The Healing Power Of Horses

© 2016 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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Sometime last Spring I had a vision of visiting a farm and living with some animals. A few weeks later I saw a notice for a horse ranch near Kamloops BC called Gateway 2 Ranch. This is it, I decided and I signed up for a one week retreat in September.

I have limited experience with horses but looking at and reading one of the books by owner and retreat leader Liz Mitten Ryan, One with the Herd, I got excited about the opportunity to have some new and wonderful times with the horses there.

I went to this retreat at a juncture in my life. I was looking for a special place to let go of mental clutter and to live more in the present moment. This retreat offered this to me.

Our group consisted of ten people, nine women, one man and I was the only Canadian. Lots of people from the U.S and two Brits. We got along well and meshed as a group.

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The ranch extends over 320 acres of natural forest, rolling hills, lakes, grasslands and underground rivers of crystals.

I loved the expanse and variety of land on this property, how it stretches far to the horizon and holds secrets in its rocks and hills. Each afternoon we went for hikes on various parts of the land. Years ago, the Okanagan and Shuswap peoples lived and roamed on this very land. I found myself more aware of Earth’s energy rising up through me.

It was such a welcome feeling to be out of the city and to let go of technology, news and media for a week at Gateway 2 Ranch. Each morning we spent time in the barn with the horses. Lots of time focusing and meditating. We sat on stools at the edge of the barn. The horses are amazing… they mill around, often meditating or standing still in a group. Then one or two horses might approach you. They breathe slowly, deeply and I found myself breathing in unison with the horse in front of me.

The horses at Gateway 2 are amazing animals. They are considered higher beings and they share their wisdom. Spending time with the herd at Gateway 2 Ranch you might find a deep connection that will surprise you.

This is a herd of about 12 semi-wild Warmblood horses, one Shetland pony, one foal, and a large bull, a big Buddha who is part of the group.

I felt no fear of the horses whatsoever. The horses, having been raised among people, are totally comfortable with people. Not only that, they seem highly sensitive and tuned into people. Everyone in my group reported having healing experiences with the horses.

Message from the book, One With the Herd:

To the People

The story we have to tell is one of peace; we are creatures of peace. Our spirits run freely through time, witness to the history of our species. Horse energy is powerful, magnificent, as is our form. We are here to guide you in the way of spirit, for this is our home. We have no fight with you; we have been your friends through the age the ages. We are not beneath you, except when we carry you on our backs. We are happy to carry you , to that place where we will all stand together in the sun.

– from the Herd

This is a special herd, a privileged herd of horses. They live together as a family, in the wild, yet also loved and doted on. In our world, this is not so common in horse-human relationships. Throughout history horses have been abused, mistreated and preyed upon. Horses carry all of this in their DNA. So this herd stands out. They are raised as a family, with love and respect. They ask us to be open to what they offer, seeking Oneness and truth.

unnamed (4)Each day I had some lovely experiences in the presence of the horses. The first day Epona (horse names are in italics) came up to me as I was sitting on a stool. She breathed on the side of my face, sending a huge shiver down my right side that lingered for several minutes. She seemed to be giving me a healing treatment. The horses milled around. It was quite quiet. One horse peed creating a huge splashing sound. Birds chirped. There were lots of birds. A cat crawled on me and licked my hand. Liz said they were getting to know us. I noticed how much I am used to noise and here I found a lot of quiet and I felt filled with feelings of peace. Pashar rubbed his nose back and forth on my right knee. Did he sense I need healing in that knee? I think so.

unnamed (3)Another day Serene came up and stood very still in front of me, breathing. I began to breathe with her. Crystal stood directly behind the wall at my back. It seemed like Serene was teaching me patience. I was meditating but my mind was wandering. As I continued to meditate I became very calm and the mental clutter floated away. My sense of Serene was that she is strong, still, patient and knowing.

Magic is a beautiful black horse with a white blaze on her face shaped like a heart with an arrow through it. She stepped towards me and breathed with me. Her breath was strong, steady. I felt powerful waves of healing rush through my body and shivers down my side. Tears came to my eyes. We continued to breathe together and she pressed her face against mine very firmly. I put all my trust in Magic. She kept pouring her love and healing into me. First one side of my face, then the other. unnamed (5)At one point she pressed her head onto the top of my head and pressed down like she was grounding me. She kept blowing her breath onto my face, my ear and my neck. I felt totally at One with this horse and felt a circle of unconditional love between us. This went on for a long time. What a gift from this horse. I felt so humble. What can I give to you?, I thought. I felt totally connected to Magic, to love and to inner peace. I had never felt such feelings of Oneness with an animal before. It was profound and unmistakable. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This was a peak experience. Very profound and hard to put into words.

I stood beside Prima and pressed my cheek onto hers. I stood there for a long time then I spoke to her. “You are a beautiful horse, wise and knowing. May you always feel wild and free.” I kissed her face. What an incredible privilege.

I was so grateful to have such deep experiences of Oneness and Peace with these horses.

To find out more about Gateway 2 Ranch you can look at You will also find several books by Liz Mitten Ryan available.

We are living in turbulent times. Where do we go to find feelings of Oneness, when our everyday experience is to feel separate from each other and even from our inner selves? We need to find places and means to cultivate peace and to be connected in our hearts with each other and with nature.


And you, dear reader, what oasis or special place do you have to experience peace? What experiences of Oneness and deep connection have you had? Have you had magical experiences with animals? I would love to hear from you.

Warm wishes,