Animal Reiki Source Newsletter: Winter 2013

By Lorie Struzik

Rosie’s History

Burgundy Rosette (Rosie) is a 29 (in 2013) year old retired broodmare. Many of the top Welsh ponies on the United States East Coast have her blood running through them (Fox Cry Raindrops on Roses, Fox Cry Rose Cummerbund, Fox Cry Rose Cufflinks, Fox Cry Whiskers on Kittens, Fox Cry Whinny the Pooh, Fox Cry Nicodemus, Westwood Love Story, etc.) My daughter is currently riding one of her great-grandsons, Westwood Ironman (1/2 Welsh-Arab). Rosie has been trying to enjoy her retirement but has been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and has foundered (bone in hoof starts to rotate causing pain) many times on all four feet.



Rosie had not been sound for about a year and was in constant pain as evidenced by continual shifting of her weight in the front. The vet prescribed Permax (pergolide) for her Cushing’s and it does not seem to take the pain away. She was given Bute but was still in a lot of pain, though the pain seemed worse when she was off the Bute. In late summer she started wearing Soft-Ride boots which are supposed to help with founder as they are very cushiony. The boots seemed to help some but she continued to shift her weight. Several “wonder” founder supplements were tried with no success. She’s on a low carbohydrate grain and is now on a dry lot to minimize grass in-take (as too much grass can cause a horse to founder). Though horses and ponies with Cushing’s disease tend to be obese, Rosie is a bit too skinny and has been having trouble with keeping weight on her body. Rosie is currently living with Mary Smith in Rising Sun, Maryland.   Mary requested Reiki for Rosie in November 2012 as none of the conventional veterinary treatments have been easing the pain in her feet.

Initial Weekly Reiki Treatments

rosie-2-250pxNovember 9, 2012 was Rosie’s first ever Reiki treatment. Mary noticed immediately that Rosie stopped her shifting during the treatment and settled into a relaxed state. She licked my hands several times at the start of the session. The session was held in her stall with her free to move around. During most of the session my hands were just off of her or resting on her shoulders. Several times, Rosie reached down towards her right leg so I moved my hands for direct energy on her right leg. Towards the end of the session (60 minutes), she turned to face me, licked my hands again to say ‘thank-you’ and then walked to the corner to drink water and pee. She then was very alert, looking around and confirmed that she was done.

The next morning, Mary went to observe Rosie and she watched for 3-5 minutes and did not see any shifting of her weight. This was a big change from what it had been prior to the Reiki session. Mary was so happy that she cried. I continued to do a distance session each evening (10-20 minutes) for the first week. During the week there was no sign of shifting weight and therefore Mary stopped giving Rosie the Bute. The mare continued to stand firmly without the Bute. Mary also noted that the mare had a ‘brighter’ look in her eye.

November 17th, was her second in-person treatment. This time we were outside of her stall in her yard. That morning she had started to shift her weight again but Mary had tried to take off the cushioning Soft Ride Boots. I suggested the boots go back on until she is more stable and preferably until the spring when the ground is softer. Rosie stood very still and peaceful during the treatment with much direct energy on her right leg. She had some very big yawns toward the end of her 45 minute treatment. Afterwards, Mary confirmed that she was stand solidly and not shifting.

November 24th, was her third in-person treatment. This time she had a ‘dual’ session with my daughter helping (thought only 11, she is trained through Reiki II). We were in the stall this time. I sensed that she wanted more direct work done on her shoulders and hips so we focused on that area after some time was spent on her right leg. She was peaceful but no significant yawning. Mary said that the day before she had trotted to get her hay!

December 1st, Rosie nickered as I drove up and walked to the fence! It was nice to see that she was excited to see me. We did the session outside of her stall in the yard. This was the first session that Rosie did not touch any of her legs during the session. She got into a nice ‘Reiki’ sleep with her eyes half closed and weight off of one of her back legs. Again I sensed the need for energy in her withers and hips again as if as the pain is reduced in her feet, she is feeling pain in other areas now. I attempted chanting for the first time with her. She seemed to like the first symbol chant very much as she dropped her head even lower. I did a 45 minute treatment. Rosie could have stood in that position for hours but Mary’s 4 year old son started to be a distraction.   Since Rosie was so peaceful and not pointing at her legs, we decided to push the next treatment off for 2 weeks. Mary was instructed to call if there were any changes. Mary also had noted that it seemed as if the mare was gaining some weight with no change in her diet. We wondered if being in less pain or stress if she might be making better use of the calories that she was eating.

First Attempt for Bi-Weekly Reiki Treatments

Well December 12th, I got a call from Mary that Rosie started to shift her weight again. She did not make it the full 2 weeks as we had hoped, however, she was also due to have her feet trimmed. I did a distance treatment on her that evening and Mary said she was a bit better the next morning. I did another distance treatment and the following morning she was back to standing solidly. The blacksmith came to see her that afternoon. He commented that she was standing much more comfortable for him (as it is difficult as she has to stand on one front foot for some time while he trims the other foot.). We decided to go back to once a week though we both agreed that Rosie needing a trim might have contributed to her backslide.

