As a psychotherapist, I usually work with people, not animals. But a while ago, a woman whose horse was traumatized during a move in a storm asked for my help. I used Surrogate EFT Tapping with her, which cured her horse of all trauma symptoms in just a couple of hours.

How Does EFT Tapping Work?

EFT Tapping (or Emotional Freedom Techniques) is most often used on humans to alleviate many kinds of issues, from the effects of stress and trauma, phobias, pain and physical illnesses, and many other things. It works by focusing on events or patterns of events that have emotional charge while simultaneously tapping on specific acupuncture meridian endpoints. Normally, the EFT practitioner shows the client where to do EFT Tapping and the client taps on her/himself at the same time. Using information, sentences and words the client uses in describing a painful event, for example, the EFT practitioner has the client say sentences that bring up emotional charge. Often, this helps the charge decrease or disappear and the client is calm even when thinking about the painful event.

Surrogate EFT Tapping

However, when the “client” is a baby, very young child, or otherwise unable to participate in this protocol, it’s possible to use what’s called “surrogate tapping.” One way to do this is to have a person close to the one who experienced the painful event to tap on her/himself as if she/he were the traumatized person.

It Started With a Scary Move

My client had moved from one state to another, and her seven horses, including a stallion, were transported in a large horse-trailer, arriving at their new destination around midnight on a moonless, foggy night.

The handlers put the stallion in a pen next to the pasture into which the other horses were to be unloaded. After the other six horses were let out into the pasture, one of the mares jumped the 5-foot horse fence, and was injured running through barbed wire and cacti. Three others also jumped the fence. The stallion, having witnessed all of this, was restless in his pen and called frantically to the other horses. After this, the stallion was stabled on another property for a while, and upon being reunited with his herd, began showing signs of trauma.

He would pace back and forth in his stall and call loudly. He became especially agitated whenever the other horses, which were let out into a larger yard, moved farther away from him. The woman explained that, as the stallion, he felt responsible for their well-being. Before all this happened, he had been the horse she rode most often. After the trauma, however, whenever she tried to ride him, he refused to leave the area of the barn near the other horses. One time when she forced him to leave the area, he threatened to rear, and became unmanageable on the ground. He became dangerous to handle whenever he left his stall or the barn. This behavior went on for over eight months. The woman’s despair over the situation was so great she asked me to help with EFT – she’d try anything, she said.

Surrogate EFT Tapping

The woman was very sad and discouraged. We started by tapping on these feelings, as well as on her dashed hopes to develop a community of riding buddies, her fear that she would never be able to ride any of her horses again-as all of them were having difficulties of some sort. This took about ½ hour.

Then we moved to sit just outside the stallion’s stall. I had the woman step into “being” the stallion. We went through each intense piece of the night of their arrival. With her continuing in the role of the stallion, we used EFT Tapping on each visual memory and emotion that came up. Then we tapped on anything that was intense since then-the other horses moving away from him, the woman trying to ride him away from the other horses, etc. In her role as the stallion, the woman very clearly felt what he had felt. It’s amazing how that works-when we put ourselves into another’s role, even that of an animal, we often actually DO experience what the other has experienced. This took about 45 minutes.

Once having tapped on all of this, the woman went into the stallion’s stall. She had learned some horse acupuncture points, which she had used for several months-with little success. She tapped on those points in his stall. Where he normally would have been very agitated, he was already quite calm and let her rub him and tap on him.

Then we led the stallion to a corral somewhat away from the other horses. Usually when she put him in this corral, he would become quite agitated, pacing and calling loudly. He calmly walked around for a bit and then faced the other horses, pacing a bit. I had her tap on the acupuncture points while guiding her to speak aloud his remaining fears about their safety: “Even though you’re still afraid when the mares are away from you;” “even though you worry about them;” “even though you still feel badly for not being able to protect them,” etc. After a couple of rounds, he relaxed completely. He calmly walked around the corral, stopping to graze on grass. He seemed to have finally found the peace of mind he’d lost almost a year earlier.

The stallion continued being calm for the rest of his life, and the woman experienced many happy hours riding him.

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