Four Recipes For Using Essential Oils On Horses

Four Recipes For Using Essential Oils On Horses

Essential oil use has been around for centuries, starting as far back as Biblical times, and gaining popularity as a non-toxic, natural option to further support wellness in our horses and animals. Derived only from plants and frequently manufactured by distillation to extract oils, these powerful components are being studied by universities to understand better the properties and how we can use them in the barn, on ourselves and families. This article will show you several easy ways to mix and use essential oils for your favorite equines for natural pain relief, itch relief, coat conditioner, and tame anxiety.

 

Not listed in the recipes below is NingXia Red, an incredible immunity booster and energy booster. I love it to replenish a horse’s energy levels after a big competition and trailering. NingXia Red is a superfood, rather than an essential oil, but can be used as part of a larger wellness program to support cellular function and whole-body health. If your horses are in demanding performance sports, I encourage you to try this. (Check your rulebook to avoid any surprises.)


Best Essential Oils for Your Horse’s Pain Relief
Lavender 
– You’ve likely used lavender already, as it is a highly popular and proven ingredient for pain and stress relief. 
See my other articles that recommend lavender for additional uses.

Clove – Because of the high proportions of eugenol in clove oil, this is an arthritis relief option that supports joint function and healthy inflammatory responses. As clove can be irritating at full strength, I suggest using it diluted ina carrier oil or spray-on form. Combined with peppermint or wintergreen oil, you have a fantastic warming/cooling option for tired muscles or leg bracer after hard work or show day. Add it to a spray bottle and apply it directly to the legs. As this will not evaporate quickly, do not add a standing wrap over the top.

Wintergreen – Is another excellent all-purpose natural oil historically used for arthritis and tendonitis relief. Wintergreen’s primary component is methyl salicylate, which, when metabolized, produces salicylic acid. Aspirin has the same active element when metabolized. Use caution when giving orally over long periods, especially if the horse is already on a bute regimen.

Copaiba – You can find Copaiba in the medical records back in the 1400s. High in beta-caryophyllene, copaiba has been studied and has shown positive results when used for pain reduction for many issues. Still available across Brazil commonly in the local pharmacy. 


Pain Relief for Horses – Recipe

To mix this yourself for the barn, take a small spray bottle and add the following ingredients:

  • 6 drops lavender oil
  • 6 drops wintergreen OR peppermint oil
  • 1 capful of Thieves (contains clove oil) 
  • 6 drops of Panaway
  • Optional – 3 drops of copaiba or oregano oil
  • Add enough witch hazel, distilled water or apple cider vinegar to fill the container. 

Shake gently and spray on muscles or legs. 


Using Essential Oils for Itch Relief in Horses 

Itching is always a big issue in a barn, whether you have one horse or several. Changing seasons, shedding, flies, and other stinging insects or very dry weather can do damage to manes and tails as well as creating uncomfortable horses and negative behaviors.

I love to mix up the following essential oil recipe to create fast, natural, and great smelling itch relief for our herd. It’s also a great coat conditioner that produces loads of shine.


Frankencense – maintains radiant skin when used topically; this oil has 6 known key constituents and a woodsy, fresh smell.

Lavender oil – Yes, here as well for calming minor irritations

Melrose™ – (Melaleuca alternifolia, Rosemary, and Clove) – This blend is a cleanser for healthy skin.

Tea Tree oil – Known for helping to get rid of damaging skin bacteria on the surface and virus control for warts.  Tea Tree oil has ten known constituents with powerful properties.


Essential Oil Itch Relief for Horses – Recipe

Combine in a spray bottle to apply directly to your horse’s coat. Rub in well with a soft cloth.

  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 10 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • 10 drops of Melrose
  • 10 drops of Frankincense oil

Add 2 Tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil. Add distilled water to fill the sprayer.

Essential Oils for Horse Coat Conditioners

You can try the above recipe or mix up this one, depending on the season. This version is especially great for manes and tails. I keep a version of this handy year-round for our horses for faster fairy knot removal and for tail rubbing. This is an easy recipe if you are newer to using essential oils on your horses as all of the elements are likely familiar.

 

Horse Coat Conditioner Essential Oil Recipe

  • Glass or plastic spray bottle
  • 1 part vegetable glycerine (can use less if you want a smoother finish)
  • 3 parts distilled water
  • 15 drops Lavender oil
  • 10 drops of Cedarwood oil
  • 5 drops of Orange oil
  • 5 drops of Rosemary oil

Mix gently and apply directly to manes and tails. Keep in a warm space during colder weather.


Reducing Stress Using Essential Oils in Horses

Last but not least, we look at using essential oils on our horses to eliminate anxiety and stress from training, showing, sales, or moving barns. We create all kinds of stressful situations unintentionally for our horses, so giving them a way to calm naturally is a kindness. 

