Essential oils were one of the first forms of medicine. The 5,000 year old science extracts the oils from plants, flowers and herbs. Each oil is made up of different properties, giving them their unique healing benefits and smell. Essential oils are the components of a plant’s immune system and are often extracted by steam distillation.
We all know horses are very receptive to smell, it is one of their most powerful instincts. Horse’s are incredibly clever at selecting the oils they need for their mind, body & spirit. They self-medicate with the oils to support their body systems which need help. They may choose one oil or many.
The oils that the horse chooses gives fantastic information about what is going on with the horse. What they choose helps determine what the horse is deficient in and whether they need support emotionally, mentally or physically. If they need the oil for physical reasons they will take the oil through their right nostril and if they need the oil for emotional reasons they will take the oil in through their left nostril.
Going back to their heritage, horses would forage for the supplements they needed sourcing the vitamins and minerals they needed by eating leaves, plants, herbs, berries, thistles, wild garlic and more. As most horses can no longer forage, it’s important we bring these properties to them to self-select when they need them.
Oils are also incredible when applied topically in a carrier oil. There is an oil for everything, with many being anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory or anti-spasmodic. They help to repair tissue, reduce inflammation, improve circulation and balance hormones.
Essential oils are excellent at helping the horse to open up and release tension before bodywork, therapies or training. They are often the starting point when a horse visits the Sabre Holistic Retreat, as they give a really good indication of the state of mind and behaviour exhibited during the selection session.
I have staple oils I’ll offer depending on the emotional or physical needs of the horse. For example, if a horse has had past trauma, an accident or is nervous, violet leaf is always offered. This oil helps with pain, anticipation of pain or negative events happening.
My go to oil for gut discomfort is peppermint, accompanied by ginger and chamomile. First, I’ll let the horse smell each oil and if they choose them I make a blend with the chosen oils and massage into their gut, lumbar and psoas areas. I also use my photonic torch and crystals which greatly help discomfort, relieves pain and promotes gut function. I have relieved colic with these techniques and if you need a vet, they are vital to do whilst your vet is on the way. Gut health is incredibly important, so I keep my horse’s gut healthy with essential oils, herbs and healing.
If a horse chooses mugwort and chamomile within the same session this can be an indication of ulcers. Combined with their behaviours and how they are feeling, the oils can be an invaluable piece of the puzzle in determining what’s going on with your horse and give the treatment they need.
If you are ever concerned about which oils your horse is choosing and suspect a physical issue, of course be guided by your vet for further investigation. Always use therapeutic grade essential oils.
Essential oils can literally be life-saving, to both help your horse through physical ailments and emotional trauma. Help your horse through fear, anxiety, grief, heartbreak, stress and soundness by using oils with them.
I use oils for everything and wouldn’t be without them! Offering oils to your horse is really interesting, fun and it builds connection and trust. Give them a try and let me know what responses you get!
To learn more about offering your horse essential oils, take a look at my online course with a module dedicated to using oils with your horse: www.sabreonlinecourses.com