Second Set of Weekly Reiki Treatments

December 15th, was a very interesting session. When I arrived, Rosie was laying down in the yard with her feet tucked underneath her. She nickered for me but did not get up (I also told her she did not have to get up for me as we could do it sitting down!). I flipped a bucket over and sat between her legs. This time she was pointing to her rear legs and her stomach. I spent most of my time with my hands in that area. It was a 45 minute session and she stayed down the entire time. She was licking her lips and being very restful. She did not get up when I left, and stayed down for 90 more minutes. No shifting of her weight once she did get up.

December 22th, was our next session. There were two mistakes made with this session. The first being, Mary said once Rosie was done with her session that she could go and eat some grass outside of her yard. Just what every horse or pony wants to hear! So she wanted to be done immediately. The second mistake is that Mary had asked for a session after Rosie’s session. Rosie loves Mary very much and Mary was in need of a session herself. I have found when I go to a barn or house with several animals, that often the animals that don’t need the energy as much will back off as they know who needs the direct attention. I wondered if Rosie was doing this for Mary… So Rosie was very distracted. She was having a dual session again with my daughter. But after 15 minutes of not really settling down, we closed the session and I moved onto Mary’s session (and Rosie moved onto her grass).

December 31th, was our next session. She was more open for a treatment this time though again, there was mention of grass afterwards but we stressed that she needed to have a full session before the grass was an option… Rosie got into a fairly restful state but she still was a bit more distracted than in the past. I got the feeling that she did not need the energy as much as she had in the past. We decided that we should try one more time to push the sessions to every other week and see what happens.

Second Attempt at Bi-Weekly Treatments

January 12th, we did a bi-weekly session though it was slightly short of 2 weeks. Rosie had been doing well with no shifting. The vet had come out to see her and was please with her progress in terms of standing firmly, no digital pulse and some weight gain. The vet suggested that the boots come off of her feet. Mary’s plan is to remove them gradually giving Rosie some time out of the boots before they are completely off so that her feet can toughen up.

Our plan is to keep the bi-weekly treatments as long as Rosie is doing well. We are using her signals of shifting her weight as a guide. During the vet visit, a blood test was run to look at Rosie’s blood work. It was disappointing that the blood work was not as positive as the mare is showing.   Though not the news we wanted to hear, it does show what Reiki can do for pain management as the mare should not be feeling as well as she is if you look at her test results. I try to keep my intention open to ‘whatever is needed’ but there is a tendency to focus on reducing the pain since we know she is in pain. I plan to adjust my intention during our next visit to make sure that I am open to all possibilities so that we can meet our ultimate goal for Rosie to have a happy and pain-free retirement as long as possible.

Testimonial from Mary Smith (December 2012):

She (Rosie) loves her Reiki sessions!!! I can’t thank Lorie enough for making Rosie feel so much better!!! This is a mare who is 28 years old (in 2012) and was in constant pain and hadn’t been even remotely sound in probably about a year. But Rosie, being the classy and regal mare that she is just dealt with her pain, she hadn’t given up. She has Cushing’s and has foundered (on all four feet) many, many times. She is on Permax (pergolide) for her Cushing’s and it has never taken the pain away. She was on bute and was still in a lot of pain, but without the but she was worse. A few months ago, I tried soft-ride boots which are supposed to be wonder treatments for founder. Rosie was marginally more comfortable, but far from sound and the shifting continued. I’ve tried at least two- wonder founder supplements that didn’t do anything. She’s gets fed low carb grain and is on a dry lot. I love this mare dearly and in my searching for something affordable that could bring her comfort, I talked to Lorie. 

Lorie was willing to give it a try. Watching the first session was amazing… Rosie was totally into it and watching her reactions were incredible! 

The next day, I walked out and for the first time in months, Rosie was standing squarely on both front feet. I stared at her fronts and couldn’t believe my eyes! I must have stood there watching her front hooves for 3 to 5 minutes. Then the tears started rolling down my cheeks because I was so happy to finally see my fabulous pony comfortable!!! I can’t tell you how much I thank Lorie for sharing her gift with my pony. 

I even think that Rosie is beginning to get a better topline! She is a little unique Cushing’s’ patient because she is on the thin side instead of being obese. It has been a challenge to try to keep weight on her and since she’s started Reiki sessions she appears to be gaining some more weight with no changes in feed or medication. 

Thanks again Lorie Struzik– I can’t tell you how happy I am to have you making a huge difference in Rosie’s life!


About the author:  Lorie Struzik is an Animal Reiki Teacher and graduate of Kathleen Prasad’s Level 3 Shinpiden Animal Reiki Teacher training as well as the owner of Black Horse Animal Reiki ( She lives in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.  Though Lorie will do Reiki sessions with people, her first love is working with animals with an emphasis on horses, dogs and cats either in person or from a distance (though she has worked on hamsters, rabbits, chickens, etc!).  Lorie had a black horse as a child (as well as a dog and many cats) and has found herself 25 years later being the companion to another black equine – this time a Welsh pony, Melody. These two black mares were the inspiration for the name of her business. Contact Lorie at

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