Using Essential Oils for Horses: Aromatherapy Tips
As horse owners, we are always on the lookout for natural and effective ways to support our horses' health and well-being. Essential oils offer a holistic approach to caring for your horse, providing a range of benefits from calming anxious behaviors to promoting physical health. In this blog, we’ll explore how to use essential oils for horses, the benefits they offer, and the best essential oils to incorporate into your equine care routine.

Use of Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that capture the natural scents and beneficial properties of their source. When using essential oils for horses, it’s important to understand their potency and how to apply them safely. There are various methods to use essential oils, including inhaling, topical application, and as a supplement.


Inhalation is one of the easiest ways to use essential oils for the well-being of your horse. This method simply involves allowing your horse to breathe in the aroma. Some simple ways to use this method are:
  • Wear the essential oil as perfume and become a walking diffuser for your horse. (You can read more about that on my dedicated blog HERE)
  • Offer the bottle for your horse to smell.
  • Apply a drop in your palm, rub your hands together, and offer for your horse to smell.
  • Use a spray and mist the area around your horse. To learn how to make a spray, step by step, click HERE!
This approach is a safe and effective way to start using essential oils. You can take a look at your horses needs and pick an essential oil to use. Inhalation can have significant benefits for horses without the risk of adverse reactions or adverse effects, ensuring a safe experience.

Topical Application

Topical application involves applying essential oils directly to your horse’s skin, providing targeted support for various issues. Best practice is to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to prevent skin irritation or allergic reaction. Essential oils are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way, oftentimes only a few drops are needed. Diluting essential oils helps use a minimal amount of oil over a large area. 

Not sure what a carrier oil is? Click HERE.

Essential oils also may help in addressing skin problems as they have been studied for their antimicrobial properties making topical application a versatile and effective method.

As a Supplement

The first question I often get asked is, "Is it safe to use essential oils as a supplement?" Yes! It can be safe and beneficial, but quality is crucial—not all essential oils are created equally. Essential oils and their constituents have been studied for their antioxidant properties, which in turn have been researched for their ability to support the immune system and overall health. If you use pure essential oils, labeled for use as a supplement, you have the potential to enhance your horse's well-being. 

Some of my favorite ways to use essential oils orally include adding them to homemade horse cookies (for one of my favorite recipes, click HERE), incorporating oils that support healthy digestion into daily feed routines, and using oils during travel to provide immune system support. These methods are practical and effective for integrating essential oils into your horse's daily care regimen.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils offer numerous benefits for horses, enhancing their overall well-being and environment. Oils like lavender can help reduce tension, making them ideal for an anxious horse. Tea tree oil, known for its wellness properties, can aid in addressing skin problems. Essential oils like peppermint can support respiratory health and soothe tired muscles, providing relief from muscle and joint discomfort. They can also support a healthy immune system.

Additionally, essential oils can replace many toxic chemical barn products on the market today. Start reading your labels and google 'the dangers of' the ingredients you can't pronounce. If it says hazardous to animals and the environment, requires gloves, or needs a well-ventilated area, these are clear warning signs to avoid these products. Essential oils offer a natural, toxin-free alternative, promoting a healthier barn environment.

For two of my favorite and easy horse DIY recipes, a hoof spray and mane detangler, click HERE.

Most Used Essential Oils at My Barn

While there are many essential oils available, here are the ones I use most frequently at my barn:
  • Lavender Oil: Known for its calming properties, lavender oil is excellent for reducing tension and promoting relaxation in horses. Click HERE to read more about Lavender.
  • Peppermint Oil: Great for respiratory support and soothing tired muscles, peppermint oil is a versatile choice for overall well-being. For 10 easy easy ways you can use Peppermint oil, click HERE.
  • Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia): With powerful cleansing properties, tea tree oil is ideal for supporting healthy skin and hooves. Another question I get asked a lot is "Is Tea Tree essential oil safe? So much so that I have a dedicated blog on it, click HERE.
  • Eucalyptus Oil: This oil supports healthy breathing, making it a staple in my barn. Read more, HERE!
  • Copaiba: Studied for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, copaiba is a valuable addition. It also happens to be one of my favorite 'mild' essential oils for dogs too. Discover easy ways you can use copaiba for your horse and dog, by clicking HERE.
  • Roman Chamomile Oil: Renowned for its soothing and calming effects, Roman chamomile oil is excellent to support calming horses. This happens to be my horse, Rolex's favorite essential oil. I simply take the lid off and hold the bottle when he gets his hooves trimmed or has a vet visit. I also wear it as a perfume during trail rides. Dive into Roman Chamomile HERE.
  • Rosemary Oil: Rosemary oil is a favorite for mane and tail recipes, and supporting healthy skin and coat. For 5 benefits of Rosemary oil, click HERE.
  • Frankincense Oil: May contain antioxidants that support overall health and wellness. It's also a very balancing and grounding oil, so much so, that I always have it in my pocket at a horse show. Read more about that HERE.
  • Vetiver: This oil is known for its grounding and calming properties, making it perfect for reducing tension. For some of my best recipes using Vetiver, click HERE.
  • Wintergreen: Excellent for tired muscles and joint discomfort, wintergreen oil is a powerful addition to any equine care routine.
  • Lemon: Useful for all things cleaning and a good oil to grab if some extra focus and attention is needed-human or equine! Try inhaling lemon the next time you are memorizing your jumping round or obstacle course at future horse shows. Lemon is also a favorite of mine for what I call 'A Healthy Home'. Find out why, by clicking HERE.

