Category Archives: animal reiki

Reiki Visualisation for Nervous Riders – by Sarah Berrisford

reiki for nervous horse rider

The importance of visualisation

Visualisation is an important tool, not only in horse riding but also in everyday life. Many people visualise circumstances that they don’t actually want to happen. Unfortunately when we visualise something that we do not desire we are more likely to make it happen. This is especially important when it comes to horse riding.

Horses often pick up on the pictures that we are portraying, so we do need to be careful what we are asking them to do, even when we’re not aware of it!

Firstly, if you find yourself visualising a situation which you do not want to happen, think of erasing that picture or video in your mind and gradually replacing it with the situation and outcome you wish for.

When we work with visualisation for nervous riders it is best to start the technique whilst in a quiet place. Don’t put yourself in the scary situation and then try it out. First we need to train our minds to think positively.

For this exercise I will use a horse spooking, which makes the rider nervous, as an example.

  • Find somewhere quiet to sit, where you won’t be disturbed
  • Make yourself comfortable. Take some deep breaths. Close your eyes. Feel your body relaxing into your chair. Your shoulders relax down.
  • Allow your mind to become still, if any images come to mind, for example, your ‘to do’ list for the day, just acknowledge them and let them pass by. They aren’t needed at the moment.
  • Connect to Reiki in your preferred way.
  • Feel the energy filling your body.
  • Now begin to imagine the lead up to the situation you are going to focus on. Perhaps you are walking into a yard, or driving to a riding school. At this stage begin to go through your body and check how each part of your body feels. Can you feel any tension anywhere? Do your feet feel firmly connected to the ground? If you feel any tension or worry emitting from any part of your body, send Reiki to that part of your body.
  • Carry on visualising each step of the sequence which leads to the event you wish to focus on and checking through your body.
  • Now go back and imagine yourself in all of those situations being confident as you approach.
  • You will now be ready to work on the main issue.
  • Imagine getting on to the horse and having a lovely ride. See yourself smiling. Feel the reiki energy gently flowing through you and through the horse, filling you both with a loving calm energy.

Whenever possible take a few minutes to carry out this exercise. After this first session or if you find visualisation quite easy, you can spend a couple of minutes ten times a day. Every time you think of horse riding, change the picture you imagine to one of you and the horse enjoying the ride, being at one, connected.

Don’t worry if you find it hard to visualise at first, this will become easier with practice. Once you feel confident using this exercise, you can tailor make it to fit the area where you need more confidence.

You needn’t carry out the whole exercise every time to use it. Just the last few pointers will make a great difference to your horse riding experience and enjoyment.

If you do find yourself in a situation that is scaring you, think of Reiki flowing down through your crown, to your shoulders and arms, deep into your elbows and wrists. Think of the energy flowing through your torso and into your hip, down your legs and deep into your knees and ankles. You don’t need to close your eyes and start doing Reiki to do this. By simply thinking of Reiki and then turning some of your attention to these parts of your body, the Reiki will follow your intention.

Interested in learning more about Equine Reiki?

equine reiki for horses courseSarah Berrisford specialises in writing about and teaching Equine and Animal Reiki. If you’re interested in learning more about working with horses and other animals, then follow these links:

Equine Reiki book or Equine Reiki eBook

Equine Reiki practitioner live training course

Equine Reiki home study course



Photo credit: Michael Chen

Reiki for Aggressive Dogs – by Sarah Berrisford

reiki for angry aggressive dogs

Bringing peace to the household

One of the great things about Reiki is that it works just as well from across a room as it does being hands on. This means that if you find yourself in a situation whereby an animal is showing aggressive tendencies, there is no need to put yourself in harm’s way.

Aggression in dogs can happen for many reasons and can be directed towards many things. Today I’ll be talking about one of the most common issues I have encountered – when dogs are at war in the household!

Of course, we can simply send Reiki to the situation and circumstances. This is a very good starting point.

We can also look deeper into the issue and help the owner understand what is happening with their dogs’ energies, which is in turn affecting their behaviour.

Becoming aware of the dog’s energies

When an owner becomes aware of how the dogs’ energies change before the aggression is shown. They can often stop the undesired behaviour before it escalates into a full blown dog fight.

