Using Essentials Oils With Your Horse

Using Essential Oils With Your Horse Cover

Have you ever heard the saying “a little dab will do you”? Well, that’s exactly the case when using essential oils.

Wouldn’t you love it if your horse was more relaxed when being trailered and calm during those “scary” trail rides and shows? Wouldn’t you love something that can reduce pain and inflammation when your horse (or dog or YOU) suffers an injury?

Well, essential oils can do just that.

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You Say Tree Hugger Like It’s A Bad Thing

Tree Hugger

I have been called a “tree hugger” for years.  I have an innate love for nature (thanks Mom) and chose a profession in the environmental field. So I guess the label fits.  But why is it sometimes said in a derogatory way?  Maybe if the origins of the word were better understood that might change.

So what is a tree hugger really? Just some dazed hippie who goes around giving hugs to trees as a way to connect with nature?  Hardly, the term has some pretty amazing roots, full of power and positive change, stemming from a deeply seated love for our planet.

The first tree huggers were 294 men and 69 women belonging to the Bishnois branch of Hinduism, who, in 1730, died while trying to protect the trees in their village from being turned into the raw material for building a palace.


They literally clung to the trees, while being slaughtered by the foresters. When the king (for whom the palace was being built) heard about their actions he signed a royal decree prohibiting the cutting of trees in any Bishnoi village. Now those villages are virtual wooded oases amidst an otherwise barren, desert landscape.

Not only did the first tree huggers do that, but they inspired the Chipko movement (which means “to cling”) that started in the 1970s.  This was a group of peasant women in Northeast India that threw their arms around trees designated to be cut down. Ultimately their actions resulted in radical reforms in forest preservation.


The tree hugger movement continues today with modern environmentalism. If you are a human being interested in survival of the species, then you are, whether you recognize it or not, a tree hugger.

Once we can accept that fact, we start to move beyond negative labeling  and start looking at the challenges we face, and how we can go about fixing them. That process will inevitably mean we need to continue with tree hugger movements if we are going to get the kind of policy decisions that shape a sane and sustainable relationship with the world around us.


I am happy to be a part of that movement if it means I help leave a healthy planet for my grand kids. So I guess that means I am proud to be a tree hugger.

Now…go out an hug a tree.

~Laura (The Horse Hippie)

Horse Hippie CHristmas 2014




Horseshoe Facts and Folklore


As most of you know I am an avid recycler, up-cycler and re-user. I even give lectures around the country on how to do this. Another presentation I give is on do-it-yourself projects for the horse lover. One of the … Continue reading

What We Learned From Our First Horse Hippie Photo Shoot


The vision for Horse Hippie lifestyle brand came and I started looking for products that would express a horsey, happy, hippie lifestyle. The first step was to look in my closet, jewelry box, cupboards, home and barn for ideas. I found quite a few products that I thought other Horse Hippies would like too.

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Composting Horse Manure

composting horse manure

I thought it might be a good idea to feature each BMP (Best Management Practice) for horses and horse farms individually so that eco-minded horse owners could get this information in one place…HERE!  I have already written about using Solar on horse farms and this post will give you the “ins and out” and “how-tos” for composting manure.  Even if you board your horse there is a way for you to compost the manure it generates for your home garden.

Composting has so many benefits to your farm and the environment.  Most people understand the benefits composted manure can have to your soil when spread but did you know a well maintained composting system can reduce your pile by 50%? Reduce flies and parasite (worm) eggs as well as reduce weeds?

Composting Horse Manure

While researching I came across several websites that done all the hard work.  So why rewrite the info if it already is out there in a really great way? Here is a link to my favorite, very thorough explanation of horse farm composting for you:

If you would like to contact someone about building a composting system for your farm the best in the business is O2 Compost


O2 Composting

If you board your horse but want to use horse manure in your own household or garden composting system, here is a terrific link to home composting basics:


So there ya have it! Everything you need to know about What To Do With All That Poo! If you still need more info try contacting your local Soil & Water conservation District or Cooperative Extension Service.

~Til we meet again!


Horse Hippie CHristmas 2014

The Horse Hippie


Five Things in Your Kitchen You Can Share With Your Horse

HHHP 5 Things cover

Everyone has grabbed an apple or carrot from the fridge to share with their horse as they headed out to the barn but did you know that there are tons of other things you can find in the kitchen that you can take too? Actually there is stuff around your entire house but that’s another blog post!

The full list of other stuff is at the end of this post but I wanted to focus on the following five things because I am really seeing the benefits for me and my horse.

1) Aloe Vera juice– I take this everyday either straight up or mixed in my morning shake. I have the world’s worst stomach but I love to eat fun things and have the occasional drink. Daily dosing helps with the digestive tract but if I know I might imbibe I take a juice glass full. Aloe coats my stomach and the effects of my merriment aren’t an issue anymore.

