Owner Anne Macgregor, 48, is an holistic horse whisperer” who claims to act as an interpreter between horses and their owners to tell what the animal is thinking and feeling.
She also cares for rescue horses.
She says she uses reiki, a Japanese healing method, and telepathic communication, to communicate with horses, and charges owners up to £45 for a session.
Officers swooped at Highfield Equestrian at Howe Farm near Cupar, Fife, where she kept the horses.
It is understood there were 22 horses in the group, but one was in such a poor state a vet had to put it down.
The Scottish SPCA confirmed it had removed 21 horse. It will now re-home some of the horses, but others are in such a poor state they may have to be destroyed.
One source with knowledge of the animals said they were “starving”, “skin and bones”.
The source said they had seen workers “brought to tears” when they saw the horses without coats for the first time.
Staff from the animal welfare charity removed the horses yesterday and are now deciding whether charges should be brought against Ms Macgregor over failing to care for the animals.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Chisholm said the 21 horses had been removed in response to reports of “animal neglect”.
He said: “We have worked constructively with all parties involved to successfully remove the animals. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide any further details.”
Tom Myles, owner of the Fife farm, said he had offered Ms Macgregor stable space on a “do it yourself” livery basis, starting from January 4.
He said he had been unable to tell much about the condition of the horses at the start as they arrived wearing coats, but he became suspicious after the first week when Ms Macgregor stopped showing up at the farm to attend to them.
He said: “We raised our concerns with Anne who assured us she would find helpers to look after them – these helpers did not appear and so our concerns grew. Through pressure from ourselves, she realised she was unable to look after them and contacted the SSPCA.”
It’s understood the horses were previously stabled in Milnathort and on farms in Perthshire.
Vicki Fairbairn, a bookkeeper for Balmuick Farm, Comrie, said Ms Macgregor had been asked to leave that farm due to issues with livery bills.
Ms Macgregor, whose horse therapy sessions cost between £24 and £45, did not respond to requests for comment.