Category Archives: Sport Horse Training

Crystal Energy Healing for Horses, by Allison Robbins


Allison and crystal healingMaybe the vet has told you that there is nothing more he/she can do to help, or natural horsemanship techniques aren’t working out as well as you had hoped.  When the things we’ve already tried aren’t producing results, searching for a new solution makes sense.  The question that follows is…”What else can I do for my horse?”

Some people look into alternative options which can mean some very old ideas.  Healing with crystals is an art form that’s thousands of years old and is known to have been practiced by ancient Egyptians, American Indian shaman, as well as many indigenous tribes around the world. Crystals are powerful tools.  Each one has a specific chemical composition which gives it a consistent vibration
like that of a musical note.  It’s the frequency of this energy that is
helpful to bring the body back into balance and promote the self-healing process.  Examples of crystals would be stones often used in jewelry such as rose quartz, amethyst, calcite, diamond, peridot, tourmaline, turquoise, as well as countless others.

Healing crystalsHorses are treated for a variety of reasons from illness & injury to
behavioral problems.  While working with crystals, I combine learned  technical knowledge with the intuitive practices of spiritual healing,  shamanic techniques, and animal communication.  Healing for animals and humans is a very similar process as both have an aura or energy field that relates to mind, body, & spirit, surrounding the physical body.  It’s within this energy field that the cause of  ‘dis-ease’ is addressed.  Quite often when I am working with an animal the owner also receives healing, especially in situations that take place between the horse and rider.  Healing is not a substitute for veterinary care it is meant to be used along side medical treatment thus making it a complementary therapy.  The purpose is to promote well-being and speed up the recovery process.

What happens during a session?  After discussing the clients needs, I
prepare by attuning to act as a conduit for spiritual energy.  It’s
important to have the consent of the animal so I always ask if they would like my help.  I’ve occasionally encountered animals who did not want help, but it’s very rare.  In such cases I can work with the owner to address things from the human side but I do not interfere with the animal.

Healing energy fieldThe next step is to intuitively assess the the energy field and find
which areas need to be rebalanced.  It’s from the assessment that I choose which crystals would be harmonious for treating the condition.  Two different animals could have the same condition but a deferent cause.  It’s the cause that I am addressing with my choice of crystals and techniques.  Crystals are placed around the horse and then activated by my intention to provide healing.  While a horse receives healing he or she will usually start to show signs of deep relaxation.  As energy blockages are being released, you will  frequently see them lick and chew, give a deep sigh, and or eliminate waste.  How deep the horse goes into the state of relaxation depends on his nature.  Some are quite comfortable with treatment but I have often found that highly strung animals take a bit longer to relax or will take shorter amounts of healing at first.  The effects of the healing sometimes take a while to process but generally
have a long lasting effect.

To give you a better idea of how people have used healing for their
horses, the following are examples of cases that I’ve worked on.

Medical cases:

Allison workingI’ve treated many horses that were suffering from colic.  One was in the care of a vet for 10 days and about to be euthanized when I worked with her.  She had a crystal healing and within an hour her problem had been alleviated.  Both the owner and the vet were thrilled to have her on the mend.

Marcella is a standardbred race horse who was preforming, and behaving very poorly.  She was found to have ulcers in her mouth.  I gave her healing and the vet addressed the dental problems that were troubling her.  She was back to work in a short time and doing very we’ll after that.

A paint horse had and injury to her hind leg.  It was swollen and she had trouble walking. The day after receiving healing the swelling subsided significantly and within a couple of days she was sound again.

Crystals healing broodmareBrood mares:

I have done healing on mares who were preparing to conceive so the mare would settle, and the pregnancy would go more smoothly.  One mare had treatment because she slipped her first foal late term and they wanted to help her have a successful second pregnancy. She delivered a healthy foal the following year.

I have also been asked to work with a nervous surrogate mare.  They wanted to help calm her and communicate to her that she would be separated from the friend she shared a paddock with for a while,  but would return after the baby was born.  That situation went really well, as both mare and foal were happy and healthy.

Crystal energy healing for horse and rider.Horse & Rider:

An English New Forrest pony had a habit of dumping his rider on the ground.  Each time his rider was injured he would be turned out to pasture for months at a time.  He was started at four years old and at nine years he was almost unrideable.  She had the vet examine him but they didn’t find any physical condition or injury that would lead to this behavior.   She hired a new trainer to help resolve the problem - and after a few rides, the trainer brought me in to help.  While I was working with the pony, his owner perceived the energy that he was receiving.  It turned out she is a Raki practitioner (another type of energy healing) and very sensitive to subtle energies.  After treatment, he started to make significant  progress. Several months later, she felt that the training had stalled and she was having trouble feeling safe on him.  So then, they both had healing.  I worked with her in separate healing sessions.  She felt that the crystal healing had helped her release deep feelings of guilt about situations in her family life that tied into her not feeling worthy of enjoying her horse.  From the time of that release, things really picked up for both of them.  He went on to be enjoyed as an all-around horse and in recent years he occasionally enters
competitions with other riders.  He is very happily still  with his owner.

