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  • Kathryn Hulland

Healing the ex-racehorse


I've done some interesting healings on ex-racehorses over the last year. I am not a fan of the racing industry I did work at a yard in Newmarket when I was 17 and so have seen first hand how some trainers work and I do not like it -this isn't a debate about the racing industry though so I shall leave it there!!

So healing ex-race horses has been interesting and I have been surprised to come across those horse that really do miss the thrill of the race and running. As I work with them they have looked envyingly over the green fields wanting to break free and just run again showing me images of when they did and how proud and free they felt in doing so. This does not mean they don't have issues with other parts of their past; some have had emotional trauma going back to weaning, backing, expectations of them, what happened after their racing days etc. but the actual running and letting go was their moment of freedom to fly and be unrestricted and they absolutely loved it and miss it.

Then there are the others who are completely traumatised by the whole racing and running and felt so fearful of being pushed on to run faster and faster and felt trapped like they couldn't breath, the fear I felt from those has at times been overwhelming.

When doing a healing session I pick up on emotional feelings from animals and these can cause physical symptoms in myself, I can feel nervous in my stomach as they go through those feelings, I can well up and shed a tear as the release emotional hurt, I can get a pain in my head if they are feeling tension there and at times (not all the time) they show me images of what they experienced. Before a healing session I body scan myself to make sure I know exactly how I am feeling and my baseline so if I pick anything up I know it's from the animal and not me. If I am ever unsure I can step away and if I still feel the feeling I know it's mine but if once I step away it goes I know it is the animals.

People forget how much emotion animals hold. They do not dwell on things and run them through their head time and time again like us humans but the emotions can be held in the body and memories reactivated and affect behaviour. They can cause tension in the body; one example I sometimes find is heat in the saddle area, this isn't a physical heat in the sense of an injury but a heat where emotion has been stored and in that area more often than not it has related to a bad backing process of something going on between a horse and rider (which can be past or present). By sending healing and allowing the horse to work through the emotions through me it can release this tension, I have had clients whose horses have been much freer in the back after a healing session as a result of releasing this emotional tension.

So I just felt the need to share how horses feel about racing themselves, when I first started healing I was very surprised to find horses who missed it and loved it; I had my own thoughts on the industry and assumed the horses felt much the same but no many of them thoroughly enjoyed the galloping and miss it!

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