When one dog is attacking another in the household, it is important to take into account the energy of both dogs. You will often find that the dog who is being attacked isn’t acting in the correct ‘doggy manner’ – he isn’t portraying the energy that he should be. Perhaps his energy becomes nervous or over excited. This in turn can cause the other dog to ‘tell him off’. It is common for the issue to start with the dog who is being attacked. I’m not saying that this is his fault; in fact it’s not a case of blame at all. It is a case of one dog being highly sensitive, probably due to inherited factors.

From a dog training point of view it is important to only reward desired behaviour. I often see a dog ‘misbehaving’, said dog is then told ‘no’, he may then sit and the owner says good boy. This is rewarding the undesired behaviour.

When a dog has exhibited any signs of unwanted behaviour we must be careful to not give him a reward. For example, if I walked into my house and one of the dogs growled at another, I would send the growling dog out of the room and then ignore him until it is all forgotten about. When taking this approach it is also important to reward the good behaviour. So when I walk into my house and the aggressive dog doesn’t growl at the other I tell him he’s a good boy, stroke him etc.

How to feel your pet’s energies

In order to help the owner feel the energy of their dogs, we can point out obvious physical signs, but we can also talk them through the following exercise where they firstly become aware of their own energy and after some practice they can more easily and readily perceive their pets’ energies.

  • Sit or stand comfortably
  • Close your eyes
  • Take a few deep breaths, each exhale brings your body to a calmer, more relaxed state
  • Continue breathing and relaxing for a few minutes
  • Become aware of the energy around your head – does it feel light/thick/heavy? Does it feel calm or erratic? Is there a colour that comes to mind?
  • Continue focusing one at a time on each part of your body – shoulders – arms – elbows – hands – torso – pelvis and lower back – thighs – knees – lower legs – feet.
  • Once aware of the energy around your own body you can think of calming it and bringing it to a nice feeling.
  • After a few times of trying out this exercise on yourself, you may be ready to try it out on your pets

It is important to do this exercise regularly. In return you will begin to pick up the energies of your dogs without having to try. You’ll simply feel it, rather than having to go through the exercise.

Once you are able to feel the energy of your dogs, you’ll be more susceptible to the energy changes that they have before an issue occurs. This meaning that whilst the dogs are still relatively calm , you can either send one of them out or ask them to sit and send them Reiki to calm the situation.


Interested in learning more about Animal Reiki?

equine reiki for horses courseSarah Berrisford specialises in writing about and teaching Equine and Animal Reiki. If you’re interested in learning more about how to treat dogs and other animals, then follow these links:

Animal Reiki book or Animal Reiki eBook

Animal Reiki practitioner live training course

Animal Reiki home study course



Photo credit: bkang83

Using Reiki for Dog Training – by Sarah Berrisford

reiki in dog training helps

In my last blog – Reiki for Dogs – I spoke about a simple basic approach that you can use when working with Dogs using Reiki.

In this blog I wanted to talk about using Reiki when you are training your dog, since this is a topic that comes up frequently on my Animal Reiki Practitioner courses.

It’s all about Intent

One of the easiest ways to use Reiki with dog training is to use intent.

You can carry out this exercise in person or distantly.

  • Sit comfortably
  • Connect to Reiki
  • Feel the connection with your dog
  • Let Reiki flow
  • When you feel that the time is right, begin to picture how you would like your dog to act. Say your dog becomes anxious when left alone. You would picture him lying happily and content when on his own.
  • Once you have visualised your preferred scenario, smile to yourself, feel happy, see the picture and follow it with happy thoughts.

You may find that when you try to picture your dog being happy and content, when left on his own, you keep thinking of him being anxious again. Don’t worry this is quite normal.

If this does happen you can slowly erase the anxious picture and replace it with the contented image. Keep doing this until it is easy to ‘see’ your dog being content.

Carry out this exercise whenever you can, preferably a few times a day.

Visualising good behaviour

When you greet your dog, let your first thought be of him being happy and content when on his own, followed by a smile from you – letting your dog know that this behaviour also makes you happy.

