Applied Herbal Choices or which is also known as Zoo Pharmacognosy – basically the self-selection by animals of herbs and plants for medicinal purposes. 

In the wild horses will roam across vast areas of land if they become unwell to seek out specific plants, herbs, algae, clay and other natural remedies, not in their normal diet, to restore themselves back to good health.  We can mimic this behavior by learning what they are likely to select for given conditions and offering this in a domesticated environment.  

There are different compounds that we can offer during an applied herbal session;

  • Essential Oils - a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic odor of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.
  • Aromatic waters – these are distilled from the plants.  They are gentler than essential oils.
  • Macerates – essential oils mixed in an oil base
  • Powders and dried herbs

And not forgetting of course fresh forage and the horses built in ability to know exactly what they need and seek it out.  Sadly, for the horse in today’s modern world this is not always possible due to the way we have to keep them.

However by understanding the properties and benefits of herbs, oils and plants, we realise that all of a sudden we have given our horses a voice – by monitoring their choices and selections they can talk to us and explain their issues – how amazing is that!

Suddenly, the natural world around us takes on a whole new look and meaning.  You realise that the common weed is no longer just that – suddenly it is a precious plant that has magical and medicinal properties.  The 30-minute hack now takes several hours as you meander along allowing your horse to graze and forage, carefully watching to see what they are trying to tell you.

And when you find them with a cut or graze, you can reach for your bag of herbs and powders rather than applying unnatural concoctions that cost a fortune from the feed store.

By understanding the powerful effects of the plants that nature gives us, I hope that I can help owners to learn too and use my knowledge to help give your horses their voice.