Natural Horse Therapies

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Natural Horse Therapies

Aromatherapy – Even Horses love Smells

Posted on Monday, February 8th, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Horses Love Aromatherapy …

Aromatherapy describes the therapeutic use of essential oils, diluted to a

Natural horsemanageable potency and used either directly on the skin or indirectly through inhalation. But essential oils are not all about smells. Aromatherapy has been proven to have therapeutic effects on both people and animals. At this point I have to mention one must always be cautious when using essential oils on animals (especially cats) as essential oils can be powerful and have damaging health effects on the more sensitive of breeds.

LavendarEssential oils are completely different from ‘fragrant oils’, as they are extracted from plants and herbs and are proven to have therapeutic effects. Fragrant oils on the other hand are often chemically manufactured or produced to provide a cheap smelling oil based product.

Each essential oil has a specific property – similar to herbal medicine – including anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic qualities of the oil etc.

The aromatic molecules of essential oils are so small they are able to penetrate the deepest layer of the skin, and because they are also fat-soluble they can seep beyond the skin cells and enter the bloodstream, which is where the healing properties do their job. Dispersing via the blood is what enables the antibacterial/antiseptic/antifungal elements to be absorbed and used within the body.

Essential oils also enter the body via inhalation. Whether your horse can smell it or not, inhalation of essential oils creates a message that is sent straight to the brain and can affect hormones and other emotional stimuli. A certain amount will also pass through the mucous lining of the nose where it can enter the lungs having a positive effect on breathing and other respiratory tract issues like asthma or chest infections.

Essential oils can have enormous medicinal benefits and can be an integral part of anyEssential-oilnatural first aid kit for horses and people alike. It is interesting to note that your horse if given the opportunity, will often select the most beneficial essential oil for them. A particular attraction or infatuation with a specific oil’s smell, can mean that your horse would benefit from the therapeutic effects of that essential oil. The same applies to people.

Using a cold pressed vegetable oil base, your Essential Oils needs to be diluted to approximately 2.5% and can be used on an area that is sore or needing invigorating.

Therapeutic grade essential oils are beneficial for emotional healing as well as physical healing. It is important to note however that horses have a very good sense of smell and do not need the oils to be very strong to still have a profound effect.

There are some oils that are best to avoid if you have a pregnant mare. A qualified aromatherapist will be able to inform you about which oils to use on your horse. And I will also cover this topic in future blog posts.

As they are not protein based, essential oils will not cause an allergic reaction (unlike the use of fragrant oils). However it is still possible for your horse to be intolerant to the oils. Some oils are phototoxic which means they make one more sensitive to sunlight: as a rule this applies to the citrus oils and as a general principle it is best to be well informed about the oils properties before using them on your horse.

Three HorsesEssential oils can be beneficial in a number of circumstances, and to find out specific properties and their healing applications I recommend consultation with a qualified equine therapist. Any major imbalance or health condition in your horse must also first be assessed by a veterinarian.

Like much of what nature provides, we are given access to an abundance of natural, health enhancing properties that can be beneficial for ourselves as well as our horses. Essential oils can assist your horse towards greater vitality and longevity in life and give them the support of natural, plant based goodness to keep them in great health and balance. I often think that in times of lesser captivitiy and human involvement, horses would have had access to a much greater range of flowers and plants to assist them in staying well. I think of essential oils when I want to support my horse through a chronic health condition or to help them through unfamiliar circumstances.

Feel free to use the comments box below to share a story or two about how essential oils have helped your horse experience good health…flower

Warm wishes


6 responses to “Aromatherapy – Even Horses love Smells”

  1. Hello,

    I got your email address from a list of equine Aromatherapy practitioners. I’m working on an article for Trail Blazer magazine about alternative medicines, and I’ve included Aromatherapy on the list of therapies I would like to cover. The article is going to cover many different therapies, so each one will just get a brief overview. The point of the article is to introduce the reader to several therapies they may not be familiar with so that they can then go learn more about whichever therapy/therapies interest them.

