According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, the use of essential oils as an inhalant, internally, or topically to stimulate the natural healing process of the body is known as aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has been proven to be effective for animals too, including horses, and can help to improve a number of ailments when used properly.
Let’s look at a few details about aromatherapy for horses:
- When to use essential oils for horses – Essential oils can be used for horses aromatically or topically for a variety of health issues and benefits. Let’s check out a few of those below:
- For muscle pain and spasms – You can use marjoram, lavender, or basil essential oils in a topical solution to cure muscle spasms or pain in horses. The essential oils need to be diluted in a ratio of 20:1 with sweet almond oil or virgin coconut oil.
- For stress, anxiety, and nervousness – Many horses get spooked easily, especially when they suffer from anxiety or nervousness. You can allow them to calm down when they get too excited by using a nebulizing diffuser with lavender essential oil.
- For thrush – Thyme and tea-tree essential oils can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied on horses to cure thrush due to their antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- For overused muscles – Eucalyptus essential oil is great for treating the pain associated with sore and overused muscles due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- For respiratory issues – You can rub diluted essential oils onto the chest of a horse to ease respiratory issues.
- How to use essential oils for horses – You should only use high-quality therapeutic-grade essential oils since they are safer and much more effective. Also, remember to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil when using them topically.
Horses are sensitive creatures and can react badly to certain essential oils. Thus, it is important to introduce a small amount of essential oil to your horse when using it for the first time. You can read their body language to choose the most suitable essential oils for them. For instance, you should stop using a particular oil if they turn their head away after a sniff.
- Are essential oils safe for horses – Many essential oils are considered safe for horses, especially when you take the proper precautions. For instance, since essential oils are so concentrated, they need to be diluted through an Epsom salt bath or carrier oil.
Additionally, you should only use high-quality essential oils and use them in a well-ventilated area to ensure the scent doesn’t become overpowering to their senses. If you are not sure what type of essential oil to use, ensure you consult your vet, especially if you want to use a serious condition.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests you get started with lavender, oregano, and thyme essential oils since these are the most widely used for horses. These serve as an expectorant, to relieve congestion, and as an anti-rheumatic. Other useful essential oils for horses include lemongrass, frankincense, juniper, geranium, and more.