Energy Worker Safely Uses Essential Oils for Horses
By Caryn Gehlmann
We frequently have customers who want to know if they can use essential oils on their animals. So I was thrilled to do this interview with Bill Turner who is known as, “Hands on the Horse Guy”. Bill is an energy worker who has decades of experience using essentials oils for horses. He shares fantastic advice on the do’s and don’ts when using essential oils for your horses.
Tell us about your background.
I began studying energy work in the 80s in an effort to heal myself. Throughout my thirty-plus years of training, I have brought energy to land, people, plants, animals and buildings for the purpose of increased vitality, calming, clearing of negative energy and at times, indeed, healing. I began my work with horses in 1998, and I’ve had the privilege to help many animals, including World Class Cutting Horses in California and Texas. I have also helped Barrel Racing Champions, and I am currently working with the Flying W Eventing Team in Wilson, Wyoming.
When and how were you initially introduced to essential oils?
I was initially introduced to essential oils by my sister Tracy, who who was studying at the Maui Healing Arts Institute. She showed me how effective and beneficial essential oils can be when used in a healing practice. For my own personal preference, I was particularly drawn to lavender and eucalyptus. In the early 2000s, as I started working more with horses, I met a horse breeder in Idaho who was successfully using essential oils with her horses and clients. I studied with her for more than a year, and then began investigating aromatherapy for horses intensively on my own.
Which essential oils for horses have you found to be most helpful?
I use a variety of essential oils, but these three are my go-to essential oils that I have used on horses for over 18 years with great results!
This is a well-rounded go-to essential oil for horses. It’s great for uplifting the spirits, especially after a long cold winter! It’s a good oil for cuts, wounds and skin conditions and it’s a good booster for the immune system.
(*Bergamot contains the naturally occurring furocoumarins. It should not be used on skin while in the sun because of its photosensitizing effects. Lavender makes for a good substitute.)
This is a refreshing essential oil that’s great for the horse and rider. You can use it for respiratory tract problems, for pain relief, muscle spasms, aches and sprains and helps stimulate circulation. Peppermint helps to clear the head and helps to relieve mental fatigue and nervous conditions. Do not apply directly to the nostrils!
When in doubt, use Lavender! It’s great for wound management, pain relieving qualities, is calming and soothing, and can aid in helping the body to heal itself. It’s an antidepressant, and can quickly clear the head and lift the spirits. Lavender can also help the respiratory system in dealing with asthma and bronchial problems. It’s a general system tonic and a must for every “First Aid” kit for you or your horse!
I’ve also worked with essential 3 to develop my own private label of essential oil blends for people, particularly cowboys and cowgirls. These blends have a variety of purposes including support for the immune system, respiratory support, integration between the horse and the rider, and calming the mind, body, and spirit. (If interested in these blends, please contact Bill directly at email@example.com or 541-410-3550.)
Are there any essential oils that should be avoided for horses?
Indeed there are, so you always want to do your homework before using essential oils with your horse. This list is not comprehensive but it can serve as a starting point.
Essential oils that are toxic to horses include: anise, thyme, mugwort, cinnamon leaf.
Essential oils that are hazardous to horses include: bitter almond, sage, wormseed.
Do you have any safety recommendations when using essential oils for horses?
Safety is paramount! Here are some of my safety recommendations when using essential oils with your horse:
- Take responsibility to learn about each essential oil that you’re using. I’ve found essential 3’s book, Aromatherapy Solutions, to be a great resource.
- Always dilute the essential oil if you’re going to be applying it to their skin. The only exception to this, is lavender essential oil, which can be used neat.
- Don’t use essential oils with a horse that’s new to you. First, allow them to get to know you and your scent.
- Introduce new essential oils slowly and just one at a time. Each horse, like each person, can respond differently, so pay attention to the feedback you’re getting from the animal.
- Never put essential oil on or near the horse’s nose. Their sense of smell is much stronger than humans, and this can be very overwhelming to them.
How did you connect with us here at Essential 3?
I’m originally from Southern Oregon and a few years ago while visiting a friend, I went into Essential 3’s store and met with Caryn. It was a wonderful experience and Caryn has since become my mentor on essential oils. She has the best knowledge base on aromatherapy that I’ve ever seen and it’s been a real pleasure to work with her on my own private label blends. (If you would like to contact Bill, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We really appreciate Bill’s insight on using essential oils for horses and their owners! If you’d like to read more on equine aromatherapy, check out previous posts by guest bloggers, Judy Andrews and Jill Barker. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing more tips on safe aromatherapy practices for your animals. Please join us on Facebook and be sure to bookmark our blog as one of your favorites in your browser, so you don’t miss any upcoming blog posts.