Incorporating Essential Oils into Your Horse's Routine

To incorporate essential oils into your horse's routine, you can use them to change your horse’s state of mind or create various blends and applications tailored to your horse's needs:

  • As a Calming Agent: Try offering lavender essential oil or Roman chamomile to your horse the next time a situation would benefit from some relaxing vibes. Add a few drops to a cotton ball or wooden clothespin and stash in your trailer for the next outing. Hold the bottle in your hand during the next farrier or vet visit. Consider adding vetiver for additional grounding and balancing properties. If your horse could benefit from increased relaxation, click HERE to read my blog dedicated to using essential oils for calming horses. 
  • Skin Support: Combine tea tree oil with coconut oil to create a soothing balm for minor skin irritations. You could also use this balm as a hoof moisturizer, or even a deep conditioner for the mane and tail. If your horse could use some skin support, click HERE for my dedicated blog.
  • Muscle Rub: Make a massage blend by mixing peppermint oil with coconut oil for a refreshing rub that soothes tired muscles. After hard work or exercise, gently massage the affected area in a circular motion to help with muscle tension. Wintergreen and copaiba are also great choices. Since I've been a massage therapist for over 20 years, this is a go to way I use essential oils and I wrote a blog about how you can get even more benefits from your horses next massage by adding essential oils, click HERE to read more.
  • Homemade Fly Spray: Easily make your own fly spray by combining essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, and rosemary with distilled water and an emulsifier like apple cider vinegar or vodka. This natural alternative to chemical fly sprays can help protect your horse from pests without exposing them to harmful toxins. For my dedicated blog and favorite fly spray recipes, click HERE.
  • Immune System Support: Create a blend using copaiba oil and frankincense oil, diluted in a carrier oil, to support your horse's immune system. Apply this blend topically along the spine or chest.
  • Respiratory Health: For respiratory support, consider using eucalyptus or peppermint oil. 
  • Joint Health: A massage blend with copaiba, wintergreen, or peppermint oil can help support healthy joints. Combine the essential oil with a carrier oil and massage into your horse's legs and joints to support their physical health and recovery after exercise. For more ways to support your horses joints, click HERE.
Equine aromatherapy proves to be a powerful tool harnessing the essence of plants for the benefit of our horses' emotional balance and well-being. Various essential oils have demonstrated their ability to provide holistic support to traditional medicine. By understanding the properties and benefits of different essential oils, we can effectively integrate aromatherapy into our daily routines, striving toward our goal of a deeper bond and positive relationship with our horse.

Ready to dive in and easily make essential oils a part of your daily routine with your horse? Join my course, The Oily Horse, and discover how these natural remedies can transform your horse's well-being and enhance your partnership. Learn in depth practical methods to integrate essential oils into your daily care regimen. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned user, The Oily Horse offers valuable insights and hands-on techniques to help you harness the power of aromatherapy for your horse. Take the next step toward a deeper connection and holistic care—enroll today and take positive steps to further your relationship with your horse.

I invite you to experience the benefits of high-quality, pure essential oils from my trusted company, Young Living™ Essential Oils. Renowned for its Seed to Seal™ commitment, Young Living™ ensures unparalleled purity, quality, and cutting-edge research. They offer a dedicated product line of essential oils labeled safe for ingestion, providing peace of mind, and which you can check out HERE. I've personally visited several of their farms, where I've helped plant, harvest, and distill—this transparency assures me of the quality of every essential oil and that I'm buying the best products for my family. Click HERE to explore Young Living™ Essential Oils through my affiliate link, supporting my small business without any extra cost to you. Your support allows me to continue providing education and support for you and your horse. Plus, I've curated a convenient bundle featuring all the oils mentioned in this blog, paired with a carrier oil for immediate use. Grab the bundle and start your journey to holistic horse care today—click HERE!


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