I’d never heard of using essential oils with horses until attending a workshop with Caroline Ingraham. After that I was interested enough to buy a few different oils to try with my horses but I didn’t really know what any of them did!
So I started by offering oils to my horses and then looking up their properties later in the evening. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, it was a good way to start because I had no preconceptions. I had to learn to observe my horse’s reaction to an oil and go from there. For me, this was the most amazing experience and led to a relationship with my animals that I’m really keen to share.
Working with oils is like a third language, one both you and your horse can speak. Once he realises that you can read his reactions, it’s such a relief all round . So often you know when your horse isn’t quite right but can’t put your finger on it so feel powerless to sort out whatever is wrong. Through working with oils, you’ll find this can change for you and your horse. He’ll start to tell you all sort of things when he knows you’re able to understand his language or you’ll begin to notice things you didn’t before!
You can’t really go wrong using essential oils with horses as long as you stick to the guidelines (read them here). Never forget the golden rule – allow total freedom for your horse to choose and know that he knows better than you. Using plant extracts to self-medicate is an innate knowledge that animals have and we’ve forgotten. It’s natural behaviour.
I loved this work so much that I trained in equine zoopharmacognosy at the Ingraham Academy of Zoopharmacognosy (IAZ). For anybody that’s interested in learning more about the science behind animal self-medication and the pharmacology of herbal substances, IAZ run fabulous courses and workshops for horse owners.
We’ve founded Hedgewitch to make the magic of oils more accessible to horse owners. Just offering a choice of washes to your horse before washing off is a great way to start. Don’t be surprised if he choices a different wash on a different day – he knows what he wants afterall!
Part of our ethos at hedgewitch is to provide a source of information about essential oils and be transparent about what’s contained in all of our products. We believe you shouldn’t expect anything less for you and your horse.
I hope you and your horse enjoy using hedgewitch products and I look forward to hearing your feedback!
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