I have been using The Herbal Horse supplements for quite a while now, and have had very good results with them. For example, I’ve found that their Calm Mix is an absolute godsend for a difficult, anxious, overreactive horse, Farriers Mix has my horses’ feet looking the best they ever have, and Itch Mix has totally controlled Daisy’s sweet itch this year.
A few people have asked me about the company, so I asked the founder and owner, Biochemist/Zoologist (a great combination) Beryl Shuttleworth, a few questions:
Where do you get your ideas? is it general musing, or in response to problems you see, recognising issues, or gaps in the market?
“It’s probably a bit of each of these.
For example, Calm mix was born when I had an OTTB who had been mistreated when racing. He was completely off-the-wall-bat-sh*t-crazy. And NOTHING I could find on the market worked. So, I invented Calm mix. And yes, he calmed down and became a lovely horse… 🙂
Farriers mix was a result of a farrier customer finding a recipe in an old Horse and Hound for ‘the perfect hoof formulation’. The recipe got modernised and tweaked and retweaked and is now ‘perfecter’ than ever. 😉
Rejuven mix was a response to the same old variations of the same three ingredients being trotted out by every supplement company in the world. We felt that the world was ready for a better, more innovative joint supplement.
Then, in South Africa, we have a horribly vicious virus called African Horse Sickness. And although we have a vaccine, it seems to be becoming less and less effective every season. You can see the need for a good immune booster here… Immune mix was our answer to AHS.”
What is the design process? do you do various ‘prototypes’ kind of thing, and see how they work?
“I become totally and completely immersed in the process. I eat, sleep, think the new product non-stop. I spend hours on the internet or wading through various books. And then, at the end of the process, I emerge, blinking in the sunlight, with a new product to try. ;-)”
How are they tested?
“We ask for volunteers amongst our customers. After getting feedback from these people, we will either make changes to the product and retest, or start to work on the product registration process.”
How do you decide on combinations?
“Each ingredient must be both safe and effective in its own right. Plus all of the ingredients must be safe and effective when used in conjunction with each other. It is quite a balancing act…”
Do you have new ideas in the pipeline?
“At the moment we are going through the process of updating and perfecting each of the existing products.
We have also had quite astonishing results with the Itch mix. It was originally aimed at Sweet Itch sufferers, but we have had success in horses with laminitis, in head-shakers and with horses with breathing problems. So part of the process for Itch mix will be optimising it for these conditions as well.”
What are your sources?
“I have a pile of books which I haul out when I am formulating. Then I do a lot of internet searches – especially on Google Scholar which searches all of the scientific papers.”
How do you test to be sure the products are all legal etc?
“Having made a mistake once before [when a perfectly safe but non-EU permitted product was used] I am now super vigilant. We have a massive spreadsheet, where every single ingredient is subjected to examination against the customs list of allowable ingredients in each country that we export to, as well as the FEI Prohibited Substances list.
We have also sent the products to an internationally accredited, independent drug testing laboratory in order to be 100% sure that we are completely compliant.”
If you fancy trying out one or more of the products, use the code kerry10off for a 10% discount off your order. You can use it more than once. This offer expires at the end of October. The website with the full range of products is HERE.