Next, it is important to become aware of your own thoughts, every time you think of your dog behaving in a way that you hope to change, replace that thought with the desired image.

If you are fretting about your dog whilst away, thinking of him tearing around the house causing havoc and destruction, your dog will pick up on this. Animals read these pictures and energy that we put across to them, so we do need to be careful that once an issue has started we aren’t ‘feeding’ the problem further.

So keep those happy thoughts and enjoy the moments that make you smile.

Interested in learning more about Animal Reiki?

equine reiki for horses courseSarah Berrisford specialises in writing about and teaching Equine and Animal Reiki. If you’re interested in learning more about how to treat dogs and other animals, then follow these links:

Animal Reiki book or Animal Reiki eBook

Animal Reiki practitioner live training course

Animal Reiki home study course





Photo credit: stonnie and friends


Reiki for Dogs – a quick how to guide by Sarah Berrisford

reiki for dogs

How to do Reiki on Dogs

Can I give my dog Reiki? How do I do Reiki on dogs? How do I know if I’m doing it right?

These are all common questions I often hear. The simple answer is ‘yes’ of course you can share Reiki with your dogs, simply let it flow!

For some people and their animals this works just fine, however, sometimes it doesn’t quite go to plan, so here’s a quick ‘how to guide’ to set you on your way.

Setting the Scene

Whenever possible I like to share Reiki with dogs in a place they feel comfortable, a place where they often relax, try not to change everything and then expect the dog to suddenly go to sleep as soon as you start the treatment. It’s very simple, but a common issue encountered, the dog becomes excited in the new area he is in, he wants to sniff, jump around and generally be a dog!

Just imagine taking your child to a Theme Park and then trying to give them a Reiki treatment, yes Reiki will still go to your child, but don’t expect them to lie down and go to sleep on the nearest bench!

Prepare Yourself

It is important to prepare yourself before giving Reiki to dogs. If you are feeling a surge of emotion, whether it is anxiousness, excitement, sadness or so on, the dog will feel it, more so than if you are working on a human.

We can overcome this by working on ourselves at the beginning of the treatment. We can use the Hatsurei exercise or perhaps connect to Reiki and become aware of each part of our body in turn. Focus the Reiki energy on any parts of your body that are holding emotion. If you are finding it hard to release the emotion, think of replacing it with love.

Once our energy is ready, then it is time to begin…

Connecting with your dog

Now that you have set the scene and prepared yourself, let energy flow to your dog. You do not need to go straight over to the dog and touch him! Keep your hands to yourself for a while and just focus on the connection.

You could be around twenty minutes getting the energy flow going between you and the dog, don’t rush – enjoy feeling the connection.

Once the energy flow is there and you can feel that there is an energetic two way connection, you may feel drawn to go over to the dog and place your hands on or near to him. Some animals prefer hands off, hovering a few inches away from them.

It is important to overcome the need to touch the dog. Many practitioners feel that they would always like their hands to be touching the animal, this isn’t always what the animal wants. Put your heart in your hand, listen to your intuition and the dogs’ reaction as to whether you send Reiki from across the room, have hands on or hands a few inches away.

Let go of all expectation and enjoy the connection!

Over to you

How do you use Reiki with your dog? How does your dog like to be treated?

Post a message below to let us know.

Interested in learning more about Animal Reiki?

equine reiki for horses courseSarah Berrisford specialises in writing about and teaching Equine and Animal Reiki. If you’re interested in learning more about how to treat dogs and other animals, then follow these links:

Animal Reiki book or Animal Reiki eBook

Animal Reiki practitioner live training course

Animal Reiki home study course




Photo credit: David Mertl


Reiki for Horse Riding: Increasing Confidence

I have recently received many enquiries from people asking if there are ways to increase their confidence whilst riding. Simple ways that they can use at home everyday.

sarah pancho bb

I’d like to share with you an extract from my book ‘Reiki in the Saddle’, the following exercise can be used by anyone – you don’t actually need to practice Reiki for this to work. It is also useful for improving other areas of our riding, so please do give it a try.

