Today I will be discussing the use of Essential Oils and how it applies to use with horses; we will explore some of their histories, how you may have been misled by some information on their safe use, and even on how they work.
Essential Oils themselves have been around for hundreds of years and in today’s world more and more people are turning to their use for use on themselves and their animals and specifically the horse.
The use of these various oils within the equine industry has a somewhat limited historic time frame since it has only been started to be accepted within the last few years. It has been the acceptance of the use of Essential Oils that have allowed many new advances within specific equine-based protocols. We have been using our own proprietary Essential Oil Blends for over three years and have given us a better understanding of what to look for as well as how to relate to a specific need of your horse.
Getting back to the background of Essential Oils; each oil contains hundreds of compounds that have been found useful in many different ways to aid in specific problems. People have asked, “What will a certain Essential Oil do?”; well, the correct question should be “What do you want the Essential Oil to do?”. The truth of the matter is that an Essential Oil can and often does react differently for each individual or animal that it is introduced to. It is at this point that you must learn to trust your, or your animal’s, body’s reaction to the oil that is being presented. The important point to realize is that each individual oil is a mixture of compounds and that same oil is never a single organic compound. Remember, there is an old saying “The nose knows”.
So now that we have somewhat covered the way that people and animals respond to the use of these oils let’s look at how they actually work. As we now know, Essential Oils are compiled of many different compounds in a single oil and our bodies, as well as our animals, have comparative compounds that allow them to interact with the seven major organ systems, such as; the lymphatic system, the nervous system, the digestive system, and so on. What this reverts back to is analyzing the root of the problem and seeing what can be done to correct it; and not focusing on the symptom of the problem itself. If you are to focus on taking care of just one symptom will never take care of the root of the problem; the only results you will receive are additional symptoms. Essential Oils are known to be able to treat both the physical side and the emotional side of any problem that arises.
We continually stress that when working with horses and introducing them to the use of Essential Oils it always needs to be done through the use of “Aromatherapy” rather than any other method. We follow this path due to the fact that there are some Essential Oils that are not to be digested and it is always better to be overly cautious and not create a problem. The second reason that we stress this method is that many oils in their full strength can harm a horse’ skin since their skin is more sensitive than human skin. Horses, to safely use an Essential Oil that is applied topically need the oil to be diluted to only 2.5% factor of containing the actual oil or blend of oils; that is to say, that a “carrier” oil needs to be 97.5%. The Proprietary Essential Oil Blends that we use are diluted to the 2.5% ration and are safe to use topically as well as through the use of aromatherapy.