Is your horse nappy? Perhaps he’s become more nervous after a break from work or change in routine? Qualified reflexologist, aromatherapist, Reiki healer and animal aromatics professional Dena Schwartz shares her tips on herbs that can help your horse to chill out.

My aim would be to boost your horse’s confidence and self-belief and help him to face the world with a more positive approach.

The remedies I recommend should be offered daily. Allow him to inhale them or lick them from your hand. Encourage him to choose the ones he wants and to control his dosage.

His needs may vary greatly from day to day so don’t be tempted to add anything to his feed – let him lead the way as he will know exactly what he requires.

I would also spend some time working on the ground with your horse. Take him for short walks and introduce little challenges in a safe environment — you could even employ the help of his field companion so he feels safer.

Praise every positive step he takes, and be quiet, confident and calm. Practise stroking him slowly from head to toe before your groundwork sessions.

Stroke down each leg and press your hands firmly around the hoof for 10 seconds — this will help him to feel more connected to his feet and a little safer.

Soothing oils to try

  • Neroli, which is deeply relaxing.
  • Rose Otto, which can relieve past trauma, fear and anxiety.
  • Frankincense, which induces slow, deep breathing, helping to eliminate anxiety.

My horse has the start of arthritis in her hocks. Would offering her medicinal herbs and oils help?

Certain herbs are believed to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Liquorice root, turmeric, devil’s claw and cleavers are useful herbs to offer, and your horse will likely only choose one or two of these.

I would also recommend offering barley grass powder daily. It’s highly alkaline and will help to reduce acidity within your horse’s body — this is very helpful when easing the symptoms and progression of arthritis in both people and animals.

Other remedies would be German chamomile and peppermint essential oils for their analgesic and anti- inflammatory effects, rosehip extract and nettle herbs for their cleansing and detoxifying effects.

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