Reiki • Holistic • Horses

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Digestive Anatomy, Feeding and Nutrition

Continuing her series of seminars on equine anatomy and performance, Gillian Higgins and Clare MacLeod present a one day seminar on Digestive Anatomy, Feeding, and Nutrition. This takes place on Saturday 12th February 2022.

As GH writes: Understanding the anatomy of the digestive system is an important step in maintaining a balanced and healthy diet for your horse. We ask our horses to perform workloads that require more than just grass to sustain them, we keep them domesticated with limited ability to forage for their own nutritional needs and in modern day sport we push our horses to their physiological extremes, so it is up to us to ensure we are providing them with the right feeding and nutrition to keep them happy, comfortable, healthy and able to performance“.

Having attended 3 of her online seminars, with a fourth on the 1st December, I highly recommend these. This will be a full-day event, and there is an early-bird price of £50 for those who sign up before the end of November.

You can sign up here, on Horses Inside Out.


Horses inside out

I am really enjoying Gillian Higgins’ Autumn/Winter season of online seminars on equine anatomy. Her books are excellent (Posture and Performance; How your horse moves; Horse anatomy for performance, amongst others). Highly recommended!

The four seminars in this year’s Autumn/Winter sequence are:
• Episode 1: The Principles of Equine Movement – 7.30pm (BST) Wednesday 1st September 2021
• Episode 2: Riding from the Anatomical Perspective – 7.30pm (BST) Wednesday 6th October 2021
• Episode 3: Dressage Dissected – 7.30pm (GMT) Wednesday 3rd November 2021
• Episode 4: Jumping from an Anatomical Approach 7.30pm (BST) Wednesday 2nd December 2021

There is so much in these demonstrations, I highly recommend.

If you have not yet signed up for the remaining two demonstrations, you can sign up here at the Horses Inside Out Academy.


Healing with Horse Telesummit 2021

So delighted to have been offered the chance to speak at the 2021 Healing with Horse Telesummit which is taking place at this time.

My conversation with Diedre West focuses on the use of distance kinesiology to help horses, and we look at how we can identify issues at distance, using muscle response testing. With the aid of Bach Flower Essences, you can help you horse through the gentle power of the plant essences. Application is simple, as a few drops of the appropriate essence can be added to the water pot, each day.

Please click the link above to see the line-up. I hope that you will enjoy the talks.

Should you wish to receive life-time access, please click on this link or the photo above, where you can purchase your lifetime pass. You will be able to download each talk and will receive additional materials for many of the presentations.

Holy Fire III™ Karuna Reiki

So delighted to share news of an amazing weekend in the company of William Lee Rand and 23 Reiki Masters from all over the world, who came together to take William’s Holy Fire III™ Karuna Reiki Master Teacher’s training, beamed from Hana, in Hawaii, 25th, 26th and 27th of September, 2020.

William’s course was inspirational and the healing we all received a divine blessing.

The course has several implications for my own Reiki practice, including the possibility of teaching online. This option will be reserved uniquely to overseas students since this training is sadly not recognized in the UK. I the UK, I will therefore continue teaching Usui Reiki I and II in person, following the traditional attunements. But for overseas students, I am delighted to be opening a Reiki I and Reiki II online course in the spring of 2021.

I will be posting updates on this website to keep you informed, and will be making an announcement when my first online Reiki I/II will be available.


Of herbals and horses

Although many medicines and pharmaceutical products are based on plants, not all herbs – although ‘natural’ – are beneficial. Many can be toxic for both humans and animals. With respect to horses, pastures used to have a much wider variety and composition of herbs than is the case today. Keith Allison, in his book on this subject, points out that prior to the 1940’s, “a typical meadow may have contained well over a hundred different varieties of herbage, compared with perhaps ten species in a modern pasture”, (Allison, 1997, revised 2011). 

At the same time, as the number of different species of wild plants declined in the countryside, so has our general knowledge of their properties. Herbals in the 17th Century were created, amongst other things, as repositories of information about the nature of plants and their healing properties. Gerarde’s Generall Historie of Plantes (1593) and of course the more famous The English Physitian, later renamed as The Complete Herbal by Culpeper (1652) gave detailed information about what could be eaten, and which parts of a plant had medicinal uses. 

For example, of Apples, Culpeper tells the reader that: “They are very proper for hot and bilious stomachs, but not to the cold, moist, and flatulent. The more ripe ones eaten raw, move the belly a little; and unripe ones have the contrary ef ect. A poultice of roasted sweet apples, with powder of frankincense, removes pains of the side: and a poultice of the same apples boiled in plantain water to a pulp, then mixed with milk, and applied, take away fresh marks of gunpowder out of the skin…Roasted apples are good for the asthmatic; either raw, roasted or boiled, are good for the consumptive, in inflammations of the breasts or lungs…” Apples are said to clean the liver, cure constipation, and tone the gums. A half and half mixture of apple cider vinegar and water make a rinse to restore hair, scalp and skin.