    If you have time and would be interested in being included in the article, I just have a few questions:

    -How did you first get interested in using Aromatherapy on horses?
    -What are the benefits of Aromatherapy?
    -What kind of health conditions/lamenesses can Aromatherapy help with?
    -Is there any time Aromatherapy should not be used?
    -Is Aromatherapy a one shot deal or do horses need multiple treatments? Should it be used in conjunction with another type of therapy or is it a ‘stand alone’ treatment?
    -Anything you think readers should know about Aromatherapy before they consider it for their own horses?
    -What kind of training do Aromatherapy practitioners typically get?
    -When using any kind of alternative therapy how should a horse owner select a good practitioner of that therapy?

    I’ll have a sidebar listing various practitioners of alternative therapies. If you would like to be included, let me know what contact info to include.

    Thank you for your time!

  2. Zoe says:

    Hi Jennifer

    I am certainly interested in responding to your request regarding an aromatherapy/natural medicine article.

    Are you able to tell me when your deadline is for requiring this information, so I can submit my answers accordingly.

    With thanks and blesssings


  3. jessica says:

    i am really therapudic smells for horses and i was just wondering if there are any other smells for the horses i used all of the ones that you recomended and my horse didnt really like any so if you have any more that would be the best for you to tell me.
    Thank you


  4. Kennedy says:

    my daughter really likes horses and she trains them she is 11 years old and there is this one horse with a really bad temper. That horse actually bit her really hard but she wont let that horse and owner down so she is still working with it. So she asked me to ask you if there are any specal smells to calm a horse down. She is the youngest horse trainer i know and being an over protective mother i will try anything to calm that horse down.

  5. Zoe says:

    Hello Kennedy

    I think that is fantastic for you to support your daughter in this way. She sounds wonderful with horses and it is obvious she cares deeply. There are two particular oil blends I could recommend for you in this circumstance, from a company I purchase from. The first oil blend is particularly good for the release of anger (one may see increased anger expression temporarily during the release process) and the second blend is a wonderful calming blend (that can be used in a range of scenarios). Blend no 1 contains Ylang Ylang, Lavandin, Geranium, Sandalwood and Blue Tansy Oil and Blend no 2 contains Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Blue Tansy Oil.

    I would however recommend only the highest quality of therapeutic grade oil, as simply fragrant or diluted oils will not deliver the desired results.hj

    I can suggest ways for you to purchase these oils wholesale. Simply email me your location and phone number/email and we can chat some more about your options.

    In my horse training and therapy business I have used both of these oils extensively and find them extremely good.

    Wishing you all the best!



  6. Zoe says:

    Hi Jessica

    I am not sure which oils you have tried with your horse. However, I would say that a horse does not necessarily have to be attracted to the scent of an oil for it to have therapeutic benefits. A particular attraction or infatuation with a specific oil’s smell, can mean that your horse would benefit from the therapeutic effects of that essential oil. The same can also be true where there is a repulsion to a particular essential oil, and it can indeed mean that the horse requires this oil.

    There are two points I would like to make in this regard. Firstly, the quality of the essential oil is paramount. There is a vast difference between high quality therapeutic grade essential oils, and fragrant oils for example. Poor quality essential oils will be mixed with other carrier oils and diluted and are prone to going rancid. Fragrant oils are often chemically manufactured or produced to provide a cheap smelling oil based product. To ensure the quality of your oils you will need to know the harvesting conditions, companies policies, if chemicals or pesticides are used on the crops etc etc as well as the conditions of distillation. For this reason I recommend Young Living oils, because I am satisfied with each of the stages of production and the purity of the oils is evident. If your horse is not enjoying any of the smells of the oils you are offering, you may like to check the quality scale of oils used.

    The second point I would like to make is the issue of free choice. Even if a particular oil is known to be beneficial, I would still suggest offering the oil to your horse first and beginning gently. It is possible your horse may prefer another choice and with repeated exposure to the benefits of these oils, may then be ready for a broader range of oils.

    I have also found that horses in general enjoy the earthier smelling oils, sandalwood and frankincense for example, and experimentation can teach you a lot about the personality of your horse. Do not be put off initially as many horses will be reserved when they are exposed to anything of a strong fragrance. Many of the products that we may have exposed our horses to on a daily basis; repellants, shampoos and deodrants are indeed chemical based and somewhat toxic and your horse may well have learnt to be shy of products with strong fragrance.

    You may like to consider having a professional aromatherapist visit you and your horse with a wide range of high quality oils so that you can get some idea of your horses preferences prior to purchase.

    I hope this helps!

    All the best with your experimentation…. and would love to hear what oils your horse enjoys!

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