My horse is my number one priority. When he’s happy, I’m over the moon! When he’s feeling anxious or stressed, I’m standing by his side with the cookie jar, trying everything in my power to make him feel like he’s on top of the world. I’m sure every horse mom out there can relate.
I’ve dealt with a lot of horses. But none have presented me with the unique, emotional and mental challenges that Forrest has. He is an inquisitive, incredibly intelligent, very opinionated, and very emotional horse. These traits are his best friend and worst enemy as a high-performance jumper. I do my best to find tools to support him on his challenging days, and essential oils were one that Forrest & I happily added to our toolkit thanks to The Infused Equestrian! Have a look at Forrest’s *brutally honest* review for yourself!
Here’s everything you need to know about The Infused Equestrian, and a bit of their expertise on essential oils!
FOUNDED BY A PASSIONATE BARN MOM
Hi Anne! It’s such a pleasure to learn more about you and The Infused Equestrian. To start, could you tell me about yourselves and the brand? Where did the inspiration to create The Infused Equestrian come from?
I am Anne Dolin and I’m the CEO; creator and master recipe maker of the company, and Barn Mom. My business partner, Ira, is also my husband. Ira oversees the day-to-day operations of the company. We both have diverse backgrounds in digital marketing and traditional advertising.
The company inspiration was born from a common problem many of us have faced…literally. One summer day, I was applying commercial fly spray, full of toxins, and a gust of wind kicked it back into my face and mouth! From there, our first product was launched; Swät. A Fly Spray, which was an immediate hit in the barn aisle. After that fateful day of stinging eyes and gagging, I went home and concocted a recipe that would help ward off all flying pests, but also not be harmful to humans. Other riders and barn moms in the barn began asking about the great smelling product we were using and about purchasing it; The Infused Equestrian was born.
Anne, how did you become interested in essential oils? Where has your wealth of knowledge and education come from?
I became interested in essential oils seven years ago when I began switching out toxic products from our home. Additionally during that time, our son wasn’t sleeping well and I was led to a solution of Cedarwood, an essential oil capable of helping him fall asleep. Since then, I have researched and experimented with blends and combinations, attended conferences, summits and conventions where a wealth of education has been shared.
GETTING STARTED WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
There are a lot of different oils out there on the market. Can you tell me about the different types and grades of essential oils?
Indeed! Not all essential oils are created the same. The FDA only requires that in order to label a bottle of essential “pure” or “therapeutic grade” the contents must contain at least 5% essential oil! That means 95% of the bottle contents can be anything else.
There are low quality essential oils – they are known as Grade D oils. These are synthetic or nature-identical quality oils put into hair and skin products. Grade D essential oils contain lab made ingredients and used for aromatic or fragrance purposes only. Their only benefit is to smell good.
Grade C essential oils are also lab made, and contain fillers, solvents and chemicals. These too are classified as essential oils, but with additives in them to promote aromatic perfume release. A lot of confusion and misunderstanding comes from lower grade oils like Grades C & D essential oils.
Grade B essential oils are actual, natural essential oils made from plants, but may still contain toxins (pesticides) and harsh chemical fillers. They are food grade acceptable.
Grade A essential oils are therapeutic in nature. These are plants that are harvested, tested and not combined with any other fillers or toxins. This is the grade of oils we use in all of our products. We use them because we believe it’s important to have the best quality ingredients so you can have the best outcome. Grade A essential oils are pure and unadulterated. These top of the line essential oils are the aromatic extracts from plants, trees and herbs. The oils can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, leaves and/or trees. Their chemistry is complex and consists of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. They are obtained through steam distillation, cold pressing, or resin tapping.
How would you explain, to a current non-essential oil user, why they should be interested in incorporating essential oils into their own and their horse’s routine?
Education is the key component. If you look at the back of the labels on some of the trainer “tried and true” products out there, you’ll see a lot of unpronounceable ingredients and some that may even surprise you – like asphalt or cancer-causing toxins. My initial question has always been, “If we aren’t putting this on ourselves, why would we put it on our horses?” Essential oils can be so beneficial with a little education, and confidence in how to use them effectively.
The Infused Equestrian is rooted in helping educate people about proper usage of essential oils. In fact, in 2019, we were asked to present at the World Equestrian Center in Ohio for their Cadet Rider program. We focused the Cadet Rider discussion on ingredient awareness and understanding what is helpful versus harmful in products for both the rider and the horse. All of our products are USEF and FEI safe. You’d be surprised how many equine products on the market today are not. My business partner and I can often be found in tack stores reading labels. We encourage everyone to read labels. Knowing which ingredients you are applying and the benefits of each will help you provide healthier solutions for you and your equine. In the end, we want to empower riders, trainers and owners to say “I’m more comfortable using this product because I know it works and it’s better for me and my horse.”
What should people be mindful of when purchasing essential oils in-store / online for themselves or their horses? Are there any side effects that could come with essential oils?
Essential oils are great tools to use when they are therapeutic, Grade A. After all, they are mankind’s first means of wellness. They interact in the body on a cellular level—within minutes! But…here’s the thing…if you see a bottle of oil on an end-cap at the pharmacy or big box store, the chances of those essential oil products being impure are extremely high. Read the label. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients or upon a Google search, the results don’t make sense…then don’t buy it. Get your essential oils from reputable sources. A pure, therapeutic grade essential oil should not have an expiration date. Do your homework. Ask questions. If you can’t find answers…then that is your answer.
BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS (FOR HORSE & RIDER
What are the benefits of essential oils for riders? Do specific oils carry different / more benefits than others? Please list a few of your most popular oils with some of their benefits for riders.
