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Victoria Dorman

Applied Zoopharmacognosist

Qualified Homeopath


About Me

In a barn one dark December evening 7 years ago, I witnessed the astonishing power of an essential oil to transform a horse that was so defensive he was baring his teeth and wouldn’t let anyone near him, into one that was completely relaxed and friendly. I was amazed. How could a few drops of essential oil have such a tranquillising effect? It transpired that the horse had arthritis in his neck, was therefore in pain and so warned anyone approaching him to stay away just incase they were thinking of putting a bridle on him. The essential oil selected was peppermint, which is a pain-relieving anti-inflammatory which for a while at least, took away the pain. I was hooked. Two of the greatest passions in my life, animals and aromatherapy had collided, igniting a desire to bring the beneficial effects of plant medicines to horses everywhere. I have been studying and practicing ever since and now hope to share with you how to bring the benefits of the botanical world to your horse.

I am a fully insured Applied Zoopharmacognosist, having studied Herbal Choices for Animals (Applied Zoopharmacognosy) at Rose Holistic Therapies and Training, qualifying in 2017. I qualified as a homoeopath in 2001 and my study of herbs, nutrition and natural health is on-going. My work is divided between A-Z sessions with horses and dogs (and the occasional cat), running in-person workshops and foraging walks, and producing beneficial planting plans for equine properties. I have many years of experience in caring for horses, dogs and cats and I am a passionate promoter of natural solutions to health issues for animals, humans and plants for the long term health of the earth and all its inhabitants.


Website & Contact Details


Online Course - Coming Soon!


A knowledge of Applied Zoopharmacognosy has a wide range of benefits for those caring for horses: from simply improving and then maintaining general health to offering natural medicinal support for both chronic and acute illness; and from providing mental stimulation to allowing the release of previous trauma and the accompanying behavioural issues. It’s potentially a huge subject but it’s also one where even a little knowledge can massively improve your horses’ lives.


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of plants, the range of essential oils and the amount of scientific information available, but the absolute magic of this technique is that it is your horse that will do the selecting of the botanical for you - deep down in their instinctive brain, they already know far more than we ever will - and it is also your horse that will tell you how much of that herb, nutrient or essential oil they need! Another benefit of this wonderful practice is that it can even save you money. Many of these fabulous plants grow all around us and are available for free!


Science has recognised that all animals have an instinctive understanding of which plants they need to stay well and this has been termed Zoopharmacognosy, a rather unpronounceable name given to something that's happening all day everyday for animals in the wild, and always has.

Let’s break it down:

ZOO = animals

PHARMA = medicines (pharmaceuticals)

COGNOSY = knowledge of


This is an easy practice for those in the wild who can forage far and wide to find what they need, but what about animals in captivity cared for by us? This is where the “Applied” bit comes in: Applied Zoopharmacognosy is the name for the practice of bringing medicinal plants to our domesticated and/or captive animals and allowing them to choose, just as they would in the wild. This short course will provide you with the basic knowledge to safely begin to enrich your horse’s life in many ways and at the same time, as a wonderful side-effect, strengthen your relationship. The effects are profound and wonderful and once you start you will never look at a hedgerow the same way again!


Upcoming Events & Courses - 2024

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