I couldn't start this page without Kelso at the top of it, as without Kelso there would be no EquiNatural.
Aka Big-K, Kelso was my husband's ride, a truly wonderful elderly gent and our herd-leader. A gentle giant, Kelso was one of the kindest chaps you could ever hope to meet.
Kelso was the reason I started EquiNatural - see our main About page for the full story. He was entirely responsible for our very first herbal blend, BreathePlus, and our original barefoot hoof blend, BareEssential, which then morphed into what became our EquiVita forage-balanced mineral solutions range. Due to his chronic sweet-itch, he also instigated our SwItchTonic blend.
Kelso was also chief test-pilot for many of our other blends, including our JSTTonic.
Kelso was my absolute hero, the most stoic horse I've ever met while enduring genuine suffering without a complaint - I'm completely indepted to him. Thanks to Kelso we've been able to help so many horses over the years, and hopefully will continue to do so for many more years to come.
Murphy is my now-retired, and absolute beloved riding horse, a Connemara, who came to me aged 7 in 2001. I can't believe we've been together more than 20-years - he's now in his late-20's and living the retired Life of Riley which he thoroughly deserves.
I met Murf at the West Sussex Horse Rescue, following the wonderful care he received from the sanctuary after his journey from Ireland (another grim story). He is my absolute heart-horse, having given me years of trail-riding and XC fun, always with a sharp edge to keep things interesting.
He's also my most metabolically challenged. Diagnosed IR aged 7, with a very sensitive gut, he's also my most challenging for barefoot hoof soundness.
We found gypsy cob Cookie in a trekking centre back in 2006, aged 6, when daughter was ready for her third pony. Cookie was covered in lice with a matted mane and tail, and front shoes literally hanging off.
It was love at first sight and once we got her home and tidied up, we soon realised that OhBoy could she jump. It was a match made in heaven - daughter and Cookie whizzing round the junior XC circuits, with Cookie clearing the 2'9" courses with a foot to spare.
A typical EMS pony, grass management is essential for her, and she gets itchy eyes during heavy summer pollens. In 2014 she was diagnosed PPID; as soon as we saw the signs we got her straight onto our CushTonic blend, and within a month she was back to her former cheery self and hasn't looked back since.
Cookie also initiated our EyeTonic blend.
Carmen started her life as a prospective racer, beautifully bred to fly and win. However, she was born with a twisted left fore hoof and allegedly she was discarded to life as a brood mare and passed from home to home.
She was not well-looked after - despite now looking amazing, she still bears deep whip scars. By pure chance she crossed my path when, typically for me (sucker for a sob story) I was neither looking for, nor needed, another horse.
Carmen is as near-human a horse that I've ever met; thoughtful, sensitive, and very ladylike. Not a hint of Diva, but she can bring on the sass - she'll let us know her opinion very clearly. I adore her and consider myself very lucky to have her, despite being on the receiving end of both hinds a few years back which broke a couple of ribs - wrong place, wrong time, not intentional on her part!
Carms has one heck of a story - see our Case Studies page. She initiated our BioCARE and helped expand our Joints section, because even though she's officially 2/10 lame, she doesn't agree and is our most energetic field-hooner, often resulting in her becoming 3-legged for a while. We've always kept her unridden to avoid any excess strain on her front legs.
Mac, affectionately known as MacAttack (for very obvious reasons!), joined our herd in November 2017. Like Carmen, it was never meant to happen; just right place right time.
Mac was in the field next to ours at a new livery yard, with chronic sweet itch. One look at him and that was it - I couldn't walk away. I asked the YO if I could help him.
Mac had been abandoned by a former livery 4-yrs previously, and after two unsuccessful rehoming attempts by the YO, he ended up staying as a pasture pet with one of their own retired ponies. This was the Mac I met; one free-range chap who would come up to the fence to say hello.
He's was a proper bargy thug and biter, all teeth bared, with no concept of personal space. However, there was just something about him.
Together that first year, me and Mac fought, and eventually won, his sweet itch battle, switching over to our diet plan, our SwItchTonic and lashings of what became our SwItchGel - we've also got a Case Study on that first year with him.
MacAttack’s now very much part of our herd. These days he's a poppet to be around and he's utterly devoted to Carmen, following her around like a puppy.
Pops joined us in December 2019. A long-term resident at a barefoot livery yard, her teen rider had outgrown her and her family were looking for someone to take her on FOC.
We felt terribly sorry for her; despite being at the yard for 5-years she had no bond with any of the horses there - she just seemed so unhappy; there was no softness about her, just very defensive and wary.
Ever the sucker for a sob-story, we took her on. Of course she went onto our feed regime with mineral balancing and calming/stress herbal support. Then cue the Covid lockdown, so we moved back to our old yard where we rented 7-acres independently and put up our own shelters. Overnight Pops relaxed, and we could see more of the lovely girl underneath the protective wall.
Pops eventually settled really well with us - took longer than expected due to her needing to feel self-protective, but we let her take the time she needed. She's now the sweetest little mare, the easiest pony ever to catch and lead, and incredibly affectionate - she just loves human attention and cuddles. She can still turn on the sass - she wouldn't be Pops if she wasn't, and despite my best efforts I can't find any herb with 'escape artist' listed in its supporting benefits - just look at her expression in the photo ... plotting! 😉
(Official name Dryblas, a Polish term of endearment for 'lissom/leggy')
Blas coming into our life was unexpected; cobs are my type of horse so to own a TB was special enough, but then we discovered his lineage which was a revelation.
I bought Blas on spec, aged 17, never having met him, but it was a desperate story. A friend of a friend had lost her job; unable to pay her livery the yard were threatening to sell him. My friend vouched for his impeccable self so I didn't hesitate, and Blas arrived one freezing February night in 2007.
Blas was an absolute gentleman and a fantastic ride, faster than anything I'd ever experienced. His passport showed he was a Polish Anglo-Arab, starting his life on a Polish stud in 1992, bred to event but with us he loved nothing more than a trail ride.
We were astonished to discover Blas had a direct line, via his dam, to the legend that is Man O'War. Man O'War sired War Relic (1938), sired Relic (1945), sired Antiquarian (1961), sired Saroyan (1970), who sired his dam, Drynda (1980). No wonder he was so flipping fast!
A few years on and a dressage friend urgently needed a replacement horse for a competition as hers was lame. We lent her Blas, and watched in awe as he performed his amazing tricks and flicks. A new partnership was born, and we eventually gifted him to her.