"Mister B. (aka Barney) has been in my life for 28+ years. He is a wise soul who has been my equine partner through many life-changing events. He moved with me through three states and has been a surrogate caretaker for over a dozen foals as they were weaned from their mothers.
In the spring of 2008, following a bout of Cushing’s syndrome, his groin swelled to the size of a cantaloupe. We sought diagnosis and treatment at a regional equine veterinary hospital, where they found two large tumors. Per their recommendations, Barney endured thirty days of aggressive, intravenous chemotherapy. We monitored him closely, because the risk of laminitis was significant, due to the Cushing’s and the tumors. The difficult treatment was debilitating, Barney was depressed, and simply not himself; however, after time, the tumors became smaller and his groin began shrinking to a normal size.
Several months after the chemotherapy was completed the symptoms reappeared. He lost weight and muscle mass, and the groin area swelling was evident. Knowing how difficult the first round of treatment was for Barney I could not bring myself to make him go through it again, I did not think he would survive the treatment. I resigned myself to finding ways of making him comfortable as the disease ran its course.
In the summer if 2008, I was introduced to Kim Pickett. Kim brought a wide array of alternative therapies and bodywork which she was able to customize to Barney’s individual needs. She used many “traditional” alternative therapies, such as Chinese medicine and “chi” release from the body’s meridian’s , some massage techniques- all of which I thought would be a comfort to him in his last days.
After several weeks of treatments, Barney began to turn a corner. The swelling in his groin was reduced measurably, he gained weight, and he had a sparkle in his eyes. As his health improved, his depression lifted, and as a clinician myself, I was curious what his blood-work would say. The blood sample the vet took did not show evidence of Cushing’s and the tumors were no longer visible. And his disposition…well, he was Barney again!
I am happy to say that Barney is back to helping me run our equestrian center. He is escorted from the barn every morning to find a suitable place to roll. After he has rolled 4 or 5 times (still full rolls at 28 years old), he roams the grounds freely, patrolling the turnout pens and pastures, and greeting all the horses on the property until he finds his favorite grazing patch for the day. He is the Brigadoon greeter, guide, and guardian.
I am ever thankful to Kim for apparently curing him and giving me back my best guy and partner."
Brigadoon Equestrian Center- Penns Park, PA
"When Mister B's groin swelled to the size of a cantaloupe, I sought diagnosis and treatment at a regional equine veterinary hospital, where they found two large tumors. The difficult treatment was debilitating, Barney was depressed, and simply not himself. Several months after the chemotherapy was completed the symptoms reappeared. He lost weight and muscle mass, and the groin area swelling was evident.
Kim brought a wide array of alternative therapies and bodywork which she was able to customize to Barney's individual needs. Barney began to turn a corner. The swelling in his groin was reduced measurably, he gained weight, and he had a sparkle in his eyes. As his health improved, his depression lifted, and as a clinician myself, I was curious what his blood-work would say. The blood sample the vet took did not show evidence of Cushing’s and the tumors were no longer visible. And his disposition…well, he was Barney again!"
DB, Brigadoon Equestrian Center
The Story of Sox the Horse
The University of Pennsylvania large animal division, New Bolton Center, in the news lately thanks to the famous Barbaro who was treated there, has again had an opportunity to witness the healing paradigm, from a new vantage point. This past winter, after I treated my client's horse suffering from severe Enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine) there, the team of doctors on their rounds the next morning "couldn't believe" what had happened to the horse they had treated the day before. He had been scheduled for a long stay, but went home the next day.
It has happened again...
I had been working at a private farm on "Sox", who suffered with the dreaded "Poll Evil" (like the doctor said, "There is a reason they call it evil!"). As a result of the unique work I do, we had, so far, been successfully avoiding the surgical procedure the vet had repeatedly insisted be done. There is no doubt it is a difficult procedure, and can often lead to complications.
On Friday, June 6, my client called to say, "His neck has blown up, and it is hot, and the vet insists I send Sox to New Bolton immediately, and we're on the way! Please meet us there!"
If you look at the section in my website known as "healing crisis" you might understand my response: "If there is anything you can do to encourage the vets to hold off on administering antibiotics, that would be great. I believe Sox is in his healing crisis, as a result of all the work we have been doing. A pimple often comes to a head, before it pops. Antibiotics will stop that process dead in its tracks, something we don't want to do. His body has galvanized its resources to do the work a healthy immune system is meant to do. I'll meet you there!"
The miracle happened:
New Bolton Center, deeply steeped in their traditional medical model, swallowed their fear, their pride, and gave us that valuable time to prove our case! I sure give them a lot of credit for that!
They did, however, schedule surgery for Monday. They said it could go septic, and hoped my client had a "million dollars" as that is what it might then take to keep him alive!
I got to work on the horse, as did my client, who has been training in my healing system with me for a while.
By Sunday, the site was pulling "clear" fluids, (what happened to the infection?), the blood tests were returning to normal, and surgery was canceled. We wanted to take him home, but New Bolton insisted that they watch him for 24 hrs, because they just couldn't believe their eyes.
