tip on one of her legs, she kicked out at me in pain. I felt close to tears for her.

When I finally managed to get a head collar on her, I took her for a very short walk down our driveway and she was clearly struggling in this new environment, puffing away and looking panicked. She then leapt with all four feet off the ground when three noisy geese took off from a neighbouring field. Even the neighbour’s small cat was eyed with a huge amount of suspicion in fear that it might attack at any moment.  Her anxiety levels were so high, she gave the impression she could “explode” at any moment. I was having to keep myself calm and breathe deeply so as not to add to her worries.  She was even disturbed by meeting new people. One friend said to me that she looked as if she were saying “have you come to take me away from here?”.

 I contacted Sue at Friends Of Baxter Animal Care in a desperate bid to ask for Ruby to be added to the group distance Animal Reiki sessions, to try to help Ruby settle into her new life.  I have previously used Reiki for myself when I burnt myself out in a very stressful job working long hours and also on a previous rescue horse, with huge success. 

A one to one distant Reiki session was agreed for Ruby first and within just a matter of hours it was apparent that Ruby was benefitting hugely. Her whole personality changed – it was as though a switch had been flicked on! She no longer stood at the back of the stable worrying when we approached, she stood initially just behind her stable door, peeping over the door at us and waiting patiently for her food. After a further session, Ruby stood waiting for me with her head hanging over the stable door, all excited to see me and I got the most incredible neigh from her. Putting her head collar on was suddenly incredibly easy. As I held it up to her, she put her head into it!  She led to and from the field calmly, even when one of our own large fluffy cats was having a “wild” moment chasing something right past her feet!  It was apparent she was beginning to feel safe now and she had shavings (her bedding) stuck to her coat so she had been lying down to sleep in her stable of an evening, which is a huge sign that she felt secure. 

After the third one to one session, on three consecutive days, she even allowed me to bathe her desperately sore legs with warm water and antiseptic, something I previously had not been able to even get close to doing.  She has continued to allow me to gently rub cream into her legs without kicking out and has continued to improve following the group distant healing sessions. 

I was initially sceptical about Reiki before I knew anything about it but having benefited from Reiki myself and seen it help a previous rescue horse, I immediately sought Reiki for Ruby.


Over the years, I’ve witnessed; and been guilty in my earlier years; of “muddling” along with a horse, blaming an issue on a learnt or character “trait” and have heard a lot of horses described as “naughty”, when in reality, something is genuinely wrong and we are guilty of not understanding what that might be and therefore not looking at the greater picture and what we can really do to address it.


A lot of horse owners are sceptical (as I was initially) about the benefits of Reiki, mainly because they don’t understand it. Something unknown can be frightening when we don’t understand the benefits of it. It’s not something we can see administered like a medicine for example.  We have progressed massively over the years as horse owners and now have access to a much broader knowledge of the benefits of correct diet, good management, training and medical advances. 

After what I’ve experienced, I believe Reiki truly is something that should be in every horse owner’s “tool kit”, so that as guardians of these amazing creatures, we really are doing everything we can to help our beloved four-legged friends.

With love

Helen (& Ruby)