A man who has an andalusian stallion was having trouble with confidence while riding his horse.  We did some healing work and he felt much more secure in his abilities.  This lead him to ride more often and thoroughly enjoy his horse.  He felt this confidence carry over into other areas of his life.

A trotting race horse was being retrained into a riding horse.  Our first session was to prepare him for his move from his original home in Austria to his new stable in Switzerland.  He had always been a poor traveler and would lose significant amounts of weight in the trailer, so the healing was to help prepare him to travel.  Later, I helped work with them on a practical level to teach him to canter, first on a lunge line, then under saddle.  Over time this same horse would come up with all kinds of drama and physical injuries when his owner was experiencing too much stress in her life.  It was interesting to watch his patterns in relation to her life and to help her learn to manage the stress.  These two have a very close relationship and many adventures together.

Crystal healing for horsesNew home:

Horses can take time adjusting to a new home – not to mention, a new country.  I have worked with horses who arrived from South America or New Zealand during English summer with a full winter coat.  These horses are known to frequently under-perform the first season that they arrive.  Healing helps them to adapt more quickly.

My story

Allison and crystal healing

My love of horses began with my first ride at 9 years old.  As a junior I competed in equation,  followed by combined training on the college riding team, and for the last 10 years it’s been playing and training polo ponies.   I believe the experience of owning, caring for, and competing with so many horses has given me a very deep understanding of the dynamics between horse and rider.   I’ve always been sensitive, but before  working as a healing practitioner for others, I completed a 2 year diploma  course at the Vibrational Healing Foundation (London), followed by another 2 years of advanced training.  I am accredited with the British Allience
of Healing Organizations.  If you would like more information about healing you can have a look at my website for The Equestrian Healing Service.

Allison Robbins


Whole Horse Health Care: The Role of Alternative Therapies Part 2


Equine AcupuncturePart I of this series introduced Low Level Light Therapy and Reiki. This month, I’ll be discussing the role of Acupuncture in a balanced equine health & wellness program.  As mentioned in Part I, your horse’s health care team will, of course, be headed up and overseen by your veterinarian.  Your choice of therapies & therapists should be well researched.  The intent, skill, knowledge, training and experience of a practitioner will be a significant factor in making your decision.  You may also want to include referrals from friends, other horse owners, and trainers you know and respect.

Acupuncture is one complimentary therapy you may be interested in for your horse(s), but may not have experienced first hand.  Although the practice of acupuncture is estimated to be at least 3,000 years old, its use on horses in this country is relatively new.  Equine acupuncture was first employed in the U.S. in the 1970’s within the racing industry. As drug testing became more common, owners and trainers looked to non-drug based medicine to enhance performance and promote the health and well-being of their equine athletes.  Equine acupuncture has steadily grown in popularity and use since then, and is now utilized in many veterinary practices here in the USA and around the world.


How Acupuncture Works:

In Eastern philosophy, when the free flow of energy is disrupted in any way; by emotions, diet, climate, over/under work, trauma, infection, heredity, etc., disease can manifest, because health depends upon a harmonious and sufficient flow of energy to all parts of a body.

There are 14 major meridians, or pathways, in which energy flows in any body.  The names of these meridians  are: Heart, Small Intestine, Triple Warmer, Large Intestine, Lung, Bladder, Gall Bladder, Stomach, Liver, Spleen, Governing Vessel, and Conception Vessel.  Within those 14 meridians are hundreds of “acupoints”, which serve to access the meridians.  A pre-treatment assessment of your horse will determine which acupoints are to be used.  This assessment will likely consist of a thorough palpation, observation of the horse’s movement, mood evaluation, the owner’s/trainer’s concerns, and a practitioner’s own intuition.  By inserting and stimulating fine, filiment-like, sterile needles into specifically chosen acupoints, an acupuncturist balances the flow of energy within the meridians.

Acupuncture can be utilized to treat numerous conditions, including musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, skin issues, ligament & tendon problems, gastrointestinal and endocrine imbalances, inflammation, mood disorders, and more.


