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
,” 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!


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


  • 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!


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

9 Ways Red Light Therapy Improves Healing

9 Ways Red Light Therapy Improves Healing


  1. Red Light Therapy has been shown to reduces pain by increasing production of endorphins – a natural painkiller.
  2. Reduces inflammation by suppressing enzymes that create swelling, redness, and pain.
  3. Boosts the release of anti-inflammatory enzymes to reduce swelling quickly.
  4. Increases cellular regeneration and healing by stimulating the mitochondria within the cell. This increases the production of ATP which causes damaged cells to accept nutrients and eliminate toxins faster.
  5. Increases lymphatic drainage and circulation.
  6. Relaxes tight muscles and quickly releases muscle cramps.
  7. Strengthens anti-viral properties by increasing antibody production in the bloodstream.
  8. Improves the structure of tendons, bones, skin, teeth, and cartilage by increasing Collagen production.
  9. Stimulates a strong heartbeat by regulating serotonin levels. Serotonin helps to regulate inflammation and allergic reactions and plays an important role in blood clotting, stimulating a strong heartbeat, initiating sleep, and fighting depression. It also stimulates the smooth muscle in the intestinal wall helping it to contract.


Red Light Therapy Infographic

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) “Pore You” by Ava Shamban, MD.