Riding with confidence is something a lot of people find hard. There are always situations that may challenge us, but being brave isn’t being without fear, being brave is learning to recognise the fear, accept the fear and master your fear.

Visualisation is an important tool not only in horse riding but also in life. Visualising how you will react to a situation will begin to train your body and mind how you wish it to react, putting you in control.

1) Find somewhere quiet to sit where you won’t be disturbed.
2) Make yourself comfortable
3) Close your eyes and take three deep breaths, in and out; feel the oxygen filling your lungs, and feel your body relax further as you breathe out.
4) Let your mind become clear, if any images come into your mind just gently usher them away.
5) Practice just relaxing and keeping your mind clear for a few minutes.
6) Visualise yourself grooming your horse, putting his tack on, leading him to the mounting area. Now see yourself getting on your horse and riding.
7) See yourself walking around on your horse, perhaps doing some circles and changes of rein. Be aware of how your body feels; see yourself relaxed and happy, riding with confidence.
8) Now proceed to working trot; ride some 20m circles, perhaps a figure of 8 and any other school movement you wish; see yourself relaxed and happy, riding with confidence.
9) Proceed to canter; again ride some 20m circles and change the rein. See yourself relaxed and happy, riding with confidence.

Don’t worry if you find it hard to visualise at first; this will become easier with practice. Once you feel confident using this exercise you can tailor make it to fit the area where you need more confidence; for example, if you have worries regarding going into canter, you can visualise the canter transition and riding in canter over and over again, in all places in the arena. Or you may have worries regarding mounting your horse; if this is so you can visualise yourself mounting over and over again.

If your horse is spooky, bucks or naps you can visualise how you will cope with the situation; sitting up and keeping calm.

Begin to use visualisation in your everyday life; where thought goes energy flows.

I hope you enjoy working with the above exercise, if you have any questions please feel free to contact to me

Love, Light & Warm Wishes
Sarah Berrisford


Guest blog: “Champ”, the rescued Jindo

I thought you might be interested to read this blog, written by Valerie Mann, from Maryland…


“I have been a Reiki Master/Teacher in Fruitland, Maryland for about six years. It has been my pleasure to see any number of positive results with Reiki. However, when something which seems almost miraculous happens, I still feel a sense of wonder. This was the case with Champ, the rescued Jindo dog in Texas. This breed is not very well known in this country, as they are from Korea and many of them live on the West Coast. However, my good friend Jim Harvey of Flower Mound, Texas, who had one of the biggest hearts in the whole world when it came to animals, fostered Champ. Jim also had two of his own Jindo dogs as well as several others that he fostered and a total of seven cats. Champ had had a very rough start in life. He was originally found chained to a tree at the end of a dirt road in east Texas. All in all, there were over 60 dogs on the property, all living in appalling conditions with very little if any food, water or shelter.


“A regional dog rescue group stepped up and got all the dogs out of there and Champ ended up in Salt Lake City, Utah. That was just a temporary arrangement and he was soon back in Texas living with Jim, who was very protective of Champ, due to the fact that he had had such a terrible life to date. Needless to say, he was devastated when he found a tumor on Champ’s chest. It just seemed to be too much bad luck for any one dog. Fortunately, the vet said that the tumor was not malignant but that it would never go way.


“Jim and I talked on the phone several times about Champ’s condition. I could tell he was still worried and mentioned my Reiki background and how I seen and heard about some dramatic healings. In fact, a friend of mine actually was able to use Reiki to remove a tumor from her own dog. So I told Jim that I would give it a try. I set in place distant Reiki, but also put the request in my master crystal grid that the tumor would shrink. I could tell that Jim, a former Marine and construction supervisor, was open to the idea, believe it or not.


“Lo and behold, Jim called me within two days and said that it had shrunk to about half of its size. It had originally been about the size of a very large walnut and was now the size of a relatively small grape. We had a jubilant telephone conversation about this and really rejoiced. Keep in mind Champ was receiving no treatment whatsoever for this tumor. Another two days went by and the tumor had shrunk to the size of a pea. Jim is now beside himself. I think that between the two of us we developed some substantial positive healing energy which really amplified the Reiki and made it much more active than it would otherwise have been.