Frequency Of Treatment: 

IMG_20130917_170704_218Acupuncture is often utilized as a preventative modality, because imbalances will often manifest energetically before there are observable changes.  Owners can avoid much pain and suffering on the part of their horses by incorporating acupuncture “tune-ups” on a 4-6 week basis. This keeps a body’s energetic system balanced and less likely to invite, encourage, or fall prey to disease, discomfort, or injury.

Each case is totally unique, but the rule of thumb is that 2-4 initial treatments (a course) for most patients will either alleviate the condition completely or give the  acupuncturist a very good idea of how many treatments or “courses” will be needed to bring a patient’s energetic system in to balance.  Very rarely, acupuncture is simply not effective on an individual, or the effects are minimal.  In such cases, the owner should seek another modality, or practitioner, more suited and acceptable to their horse.


Is Acupuncture Painful? 

IMG_20130917_165345_539Acupuncture, in the vast majority of cases, is not painful at all…quite the contrary!  Both human and animal patients generally finish their treatments feeling calm and relaxed.  Horses will often lick, chew, yawn and roll their eyes during acupuncture treatments.  These reactions are caused by a release of endorphins, and usually last 2-12 hours.  For this reason, it is recommended that a horse be given the day off after their treatment.  They may be somewhat unfocused or “spacy” while their bodies adjust to the movement of energy that occurs as a result of an acupuncture treatment.  This “side effect” usually normalizes within 24 hours.

Acupuncture needles are usually about as thin as a few shafts of hair.  It is not uncommon that human gauge needles are used on horses, however, some equine acupuncturists may use heavier gauge and longer needles.  Different Veterinary Acupuncture training institutions espouse the use of varying gauges and lengths of needles and needling techniques.  In more than 22 years of working with horses, I’ve observed that bigger is not necessarily better.  Again, an acupuncture treatment should be a pleasant experience, not one filled with stress, pain, or anxiety.  I have found that horses are exquisitely sensitive creatures; much more so than humans. It stands to reason that with such a creature, we should respect and protect that sensitivity.  It is important to trust your intuition and your horse’s reactions toward a practitioner.

Acupuncture, as with most forms of medicine, is ever evolving.  I’m still amazed at how often something new and exciting presents itself when I’m in the presence of horses receiving acupuncture.  Hopefully, you will agree that acupuncture is a worthwhile tool you choose to utilize in your overall equine health care program.


I hope that this article has sparked your interest in equine acupuncture and trust that you will explore the subject further.  Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  I’ll do my best to answer them and/or direct you to further sources of information.

Happy, Healthy Trails!


Biographies of Rod & Maggie:

equine-therapies-stretchRod’s training in acupuncture began n 1985 at the California Acupuncture College in Santa Barbara, CA.  In 1987, he received his clinical training in acupuncture and laser therapy certification at the World Health Organization’s Open University for Complimentary Medicines, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  Rod subsequently received his doctorate in complimentary medicines (specializing in acupuncture) from his same institution in 1989.

Rod and wife, Maggie, operated a human acupuncture clinic in Mulege, Mexico from 1989-91.  Rod’s equine training and experience began in Mexico and continued in Del Mar, CA, where he was under the tutelage of equine specialist, Chris Ross, D.V.M.

Maggie is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, a certified equine Sports Massage Therapist, trained laser therapist and certified Reiki Master (2002).

Rod and Maggie’s Bio-Energetic Therapies was born on the Central Coast of California in late 1991.  They performed acupuncture, laser therapy and Reiki for 8 years (1997-2004) on the “A” hunter/jumper horse show circuit and regularly traveled throughout Northern California, Oregon and Washington, working on horses.  In 2006, they made the difficult decision to semi-retire.  They work now, with the rare exception, in close proximity to their home on the Central Coast of California.

Rod Raymond, D.Ac.

Maggie O’Brien, Reiki Master

805-929-5240 / 805-878-0822 (cell)



Whole Horse Health Care – The Role of Alternative Therapies, Part 1

equine-lazer-therapyEquine health care management certainly requires “A Village”.  Naturally, horse owners must head up their team with a competent, knowledgeable, and experienced equine veterinarian.  Preferably, your vet will be skilled in the breed and type of horse(s) you own, as well as the sport in which you and your horse(s) may compete, if that is the case.

Next, and absolutely as important, in my  opinion, is to have an expert, qualified farrier and/or hoof trimmer.  The old adage, “No hoof, no horse” still holds true today.

Having the foresight and wherewithal to include one, or more, complimentary modalities to your horses’ health care routine will balance your team and optimize your horses’ health care management program.

