Essential oils are made from taking a plant/flower/bark/herb and distilling that plant down to make a tiny bottle of essential oil. For example; a 10ml bottle of essential oil could have derived from 20kg of plant matter so this is very strong stuff!
Horses are amazing at choosing their own remedies so if you let your horse smell the oils, they might just prefer one over the others and help you decide how to treat them!
Essential oils can be used internally and externally but must be diluted with a carrier oil. Do not add to water as the oil won't mix and could cause irritation.
For external use:
Dilute the essential oil by adding about 5 drops to 100 ml of carrier oil (almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, vegetable oil and coconut oil can all be used as a carrier).
You can then massage this into your horse's body or face using circular motions. We fine it's best to mix up the oils in an old, washed out soap dispenser so that you can pump the solution straight into your hand.
For internal use:
Mix about five drops of essential oil into a litre bottle of carrier oil (this needs to be edible for horses, sunflower, corn, rapeseed and flaxseed oil are some of the most popular) and add a small glug into your horse's feed. The oil is great for their coats and the essential oil gets to do its bit without being too strong.
For respiratory/breathing relief: