The philosophy behind Naturally Unbridled is to help people to learn to take care of themselves as well as they do their horses.  We all understand that these horses are in our care and we take that responsibility seriously.  We make sure they are getting a healthy diet, proper exercise and relaxation, and optimal health care and maintenance – all the while we are stressed out, not sleeping, and eating from the microwave.  One little trick I’ve learned is that if I teach people about natural things they can do to make their horse healthier, they might apply those tools to their own lives.  So here are 7 simple natural health tips for horse and human alike!

Melaleuca – or Tea Tree Oil

1) Replace antiseptic ointments with Tea Tree (melaleuca) oil.  Have you ever taken a good look at that furacin/furazone ointment in your tack box?  Did you ever notice that it says “causes cancer in laboratory rats” right on the container?  Maybe it’s me but personally, I don’t want to put any cancer-causing agents on me or my horse.  Replace that nastiness with all natural, 100% pure Tea Tree oil.  It doesn’t sting and has tremendous antiseptic properties.  You can also replace your own antibiotic/antiseptic ointment with Tea Tree oil too!  Great for pimples and cold sores!

2) Peppermint Essential Oil for gas or digestive upset.    My personal (and professional) preference is to use only Young Living Therapeutic-Grade essential oils due to their high level of purity and efficacy.  If you have a horse with gas, you can put a drop of peppermint essential oil on your finger and rub it on the gum under the top lip.  You can also pour several drops into their mouth.  For a person with gas or any digestive upset, a single drop of peppermint essential oil in a glass of water will work wonders.  You can also put a drop on your neck and your temples to squelch a headache.

Arnica Gel

3) Arnica gel for bumps, bruises, sprains & strains.  Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that is excellent for injuries.  The sooner you get it on the better.  It reduces swelling, bruising, and inflammation and speeds up healing time.  Use it on horses and use it on yourself.  It’s available at most drugstores and nearly all health food stores.  Bowed tendons, sprained ankles, kicks, and the like will all benefit from arnica.

Lavender is great for skin issues!

4) Lavender Essential Oil for skin trouble.  Rashes, cuts, and bug bites all respond well to Lavender essential oil.  Burns do too.  You can even pour therapeutic-grade lavender oil directly on an open wound or sutures.  The therapeutic benefits of lavender oil were discovered in a perfume laboratory accident where one of the chemists was badly burned.  He thought he was sticking his arm in a vat of water but it was a vat of lavender essential oil.  The pain immediately subsided and he healed without scarring.  Athlete’s foot and fungal infections respond well to lavender essential oil too.

5) Chamomile Tea for hives and allergies.  German chamomile has tremendous antihistamine properties.  If you or your horse suffers from allergies, some chamomile tea can help.  When my mare had hives last summer, I made some strong German chamomile tea and poured it over pellets and she ate it up and her hives went away.  Feel free to sip some of this tea too.  In addition to the antihistamine properties, it is also relaxing and aids in digestion which is why so many mothers (in Germany) send their babies to bed with a bottle full of chamomile tea.


6) Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for detoxification and general health.  Let me emphasize that we are talking about RAW apple cider vinegar that is cloudy and may say “with the mother” on the bottle.  Braggs is a popular brand.  For horses, you can pour it right on their feed or water and it can help to reduce inflammation and arthritis and it helps to support the immune system so they can fight off bacterial and fungal infections better.  For humans, I typically suggest a cup of hot water with a tablespoon (or so) of raw apple cider vinegar and, if you prefer, a dollop of honey.  Sip like tea.  As it cools, it becomes less palatable so I recommend it hot.  Among many other benefits, a significant reduction in symptoms of gout is common as is improved digestion.  A great tonic for the morning!

7) “Thieves” essential oil blend is great for fighting many types of infections.  The name is derived from the days of the plague when a band of thieves was going around stealing from the dead and the dying without contracting the plague.  When they were apprehended they gave up their secret formula of herbs and spices that they used to keep from getting sick.  These same herbs and spices were used to formulate “Thieves” essential oil.  For horses, it is great for treating thrush, infections, and proud flesh.  Humans can apply this oil to the bottoms of their feet to fight off any infections or diffuse it into the air to kill mold, bacteria and other pathogens.  Also great for killing mold on leather!

All of the remedies mentioned here have lots of additional benefits.  I have treated all of my animals – from horses to dogs, cats, and chickens with the holistic remedies I have in my house for my family.  We are all from nature so natural remedies can work on all of us.  Some remedies require specific techniques for application so it is best if you can work with someone who is well-versed in using the remedy so you get the best results.
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