Enhancing Equine Massage With Essential Oils
Essential oils are an excellent way to enhance an equine massage session. Just a few of the benefits – may help with promote relaxation during your sessions and relieve the discomfort of sore muscles and joints – make them well worth the investment. I really LOVE lavender essential oil! I use it all the time in my horse massage practice.
A great example of just how powerful using essential oils can be happened to me recently and is worth sharing. I was attending a natural horsemanship clinic, and one of my long-time clients was going to be there. She asked me to work on her horse to see if I could help with some recurring issues. Because I have a shoulder injury, I had been unable to work on her horse in over three months. The mare had started to become painful and locked up again, with big knots in her neck and shoulder. She was also favoring her left front leg. Her equine chiropractor said she needed to start having regular massage again. Since I was unavailable to work on her, a local bodyworker was brought in who uses a different method than I do. Unfortunately they were getting very little results.
This poor horse was so extremely tense by the time I saw her on Friday, her lips were clamped tight and wrinkled up, her neck muscles were bulging, she was visibly lame at the trot and she would flinch when you reached your hand out to touch her. I immediately broke out the bottle of Lavender and let her smell it. I also put a couple of drops at her poll and rubbed several drops of it into my palms and rubbed her bad shoulder with it. As soon as I started to rub on her shoulder, she let out a HUGE breath and lowered her head like a great weight had been lifted off of her. Her head lowered and her facial expression softened.
Even though I could not perform a regular massage session on her because of my own injury, by using lavender and several other oils like marjoram and copaiba, I was able to be very effective in what work I was able to do on her. Her knots were visibly reduced within minutes. You could tell she just felt better, and after several more applications over the weekend she was traveling more comfortably. She was feeling really good by Sunday – so much so that we were afraid she would hurt herself with her antics! My client was extremely thankful and impressed with the results we got with such minimal physical involvement.
The above picture is Sapphire on Saturday morning, very much engaged and interested as soon as I brought the oils out. She loved it! Every time she would see me break out with the oils, she would come over and check them out. She was VERY particular too about which ones she wanted me to use. She was extremely interested in the marjoram, which I used repeatedly on her neck, shoulder and lumbar throughout the weekend. So basically she chose which oils we used, and they were always something that directly correlated with a problem she was having. Marjoram is an excellent oil to help ease muscle soreness, so is a great addition to a massage blend along with lavender.
Sapphire getting ready to trek the ravines at the horsemanship clinic on Sunday morning
And did I mention that I also use lavender multiple times a day for my own shoulder? It works great and keeps me from having to give up what I love doing! Share your essential oil success story below, we want to know how you are using essential oils to help improve your horse's performance.
If you'd like to learn how to incorporate essential oils into your home, barn or equine business, start here!
Lisa Carter is a Certified Equine Massage Therapist (CEMT), with multiple certifications from several different equine bodywork schools. She incorporates her knowledge and experience with Parelli Natural Horsemanship, equine bodywork and as a veterinary technician to provide her clients with the resources they need to make informed decisions for their horses. She encourages and facilitates network building between equine health care professionals, working together to find the best combination of therapies to meet the needs of the "whole horse".
Are you ready to get better results with your horse? Put your equine health care team to work so you and your horse can be doing what you were meant to. Click here to get started!
Just took the Young Living RainDrop Therapy course. I am also an Equine Massage Thearapist. Thank you for sharing your story. Gonna go try this on my horse today 🙂
Let me know how it works for you Nicole!
Thank you! I am looking into helping a horse, we have him for close to a week on a trial period. He is having a very visible twist in his hind (hocks and fetlocks probably more that's not visible) we are getting a DVM eval to help us decide to purchase him for a pleasure horse (with some 2 or more hour long hauls). He is really swee!t We've only had him here for three and a half days and I've sat on him, backwards while my husband held his lead, and worked on his back. Besides being a bit cow-hocked in the hind, and way too long of toes in the front with one hoof being extra long and a horrid low angle he is doin very well, he is shod and is overreaching sometimes, but not sererely. Any input you can give about the massage benefitd and the essentiential oils will be welcom. Too bad his original owners did not realize if can help to take a hair more off the outside of a young horse that is toed out every two weeks!! A gelding destined for extreme problems can end up a very comfortable pleasure horse. Thank you for sharing!! ~Teri
Hi Teri. That’s very smart to get a solid evaluation by a veterinarian before you decide to purchase. Sometimes there are things going on that we just cannot see with the naked eye that would limite even use as a pleasure horse. The uneven hoof growth and the cow-hocked stance can be symptoms of more severe things going on or in the process of developing. If you haven’t already gotten it, my free report “3 Steps To Evaluating Your Horse For Potential Problems” is a good tool to looking at a horse critically. Obviously I cannot offer specifics as to what kinds of things might help this horse since I haven’t seen him and no nothing about any underlying issues that may be going on. But both my bodywork and essential oil eBooks have tons of information and exercises on helping your horse once you get a better idea of what his issues might be. You can get that bundled on sale here – http://www.heavenlygaitsequinemassage.com/buy-natural-horse-products/equine-bodywork-videos-dvds-ebooks/
I hope your evaluation goes well and you get good news. It sounds like this guy needs your tender loving touch 🙂
I use essential oils for family and pets. I do have a question about our horse. I have been trying several oils on our horse using them about a week at a time to see what works. I am struggling. We have a mare (Morgan), 14years old. No physical problems (Knock wood), but she always seems down. She isn't sore, has GREAT feet, 100% dependable, but she needs uplifting spirit. I have tried some blends, but what do you reccommend? My daughter competes with her, but there is a spark missing. Trying to keep this brief as I could since I could go on. Thank you so much!
Some horses just simply have a low spirit level and tend to innatIely be very introverted. Can it be that this just may be her nature? Ruling out any physical issues and radical change in behavior (I’m assuming this behavior isn’t a new thing?), you may want to look at the way you are engaging with her. Horses with a low spirit level can often come out of their shell and become more lively when we present things in a slightly different way. If you aren’t already familiar with the Parelli Horseanality Chart, I would suggest that as a starting place. Can you elaborate a little bit more on what’s been going on, her breed, age, what type of discipline are you using her in, how long have you had her, etc. Please feel free to contact me directly using the Contact form on my website.
Hi there. I am a equine massage therapist in Alberta Canada. I am also a advanced Reiki practitioner and use both of these modalities in my sessions with horses. I would love to include the oils. I use them for myself all the time. Can you suggest some reading material? Or is it not that much different to how we would use the oils on ourselves? Thanks in advance.
The applications are very similar as to human. The only difference would be how much you would use. Animals are much more sensitive. I'm going to be doing a Barn Essential Oils 101 class every month on Facebook. And you can find lots of reference material at http://www.abundanthealth4u.com or http://www.discoverlsp.com.
Hope that helps 🙂
Very helpful! Thank you!