I have been asked several times why I am doing this. I don’t get paid. I get kicked or stepped on fairly frequently. I ruin a lot of clothes, and I have to get photographed, which I dislike. The answer is both simple and complicated. Companion animals are a large part of my life. I don’t necessarily love every horse or dog I meet, but I recognize they are not given a choice about their situations.
A horse is generally expected to work, and stoic creatures that they are, most of them do. They don’t complain if a foot hurts, although they may limp. But what can they do if all four feet hurt? Or if their legs itch maddeningly, so they can’t rest? They can’t say what the problem is. They do their best.
It’s the same with dogs. A dog doesn’t get to decide its breeding, or what it eats. Sometimes we create something that meets a standard that doesn’t include the wellbeing of the animal. These animals have health problems that involve real suffering. The owners suffer, too. No one wants to see a beloved pet in pain.
What would you do if suddenly you were handed the means to fix these things?
I’m not saying we have the means to fix everything. The genetics will still be there, and there are plenty of problems we can’t fix. But we can fix some of them. Some of the rest we can help. If you read about Imari, King, or Nick, you will know that I become deeply involved with animals I am working with. This has less to do with love (although I admit, I loved these three deeply) than it does obligation. None of these animals had any choice but to serve us. We didn’t intend to fail them.
I am a nurse; I very well understand there are things that can’t be fixed. Happily, most of the things Equinell™ helps are not that way. A hundred years ago half a pound of sugar of lead, or a little mercury, would get rid of the problem nicely. We can’t do that now. So instead, we have draft horses suffering and dying. Saddle horses may have always had hoof problems, but they were generally recognized and dealt with, because, as the saying goes, you maintain your toys better than your tools.
I’m not trying to say people neglect their animals. Not at all. The problem is, there have not been the means to fix it. People have tried. If you look at the table of products, you will see there are quite a few. Some of them work, to some degree. The people who developed those products saw a need, and tried to fill it. But the challenge is huge.
At the same time, what would be considered a “normal” hoof has instead become an “average” hoof. To see a truly normal hoof you now have to find a very young horse, kept in excellent conditions or on pasture. After five years of living in a stall the foot becomes average, and most owners and farriers are so used to seeing them that they do not see that the foot is, in fact, diseased.
If you ask, most will admit there is thrush in the foot. But thrush is defined as “a mild, self limiting fungal condition, caused by a dirty environment”. That’s wrong on every front. However, if you want to be the best owner you can be, you might treat it with one of the many preparations on the market. Usually it doesn’t help much, if at all. Why?
Because the infection is very deep in the tissue, and it’s hard to get to where even oxygen can’t reach. But mostly, it’s because the infection isn’t mild, and it’s not fungal.
So the problem is twofold. First, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Now, of course, there are computers. But to know there is a problem that needs to be researched isn’t automatic. You tend to trust your farrier when he says the foot looks OK.
So you look higher up the leg for the source of the pain. Maybe it’s there, maybe it’s not.
But I can tell you this; if there are problems with the hoof, look no further until you fix them. Use what you like; my concern is for the horse, and like I said, I don’t get paid. But I can tell you this: Twice a day for nine years was a lot of applications. And the best I had wasn’t nearly good enough, so the days I just applied to the hooves were the good days. Equinell™ Hoof Oil would have been a really big help.
Same with the Shampoo. The sweet thing here is that the relief is so very rapid. Equinell™ doesn’t have any anesthetic in it. It just helps that fast.
Rescuing animals will always be a goal for me. Rescue doesn’t always mean picking up a starving animal on the roadside; often enough it means solving a problem that is causing suffering. In many cases the owner needs some rescuing, too. And there’s something really special in seeing an animal comfortable, in ending suffering. Maybe I’m rescuing myself, I don’t know.