My name is Adele Barker and I am a Graduate of the Diploma in Animal Healing with Elizabeth Whiter and also trained in the professional Natural Food Animal Remedies, I am now furthering my animal husbandry skills, attending the Equine Diploma Healing course run by Elizabeth at her Headquarters’ in the South Downs, West Sussex.

As a Graduate and student of Elizabeth’s work, I can honestly say these courses have given me the confidence and understanding and determination to develop my skills and broaden my knowledge to achieve what work I can as a member of the Healing Animals Organisation (HAO). Elizabeth is a true inspiration, her dedication, knowledge and understanding of the animal kingdom, her drive and determination to do what can be done, inspires you to do what you can do to help these sensitive creatures. What a fantastic life’s journey it will lead you on to do this well needed work. I love it!

As a member of the HAO, which works to help all animals in need over the world, I am committed to do what I can at my local animal charities. I volunteer at the EGSR (Eastern German Shepherd Rescue,) a local charity covering East Anglia and based at Swanton Morley, Norfolk. The Rescue is a not-for-profit charitable organisation which has been set up to rescue and re-home unwanted and abandoned German Shepherd dogs in the East of England. It is run by an entirely volunteer team. I offer relaxation techniques and culinary herb infused oils for the dogs to self-select.

As part of my Diploma in Equine course, which includes completing case studies, I have become a volunteer with The Horse Rescue Fund. The Horse Rescue Fund is a long established registered charity based in Toft Monks, Suffolk, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing of all needy, neglected and ill-treated equines. The Rescue was established in Suffolk in the early seventies. It takes in all ages often in starving and emaciated conditions, providing each with intensive care and individual attention until fully recovered. When they are well enough they are then placed, on loan, to lead happy and useful lives. The Rescue centre has been named in memory of one of the most well known horses ‘Woodstock,’ who was rescued by the fund in 1981 from Norwich market, where his mother had just been sold, leaving him frightened, alone, and unwanted. Woodstock stayed with The Horse Rescue Fund until he sadly passed away in Jan, 2001, reaching his early 20s.

The aims of the Rescue are to alleviate the suffering of any ill-treated or neglected equines, and bring them back to health and maybe if it’s possible, back into work, and then place them on loan in approved suitable and fulfilling homes. The Rescue never sells rescued horses, but firmly believes that they are much more content and happy leading a useful and fulfilled life, with individual care and attention in a private home. The Rescue has more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys out in adoptive homes, with more to follow, but they are at present under rehabilitation at the Woodstock Farm. Many of the Rescue horses have gone on to compete, most successfully, in many disciplines, including dressage, both locally and nationally, or gone on to greater things with people who just want to provide them with a safe loving home for life.

Running a Rescue is a very costly task both with manpower and the normal day to day expenses of looking after horses. Therefore the Rescue relies on contributions either in the way of donations, membership or sponsorship.

After a conversation with Elizabeth explaining about my volunteer work on behalf of HAO at The Horse Rescue Fund and the possibility of using some of the horses as my case studies arose. Elizabeth was very interested with the rescue centre and its work they did there and suggested that HAO will help them further by setting up an afternoon of HAO healing with myself, Elizabeth and Gina Yiannis, HAO’s Operations Manager, to demonstrate the natural food remedies oils, herbs and have healing sessions with a selection of horses.

On the afternoon of Friday 29th July 2016 I had an insight of how such a visit could develop into something very special. It was a masterclass in practical equine healing which took place with Lindsey Plant, the Yard Manager, Elizabeth, Gina and myself and several of the rescue horses and ponies. It was wonderful to see Elizabeth’s mobile herbal apothecary in action with bags of dried herbs such as rosehips, marigolds, chickweed, mint, nettle and the herb oils being presented to the horses one by one in a methodical order. Any herbs and oils selected by the horses were kindly donated by Elizabeth. We then proceeded to offer some relaxing healing.

First up was Morris, a Welsh Sec C 20 year old gelding, who is partially sighted. His right eye has a detached retina, and his left eye had a cataract removed in 2008. He now has partial sight in that eye which maybe deteriorating further. Morris also suffers from mite bites. We observed Morris self-selecting Elizabeth’s herb infused in sunflower oils. He really loved the Nettle and Calendula oils: Elizabeth recommended that Morris be given 1 tablespoon a day of the selected culinary oils.

Next up was Jake, a 27 year old Cob gelding with very bad arthritic legs. His legs are not very flexible and he struggles to bend his front legs for the farrier to trim his feet. Jake can’t roll or lay down due to not being able to get back up again. He previously had liver damage and was successfully treated by the vet and is coping well. His skin is very itchy and has a long thick coat. Jake self-selected dried milled Linseed, Nettles, Yarrow and Mint; Elizabeth recommended that Morris be given a handful of the herbage once a day.

A beautiful mare called Lucy, just 21 years young was next. Lucy was diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome in 2014, she is a New forest mare and is prone to laminitis. Lucy’s Cushings is currently managed with Prascend tablets. Lucy selected: Dried Comfrey leaves and Nettles, Elizabeth recommended that Lucy be given a handful of the herbage once a day.

Morri, gelding 27 years old TB, has been diagnosed with Kissing spine, and Melanomas and suffers from Laminitis. Morri selected dried Calendula petals, Mint, Milled Linseed; all to be giving in food and a handful of each once a day. As an ex-racing horse Elizabeth sensed that he would benefit from a massage, to which she demonstrated and we all could see the relief that it was having on him.

Trooper was as abandoned, coloured Colt, now gelding, born with five hooves known as a polydactyl. He is now around 13 to 14 years of age and he a true gentleman. He has liver problems due to grazing amongst ragwort when he was younger. Trooper selected dried Nettles and Comfrey; to be giving a handful of each once a day.

Finally we worked with two young horses: Murdock, a Colt approximately 2-3 year old. Murdock and his brother Socks, first came to the rescue in May 2016 and were both wild horses. Murdock was unbroken and aggressive towards people. He has locking stifles, worms and lice, which has been untreatable because he couldn’t be handled. With time and patience the staff at The Horse Rescue Fund are regularly gaining his confidence more each day. Elizabeth worked with them over the stable door as not to overwhelm them and allow them to feel safe and gain trust. She introduced them both to the culinary oils and herbs. Very quietly and giving them all the time they needed they responded very well to herbs and oils. Sniffing and licking from Elizabeth’s hand and visibly showing signs of relaxation, yawning and gently nodding off.

What an amazing experience and great work was achieved! With all the horses responding well to the session and making it quite clear, what they had selected for themselves. Nothing was too small or great for Elizabeth to work with, her energy, strength and dedication to carry on this vital work inspires others to carry on in her path of working to help all the animal kingdom worldwide.

Adele Barker HAO