We are all familiar with waking up with tired, sore muscles and joints after a long day of physical labor. The thought of moving on days like this can be an exercise in will power. Now imagine how your horse might feel after an exceptionally strenuous trail ride or day of training, particularly a horse that may not be in peak condition. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple natural strategy that can help ease your horse’s discomfort without having to give them drugs or slather them with expensive linaments?
I recently had the opportunity to benefit from this very simple soothing technique while spending a very physical week digging out my fenceline from under almost a foot of topsoil that had been washed in after some heavy rain. And all of this coincided with back to back trimming of horse feet. Normally I would be stove up for several days just from doing one of my horse’s feet! I’m forever amazed how farriers can do this all day long and have great respect for what they do! I knew that I would not be able to do what I needed to do in the timeframe I had to work in if I let myself get that sore. Older bodies don’t bounce back so good. I decided to use a tip that someone in our essential oil training group shared with us. I took a lavender bath each day that I had to perform heavy physical labor. I was amazed at the results. Each morning I woke up completely comfortable and refreshed, even with my bad shoulder. And I got these results with only 4 drops of lavender essential oil added to my bathwater each day!
Pure therapeutic grade lavender essential oil is an excellent natural remedy for soothing the bodies of our horses following physical activity. But since most of us don’t have a way to submerge a 1000-pound horse in a lavender bath, you can modify this technique to be a bit more practical. Water acts as a driver for the essential oil and helps to get it down into those large muscles and into the joints. After a workout, make sure you do your normal cool down to avoid any risk of your horse tying up. Once your horse is properly cooled down, you can then hose them off so they are completely wet. In the event that you can’t hose your horse down (i.e. middle of winter, no access to hose, etc.), you can use the compress technique I discussed in this article – http://www.heavenlygaitsequinemassage.com/horse-hot-compress-sore-muscles-and-joints/. Next take a 5 gallon bucket of water and add 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil, making sure to agitate the water sufficiently to dispurse the essential oil. Take a sponge or a wash cloth and sponge your horse thoroughly from top to bottom with it.
So not only do you have a great way to naturally address your own sore muscles and joints, you can now help your horse in the same way with a safe, simple and inexpensive technique. With almost 250 drops of essential oil in a 15-ml bottle, you get 25 plus sponge baths out of a single bottle! Essenty Websites to get your own therapeutic grade lavender essential oil.
If you get the opportunity to use this technique, please let us know how it worked for you in the comment section below, or join the conversation over on the Heavenly Gaits Equine Facebook page here – http://www.facebook.com/HeavenlyGaitsEquineMassage.
The information in this article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any condition or illness. Nor is it meant replace proper veterinary care. It is meant for educational purposes only. Always consult your chosen veterinary professional before starting your horse or other animal on any therapy.
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, using essential oils for animals 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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