The horse continued to improve, and went home the next day.
Personal thanks and congratulations to Dr. Ziegler for trusting, when it would have been very easy to 'pull rank.' He further recognized that there might be something to this thing called "energetic healing!"
This is only one story of many, illustrating the already hard-wired healing template that is alive inside each and every one of us!
If you wish to learn the basics of such a system, for yourself, for your dog or cat, join us in the barn (no experience with horses necessary) for Horse As Healer!
My client, who was once the leading female horse trainer at Philadelphia Park Racetrack, has been inspired to open a healing center for racehorses! "Sports Equine Healing and Lay Up Center" opened Spring 2009. After only being in business for months, together, Kim Pickett and Leslie Molinari have witnessed miracle after miracle of healing, primarily racehorses. The following is an abbreviated list of their early astounding successes:
A 3 year old gelding arrived at Sports Equine with a cough, and heavy mucous that was draining from both nostrils and eyes. In spite of finding NOTHING remarkable on blood tests or culture, he was administered 3 series of heavy antibiotics, only to have him worsen. The horse was transferred to Sports Equine when the veterinarian suggested to the trainer that he drill a hole into the horses's head to see what was going on. The NRT/CRA protocol found the sub clinical parasite and handled it. Kim often finds parasites increase in strength when the body's immune system is compromised by antibiotics. With CRA/NRT and bodywork, this gelding immediately showed signs of improvement and abatement of symptoms. Two months later he returned to the race track, stronger than before, to his training, with no recurring symptoms.
A thin bay Thoroughbred gelding had become off his feed and showed signs of lameness. He was not responding to standard veterinary medicine. This horse had nuclear scans to determine why he was lame. Nothing significant showed in his Nuclear Medicine scans, yet it was clear he was uncomfortable. After NRT/CRA identified his exact immune challenge, and handled it, along with body work, this horse left Sports Equine to go on to win his last 2 starts.
'Duckie,' a beautiful gray Thoroughbred filly, had not been able to train for a very long time. The veterinarians were in agreement that she should be put down or given away, as none of their powerful drugs could prevent her painful condition of "tying up," also known as "Monday morning disease." Once Duckie arrived at Sports Equine, the bio-energetic bodywork and the NRT/CRA program immediately calmed her gut and handled her immune challenge. Duckie never 'tied-up' again!
A 2 year old. filly, who was gawky and immature, responded quickly and beautifully to the bio-energetic bodywork. It helped her get centered and be aware of her body and movement. She left Sports Equine to go on to win 2 races and followed by a 3rd in a stakes race!
Connecting with Class
I had just completed a two-week retreat in Hawaii, located on a cliff that jutted out over the sea, carved out of the rainforest of Maui’s north shore. On this tiny spit of land, where the waves crashed below and rainbows regularly graced the sky, I and my fellow retreat members studied drumming, dancing, healing, and meditation. And so I was feeling particularly centered and spiritually connected to this extraordinary place the day I made my way to the Maui Horse Center. The Center is tucked into the majestic slopes of Haleakala Volcano, overlooking the sweeping, Maui coastline. The volcano itself juts through rings of purple rain clouds that lend an otherworldly aura to this primeval, earthly paradise.
Owned by a wealthy family with long ties to Maui, the Center was created to teach children about animals. It includes an indoor arena, a veterinarian center, two large barns, and glorious pastures for boarding and training horses. I parked out front and walked in the big door to the boarding barn. To my back was the ocean and in front of me was the beautiful Haleakala towering above. I had no particular expectations, but I had the vague, long-shot thought that if I could somehow establish myself with the Center, I'd have a good reason to return to this heaven on earth.
I immediately spied two women sitting on bales of hay in the aisle. I approached them and told them I could hear horses speak. They looked at me, a small woman with bushels wild red hair who'd come in uninvited off the streets of Makawao Town. Robin, who I'd later learn was the stable manager, stood up, her clipboard falling off her lap.
"Uh, miss," she said. "We're not hir—"
"Let her try it," said the woman wearing breeches and boots, Anne. “Can’t hurt.” What I hadn’t known was they’d just had a meeting to determine the fate of a chestnut gelding.
Robin’s eyes brightened. She picked her clipboard back up and walked towards one of the stalls.
“Alright then, red-headed woman who hears horses,” Robin said. “Why don’t you come over here and look at Class?”
I walked up to Class, a 16-hand chestnut-gelding thoroughbred, obviously bred to race. But his musculature showed his training had an emphasis towards dressage, a discipline similar to ballet in that it requires balance, poise, obedience, athleticism, and precision. His hair was nearly as red as mine. He looked directly through me and I through him. It was as though he was transparent in places.
The connection that allows the healing begins with me opening my heart, for it is only then that I can receive “secret” information from the animals in a language imperceptible to the everyday ear. My eyes softened, and my ears and heart widened, and from there I heard him. He shared with me a set of about ten pictures, like a snapshot gallery, one right after the other.
Anne, Class’s trainer as it turns out, approached the stall.
