Proper nutrition for your horse is crucial to make sure that they live a long happy, healthy life. On top of continuous supplementation of the correct vitamins and minerals, the use of essential oils is becoming a popular trend in caring for animals. People have used the natural oils from plants for centuries to help aches, pains, and common illness. Essential oils are also used for soothing reasons with people and even animals. At the High Desert Horse Expo in Redmond, Oregon on the third weekend in April Justine Gibb gave a talk on essential oils. Justine Gibb talked about the powerful healing amenities that essential oils contain and how they can benefit you and your animals. Justine has been using essential oils on her horses and dogs for years.
A few of the most common and most useful essential oils are:
- Tea tree
There are also a few essential oil combinations that are good to keep around the barn and house.
- Peace and Calming
These oils were ones that Justine had in what she referred to as her “First-Aid kit”. Most uses of the essential oils will be in a diluted solution. Whether that be adding 10-20 drops in a spray bottle full of water or adding a few to coconut oil for an ointment type application.
Thieves oil is a cleansing oil. Thieves is great for sanitizing almost everything. If your horse comes up with a cut, take your spray bottle of water and add 15-20 drops of Thieves oil and spray it directly onto the cut. Essential oils are 100% natural and do good inside and outside the body. A diluted solution of Thieves oil is also a great product for cleaning bits, grain pans and water troughs.
Lavender oil is the most versatile oil. Lavender oil not only smells great but can also have a calming effect on your animals. Lavender oil is the perfect oil to put on your horse if he has any bug bites, lavender helps with skin irritation and rashes. Lavender is also good for healing cuts; the oil will kill bacteria and stop bleeding.
Tea tree oil is another great one for bug bites and keeping the bugs off your horse in the warmer months. You can make your own all-natural fly spray with essential oils. By blending peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, Purification oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil in a spray bottle with water you can make the perfect all-natural fly spray.
Peppermint oil has many applications as well. It helps with digestion and upset stomachs as well as tight muscles or soreness. Peppermint oil is a powerful oil; one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 25 peppermint tea bags, less is more with peppermint oil. If your horse has runny manure or an upset stomach you can add a drop or two in their water trough, make a diluted solution of peppermint oil and water or even take a drop and rub it on the inside of their bottom lip. It can also help with tight muscles that your horse may have as well.
These are only a few uses of these oils. On top of the proper use of supplementation to maintain your horse’s health, the use of essential oils can be beneficial and useful when paired with a good feeding program.
Written By: Emma Edgren