As the diversity of meadow plants has decreased, so many potentially toxic plants disappeared, and so the need to be able to identify them became less and less pressing. However, with increasing interest in wilding, in natural pastures, organic farming along with changes in the way in which land is more generally cultivated, the diversity of species is in many areas on the increase. This naturally includes the return of potentially toxic varieties. For all these reasons it is increasingly important to be able to identify the species in one’s pasture, and assess the risks for horses. 

The most commonly toxic plants for horses are generally considered to be Ragwort, Laburnum, Bracken and Yew, and we will look at why these are toxic in a few weeks, in this series of blog-posts. There are, however, a large number of other plants that are toxic to varying degrees.

In his book, “A guide to plants poisonous to horses” Keith Allison has offered great service in guiding the horse carer through some 50 of the most common species which pose problems for equines. As many will know horses, (as indeed all animals), are capable of auto-medication through self selection (zoopharmacognozy). For the horse to do this spontaneously, however, depends upon having a pasture rich enough in benign and helpful varieties which the horses can self-select when they feel so-called. A horse-carer who wishes to enable their horses to self-select is required to maintain a healthy balance of beneficial varieties in the pasture. This, in itself, reduces the risk of horses ingesting toxic varieties. One of the highest risks lies in weed-infested, horse-sick paddocks, where the horses are driven to eat species that they would not normally ingest, even in minute quantities, or would avoid altogether. 

Another issue affecting potential plant toxicity, is water balance. Under drought conditions, the toxin concentrations of certain plants may increase, so that the plant becomes more toxic for a given mass ingested. Other species, conversely, can become more toxic in wet weather, so this is also something to look out for in very moist areas. Species which are highly invasive – such as docks, ragworts, and buttercups – will proliferate successfully  in highly grazed pastures. Docks, with their deep tap roots drain the soil of both water and nutrients, so reducing the capacity of the soil to support grasses. As the grass struggles, so these invasive varieties proliferate, also making it more likely that horses might eat them for want of other sources of nourishment. 

Whilst many plants are toxic, they are not all toxic in the same manner, and there are five main classes of toxins which may affect horses. These are the Alkaloids, the Glycosides, the Nitrates and Nitrites, the Oxalates, and a Photosensitive class. In my next article, I will look at these classes in some detail, and give examples of how each class of chemical acts, and some idea of representative species.

Dr Peter Jeffs is a Kinesiologist (Diploma in Kinesiology, 2016, Bristol School of Advanced Kinesiology), who specializes in working with horses. He holds an Honours degree in Botany from Durham University (UK), a PhD. from Cambridge, and is currently studying Permaculture with the Ecological Land Management Mastery Program, based in NORCAL, USA. He aims to bring his knowledge of Kinesiology to working with horses, herbs and land. If he can assist you with any of the above, please get in touch here, via the contact form. He is based in Wiltshire, UK, near Avebury.

A guide to Plants Poisonous to Horses
Allison, K.,(2011, first edition 1997) 
J.A. Allen, London.

The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes
John Gerarde (1597), London.

The English Physitian, 
later renamed as The Complete Herbal
Nicholas Culpeper, (1652), London.

Grounding and Flow

Grounding and Flow

When we say “grounding” we generally mean being rooted in this 3D material world. Grounded. Seated upon the Earth. In connection. And this certainly is important. We contrast this with the image of the Dreamer, or “The Fool” in the Rider-Waite Tarot, head in the air, unconnected to the ground. In the Traditional Tarot the “Fool” is about to walk off the edge of a cliff. 

We can explore this through Astrology the three Earth Signs — Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo — which each represent the different aspect of grounding. 
Capricorn, or Cardinal Earth and ruled by Saturn, is the obstacle which we will overcome to create our reality. Taurus, or Fixed Earth ruled by Venus, is the pasture and the playground of that reality that we can delight in. And Virgo, or Mutable Earth ruled by Mercury, is the point of reflection where we take into account the imperfections in that reality, in order to evolve. Grounding is a fundamental part of the astrological plan.

So we are sitting in yoga and we feel grounded. This tells us we are connected through our ground chakra to the Earth. There is however another aspect to things. Having recently moved into a home on a canal, another reality is being revealed to me — that of Water. On the canal, our boat is in some sense our grounding but that grounding quite simply “floats”. Lets look at the astrology for a moment. 
The Water Archetypes are also three. Cancer, or Cardinal Water ruled by the Moon, brings us to feelings of home. Scorpio, or Fixed Water, ruled by Pluto, takes us into the depths of existence. Pisces, Mutable Water, ruled by Neptune, takes us out to the sea with her tides and currents, into the infinite and continual flux of the watery world which is the Ocean. How can these be grounding? 

