It’s the way you do it that will make the difference. Working with Essential oils is very personal. Finding your direction in working with essential oils is going to make the difference if you are going to love it or if you feel so-so about it all. Essential oils smell dominant almost overpowering. Especially if you use the first-grade press. Essential oils are the essence of the plant and this strong. It is the heart of the plant that is distilled, and you are working with the healing nature of the essential oil. Even if you are just using it because you love the smell so much. To be honest, that’s why I have them with me most of the time. It is important also to understand how powerful they are.
If you like me, working with essential oils just for yourself is one thing. It became serious when I started using essential oils for my kids and my animals, that is when I wanted to understand what it all means. Also, as always, I wanted to do it the right way. Most importantly I didn’t want to harm anyone. I don’t have a medical degree, so this is all experience based on a combination of taking a lot of course from knowledgeable people. For my essential oils and animals, I work a lot with “The Animal Desk Reference” by Melissa Shelton (DVM) Holistic Veterinarian.
I would like to share with you some basic information about essential oils. To help you make a great start with these great smells, over the years, I have stumbled on some great resources.
Essential oils are:
Nontoxic to the horse – Just like the human body, toxicity is a huge problem for our animals.
Easy to use – Essential oils for horses can be used exactly in the same manner as with humans. Horses can inhale the oil directly from the bottle or your hand. They can be placed directly on the body or placed in their feed.
Extremely beneficial for training horses – I mostly train young or green horses or retrain problem horses that have people problems! The emotional component of this training is the most difficult portion, and it is what makes me good at my job. The oils are another tool for the toolbox. I can cut through training issues faster than I ever could before and I can see horses releasing emotional baggage before my eyes. Sometimes it is miraculous!
Good for riders too! – Riders are continually dealing with fears, insecurities, and nerves. These emotions and others affect our horse on a daily basis. The oils can help release many of these emotions, produce a synergistic effect between horse and rider and ultimately improve our riding
Essential Oil Application
Essential oils are typically used in three methods:
Topically–Since essential oils are immediately absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream, they produce fast-acting results. They are commonly used in massage for their restorative and calming effects. They are also natural disinfectants which help heal skin conditions and wounds.
Aromatically–Inhaling essential oil is often used for soothing or other emotional issues.
Internally–Some essential oils are used in dietary supplements to maintain well-being or promote healing of specific conditions. While many essential oils are safe to ingest, some aren’t. Never ingest an essential oil without advice from a trained professional.
Safety Tips for Essential Oils
Even though essential oils are all-natural, there are some safety tips we should follow when using them for ourselves, our horses, or other pets:
Purchase only 100% therapeutic-grade essential oils and follow directions on the label.
Essential oils are usually used diluted with carrier oils, such as coconut, olive, sunflower, or vegetable oil for topical applications. They may cause redness or irritation if used on the skin undiluted.
They should not be used in the eye (duh!) or ear canal.
Do not ingest (eat/ drink) essential oils, unless you have consulted professional advice.
Discontinue using an oil if you or your horse has a reaction (skin, respiratory, stomach.)
Refer to a physician or professionally trained in essential oil use if you or the animal is pregnant. (Like acupressure, essential oils can be deceptively potent!)
Essential Oil Uses for Horses
Essential oils can be used for numerous equine conditions. For physical issues, you can dab the oil directly on the affected location. For respiratory issues, pat on the chest and then let the horse inhale the oil. For emotional issues, let them inhale the oil and you can dab it on their forehead or poll. Here are some specific conditions and essential oils which can help to remedy them.
Important: If a horse turns his head away from an essential oil when you let him sniff it, he is showing you that he doesn’t prefer that oil. It is important to check in with your horse and respect his/her feedback. Forcing any oils on your horse is not the way to use essential oils.