Free-Choice Essential Oils

Therapeutic Hoof Slippers
By Cindy Kunkel

This therapeutic rubber slipper protects the sole and frog of the horse's hoof without rubbing or applying pressure to the hoof wall or coronet band. It is especially suited to the needs of the severely foundered horse. It allows for the important bulb movement necessary for the healing of contraction. It prevents dirt and small stones from sticking into or penetrating an exposed coffin bone area or an extended white line. This helps to prevent abscessing due to graveling caused by fragments of dirt or stone entering the bottom of the hoof and exiting the coronet band. It simulates the rubber mats of a hoof clinic by changing a concussive surface such as macadam into a non-concussive surface for therapy. It enables the horse with tender feet to walk by providing a rubber cushion thick enough to prevent some discomfort from rough ground but thin enough for the horse to feel the ground and toughen the hooves. This slipper provides traction on smooth surfaces, however duct tape can be applied to the bottoms of this slipper to make it non-gripping if there is a chance the hoof wall could come off due to white line separation. During the transition period of about a year, this slipper fits the slipper toe of the foundered hoof, can be adjusted to fit the rapidly changing hoof length and width of the severely foundered hoof, and allows for such changes without new sizes being necessary. After founder correction, this slipper may be used as a walking shoe. This slipper is easy to put on and take off. It is form fitting for easy break over and will not rotate if put on properly. Although standard silver duct tape is economical, black duct tape may be used for appearance.

1. Cut a rubber boot into a slipper that fits the hoof. The new slipper is cut low enough to allow 1 inch of hoof front to be exposed.

2. Place the rubber slipper onto the hoof. Be sure the toe is tight to the front.

3. Wrap one side flap around the bulbs.

4. Wrap the other side flap around the bulbs and secure with duct tape. Keep the tape on the rubber and off the hair as much as possible.

5. Place duct tape along the edge of the heel part of the rubber slipper. I normally keep the tape lower than shown in order to keep it off the hair.

6. Lift the heel into place and secure it by tightly wrapping the duct tape around the sides of the slipper. Once again, I usually do not have the tape quite this high.

7. The last piece of tape secures the slipper to the front hoof wall just below the coronet band. This prevents the slipper from rotating and coming off. This piece of tape secures the side pieces of tape and wraps around the bottom of the slipper where the ends fasten together.

Free-Choice Essential Oils

Jaspar chooses what he wants on his socks.

By Shelly Moore

Jaspar is my 3-year-old adopted BLM Mustang, soon to be a gelding, who really appreciates aromatherapy, whenever he can get it! The free-choice method works very well for him.

How I do it for Jaspar:
I take out a few essential oils at a time; sometimes I dowse for the ones that I think he will like. Then I offer him 3-4 oils with a smell of coffee beans in between if he seems overwhelmed. The coffee bean clears the nasal passages and allows him to smell again. I then offer him the EOs one at a time, and the ones he tries to eat or steal from me are the ones that I give him in his paddock.

I take my husband's old tube socks and tie them to the panels, gate, or fence and then add a couple of drops of the chosen EOs to the tube socks. As of yet we have only had one horse try to eat the sock, and all she did was chew on it... she was losing her caps. We tie the sock to the fence using baling twine. I also put only one sock per 20' on the fence so they get only one scent on that fence section. The smell lasts a week to ten days on the sock, then we launder the socks and reuse them later.

If the horses show an interest in a blend, we blend very small amounts of EO with wheat germ, Vitamin E, or almond oil. A small amount of that can be applied to the sock, or in one case we applied it to the stall guard… the horse was aggressive without the EO on the stall guard and sweet and kind with the EO on the stall guard. We traded back and forth with lavender, chamomile, and calendula. Then we made her a "custom" blend that she is wild over. She "picked" her favorite oils, then we blended them together.

That is how I do Free Choice Aromatherapy!