Friday, July 18, 2014

Blissed Out By Botanicals...

The yummy new Absorbine Botanicals line.
photo by Malin Fredriksen
You know when you find a product that you really love?  You wanna tell everyone how cool it is, spread the word and evangelize a bit.  You know what I mean?  

So I found this new favorite product that has been making the summer heat more bearable - the new Absorbine Botanicals line.  I've tried both the Body Rinse and the Massage Foam, and I LOOOOOVVVVVE them.  I have to be honest and admit that while I was immediately on board with the idea of the Body Rinse, I was not quite as sure if I’d like the Massage Foam.  My first thought was, "Massage Foam?  For horses??"  It just didn't compute.  For people, sure.  For horses?? Couldn't see it.  Well, consider me converted.

Product #1 - Massage Foam 
I love to massage Sug and James, and I also have a certified massage therapist do them once or twice a month.  I've never used any product when massaging, nor have I seen the massage therapist use anything either.  I was confused, so I read the label for a little more direction.  Aaaa-hah!  The light dawned.  While it could be used for sore muscles, it could also be used on legs, much like any other liniment brace.  So I used it on Sug after a couple of hard workouts, and when we went to our away show in Pennsylvania I used it every day before I wrapped James' legs for the night. The best thing about the Massage Foam (other than the heavenly aroma) was the fact that the foam made it easier to get the product where it belonged - on James.  The biggest frustration I have with liquid liniment is that it seems like 80% goes on the floor and only 20% gets on the horse's legs.  Which is pretty expensive when you think about it.

I decided to give it a go while massaging Sug after two consecutive rides; One day I applied the foam while her coat was dry, the next day I used the foam while she was wet after I'd used the Body Rinse on her.  Sug carries a lot of tension in her brachiocephalicus muscle, the muscle which attaches at one end at the base of the skull and at the other end to the humerus.  I found that using the foam while she was wet allowed my fingers or the heel of my hand to slide down the muscle more smoothly, which seemed to result in more blinking, chewing, sighs and yawns (all signs of muscle release) than I normally see.  
She also gets sore at the base of the neck and by the shoulder. There's a kind of groove that runs right in front of the scapula where it joins the neck, and any time I massage in there she is ecstatic. (I think these may be the trapezius and deep pectorals, maybe?  I'm not sure.I found that while using the foam when she was wet my hands felt like they were gliding through that groove better, which again resulted in more yawning, chewing, blinking and sighing from Sug.  Using the foam while she was dry worked well, too.  I just really thought in our experience it seemed to work better when she was wet,
Product #2 - Body Rinse
I adore this product.  Again, it smells divine!  Not that it's important that your horse smell nice, but hey, it doesn't hurt.  It's refreshing and cooling. You mix the rinse with a bucket of water (check the label for the proper ratio) and sponge away! My hand and forearm felt wonderfully cool and tingly (in a good, refreshed kind of way) when I was sponging it on Sug, so I could only imagine it was having the same effect on her.  There's a wonderful additional benefit to the product that Absorbine doesn't mention on the product's label -  the peppermint and rosemary oils also act as an insect repellent.  When I took Sug out to graze while drying she was barely even bothered by the bugs, and normally she's notoriously annoyed by them. 

Feeling cool and refreshed with no bugs = happy Sug.

The Rinse can also be diluted and used as a cooling spray.  A blogger buddy mentioned she did this for her horse,  and loves using it this way.  I was speaking to my friend, who happens to be an associate at my local Dover Saddlery store, and she was raving about the Botanicals line and how it's been flying off the shelves and how people were also loving it as a spray.  I haven't tried making it into a spray yet, but only because I've been so in love with using it as a rinse after a workout.  
So you might be thinking that the whole "botanicals" thing is a way to go all green and sustainable and hippy and to separate horse owners from their money by making them feel all earth-friendly, but you'd be wrong.  There's a lot of science and experiential knowledge behind the choosing of the ingredients in these products.  In my younger days I worked at a wilderness survival school, as well as for a company that made naturally, organically and ethically-based beauty products, so I'm familiar with many of the ingredients and have used them on myself.  Here's a brief summary of some of the key ingredients and what they do:

Arnica ExtractArnica is commonly used to clean, heal, and relieve pain from minor cuts and abrasions.  I've used it on bruises and sore muscles for ages.

Oil:  This stuff is fantastic for the horse's coat (or hair in general).  It is believed to stimulate follicles to promote hair growth, and is also helpful with dry, flaky skin.  Rosemary oil has also been used to relieve muscle pain.

Lavender OilThis essential oil is known to assist with pain relief, improve the skin, and enhance blood circulation.

Peppermint Oil: Peppermint Oil is known for it's ability to provide pain relief, as well as help the respiratory and digestive systems.

So there you have it, my two cents on tow great new products to help keep our horses feeling good. Sorry about blathering on forever, I just assume folks are like me and like to know every little detail before spending money on something. (And, quite honestly, we know I just tend to over-communicate. LOL.)  I hope that if you were considering either of these products that my review helped you.   If you try them, let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear what worked for you and your horse.


  1. I blather about this stuff too, Love it so much I just cant help myself.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Madeline - Yep, for ponies! Though I admit, I did try it out on myself. ;)