A couple of summer soothers for your horse from Marsden's owner and Desert Horse Equestrian...
In Sunday's article Allergic Skin Reactions - a nutritional approach I tried to keep the focus on how you could support your horse nutritionally to lessen (or even eliminate) exaggerated skin reactions. Today I'd like to add some soothing recipes that others have shared.
Owner's oatmeal shampoo recipe has been requested. It is as follows: 1 cup ground up oatmeal (turn to flour consistency), 2/3 cup baking soda, 3 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons aloe gel (optional), 4 drops lavendar extract (optional). Leave on itchy areas for 5 minutes. If you don't want your horse to have little oatmeal chunks on him/her strain the shampoo through cheesecloth. Otherwise just do your best to rinse off the little oatmeal pieces. To help get it out of the mane, spray with a hose and brush simultaneously.
Marsden obviously gives his stamp of approval.
Some other timely recipes can be found at Desert Horse Equestrian Services - the website of wholistic horse and rider biomechanics coach and horse rehabber Stacey Kollman.
NATURAL FLY REPELLENT SPRAY
BUY ESSENTIAL OILS HERE
Yield: 1 gallon
Fill a gallon container about 3/4 full of water. Add 1 cup vinegar (apple cider or white), 1/2 cup Dawn dishsoap and 20 drops of the following essential oils: peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, citronella. Top off with water as needed to fill the container. Shake well. Store airtight and out of direct sunlight.
Variations: if you're having big problems with flies, you can "power up" the spray by doubling the amount of peppermint; same for mosquitoes/gnats by doubling the citronella. (Be sure you're using 100 percent pure essential oils, not synthetic "fragrance" oils.) I know some folks are concerned about using citronella after hearing it attracts bees, but I haven't had any problem with that either in Arizona or Colorado, both places where you can find Africanized bees.
This is a variation on a recipe developed by the manager of one of the elite Kentucky thoroughbred breeding facilities for use on broodmares and foals. In my experience, it has safely been used on horses of all ages, humans of all ages (even those with chemical sensitivities), dogs, raptors at a wildlife rehab center and a herd of organically raised yaks! Still, use caution the first time you use it and apply to a small area at first to gauge sensitivity.
Click here for a full menu of Stacey's Natural Horse Care Recipes.
One of my favorites has always been to add a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil to vitamin E oil. Add four to six drops of Tea Tree oil to about one half cup of vitamin E oil - the aroma should be pleasantly obvious but not overpowering.
You can also use Benadryl (diphenhydramine) cream or hydrocortisone cream on itchy spots but avoid getting the cream on any open areas your horse may have rubbed. If your veterinarian has prescribed an oral antihistamine or steroid, check with her before using one of these topically.
Patti in Vail AZ
~ where the monsoon brings us toxic Colorado river toads and a huge array of new bugs.
J-6 Ranch Equestrian Center - http://www.j-sixeqctr.com/
Desert Horse Equestrian Services - http://www.deserthorseinc.com/index.htm
Natural Recipes from Stacey Kollman http://www.deserthorseinc.com/recipes.htm
Essential oils can be purchase from: http://www.deserthorseinc.com/resources.htm#oils
My favorite is Mountain Rose Herbs http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/