So, at a family gathering, not too long ago, my aunt suggested horse shapoo. She and my uncle both have horses and we live in a half rural community, our town even hosts the county fair each year with the most rootin’ tootin’-ist rodeo around…sorry Buckaroos.
I thought “heck yeah, I will accept that challenge!” I love the science that goes into shampoo making, it’s a fascinating process.
First things first, before any preliminary recipe formulations…research! Off to the Computer! I needed to know the PH of horse skin, it turns out that horses and humans have the same PH. Awesome, since I have already been making fabulously balanced shampoos for humans, then I knew basically where to aim for horses.
Next, my aunt specifically requested something to help soothe her horse’s irritated skin. No recipes, yet, more research.
Here at The Garden Gate, we have an affinity for herbs and other plant life. Our yard us teaming with medicine and beneficial plants (many of them, people might call weeds) that have been grown with out pesticides. So, of course I immediately turned to plant friends for help with making a shampoo.
The first plants that popped into my mind were comfrey and calendula, with their skin soothing and healing abilities, and lavender, known for its anti inflammatory and balancing abilities. I also had a birch leaf hydrosol I had made and was just itching to use in something. It is goo for skin conditions, so into the shampoo with it!
Now I wanted to get the most ouf of my chosen herbs that I could, they were not just going in for lable appeal, they were supposed to be my heavy hitters. Now, it’s time to formulate!
My shampoos typically contain humectants for added moisturizing, usually honey, glycerin or aloe. I happened to have a calendula glycerite already made, perfect! I chose to include the aloe juice (which I put in almost everything, I love that stuff) and calendula glycerite. Next, water/infusion. Since I wanted this to really pack an herbal punch, I decided to use the comfrey leaf and lavendar decoction (a reduced and concentrated infusion). I had my birch leaf hydrosol, lavender infused apple cider vinegar, to lower the PH, and SLSa (a surfactant derived from coconuts) ready to go! I started scratching our percentages with a few base numbers in mind, 10% vinegar, 5% SLSa, and 2% fragrance. My aunt requested lavender. Then I adjusted the other numbers accordingly, made up a 50g batch and gave it a try, yes on my hair. I thought it was a home run first time at bat, didn’t need to change anything, so, I made up a battle for my aunt and uncle to try out.
Then, I thought…hmm…what about oats, oats are soothing. So I re-figure a few things and created a recipe with oat milk, flax seed infusion and green tea glycerite scented with goat ilk and honey fragrance oil. Another winner! I made up another bottle! Woo hoo! I was on a roll!
Then, I thought, what about…wait,wait,wait. I can get a little obsessed and carried away. Two was a good start, I didn’t want to overwhelm them, once they were delivered, it was time to wait for feedback…the most nerve racking time. But, feedback was swift and I wasn’t the only one who thought we had a winner!
Next, it was time to name our new horse (and human) shampoo. Names are very important and not taken lightly here at The Garden Gate. This one came surprisingly easy, as though it was intended from the start…Epona’s Spirit, after the Celtic horse goddess.
We proudly introduce Epona’s Spirit horse shampoo. Selkie song was my favorite shampoo, but I think this one just bumped it.