Animal Paradise - Communication & Healing
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    Reiki & TREES

Animal Paradise Newsletter
Winter 2009

 Magic, Miracles and Reiki at TREES 
by Janet Dobbs

Every time I go to TREES (Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary) something magical takes place. The residents of TREES are such amazing teachers. I would like to share with you some of the special moments that we experienced in October 2008 during the final day of a two-day human/animal Reiki level 1 course. 

It was a Sunday morning, after the 3rd level Reiki 1 attunement/reiju and a human group Reiki healing session, we piled into my car and headed to Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, just over one hour drive south. The director and owner of TREES, Chris Smith, showed us to one of the pastures where the equine residents of TREES live, but asked that she not participate in the Reiki sessions, but rather take some photos of our class and observe her animals as we offered Reiki. I am grateful that she did this because she was able to share with us deep insight that we might have otherwise missed.  


Being a rescue and an elder animal sanctuary there are always new residents arriving. Some of the horses just don’t have any use for humans because of their previous background and experience. They soon learn that they have arrived in what some residents call “heaven on earth”. TREES becomes their forever home and they will live out the rest of their life in the most wonderful setting being cared for by very special and loving humans. All they have to do is have manners and just be a horse.

One of the “Golden Rules” when working with animals using Reiki is to always ask them if they would like some Reiki energy or a Reiki treatment. Always ask their permission. If they say ‘no’ or show you that they are not interested you must respect them and come back another time. In the photo above, the group of students had just asked permission of 3 horses that were in a walk-in shelter. Two horses were on the right side of the walk-in in a stall, Fitz & Emma, and one was in the left stall, Henry.

We connected to the earth energy and the sky/heavenly energy and then began breathing into our hara centers, (The main hara center is about 3 finger widths below your belly button.) expanding the energy out, both into the center of the circle and to the outside of the circle. I asked the students to feel and connect with the people on either side of them and across from them. Once they felt this connection I asked them to feel the group energy joining and flowing together as one, like little streams flowing gently into a big river and then with each out breath to expand even more.

In the photo below you can see the horses as they came out of their shelter for a moment to see what we were doing, but then they both went right back inside. What we didn’t get to observe was Henry, the one horse that could not get out of the enclosure into the pasture that we were in. Henry began licking and chewing right away and then went fast asleep and stayed that way for at least 30 minutes. Emma, a longer resident of TREES, (horse on right in the photo below) loved the energy. She had her first experience with Reiki in April 2008 during a Reiki class. A new resident of TREES, Fitz (horse on left in photo below) did not understand what humans were doing in the pasture. Just “being”. He had only experienced humans use him but never just “being”. Why are these humans just standing in my pasture just doing nothing? What are they up to? This is just too strange for me. Fitz could not begin to understand what was happening.


Fitz asked, “What are you all doing?”

I thought for a moment and assumed that he would not understand the word Reiki so I said “love”. He had no idea what that meant. I was very sad to think that he did not understand the offering of love by a human to another being. He was curious though and I encouraged him to come join us. He stayed very close to Emma, but then actually went to each person. This was amazing to watch.


   Lori, Emma & Fitz

Emma would always protect Fitz by placing her body between Fitz and the students, but she also wanted to take in more of the healing energy. The amazing thing that happened was Fitz actually came up to every student, one by one. Emma and Fitz both took quite a bit of energy and then they were done. They walked out of the circle and began to graze. We thanked them and the Reiki energy.


We were next taken to a back pasture that was filled with “ladies”.

The females were all standing in the shadows just outside of their barn. The moment that we walked into their pasture they looked in our direction and really wanted to know what our agenda was. (See the photo above.) All of these girls have been let down by humans in one way or another, but they now live with the most wonderful and loving humans at TREES. We asked them if they would like some Reiki, but before we could even get the words out this group of 3 began walking right toward us.

As the two horses (Faye – dark horse & Anya – spotted horse) walked past a student in the above photo, she felt energy being drawn from her. She had her eyes closed and saw a dark horse with a white blaze and experienced a sense of very deep sorrow. After the Reiki session was over we learned that there are no horses in that pasture that fit that description and it was Anya that walked past the student. Later Chris remembered that Anya’s last baby was born white but turned dark with a white blaze as he grew older. All of Anya’s babies died before they reached the age of one but this baby lived to be 7 and as promised was never separated from his mother. Chris was blown away by the fact that Anya was able to release her grief in that moment and actually be that open with another human. A major healing took place in that moment in time that we were privileged and honored to witness.

This amazing horse, Delphi, (photo above) kept coming up to this student and then would walk past her and go to another student who was nearby. I checked in with Delphi and she told me that she was very unsure about what we were doing and wasn’t sure what she was suppose to do. I told her to go to the person whose energy she felt most attracted to and ask for hands on healing if she felt comfortable. She walked back to the student in the above photo, liking her energy. Just as she walked up to her the student walked up the hill and over to the fence where a mule was standing and calling to her. Delphi was disappointed. I felt it in my heart and soul. I told her that the student didn’t see her approaching. I suggested that she go to someone else. It was so sweet.

In the photo above you see her going back over to another student. The student told us that she felt Delphi standing next to her and was afraid that Delphi was going to bite her, but Delphi wanted her to place her hands on her body. I told Delphi that she had the power and that we would not go to her, that she needed to walk in front of the person and put the body part that she wanted touched right there. She did, but the student didn’t open her eyes. Instead the horse took the energy at a very short distance. It was amazing for me to observe.

Again, Chris, the owner of TREES told us that she was blown away by how these horses responded to the Reiki energy. We were told that these horses could care less about humans because of the way that humans had treated them in the past and the way that humans had let them down as well. I was honored to be in their presence. They settled fast. Next came the biggest miracle of all. The group was standing up by the fence where a mule, Churchill, and pony, Butternut, were on the other side. (Photo below) One of the students and I were still in the Reiki energy.

I saw a different horse stick her head out of the barn. (Photo below) I told this seemingly shy horse named Lucy, that it was alright, and invited her to come to us and receive some Reiki if she would like.

Lucy walked out of the barn and in our direction. I sensed that this was something big. I made eye contact with Chris and we both looked in Lucy’s direction, while one of the students continued sharing with the group about what she experienced during the Reiki session.

Lucy walked right through our very small circle quite slowly and deliberately and took so much energy. She stopped next to the one student that had stayed in the Reiki energy and then moved next to me. I felt the energy flowing very fast through me and to her in that moment and then she walked on and joined the rest of the herd. Chris told us that this horse has no use for humans at all and if she wanted to join the rest of the herd she would have taken the long way around to totally avoid contact with us, but instead she choose to walk very close to us, taking as much energy as she needed. I was honored to have shared in such a magical experience.

We had many more wonderful experiences during our visit to TREES with the other horses as well as dogs and kitties. Each of us left there that day filled with wonder and joy, thanking the wonderful teachers and residents of TREES for the many miracles that they shared with us. They difinetly worked their magic on all of us.

For information about Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary please visit:

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