Equine Craniosacral

“Filly”, the Tuning-In Technique - the first step in the Tuning-In ECST Ten-Step Protocol. Photo by Todd Harless



Intellect and Intuition in Equine Craniosacral Therapy
By E. Bailey Tune

Horses live from their intuition and people from their intellect. Through experiencing Craniosacral Therapy (CST) and resonating with our horses, we can find a balance between, and live from, both our intellect and our intuition.

In relationships with our animals we tend to take up the slack in their lack of intellect use and they do the same with our lack of intuition use. It is through this loving exchange with our horses that we enter into the subtle process of re-awakening the brain and body connection. Similarly, through CST, we can discover and reveal the origin of symptoms and open the path to our fullest potential. Equine Craniosacral Therapy (ECST) offers a transposing experience of learning to use the intuition more, giving us a broader perspective on personal healthcare for our horses and ourselves.

The Intellect

The cranial sacral system (CSS) is located at the very center of the body where the origin of healing is believed to reside. In lay terms, the structure of this system is composed of the bones of the head and spine, and a tube-like membrane that covers the brain and goes down through the center of the vertebrae to attach to the sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of the spine. The CSS bathes and protects the brain, houses the central nervous system, and instructs (through intellect and intuition) the body in the experience of life.

“Dolly” - Checking the muzzle for birth/ nursing trauma and restraint damage. Photo by Todd Harless

The brain is made up of two sides, called hemispheres - the left/ intellectual side and the right/ creative side. The brain is designed to work as a whole, both independently and intradependently. Unfortunately, western culture has placed more importance on the intellect, and intuition is often overshadowed. This has resulted in a loss of the resonance between the two hemispheres. It is from craniosacral work and the experience of the intuitive world, or the world without words, that the innate flow of information between the two hemispheres is restored. I have coined the term “hemispheric versatility” to honor this significant flow from both sides of the brain.


Just as physical exercise strengthens the body, mental exercise increases the potential of the left brain. But what about the right brain? The creative/ intuitive side also needs ongoing development. That is where craniosacral therapy comes in. With CST, we strengthen the intuitive part of ourselves because we are guided along the path of awareness, in the world without words, through our intuition. , Right brain learning is developed in retrospect so it continues to grow as we learn and experience life. With intuition fully engaged, we are present to the “professor” within.

“Squirrel” - Demonstrating a technique of the Tuning-In ECST Ten-Step Protocol. Photo by Todd Harless

CST is a self-help therapy that walks us through the physical symptoms of dis-ease, to the origin of the malady. Our emotions become our physical patterns in life and are instantly transferred to the horse through our care and riding of them. This means that whatever our core issues are - anger, sadness, depression, passivity and the list goes on - they will act as a block to the desired health and performance of our horses and ourselves. It also means that horses mirror to us how we are responding to the world from the unspoken parts of ourselves. The truth of their reflection is gentle and loving, inviting and supporting a more balanced partnership. Horse lovers/ owners are generally already living in wonderful partnership with their animals, however CST and ECST ensure a much broader perspective on the partnership.

The beauty of CST is that with an open mind and conscious effort on the part of an interested person, he or she may be led through the memory held in the body tissue (somato-emotional release), to the origin of the symptoms. Shifting one in the direction of integrated objectivity, the intellect and the intuition work together (intradependently) for the fullest potential at the moment.

Fullest potential

I see more fully now the grave responsibility of having ‘clarity with self’ before imposing ourselves on the horses. For most people it is a life-long process to realize clarity of mind and freedom of the body, both of great importance in partnerships and when striving to reach our fullest potential.

“Goofy” - Somato-Emotional Release of hind leg; simulating a slip with the leg that torqued the right ilium (hip bone). Photo by Todd Harless

With “hemispheric versatility”, attainable through CST, we are insured of the most information available to aid in the process of seeing the whole picture more clearly, and thus enabling a broader perspective from which to make choices and decisions. “Hemispheric versatility” provides another perspective of complementary care to address dis-ease, and enables us to see our part in the horses’ problems.

With focus and practice I believe that individuals will soon begin to trust the information that becomes available through listening in the world without words. This place, deep within us, is where our survival, instinct and intuition live. With honor to that part of others and ourselves, and with scientific education, everyone may gather a much broader range of information, illuminating the whole picture for ourselves and our horses. It is at this point that we are able to weigh more fully the pros and cons in the choices we make with our horses and their health.

About the author:
E. Bailey Tune, L.M.T has been specializing in craniosacral therapy with people and horses for twenty years. She has been and continues to be a pioneer in the development of Equine Craniosacral Therapy. She maintains a private practice with human, equine and canine clientele in Shepherdstown, WV. She is the author of “Tuning-In: Equine Craniosacral Therapy and Somato-Emotional Release” and “Spiritual Exercises for the Right Brain: Meditation In Action”. She can be reached at 304-876-6305 or ebtuningin@aol.com. For more information: www.equinecst.com