Our rider roller blends are for targeted support and meant to aid the rider. Recovery is a blend of essential oils that gets directly applied topically to sore muscles to ease discomfort and tightness. Our popular @ The In Gate roller blend is applied in a number of manners; topically and aromatically. This blend can be used for not only the rider, but also the horse. It can instill both the rider and the horse with confidence, bravery and grounding support. Breathing this blend in through your (or your equines) nose allows the essential oil ingredients to penetrate the olfactory bulb and influence the center of the brain where it plays a role in emotion, memory and learning. Of course, these roller blends are safe for USEF and FEI rules and can be used for non-riders too.
Most essential oils have multiple benefits – for instance; Tea Tree is a wonderful disinfectant, fungal fighter and antimicrobacterial. I love to use Tea Tree in our products, because let’s face it: the barn can be a petri dish. We use Cedarwood in our newest product, noggin. A Fresh Helmet Spray because it stimulates hair growth and aromatically helps combat odors with its additional mix of odor fighting essential oils. We also infuse Cedarwood into our shiny. A Mane & Tail Conditioner. With all the braiding, brushing, dryness and rubbing tails and manes become weak and breakage occurs. Cedarwood combats all of that because it opens up the hair follicle, which allows oxygen to enter the follicle and stimulate hair growth with better growing conditions.
What are the benefits of essential oils for horses? Do specific oils carry different / more benefits than others? Please list a few of your most popular oils with some of their benefits for horses.
For horses, Tea Tree is always a great essential oil for horses, you can use it to treat a “normal” case of thrush, it’s antibacterial and antifungal. Frankincense is a wonderful essential oil for connecting with your horse and for the horse to be grounded. It’s an earth essential oil – coming from a tree and harvested in the middle east.
Take a look at Forrest’s thoughts on The Infused Equestrian by watching the IGTV video below. You can see the benefits of essential oils for yourself happening within minutes. This one came straight from the horse’s mouth – and horses never lie!
How are your products made? How do you ensure you are providing a consistent, high-quality product, in every bottle that you produce?
I make each product by hand, and we follow a proprietary recipe based in ingredients and volumes that has been proven to work. I count out each oil drop, and add the base – either MCT, aloe vera gel, distilled/purified water…etc. Even the water we add to some of our products is filtered…removing unhealthy chemical contaminants and impurities while leaving in the essential minerals we need.
I won’t make large batches of products. Instead, I make small batch, hand-crafted blends to ensure every bottle receives the exact amounts of our recipes. If I am asked to make a larger size, I will make smaller sizes, and deliver in multiple bottles ensuring the right amounts of “goodness” are delivered every time. I won’t sacrifice the quality, delivery frequency nor volume of the essential oil ingredients. The company has handled many large orders before and this production method still serves us well, even when order volume is in the thousands.
We were once approached and asked by an Olympic rider to outfit her barn with one of our products, but she wanted it at a deep discount that was similar to a mass-produced brand. I would have loved that opportunity, but I couldn’t skimp or cheapen our ingredients nor make it in batches to accommodate her request. Our products have only the good stuff (#OnlyTheGoodStuff), they are hand made to ensure quality, and are unlike mass produced, toxic brands.
And, as you mentioned, the production process we employ creates zero product waste. As a small company, that’s important to us. We need to ensure our money is spent wisely and used appropriately…all of the time.
Personally, I have very sensitive skin and I have quite a lengthy list of allergies! Let’s say myself and my horse are allergic to one of the oils noted in the ingredients of a product — what are my options?
Sure…and allergies happen. Because we are a small batch company and not manufactured in a plant or factory, we have the ability to customize any product so that it fits the client’s needs. There is no up-charge to do this, our end goal is to have the client and horse feel comfortable and safe using the products. We have substituted coconut oil with grapeseed oil as a base, or omitted eucalyptus in the past. Just send us a note to begin and we can collaborate together on customized solutions.
How can riders determine which product(s) they need, not only for themselves, but their equine companion too?
We love to talk and educate. Ask us a question and we will do our best to provide a supportive answer, opinion or advice. The Infused Equestrian offers consultative services to guide and educate equestrians on specific needs and ailments. We will discuss which essential oil will help you or your horse in their journey together. We receive questions from around the world and invest as much time as needed with everyone. We value our direct interactions and growing customer base. We always want to help!
As a company, we are AWARE and EDUCATED about what USEF and FEI says about banned substances. We employ a scientist on our team to ensure we understand the impact of an essential oil and the way bodies (humans and equines) absorb and metabolize. Lavender is banned for being a calming essential oil, and we do not include lavender in any of our products. Wintergreen metabolizes to aspirin, which is also a banned substance. We have discussed this topic with vet after vet…and they all agree; there are better alternatives available in the marketplace today. It’s simply not worth the testing risk at a show.
I hope you took something educational and inspiring away from this blog post. I loved chatting with Anne and Ira, and getting to know their brand better. It’s very comforting to know how passionate and knowledgable the people who make our products. I love using essential oils, and Forrest loves them too. They’ve become a part of our daily barn routine – It’s amazing how big of a difference it has made in his performance! I recommend everyone tries using essential oils with their equine companions, and on themselves too. Be sure to read my other blog posts with The Infused Equestrian!
If you’d like to keep up with The Infused Equestrian, you can follow the Instagram page HERE or visit their website below! If you have a questions, comment, or concerns regarding The Infused Equestrian, feel free to connect with their team (email@example.com). Tally-ho lovelies!