Essenty Websites How many times have you added some type of medicine or supplement to your horse’s feed and had them nibble around it, somehow managing to eat all their feed, but leaving every bit of the medicine – or just walking away from it all together. Horses have such a keen sense of smell. They can tell when you’ve added even the most minute amount of something they consider to be unpalatable. Next time try taking some advice from Mary Poppins – add a spoonful of sugar! Or in this case a couple of drops of Peppermint Vitality essential oil!
Obviously we don’t want to add sugar to our horses’ diets, but Peppermint Vitality essential oil is an excellent way to make anything more palatable to our horses without adding extra carbs or additional calories. It is extremely concentrated, so just a couple of drops provides a strong taste of peppermint to anything you add it to, which makes it very cost effective as well as healthy. And most horses are notoriously in love with peppermint! They are always trying to lick it off my hands when I apply it topically to areas of need during equine massage sessions.
Peppermint is also known for its benefits for supporting digestion. If you have a horse that doesn’t want to eat because of stomach upset, they sure aren’t going to want to eat feed that has yucky tasting medications or supplements added in. You can add Peppermint Vitality to your horse’s water or drop some straight into their mouths to help their digestion and get them back on their feed again.
With winter quickly moving in, another problem crops up for horses that many people don’t think about – dehydration. We usually think of dehydration being associated with hot weather. But with cold weather, horses tend to drink much less water than their bodies need to keep them hydrated. One sure fire way to help ensure they drink enough water is to add a few drops of Peppermint Vitality essential oil to a 5-gallon bucket of water instead of the traditionally used molasses, eliminating the addition of extra sugar to your horse’s diet. You can replace any of the “sweeteners” that you are currently using as “flavor enhancers” with peppermint and reduce the bulk in your barn. Whether you are going on a 100-mile endurance ride or a weekend camping trip with your horse, you can easily carry a 5-ml bottle of essential oil in your saddle bag or your pocket and not have to worry about getting that sticky molasses or honey mess all over you and your equipment.
What natural strategies have you used to “help the medicine go down” with your horse? Share them below.
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”.
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