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!