Yoga: Horses + Yoga + Reiki = Serious Healing

HorseYogaTherapyToday, I got to live the dream. Since I was knee high to a grass hopper I have been obsessed with that noble of creatures, the horse. The horse was the vehicle through which I was able to navigate a tricky childhood. I spent countless hours dreaming about my imaginary horse, what he looked like, felt like, smelled like. How his breath carried the sweet scent of hay and his coat shined like black satin. I planned hacks I would take with him – galloping across fields and riding through valleys. I planned what I would feed him and I planned how I would keep him. I spent time drawing up feeding charts and stable routines and pored for hours over books on horse management and physiology. At the age of 13 I could have sat my BHS exams (my instructor told me at the time) though you had to be at least 16.

My point being that, whether I was dreaming about one or sat on top of one, for me, everything about horses stood for therapy. Being passionate about yoga and reiki as a route to healing, I couldn’t have devised a better way of helping disabled children than to combine these three things so last week, I took a trip down to Conquest Riding Centre for the Disabled in Taunton to see if I could be of any use. When I opened the door to the office, I was greeted by something like seven faces, all turned toward me with the most emphatic hello and welcome I have ever experienced in my life. It was like walking into a giant hug.

When I explained that I had come to volunteer, Jess who manages the centre could barely contain her excitement when she found out I am a yoga teacher. “We’ve been asking for you! We’ve even started converting our porta-cabin so it can be used as a treatment space!” For a moment, I thought she was joking because it seemed far too good to be true but before I knew it, I had been through my volunteer training and today, took my first yoga lesson on horseback.

A little girl, about ten years of age has been struggling pain disorder which up to now, has been ruling her short life. I began with some reiki based visualisations, mindfulness meditation and relaxation before we mounted her on Dylan, the therapy horse. We worked through some pranayama and breath awareness techniques before calmly dismounting and it was only when asked about the pain that she even remembered it was something she ‘suffered’ with. At the end of the session, Kate, the riding instructor gave me a massive hug and said, “I am so glad you are here.”

Her mum was over the moon – it turned out that the entire session the previous week had been dominated by her focus on pain and disability.

So all in all, I would say that it was a job completed and the team are already busy planning where they can best use me next. In the meantime, we will collect as much evidence as possible in order to look at getting some funding and I can see a healing romany gypsy caravan stationed on site in the offing.