DOI: 10.14704/nq.2016.14.2.953

A Mixed Methods Study of Telepathic Interspecies Communication with Therapeutic Riding Horses and Their Recovering Wounded Veteran Partners

Deborah L. Erickson, Debbi Fisher, Bob Woelk, Wanda Buckner, Crystal Ashley


Telepathic parapsychology research is a subject of much debate. This small pilot study explored the proposition that telepathic communication between humans and therapy equines may be possible with a human utilizing contemplative/meditative techniques to shift consciousness. The human participants were 7 military veterans in retired or inactive status diagnosed with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Each veteran was assigned to one therapy horse. The 12 equine participants all had the same guardians. The veterans signed an online consent to participate and submitted questions for their horses on the consent form. Both veterans and guardians were blind as to which of 2 telepathic animal communicators would be randomly assigned to the session by the principal researcher. Both animal communicators were physically located in another town from the horses when the sessions were conducted. The answers to the veteran’s questions, allegedly received telepathically from the horses, were documented and emailed to the principal researcher. The summary document from each session was shared with the veteran for their horse by the guardians, and all summaries were shared with the guardians. During an in-person or telephone interview with the principal researcher, the veterans offered qualitative comments and used Likert scales to rate the usefulness of the information received from 1 (not at all useful) to 6 (extremely useful). The average overall usefulness rating as judged by the veterans was 4.9. The guardians also submitted Likert ratings and qualitative comments on the usefulness of the information received; the guardian ratings average was 5.75. These findings contribute to the body of equine therapy studies as well as the wealth of literature that supports the human-animal bond. Further research is needed to explore additional nuances of this category of consciousness and healing research.


equine therapy; PTSD; animal therapy; animal communication; telepathy

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The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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