Applying essential oils is a different process for stress. In this case, you want to add them in slowly and before the horse gets stressed. We do not want the horse to associate the smell with the negative situation. Applying a few drops in your hands and offering them to smell first while watching the animal’s reaction. Remember, these are powerful, and his sense of smell is much more sensitive than yours. When you offer up the oils, you ideally want to see licking, sighing, closing of the eyes or dropping of the head and neck to indicate relaxation. Use before your event so that the horse learns to associate the oil with being highly relaxed, and then use after the competition to come down.

Frankincense – comes from distilling the resin of the boswellia carteri tree.

Chamomile – gives the body support with anxiety, anger, or nervousness. I like to apply it directly to the poll.

Bergamot – is terrific for this purpose but use carefully on pink skin as it has a photosensitive property. Super when combined with lavender to give highly relaxing results.

Valerian – comes from the Valerian root itself and offers a reconnection and grounding support. Fabulous when applied to the coronary bands and cannon bone areas.

I’ve given you so much to try with your horses in this article, and I’d love to hear how it’s going! If you have any questions on how to get started or have questions about your first pass, please let me know how to help you on your journey!

xo, Mollie

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Creating Easy Essential Oil Tick Repellent for Dogs

Creating Easy Essential Oil Tick Repellent for Dogs

If you live in North America, you know how important it is to address tick-borne diseases for our pets, our families and ourselves. With all of the commercial and toxic ways to control and prevent tick bites on both our two and four-legged family members, this article looks at the data around efficacy, how to apply it, which oils to use and a recipe to create repellent and have it ready.

Proven efficacy – Essential oil tick repellent for dogs

Unlike DEET-based repellents, Therapeutic grade essential oils like Young Living are not Toxic to our dog friends. Also, they will not melt plastic raincoats or tent materials when applied directly, so are a better option for camping and hiking gear. If your dog is going to be wet because of weather or tall grass, you may need to reapply more frequently, so be sure to pack it along.

How to apply essential oils to your dog

The application of essential oils is pretty straightforward. Remember to test in a small area first to be sure your dog is comfortable with the smell and can move away from you if needed. Some canines have sensitive skin, so I do recommend test patching first before using all over the legs and belly. Spray Bottle application, Apply straight oils to your own hands and rub over your dog’s hair, or I also love to add several drops on my dog’s leather or absorbent collar.  When mixing, always dilute with a carrier oil or witch hazel for easier application and coverage. You can store the mix in a small spray bottle to keep it handy or attach a ring or carabiner to keep it with you while you are hiking.

Which oils to select for tick repellants

Eucalyptus (Globulus, Lemon Myrtle, Myrtle, Australian Euricifolia)
Aside from smelling amazing, this oil is best paired with citronella essential oil for pets. Always dilute with a carrier oil such as grapeseed first before applying to your dog.

Kunzea
Lovingly called the tick bush from those native to New Zealand & Australia. I love including this oil to repel ticks and bug repellents. 

Lavender
Lavender is safe to use on infants as well as dogs and cats and has proven to be effective in preventing tick eggs from hatching. Dilute it with a carrier oil and use it directly on your skin, clothing and gear.

Lemongrass
This essential oil has long been considered to have natural tick repellent properties and is popular in skin and hair products. Be sure to dilute lemongrass oil in a carrier before applying. It can be a spicier oil for some. 

Lemon
Great for a pet bed refresher or on carpets! Lemon is not recommended to use directly on your dog or cat as it can be photo-sensitive. To use lemon oil, dilute in a spray bottle.

Cedarwood
Another oil that is toxic to ticks, Cedarwood makes a great addition to a repellant. Cedarwood’s powerful natural components deal out “death by dehydration, neutralization of bodily fluids, encapsulation and/or emulsification of bodily fats, prevention of breathing, pheromonal interference that interrupts processes necessary to metabolism, movement, reproduction and feeding, and dissolving insect larvae,” according to Marian Grande. It’s a clear winner in the battle against ticks. 

Please do not apply oils directly to an imbedded tick, as it can cause them to release their venom into the animal.  Remove the tick and then treat the wound. I like using Thieves and Frankincense for this situation. 

Create your own easy tick repellant

To start experimenting with preventing the ticks in your surrounding area, I recommend starting with this mix.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water or witch hazel or aloe juice
  • 2 tsp carrier oil – V6, olive, or fractionated coconut oil 
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil

Directions:
1. Fill your spray bottle with 1 cup of water. If you are using a smaller bottle, just cut your amounts in half.
2. Add the essential oils, put the top on the bottle and shake.


Have user questions or want to order your tick repellant oils today? Contact Mollie!

