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Weird and wonderful

Posted in Health and Veterinary

Heal your horse with a phone call… Really? Discover the many and varied alternative therapies that could transform your horse

More and more horse owners are turning to alternative therapies if conventional therapies fail to work. Discover some weird and wonderful solutions you can try!

Faith healing

Healers act as a medium through which people who have died help heal those who are still living. Although it helps if a healer visits the horse, even speaking to you on the phone can create a connection! It has been known to perform what we consider ‘miracles’, healing horses with terminal illnesses.

Feng Shui

This ancient Chinese practice involves arranging your horse’s home to promote health, happiness and prosperity, with the use of water, crystals, mirrors and colour schemes! It can also help build a bond between you and your horse. Health, luck and your horse’s ability to learn may also take a boost!


This ancient Chinese method stiumulates ‘acupoints’ in the horse’s body with needles, which is said to increase endorphins – happy hormones. This helps relax mind and body, raising energy levels and alleviating pain.


Crystal and gem therapy

Crystals and gems are said to heal mental and physical ailments through energy waves. Hang one from your horse’s headcollar or rug to restore the horse’s natural flow of energy!


The use of colour to improve health. Chromatherapists use a special hand-held instrument called a Bioptron. This emits varying intensities of specialist light, and has a polarised filter so the desired colour can be applied. Different colours have different effects, and it can be used to treat degenerative joint disease, soft tissue injuries, allergies and many more.


A practitioner will treat a horse from a distance – or even without seeing them. An instrument called a ‘black box’ and a ‘witness’ (skin, hair or a drop of blood from the patient) are used; the practitioner hangs a pendulum over the witness and silently asks appropriate questions, which are answered by the moving of the pendulum. This reveals energy imbalances which the practitioner can correct using energy vibrations, which are set on the black box and transmitted to the patient via the witness. These vibrations suggest to the horse’s tissues how to repair the damage.


A diagnostic technique that studies tiny change in colour and pattern in the iris of the eye. It can help diagnose a disease before any symptoms appear, useful for owners who know their horse ‘isn’t quite right’, but can’t put their finger on the problem.

Cranial Sacral therapy

Gentle hand pressure on the skull and sacrum help the body to realign tissues into their natural position. It’s commonly used in horses who appear resistant under saddle – eg, rearing, bucking, napping etc.

Copper therapy

When worn next to the skin, copper is said to relieve pain and strengthen body structures. Try it if your horse suffers with osteoarthritis or rheumatism.

essential  oils



Uses essential oils from plants, flowers, herbs and fruit on the horse’s skin, which is said to have a calming effect – useful for stress-related problems. But beware – some oils can cause more harm than good, so only use them under a practitioner’s supervision.

Equine Muscle Release Therapy/Bowen Technique

Gentle pressure and massage to release misaligned muscles. It can help problems such as filled legs, intermittent lameness, stiffness, back problems and resistance under saddle.


Homeopathic remedies are derived from animal, vegetable and mineral sources, which are ‘potentised’ to release their therapeutic properties. They are then diluted and shaken with water and alcohol. They are best fed to horses in powder form, and can kick-start the healing process for a variety of ailments.

Flower remedies

Closely related to homeopathy. Bach flower remedies are the most common, which can help heal a horse’s emotional state, which in turn can promote physical healing. Herbal remedies are thought to stimulate the immune system and clear the body’s energy channels.

Jin Shin Jyutsu

This ancient Japanese technique uses just the lightest hand touch for deep healing. It restores energy pathways through the body and is said to reduce healing time after surgery and illness, help relieve symptoms of arthritis and reduce stress and anxiety.


Using the same meridians as acupuncture, a practitioner tests and assesses the strength of certain muscles, each of which is said to link to a different organ system. It can detect deep-seated emotional disorders in horses, release muscle tightness and help allergies.


Magnetic therapy

Magnets – either on their own or with electricity – are thought to reduce pain and speed healing. The therapy can help arthritis, rheumatism, navicular, tendon problems and muscle cramps.


Uses light therapy to prevent hormonal changes caused by differing daylight hours. It can trigger the breeding cycle, and help horses hang on to their summer coats and shed their winter coats. Also useful for tired and sick horses.


A bee product with antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and anesthetic properties. It can be used to maintain health, heal injuries, help diseases and immunity, and strengthen tissues.

Horse ‘whispering’

Horse  whisperer

‘Whisperers’ communicate using the horse’s own language. While most don’t claim to have any ‘powers’ per se, some are more mysterious and are often termed ‘communicators’, being able to know what a horse is thinking and transmit messages from owner to horse. It’s most commonly used when starting young horses and on those with behavioural problems, although it can prove useful for any horse.


A practitioner applies pressure to the horse’s acupoints that have less Chi, to restore the natural balance. It can help horses with temperamental and physical problems, and is said to speed healing and help digestion, respiration, fertility, coat condition and movement.


A quiet, non-invasive therapy used to detect areas of the horse in need of healing, and then project energy into them to encourage the body to heal. It can be used to help almost any problem.


This ancient therapy balances, stabilises and coordinates body and mind, by putting pressure on parts of the body to treat physical disorders. Through the massage of ‘access points’ – in horses, the ears are rich in access points – energy in the body is allowed to flow and health is maximised. It enhances circulation, relieves stress and can treat back problems.

Click here for a directory of Alternative Health and Training practitioners and providers

Can’t find the answer to your question here? Try the Horse&Rider forum!

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