Lavender treatment for stressed horses

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It's not only humans who can benefit from a touch of pot pourri – horses are now able to relax with the smell of lavender.

A new study suggests that just 15 minutes of lavender aromatherapy could reduce your horse's heart rate and restore calm in stressful situations.

The research conducted at Louisiana’s McNeese State University could have a strong effect on the equine industry.

Professor of animal sciences Dr Edward Ferguson, veterinarian Dr H F Kleinman and rodeo coach Justin Browning led the trial on seven horses by perfuming humid air with essential oils and found encouraging results.

Dr Ferguson said that aromatherapy was the perfect short-term solution to reduce nervousness in competing horses: "Lavender is a known essential oil to reduce anxiety and stress in humans and it has been reported to restore calmness in dogs."

In an arena filled with unfamiliar noises, horses need to remain stress-free to give the best performance they can. Harmful distractions could be minimised with this interesting new research.

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