I think here I am looking for another word. I wouldn’t use the term “Watering” which has so many garden connotations that this will not convey the sense. We are looking after all at three distinct archetypes. Home (Cancer). Depth of feeling or profundity (Scorpio). Connection with the greater cosmic wave (Pisces). 

If we take our Cardinal Earth Grounding in Capricorn, we also need to take into account the act of making this a special place, not just any place on the mountain. Capricorn seeks Cancer, as Saturn here seeks the Moon. In other words, the rootedness of being on any place, be it mountain or the place I live is also accompanied by the transition from space to home. This is the personal aspect of the rootedness. 

If we take our Fixed Earth Grounding that is Taurus, we can be well and fine in this place, but we might not know what lies beneath the ground. Scorpio, the regent of Depths, and ruled over by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, gives us the inspiration to know upon what we are really seated. 

If we now take our Mutable Earth, our Virgo, we develop a critical notion of where we might be seated. Virgo is our self-critical faculty that takes us not only into introspection but into self-criticism. Virgo is matched by Pisces, who enables us, with all our imperfections, to reach a level of oneness with this whole. Virgo ruled by chattering Mercury, can then give way to the spiritual expansion of Neptune. If you can fall into sunset upon the shores, or a Turner sea-scape in the gallery, you have experienced this call to the infinite which has the potential to lead us to a greater version of ourselves. 

Earth and Water are balanced in the Zodiac. And so Earth and Water must be balanced in life. The Earth archetype is manifest as Grounding. I propose that the Water archetype is manifest as “Flow”. We must balance our Water signs and our Earth signs. So anything that can bring us to develop our water archetypes will complement and enhance our grounding practice. The two must balance.
Too much earth becomes rigid, like land burnt under a scorching sun. And too much water leaves our houses to be taken downstream by the flood. The land feels best when both sun-soaked and rained upon. It is this equilibrium we must seek.  Extremes will always be extremes. The path of Earth-Water is the path of Grounding and of Flow.

So if your coach asks you to be grounded, listen and root down. But do think for a moment, and remember that all Earth grounding asks to be balanced with Water’s Flow. Each aspect of our Earth-Grounding may be enhanced by Flow. When we can incarnate the Grounding and the Flow, we have reached a new level of awareness. 

Perhaps it is for this reason that Siddharta found illumination on the bank beside a river. 

5G Crisis: 2019 Awareness & Accountability Summit

The UK started rolling out its 5G system in May 2019. Whilst much of the discourse concerns the new tech possibilities, and the quest for ever faster, higher performance mobile phones, many are concerned about the health consequences. Specifically, there appears to be an absence of detailed studies about the potential effects.

The 5G Crisis: Awareness & Accountability Summit is online and FREE from 
August 26 – September 1, 2019.

In order to get informed, there are now various resources available, and one of these is an online summit, designed to give in-depth coverage to the health issues.

This will give you the opportunity, from August 26th, to get fully up to speed on the implications of the new technologies, and what the increase in frequencies will mean for our health and that of our children.

If you have questions about the general implications of 5G, and especially if you are a health practitioner, you can book your place on this important summit by clicking on the image below.

Five Elements Mini-Masterclass

Delighted to share that my Mini-Masterclass on the Five Elements and your horse went live this evening. This masterclass is now available from the Animal Wellness Summit.

Learn about Kinesiology with horses
How can the Five elements help your horse?
Working with EFT and the Fire element.

The masterclass explores three subjects:
• The nature of the Five Elements
• How they can help your horse
• Practical ways to integrate them into the life of your horse or herd.

If you have questions I will be delighted to respond, please contact me via the form below.

Five elements and your horse

Mini-Masterclass with Dr. Pete Jeffs, equine kinesiologist

The subject of this Mini-Masterclass is the Five Elements Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine and how these can help you and your horse in the pursuit of wellness. I will be presenting an outline of what the Five Elements are and how they offer us an amazing path, not only to finding wellness, but also practical tips as to how we can apply them in the life of the herd.

When you click on the image, you will have access to a sign-up page. The class costs $27 and for this, you will receive both video recording and audio in addition to access to the live presentation.

Animal Wellness Summit Warm-up

So grateful to Barney Kuntze, founder of the Animal Wellness Summit for this chance to present the up-coming talk I will be giving on 26th June, at 13h EST, 18h BST, in the AWS Mini-Masterclass series.

You can listen to our discussion here, in which we talk about many things, including holistic approches to healing, what is kinesiology?, and, of course, the Five Elements! Enjoy!

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