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Horse Research Pilot Completed

A Mixed Methods Exploratory Pilot of

Therapeutic Riding Horses And Their Recovering Wounded Veterans

Project Summary

This research was completed and published in June 2016. It was a phenomenological pilot study, using quantitative data with rating/ranking numerical values on the usefulness of the information thought to have been received telepathically from the therapeutic riding horses, as judged by the wounded veteran the horse is working with, and the horse’s guardian. Qualitative data was also analyzed as the free-form text comments from the veterans and the guardians. Information from the animal communication session was transferred by the animal communicators to paper questionnaires for rating/ranking and comments completed by the veterans and the guardians.

The research questions were:

  • What questions do the veterans have their partner horses?
  • What information is allegedly received telepathically from the horse related to their veteran’s questions?
  • What is the usefulness of this information as judged by a ranking scale by the veteran?
  • What is the usefulness as judged by the guardian for their specific questions?

The significance of this research directly relates to the study of horse-human interaction, specifically on the impact of horses supporting healing therapeutic methods for wounded military veterans. The extremely positive results of this pilot are leading to the development of a larger study, the Current Research Project.

Research Team Members

Deborah Erickson, MBA, PhD

Dr. Erickson is the Principal Researcher on the team. Her dissertation research was the first of its kind exploring telepathic interspecies communication with domestic canines. Dr. Erickson has been an animal communicator for over 15 years and is also a Reiki Master, Healing Touch for Animals practitioner, and Shamanic practitioner.

Wanda Buckner, EdD, HTCP, HTACP

Dr. Buckner has had a long career in education with an emphasis on educational leadership. Since retiring, she has founded Healing Energy Services. She is a Washington State Certified Hypnotherapist, Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, Healing Touch for Animals Certified Practitioner, and Reiki Master. Dr. Buckner’s recent book, Choosing Energy Therapy: A Practical Guide to Healing Options for People and Animals has been highly regarded as an important guideline for alternative medical options for humans and their beloved companion animals. Dr. Buckner has over ten year's experience with telepathic animal communication and is one of two animal communicators on the project.

Debbi Fisher and Bob Woelk

Ms. Fisher is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Certified and has been developing therapeutic riding programs for many years. Her program for military veterans, developed as co-founder of Rainier Therapeutic Riding in Yelm, Washington has won national acclaim and recognition. The facility has been recognized as the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center focused entirely on serving our military heroes and their families. Her husband, Bob Woelk has worked tirelessly to support the military community and their recovery needs. Together they are founders of Hope for Hero's: Equine Therapy Consulting to continue exploring avenues for helping veterans through research supporting human-horse relationships, bonding, and healing.

Crystal Ashley

Ms. Ashley also recently retired from a career in education. She is founder of Animal Avenues, an animal behavior and communication service offering compassionate consulting to companion animal guardians. Ms. Ashley has been a professional animal communicator for over ten years and is the second of two animal communicators on this project. 

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