Any one who has ever owned a horse can testify that they are very sensitive creatures and also prone to a number of ailments. Most horse owners have probably had reason to use conventional medicine, but have you ever thought about discussing aromatherapy for horses with your vet?
Aromatherapy is an ancient art and is based on the use of essential oils extracted from plants to help heal and treat health problems. If you are going to use aromatherapy on your own horse it is always wise to consult your vet to make sure the oils don’t interact with any other treatment.
As previously mentioned horses are very sensitive creatures and have been shown to have good responses to aromatherapy when used to treat simple illnesses. It is also shown to be beneficial in some behavioural problems that horses display such as weaving and box walking, depression, anxiety, nervousness and hyperactivity.
Essential oils can be used on the skin as well as applied to surfaces that a horse can smell such as rugs, in the stall and tack. Never use the oils undiluted, they should be mixed with a base oil such as sweet almond oil, olive oil etc. Never use on broken skin and always do a small patch test to check for allergies. Aromatherapy for horses can sometimes help with problems and are worth looking into. Please familiarise yourself with essential oils as not all oils are safe for animals.
Horses are known to be able to choose the oils that are going to be beneficial to them. If you place some on your palm and allow your horse to smell it and he turns away, the chances are that the oil will not be beneficial to him. Some of the common ailments that aromatherapy can help are sweet itch, respiratory problems and mud fever, just to name a few.
Each horse will respond in a different way to oils depending on their personality so when trying to treat behavioural problems it is best to consult an expert in conjunction with your vet.