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Essential Oils: Proving Treatment for Hot Spots on Dogs

Treating hot spots on dogs has always been tricky to do as there are multiple causes of skin irritation and itching. Just ruling out the initial cause of the irritation can take time. Dermatitis is often presented as an allergy to the dog’s environmental surroundings or diet and is usually treated with elimination diets, topical therapies, or anti-inflammatories. It can be difficult and time consuming to treat, as well as uncomfortable for the dog. Fortunately, help is on the horizon.


With the overuse of antibiotics to treat bacteria, many people are looking for safer alternatives for their pets and families. Researchers are also looking closely at antibiotic alternatives for effectiveness and finding some hopeful data in the process. Recently, university testing has found that essential oils can be useful in improving canine skin without adverse reactions.


An interesting three-clinic study from 2014 in The Veterinary Journal trialed a combination of oral polyunsaturated fatty acids and an applied essential oil for atopic dermatitis on a range of different breeds, ages, and gendered dogs. Clinics in the UK, USA, and Germany worked together and found a measurable improvement with the test group using neem oil, rosemary extract, lavender oil, clove oil, tea tree oil, oregano, peppermint oil, and cedar bark extract with linoleum acid and vitamin E. The full details of the study may be read here on Science Direct.


Another peer-reviewed study published in the Microorganisms Journal, February 2020, issue 2, “Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils against Staphylococcus and Malassezia Strains Isolated from Canine Dermatitis,” looks at the effectiveness of essential oils on canine dermatitis. Nine essential oils were reviewed, and the findings were promising when used for mixed infections. This particular study is available to read in detail here.


How to safely use essential oils for your dog


Because essential oils are taken directly from raw plants and distilled carefully to create a highly concentrated liquid, it’s important to know which ones should be diluted or diffused rather than used at full strength. Keep in mind that these oils should only be “therapeutic grade” oils from a reputable company, such as Young Living. Using oils to support good health means observing your pet for any adverse reactions, starting with a small amount. One single drop of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, such as grapeseed, almond, apricot kernel or coconut oil is typically enough. If your dog is not happy about the oil smell, allow them an escape route away from you. Use them for two weeks and then evaluate any changes in your dog’s behavior or skin. If no changes are present in the first few days, you may want to change the approach. Using a modality like essential oils allows us to be very individual in our approach. So if something is not showing results pretty quickly, it’s time to pivot! Reach out, I’d love to help!

Here are some essential oils to try for your dog’s skin allergies or dermatitis:


Lavender – Calming, comforting, soothing to the skin. An easy go-to. 

Frankincense – Its healing properties have been cherished for thousands of years. Use topically or internally. 

Purification – Great applied topically to those troublesome ears of pets who love to swim! Diffuse to help with that pet smell!! 

Peppermint – Great to help sooth the itch, relieve sore muscle, deters flies. 

Oregano – Great immune support for allergy sufferers. I prefer this given internally, for example, a drop in a veggie cap wrapped in cream cheese.


How much oil do I need?

Working with someone who has experience in selecting and using these powerful healing elements can be helpful. Every animal is an individual and it is nice to customize. Some respond to one drop and other applications may take several drops with repetition. If you are just starting out it’s a good idea to use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil so the body has more time to process it. If you feel you’ve used too much add more carrier oil, not water, water actually invigorates the essential oils. 


For help with selecting an appropriate essential oil and its proper use for your dog, contact Mollie.

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

hot spots in dogs
Essential Oils for Horses

Essential Oils for Horses

Proven to Provide Support

In recent years, peer-reviewed veterinary studies have frequently been appearing regarding the
use of essential oils and their use on the equine population, which is very exciting! Aromatherapy
and oils for reducing stress, increasing focus and decreasing pain are being critically reviewed to
understand the benefits for horses. This article explores some recent studies and suggestions on
how to begin using the natural healing of essential oils to benefit your horses.

Specific Oils Proven to Work for Horses
In the study, “Effect of Aromatherapy on Equine Heart Rate Variability,” researchers tested
lavender and chamomile to decrease heart rate in eight dressage horses. The group used a control
of humidified air. Dressage horses are sensitive to environmental changes and can be affected
during competition. During the test, heart rate variability was recorded before, during and after
each lavender treatment and then again 30 minutes afterward. Camomile was tested using the
same process. The researchers found that lavender has a measurable parasympathetic change and
reduced heart rate variability immediately after treatment. Chamomile use does not offer any
measured improvement. The result of the study does indicate that lavender is a proven calming
agent for horses. Download the full article from Science Direct.

A Spanish study, “Essential Oils in the Control of Infections by Staphylococcus xylosus in
Horses
,” 2014, tested nine essential oils (cinnamon, palmarosa, two types of cloves, naiouli,
peppermint, oregano, rosemary, and sauce thyme) to look at the antimicrobial effect
against Staphylocccus xylosus isolates. The S. xylosus bacteria is associated with kidney
inflammation (UTIs) in humans and is typically treated with a round of antibiotics. Aside from
rosemary, all of the other essential oils showed antimicrobial activity against 27 isolates of the
bacteria. This study showed high potential in using sauce thyme and oregano in controlling this
infection in horses. The study may be reviewed here in more detail.