“At this point, I remembered that I had put in the Reiki grid the request that the tumor shrink. Intuitively, I knew that I would have to change what I had written on the grid in order for the tumor to completely disappear. I therefore changed the description on the grid to say Champ’s tumor would completely disappear. The very next day, it did disappear. This sold Jim on Reiki. He asked me on a more or less regular basis to send Reiki to various pets that needed it. I remember once sending Reiki energy to his back and having him call me asking if I was sending Reiki at that time because he was feeling beautiful warmth in his back.


“Sadly, Jim died suddenly at home in June of this year. He had no family or close friends in the area so his body was not found for about two weeks. All of the animals survived, except for the oldest cat who died several days after she got to the shelter. She just refused to eat.  Champ eventually was adopted by a wonderful family in Tennessee and has the most wonderful life now. If anybody deserves it, it is he. I wanted to tell this story to keep it alive because it was a watershed moment in the life of my friend as well as myself. I know Jim would have been very happy to see Champ finally settled and completely healthy.”


Valerie Mann


New Book by Sarah Berrisford: “Reiki in the Saddle”

I am really pleased to announce that Sarah Berrisford has written an new book called “Reiki in the Saddle – using energy, visualisation and intent within our horsemanship” and for those of you who have already ordered Sarah’s “Handbook of Equine Reiki”, this new book is a perfect complement.


Here is some information about Sarah’s new book:


Sarah Berrisford describes how to include Reiki within your riding, with practical exercises categorised into riding disciplines. This book is aimed to help improve the connection, understanding and overall experience whilst riding, for both horse and rider. Issues which you and your horse may be encountering are explored with simple visualisations, use of intent and energy exercises to help you overcome the problem. Although mainly aimed at persons with some knowledge of Reiki, persons who are inexperienced in this department could well find this book an interesting read and be able to use some of the visualisations and intent exercises. This approach is simple and intuitive, free from dogma and limiting beliefs, and will provide the reader with confidence to begin using Reiki in the saddle.

The book is available in a professionally-printed format, or as an immediate download.

You can order your copy here: Professionally printed manuals

Or order your immediate download here: Download your eBook here

The Right Time

A question often asked of me is: When is the right time? This relates to lots of aspects – When is the right time to start practising Reiki as a profession? When is the right time to meditate? When is the right time to start competing my horse? When is the right time to move on to the next chapter or level?

Unfortunately this is a question for the person asking, not the teacher. It is a question that you can ask as many times as you would like to – and usually the answer doesn’t appear in Big Red Ink infront of you – never say never though!

Inside of us everyone knows the right time, however, we put things off, we make excuses, we’ll promise to make time to sort things out or put more effort in, and then the time will be right for us to make a change or better ourselves.

We all need to remember that: we can’t make time, we can only choose to use the time we have wisely.

So my answer is this: if you are thinking of doing something new, making a change for the better and you’re asking or thinking, when is the right time?…

Then it is time to Go For It! The simple fact that you are thinking about it, shows that your subconscious is hinting at you!

The aspect of making a change may seem scary, but hey, fear is an illusion – fear is the monster that lives in the cupboard and becomes scarier and scarier, until one day, you open the cupboard door and realise there’s nothing there!

The right time is now!


Sarah Berrisford Reiki Master Teacher, author or the popular books ‘The Handbook of Equine Reiki’ & ‘The Complete Guide to Animal Reiki’. Sarah is based on the Lincolnshire/ Cambridgeshire border, where she teaches Reiki, Equine Reiki Courses and Distant Learning Equine Reiki Courses.


Podcast: Animal Reiki


I am very pleased to be able to share with you a talk given by Sarah Berrisford at the Reiki Evolution 2011 National Gathering.

Sarah hosts Reiki courses and animal Reiki courses from her base at the Epona Equine Reiki Centre and you can find out more about Sarah’s courses by visiting this page: Equine Reiki courses


Click here to download this podcast

Taggart KingThe 2012 National Gathering will be held on October 6th in central London, where there will be more interesting talks to listen to. You can book your place now by visiting this page: 2012 National Gathering. To qualify to attend, you need to have Taggart King in your Reiki lineage.