It does the same for your horse. Aloe is high in digestible fiber, which gives it the properties of lowering bowel transit time, absorbing toxins in the bowel, regulating colonic bacteria, and soothing and protecting the digestive tract. Aloe also contains a complex mixture of mucopolysaccharides (complex sugars) that nourish cells and support them in replicating.

You can add about ¼ cup to your horse’s diet twice a day to reap the benefits.

Aloe Vera Juice

2) Chia seeds- these little seeds are really making some waves in both human and horse health. Entire companies are being founded just to offer you and your horse the benefits of chia. My use started when l read that they are a great way to rid your body of toxins. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water and form a bulky gel. This benefit can help your horse digest nutrients and reduce ulcers.

Chia seeds are the highest naturally occurring source of Omega-3 fatty acids, with a 3:1 ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s. So this adds an anti-inflammatory property to chia seeds. Omega-3s can help reduce pain and swelling. If you aren’t convinced yet, chia seeds are a complete source of protein, so they also build muscle and topline!

I use and feed US Chia because I know the source, find the company terrific to work with and they offer many sizes. I use only a teaspoon a day in my shake but a typical 1,000 pound horse can eat a maintenance dose of 1/4 cup (1 scoop) of US Chia Seeds each day. If your horse has not been on a supplement program, you can feed a loading dose of 1/2 cup (2 scoops) of US Chia Seeds each day for 2 weeks.

US Chia 3

3) Herbal teas- I drink herbal tea all day long. I start my day with a hot cup of Chai then soak a de-tox tea bag in my water bottle for the day. I love the effects of the herbs in the teas, they can wake me up, calm me, sooth my stomach or help me sleep.

Your horse might also enjoy some warm herbal tea. Some of the medicinal effects herbal teas offer us can be good for horses too. I soak four tea bags in a quart of warm water pour it over some beet pulp.  Here are some of my favorites to share with my horse:

~ Yarrow- My go to detox tea and anti-inflammatory tea. The silica found in this plant helps repair damaged or worn out tissues in the body. It’s great for a senior horse because yarrow stimulates appetite and improves digestion as well as nutrient absorption.

~ Ginger- In people, ginger ale and ginger beer help settle an upset stomach, and ginger tea is sometimes used for nausea. So it stands to reason that ginger tea might also be good for equine tummy trouble or possible gas colic. Ginger is in the same plant family as turmeric and cardamom, all of which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

~ Peppermint: Is known as a healing plant. Peppermint tea can help with digestion and can help to prevent some forms of gas and possibly gas colic in horses.

~ Rose hips: This herb has recently become a popular natural treatment for arthritis. Rose hips are also nutrient rich;  full of bioflavonoids, pectin, vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and B vitamins, and also contain trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon.


4) Table Salt– We add salt to our diets because we think it makes food taste better. The benefit to salt or salty foods is that it stimulates the thirst response so we drink more, staying hydrated. This is also true for your horse.

Triggering this response in cold weather can help promote enough water consumption to prevent dehydration and prevent colics. When it’s hot and your horse is sweating (up to a gallon an hour!) salt will help replace what is lost from perspiration.

A full-sized horse requires at least one ounce (two level tablespoons or 30 ml) of salt each day for maintenance, this much provides 12 grams of sodium. The best way to do this is to include offering free-choice iodized granulated salt.

Remember to calculate the amount of sodium your horse is already getting from any commercial feeds or supplements you feed, then add salt accordingly.


5) Coconut oil– I wrote an in-depth article for the Holistic Horse about using coconut oil and meal in the equine diet but there’s even more to the story than that. I use coconut oil on my hair and coconut oil is without question my favorite body lotion. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily feeling at all. It makes skin incredibly silky and has wonderful antibacterial/antimicrobial properties.

The same is true for Trigger. You can apply coconut oil to improve your horse’s mane, tail, wounds and hoofs. If fed to your horse it is a great source of fat and protein and is easy for horses to digest.

Those are my top five things I share with my horse but there are many, many more. I will be expanding on these in a later post and I would love to hear about others you might use!

The expanded list:


For Immune System:

Flax seed



Apple Cider Vinegar

For Weight Gain:

Vegetable oil

Flaxseed oil

For Detox:

Milk thistle

Diatomaceous earth

For Stomach and Digestion:

Papaya juice

Pumpkin seeds

Licorice root


For Bug Control:

Apple Cider Vinegar


For Picky Eaters:

Apple sauce

For Treats:



Non food:

Dawn Dish washing liquid




Hope this helps you keep yourself and your horse Healthy and Happy!!

~Til we meet again,


Horse Hippie CHristmas 2014

The Horse Hippie