In 2018, a larger study on plant extracts in horse feed reviewed existing reports looking at
potential use in commercial feeds. A wide range of herbs and plants from ginger, licorice, to Aloe
vera have antioxidative properties. While the review found that extracts in diets may provide
benefits for stress-related and therapeutic benefits, more research is required to define the correct
dosage, timeframe and type of plant or extract for commercial and safe versions.

Which Oils to Use

If you want to experiment with some practical, natural and safe options,

Young Living Essential Oils are created to be used in the barn with a diffuser or topically to boost regular veterinary care and proper nutrition. The Young Living team and Pat & Linda Parelli have spent time researching how horses react to essential oils and the most effective way to use them. Young Living has a board of veterinarians who oversee animal product development.

Basic Barn Kit for Horses

If you are new to using natural choices for your horses’ health, an essential (and free!) guide with recipes can be requested easily here. Learn to create safe and natural coat conditioner, mane and tail detangler, non-toxic fly sprays, and seasonal transition support recipes for your herd.

Keep essential oils on hand for daily use. Here are some of Mollie’s go-to favorites that you can try!

Lavender

  • promotes general relaxation, use on minor cuts
  • reduces the tension of loading and trailering

Valor

  • balances energies
  • helps horses with unbalanced riders
  • great support for the spine

Peppermint & Peppermint Vitality

  • add to water in the summer to encourage drinking and cooling effects
  • use diluted in water for a cooling sponge bath after riding
  • great boost for fly spray

Thieves Household Cleaner

  • treatment for rain rot and scratches
  • boost your fly spray by adding to the mix
  • abscess soak solution 
  • non-toxic stall and bucket cleaner at shows or between horses

Where to Buy Quality Essential Oils

Need to purchase your essential starter kit or refresh your oil supply? >> Click here

Want to know more about how to use oils? Sign up for Mollie’s Free Oils Mini Course using the popup at the bottom of this page!

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Using Essential Oils On Your Feet

Using Essential Oils On Your Feet

We talk OFTEN about using essential oils on your feet. The skin is thicker there and even with “hot” oils, there rarely is any sensitivity so it’s a great place to “try an oil out”.

Well, apparently every time we start teaching something, the aromatherapy world decides we MUST be wrong. Ugh…. this is gettin’ old! So, if you’ve seen any debate recently online about how it’s “worthless to apply oils to the bottom of your feet because they have no hair follicles,” read on.

Question: I read that the whole oils absorb on your feet because of the large pores is bunk. That sweat glands don’t absorb the oils and thus its a waste. Is that true?

Yes, you should apply essential oils on your feet, but not because they have the largest pores. Yes, we have large pores on our feet, but pores do not actually absorb anything. Pores are present in our skin to let substances out. The skin has two types of pores – hair follicles housing oil (sebaceous) glands to lubricate the skin and sweat pores serving as the ducts for sweat glands (1). The feet do not have hair follicles, so they do not produce sebum, which essentially acts as a barrier. Feet have a concentrated amount of sweat glands, but again, those act as an EXIT for the body, not an entrance.

From the book, Clinical Aromatherapy by Jane Buckle, studies at Columbia found that diluted essential oils rubbed on the feet affected some volunteers’ autonomic nervous system within minutes, but I’ve also read that after a massage, the chemical constituents of Lavender Essential Oil were found in the blood of a male within 15-20 minutes. My humble conclusion is that it doesn’t matter where we put the oils on our skin – they will be absorbed pretty quickly either way. I did find that areas of the body that are plentiful in sweat glands, sebaceous glands and hair follicles (i.e. scalp, face) are great locations for absorption (2). You can find some of the benefits of applying essential oils on your feet below.

There are a few reasons that putting essential oils on your feet IS a good idea:

  • Oils can easily be applied to the feet and covered with socks if you don’t like the smell of the oil.
  • The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are less sensitive than other areas of the body, so most people will not have a skin reaction with the application of a neat oil (without being diluted).
  • Essential oils do not actually need an opening or incision in the skin to be absorbed. They are lipophilic (fat-soluble) (2), so they “mix” well with our skin and have a greater tendency for transdermal (through the skin) absorption.
  • Essential oils are made up of small enough molecules to penetrate our cells, so one could conclude that they are small enough to penetrate our skin without an opening such as a pore.

 

From Lindsey Elmore: You don’t need an opening in the skin because the oils are lipid soluble and thus will absorb through the skin, not just openings.

(1) Everydayhealth.com “Pore You” by Ava Shamban, MD.
2) http://ndnr.com/mind…/dermal-absorption-of-essential-oils/