“He’s been lame on and off for several years and the vets have all given up on him,” she said, quietly. "We can’t seem to agree on where he's lame or¬ why."
I softly touched Class, and images flashed from his mind to mine. He transmitted a picture of his castration and a rope tied around his right hind leg, holding it high in the air. He had tried to fight, but quickly succumbed to the restraints. At the time, his mind and body were foggy from the drugs. He felt vulnerable, trapped and frightened of the humans standing over him.
"This horse was gelded?" I asked. I felt silly. He was a gelding. Of course he was gelded. But I knew better than to censure myself. I had a line, a path in, and needed to follow it as it unfolded.
"Yes." This time it was Class who answered.
“Now, we’re getting somewhere. Good boy.” Here it was easy to soften my heart and flood this thought, encapsulated in a matching feeling, to Class. I love the heart of a horse, and always want to acknowledge that first hint of engagement with me.
"Is he proud?" I asked out loud. I was onto something. At first glance this horse seemed fragile, refined, more pretty-boy than studdish. But now he seemed to be telling me he remembered being a stallion, and that sometimes he still carried on like one.
“Yes,” said Anne. "As a matter of fact, he can act proud, like a stallion."
"Was he gelded late?" I didn’t give either of them time to answer. I had a strong line now and wanted to stay with it.
"Yes, he was." I answered my own question before they could.
With my arms wrapped around his right hindquarter, the connection between Class and myself coursed. I could feel the energy all bound up inside him, kind of the way premenstrual fullness feels. “He has energy restriction, like a traffic jam of energy, here in the floor of his pelvis, and down his right hind leg,” I told Anne. "He needs to discharge more, down into the earth. He is pulling his energy up and in, freezing, and constricting and contracting, which is the opposite of what we need him to do."
Boom. That was it. Class was all business. He never wavered in his contact with me. The quick, efficient download of information told me this horse wanted to heal. His “story” came through in bits and pieces. In micro-flashes, I received pictures, feelings, words, impressions, smells, and background noise, all of which I experienced through my sensate organs. Bit by bit these flashes soon flow together to form a moving picture story. When there is a rush of emotion, such as I was receiving from Class, I know that there is something that has been held inside for a while and is only waiting for someone to come by and have a listen. I call it being "backed up in the printer queue."
Now that Class had someone who could listen to him, his energy became unstuck, flowing like a hot river of lava, demanding movement and freedom. That's when I know that the desire for wholeness is great.
Through our sessions together Class came forth. His etheric body — that place where the life force resides — softened and widened around his physical body, leaving him free, vital and resilient in my energetic hands. He continued to transmit in pictures and words. The wounds of the past and the misunderstandings unraveled, allowing them to release their hold, and together, we reshaped his present experience.
As he re-associated back into his body, he came back to a place that felt safe and good. And that’s when he surrendered, giving up all the old images and impressions that were burned deeply in his body tissue, his deep visceral organs, his soft connective tissue. As one layer let go, his breath found the next, until he reached down into the floor of his pelvis, where he hadn't dared go for a long time. Finally, he had come fully home into his physical body. He was no longer lame.
Class became my calling card to the stable full of horses at the Maui Horse Center, my home away from home every January. Through the years I’ve come to know Class pretty well. He wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s all business, eagerly anticipating his next encounter with someone. Class’s stall door has wall-to-wall blue ribbons!
Although each experience is different, Class is typical of many of my healing encounters with animals, including humans. The connection that fosters healing begins when I open my heart. It is only then that I can receive essential information from animals in a language that is otherwise unintelligible.
Mother nature offers us all a unique way to recover from our wounds and traumas. Often, there can be an emotional component associated with a physical problem. As we trap that dreadful experience away from view, we build armor in our bodies to hold it at bay. This armor acts as a defense structure, blocking the free flow of energy. We become cut off from our internal healing compass, and everything that makes us who we are — our posture, breathing, metabolism, emotions, perceptions, interpretations, and belief systems — is affected. As the armor melts, we re-establish access to our own internal compass, which keeps us pointed to our true north.
Class suffered from a “freeze.” His fear, his trauma from the surgery when he was “half asleep and half awake” and unable to fight or flee, “froze” the energy from the trauma into his body. The body couldn’t fully recover until the leg that had been restrained could complete its energetic need to discharge, be it to fight or flee.
We humans sometimes can be more “at cross purposes” than our animals. We may be angry with our boss, yet we also want his approval. Since neither can be fully expressed, or denied, there is an energetic block. Class had a similar energetic block. Helping him free up his bound and blocked energy allowed him to experience physical, emotional and spiritual thriving.
My horse developed a leg infection after sustaining a deep gash from this winter's ice-incrusted snow. He continued to stock-up in that leg even after the infection was "supposedly cured." Thanks for teaching me how to handle scars. Organic wheat germ oil came to the rescue! After the first application, the
stocking-up issue was improved by about 90% (even after two days of no turn-out due to inclement weather). After several additional applications of the organic wheat germ oil, his leg is just about perfect. The results were miraculous!"