In Part 1 of this series, I’ll be discussing Low Level Light Therapy and Reiki. I think you’ll find this information enlightening and, I hope, will inspire you to explore the possibilities for your horses.

Continue reading Whole Horse Health Care – The Role of Alternative Therapies, Part 1


Alejandro Salazar and His Passion for Horses

RetoAlejandro Salazar started riding horses at a young age on his family’s ranch in Costa Rica, where he was born and raised.  Shortly after, he started receiving formal instruction in Jumpers and Dressage.  It is an education he has continued to pursue for over 30 years.

While still living in Costa Rica, Alejandro was a team member for the Costa Rican National Equestrian Team.  Team membership presented numerous opportunities for International competition in Costa Rica, as well as, several Latin American countries.  Alejandro regularly participated in National Level competitions that led to wins of National Championships both in Dressage and Jumpers.

In 1987, Alejandro’s family was transferred to Mexico City, Mexico, where he continued the training of his Thoroughbred stallion imported from Costa Rica.  Eventually, competing him at the Grand Prix level in the Mexican Jumper circuit.

Another family transfer took Alejandro to Southern California in 1989, where he finished high school and completed a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering from the University of California in Santa Barbara.

He then attended Purdue University in Indiana, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  While in Indiana, Alejandro worked at a large Dressage breeding and training facility.  He obtained extensive education in young-horse training and barn management.  This facility provided numerous opportunities to take a wide variety of horses to competitions.  This included young horses getting out for the first time…to more advanced competitors.  Alejandro schooled the horses trained at these higher levels on a regular  basis - including their Grand Prix breeding stallion.

In 1997, Alejandro moved to Northern California where he continued to compete in both Jumper and Dressage rings, while working full time as an Environmental Engineer.  Rancho Pura Vida was established in the year 2000, and Alejandro transitioned to training full-time.

Since opening Rancho Pura Vida, Alejandro has maintained a client list of horses and riders at all different levels – from novice to advanced competitors,  while continuing to elevate his own abilities and performance at advanced levels of competition.  Alejandro developed a strong reputation for successfully resolving issues with difficult horses, including stallions.

As Alejandro’s show career advanced at higher levels of competition, more horses and students appropriate for that level of competition came in to his training program.  The program has evolved into a comprehensive system, working with horses of all breeds and riders/horses at all levels of training.  Alejandro teaches a large number of lessons per week, as well as, doing monthly clinics at other locations.

Although he competes regularly with horses at both schooling and rated shows, Alejandro’s current main competition string in dressage include:

  • His own dressage horse Don Fioretto, an Oldenburg gelding, showing Prix St. George and Intermediate, and working on developing the Grand Prix to hopefully show at that level in 2014.
  • A Hanoverian gelding named Luxemburg owned by Leslie Munoz of Placerville, California.  Luxemburg came to Alejandro trained to 1st level and schooling 2nd level, and he is currently showing in 4th Level and Prix St. George.
  • And a young Morgan mare named Merriewold Kirin, bred and owned by Diana Wold of Merriewold Morgans in Arroyo Grande, California.  Kirin came to Alejandro last year with a good start under saddle and she is currently doing great at 1st level and showing great promise for more advanced dressage work.

 Alejandro and Kirin Kirin and Alejandro Legacy and Alejandro Alejandro and Legacy

All three of these horses have qualified for the Regional USDF and CDS Championship show to be held in September 2013 in Northern California.

Alejandro’s current main competition string in jumpers include:

  • His own jumper horse, a rescued thoroughbred off the track named Amigo, competing at the Mini-Prix Level and working toward the Grand Prix ring.
  • A talented 5 year old Oldenburg gelding named Landson owned by Alexandra Williams of Placerville, California, currently showing in the 1.0 meter division. Landson shows great promise in the jumper as well as potentially the hunter ring and is being developed hopefully to be a Grand Prix jumper a few years down the line.
  • As well as, a group of other prospects including several sale horses.

Alejandro holds a Bronze and Silver Medal from USDF; is a certified trainer with the USHJA, and is currently working on his trainer certification with the USDF.  He is planning on obtaining his USDF trainer certification in 2014 as well as working toward his Gold Medal from USDF.  He regularly audits and participates in clinics with US as well as European Dressage and Jumping trainers.  His dressage coach is Rachel Saavedra, a Grand Prix dressage trainer and competitor and a faculty member with the USDF educational program.

Alejandro Salazar is the owner and trainer of Rancho Pura Vida, located on the east foothills of the Sacramento Valley in Northern California.


Phone:  (530) 306-6818