top of page

Essential Oils For Horses Arthritis

There are layers in a joint that consist of cartilage, joint fluid and a joint capsule.

The cartilage sits at the end of each bone and is there to absorb shock. Cartilage has no blood supply to it. A joint capsule holds joint fluid, which keeps the bones together. The two bones that meet work independent of each other.

Causes of Arthritis (also known as DJD-degenrative joint disease)

Inflammation - the body’s way of correcting an issue

the more the joint’s are in motion the more susceptible they are to inflammation

the inflammation causes chemicals to be released, in a way to self correct, but actually destroys surrounding tissue. The joint fluid breaks down over time and the absorption ability degrades

confirmation of horse and being utilized in a sport that is best suited for their body’s build

Not keeping hooves well trimmed and balanced

Extreme exercise such as speed, sharp turns, exaggerated gaits or years of jumping stress the joints.

Excess Weight

Most common places of arthritis: hock, fetlock, knee, pastern and shoulder.


1.Magnesium is required for bone growth, nerve to muscle signaling & other nervous system functions (Lisa Ross Williams- p. 41. Down-to-Earth Natural Horse Care). Lack of magnesium can contribute to arthritis. Dolomite is an example of a natural source of magnesium.

2. Balancing Calcium and Phosphorus is also important in joint health. Alfalfa is an example of a food high in calcium.

3. Mineral deficiencies (or minerals in excess), metal toxicity (such as aluminum, lead, mercury, arsenic) and mineral balance are keys.

4. Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, that fight free radicals and inflammation. Also known for it's ability to fight infection. It is believed that infection is linked to inflammation and Vitamin C can play a role in controlling the inflammation.

5. Trace Minerals like manganese and copper. Copper is important to the formation and repair of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joints. Manganese offers support to the skeletal structure and maintenance of bone. Other trace minerals such as zinc, iron, iodine & selenium are critical to a horse's joint health and to optimize their health.

It is important to understand the whole picture and the individual exposures, needs, age, size, breed and various differences of each horse. Some horses manage stress well, others do not, some horses live in selenium rich environments, other environments are selenium poor. Analyzing the individual needs of each horse, feeding a balanced natural diet, and supplementing with quality nature based products is very important.

Essential Fatty Acids -Omega 3’s

Choosing natural, no sugar, low carbohydrates and no processed feeds. As an example; hay pellets, oats, coconut meal. Also pay attention to GMO products such as corn & soy. Items such as sugar grains, mineral deficiently grains that are over processed, and feeds that contain GMO products, contribute inflammation. Inflammation wears joints.

Inflammation Management:

Regular Exercise

Being able to move and walk around freely

Exercise and moving around increases circulation. Circulation increases blood flow

Good footing while exercising will also help. Rocky ground creates more concusion on the joints.

Proper trimming

Prevent the breakdown of cartilage with supplementation -Sulfur (MSM), antioxidants, sea weed or green algae products provide prevention and rehabilitation of inflammed joints.

Exercise to keep joints moving but not overwork them. Exercise stimulates cartilage to become stronger in areas that are being stressed

Ph balance of your horse -acidic versus alkaline


Increase joint mobility

Reduce pain

Reduce or eliminate inflammation

Arthritis Relief Solutions:

Neoprane Wraps can help during cold weather, keeps them warm and relieve’s stiffness. Socks for horses is another solution to relieving stiffness in joints.

Rubbing with a warming liniment (mixed with anti-inflammatory essential oils) before and after exercise also helps loosen stiff joints

Cold Therapy for inflammation, alternating with heat.

CBD oil, taken orally

Common Supplement Solutions:

Devils Claw, Yucca

Turmeric - My natural doctor recommended this herb for my arthritis, but it must be pharmaceutical grade herb with each capsule being 720 mg, taking 3:3x/day. This is a recommendation for a woman. So, you can imagine how much of that you have to have for a horse.

Herbs rich in Vitamin C, such as Rosehips and nettle will improve the circulation and support the lymphatic system.

Herbs with a vasodilatory effect such as hawthorn can strengthen the walls of blood vessels.

MSM - natural occurring sulfur. Plays a role in detoxification and also inflammatory conditions. There is sulfur in every type of cell in our body, that is why it is so extremely important. Improves your body’s ability to make it’s own antioxidants. Quality of MSM that you purchase matters.

The problem with common MSM (sulfur) is that it is not used efficiently by the body, because the proper calcium balance must be present in the body, otherwise the sulfur is not metabolized. It also takes magnesium to metabolize calcium.

Chondroitin -Cartilage -source of chondroitin. Not very powerful & mixed evidence that it is even effective.

Glucosamine -helps keep the cartilage in joint healthy. Found in the body, but decreases with age. No natural food sources of glucosamine.

Essential OIls:

Copaiba -very effective to reduce inflammation. Some veternarians have reported using this essential oil, combined with Idaho Balsam Fir, has replaced the use NSAID’s, in clinical settings.

Reasons Why Essential Oils are So Effective:

  1. Because they are concentrated, 50-70x more therapeutically potent than herb or plants they come from.

  2. Known to move thru the thickest cell walls. Most effective delivery agent for feeding your body several trillion cells of nutrition and oxygen to eliminate toxins

  3. Possibly cleans receptor sites on the surface of cells, which allows for proper communication between cells

  4. Could possibly correct DNA

  5. Increasing oxygen in the body & fight free radicals, which are root sources of producing cancer

  6. Sense of smell affects the limbic system of our brain. The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, hormone balance, etc. This has a transformative effect on the physiological and psychological effects of the body

  7. Oils detoxify

  8. Oils boost the immune system

  9. Oils create balance in the body systems

  10. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils have a high frequency. Disease, illness, stress, injury have a lower frequency. Essential oils have shown thru clinical research that they are the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man, where illness cannot live. -Dr. Royal R. Rife, "Doctors that speak out about why oils heal and drugs don't".


Nan Martin

Hillary Page Self - Herbalist

Essential Oils Desk Reference

Rainbow Acres - J. Sinner

Janice Posnikoff, DVM (horse channel)

Dr. David Stewart, PhD. “Why Oils Heal and Drugs Don’t” _________________________________________


Rheumatism and Arthritis - Making a Difference

1. Diet has to be taken into consideration

Kinesiology (muscle testing) is a very good way of testing foods your

horse is consuming, feeding only those with a strong


2. Gels and lotions and oils can all reduce symptoms, but

it takes time.

3. No condition stays the same, but changes. What this

means is what worked for 6 months, may begin to lose

it's effectiveness, so different oils with similiar properties

will need to be sought and prepared.

4. Each horse is different, some respond quickly, others

may take more time. The results may be merely

maintaining the condition and other cases may have

great to little improvement.

5. There are many complimentary holistic therapies that

will compliment the essential oils. Acupuncture,

acupressure, shiatsu, massage, chiropractor, cranial-sacral

6. Essential oils are not always magic potions, although they can achieve the impossible.

7. The whole body and conditions that the animal is dealing

with must be taken into consideration. Environmental,