10 Basic Flower Essences for Behavioral First Aid for Horses
Flower essences are liquid remedies made from flowers, spring water, and the sun. Flower essences work on emotional, mental, spiritual and behavioral levels and belong to a category of medicine called vibrational healing or energy medicine. Flower essences correct energy imbalances and disruptions so that healing may begin. Flower essences do not interfere with other forms of treatment such as homeopathy, herbs, or conventional medicine. You may use the essences for a month if you are working on a long-standing condition, or you may need to take them for only a few days.
Flower essences come in small bottles with dropper-dose lids and contain usually 1/3 to 1 ounce of liquid vibrational medicine preserved with brandy or vegetable glycerin and water. The dose for all animals, draft horse to door mouse, is 4 drops. Flower essences are wonderful to use in our first aid kit for stress reduction, to rid the horse of fear, for aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, lethargy, mistrust, resistance to training, lack of self confidence, to break old patterns, etc. It is wonderfully gratifying to help bring about such positive results in your horse without spending a fortune or worrying about side effects.
There are literally hundreds of flower essences. Below are listed 10 general flower essences you may want to become familiar with. I think it is easiest to understand the essences when examples for use are given.
Trauma Remedy or Rescue Remedy®
This is the 'all purpose' remedy for any kind of emergency, stress, shock, trauma, upsetting situation, etc.
This is an essence that has a calming effect on your animal. I like to use chamomile when transporting animals, taking them to the vet, or when they are a bit worked up or antsy.
This is helpful for our animals (and ourselves) in retaining lessons and training so the same mistakes are not repeated over and over again.
This essence is beneficial when our animals are confused or overwhelmed with new circumstances or surroundings, so it can be helpful when taking your horse to another barn or arena for competition or training.
This is my favorite remedy and by far the most popular. More often than not, behavioral problems in our horses are a result of their fear. I think often times an animal is labeled as stubborn or aggressive when in reality he/she is reacting from a place of fear. The results of using this essence can be quite dramatic. I used this on a horse that had been in a pasture that was struck by lightning. For 3 years she would not let anyone touch her head; she was very skittish and fearful. After 4 doses of Fear Remedy she was eating from my hand and allowing me to rub her head. Her person was astonished at the transformation. Horses can bring many fears with them from their previous surroundings and situations. Fear Remedy is a good one to give when in doubt.
I like to add this essence to the trough when a new animal is introduced in the barn, visitor or permanent. It helps the other horses to accept a new member of the herd.
This is a very useful remedy for jealousy. I combine Holly and Quaking Grass whenever I bring a new horse into the barn. It helps shorten the duration and severity of the 'adjustment period' in establishing the pecking order. If one horse in particular is a bully I add Vine flower essence to the blend.
As the name indicates, this essence is beneficial for horses or humans who are nervous, high strung and impatient. In my experience patience is one of those virtues that is cultivated as we age. I think therefore it can be beneficial to the younger or less-patient person working with horses that require an extra dose of patience.
This is a sweet essence for the horse that lacks confidence or has an expectation of failure from past experience.
Do you have a horse that likes to crib or has a nasty habit of biting people or other horses? This is a great remedy for such animals.
Now that you have an idea of some of the work that can be done with flower essences, here is a lesson on how to dose your horse.
The key in effecting change in your animal is the frequency with which you dose. If you only give one or two doses per day and you see the desired behavioral changes in your horse, you are very lucky. You need to give the remedies (flower essences) at least 4 doses per day, 6 is better. I know this is not easy, but neither is living with the behavioral traits that you sought a remedy for in the first place. You cannot overdose on the flower essences. They are safe enough for a day-old foal. It does not matter if you have a newborn or a draft horse - the dose is the same - 4 drops, 4-6 times per day.
I give them drops directly into their mouths, put drops on their grain, or on their hay. You may give the drops in or on any food or treat, carrots, apples, or 'cookies'. I also like to put the essences on my fingers and rub the horse just above the lip or on the head between the eyes. You can add 4 drops of the essence to a water-filled atomizer bottle and spray it onto their coat while grooming. Another way is to put one dropperful in the trough. That is an easy method.
I make my flower essences with vegetable glycerin and water. They are sweet and the horses love the taste. If you buy your flower essences from the health food store you can pour them into a slightly larger bottle and add an equal part of vegetable glycerin. You can find the glycerin at the health food store also.
To learn more about flower essences you can visit my website, www.blumesfarm.com, and also check out the Flower Essence Society website, www.flowersociety.org/Animals.htm.
I also recommend the following books:
" A Modern Horse Herbal" by Hilary Page Self, ISBN 1-872082-85-8
" The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care" by CJ Puotinen, ISBN 0-87983-797
About the author:
Christina Blume is an herbalist from Elizabeth, CO. She teaches a variety of herb classes throughout the Denver area, at Denver Botanic Gardens, and Arapahoe Community College. She enjoys teaching about the use of herbs and flower essences for people and their critters. Her passion is teaching about flower essences for behavioral and emotional complaints. Christina makes flower essence formulations for her own dogs, cats, and horses and for local animal communicators and countless animal caretakers in her community. For more information about flower essences or where to find them, visit Christina's web site, www.blumesfarm.com or call Christina at 303-646-6081.