Daring to be different
At the very forefront of the EquiFeast philosophy is the idea that good nutrition can help the wellbeing of horses and the pleasure and value riders and owners get from them. But we are also convinced that the equine nutrition industry is far less scientifically sound than we would all like to imagine. This is simply because it is a small industry with limited resources and relatively few academic researchers available.
To plug that gap we at EquiFeast have been committed to trialling new approaches in the real world with the valued cooperation of customers, non-customer riders and vets. Our willingness to look at many novel ingredients has led to rejecting some and developing exciting new approaches with others.
The most powerful example of this is our leading role is the campaign to reduce the amount of magnesium added to feeds and supplements. Magnesium is a proven sedative and, following extensive blood trials in the UK and Australia, it was clear that, rather than improve horse performance, adding magnesium to horse diets often increased anxiety and distractibility. By impairing brain function it may even contribute to riding accidents.
Reducing magnesium in diets often eliminates the need for horse calmers entirely. But the next most common cause of poor brain function is a shortage of chelated calcium in the diet. Chelated calcium is a nutrient in its own right that constitutes a normal part of the blood and other fluids in the body. It seems to improve the main process used to switch cells on - known as calcium signalling. It works all over the body but in the brain it improves behaviour by helping the brain work as nature intended and helping horses to realise that they have never been eaten by a dressage whiteboard.
Malcolm & Sally Green started EquiFeast in 2005 in the UK and since then it has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative suppliers of horse supplements around. This was confirmed when we won the FSB/Worldpay National Business Innovation Award in 2014.
This Award particularly noted the close connection that EquiFeast has developed between its customer service team and its R&D process. By employing Equine Science graduates in customer service roles, carefully monitoring customer feedback and empowering the team to have inputs into product development the firm has created a number of products from unique raw materials that have a dramatic impact on the performance and wellbeing of horses.
Our idea to try horses on chelated calcium came from an observation made from in our other business (The Birdcare Company) that difficult behaviour in pet parrots rarely resolved without a chelated calcium supplement. The Birdcare Company has been trading since 1994 and exports all around the World and its chelated calcium products have been the biggest sellers every month since December 1994. That pattern has been repeated in the EquiFeast business.
This is what can happen to some pet birds without enough chelated calcium. They can become very aggressive and they self-mutilate.:
When Malcolm's horse Paddy didn't respond to magnesium or herbal calmers we asked ourselves the question "If Paddy was a parrot what would we give him to improve confidence and behaviour?" We gave him our (very expensive) bird chelated calcium supplement and he breathed a great big sigh of relief. Proper trials in 2008 led to the current, far more economical Cool, Calm & Collected (CCC) formulation:
What is most exciting about this technology is that it is finding benefits all around the body so turns out to be far more than a horse calmer. Indeed customer feedback suggests that it helps the muscles, hormones (sex and metabolic), bones and even tendons & ligaments. Perhaps the most exciting current research is in horses with Cushing's disease but we are also working with extensively grazed stock horses in Australia, race horses and commercial farmers in the dairy and poultry industries.
This technology is protected by two different patents. the first has been granted in Canada, Australia and the UK and is pending in the USA and Europe. The second is still pending worldwide. So only EquiFeast can supply this unique approach to horse feeding.
Our second most important innovative technology is the powerful immune support package we have developed. Not only does this help horses to cope with the inevitable infections and wounds they get but it has a dramatically positive effect on allergies.
In 2013 (following some extensive trials the year before) we started manufacture and marketing in Australia. That has proven highly successful and so we are planning to replicate the process in the America with a view to servicing the USA and Canadian markets largely from domestic manufacture. However it looks like it costs more than twice as much to make these supplements in America than it does in Europe so, for the immediate future, we will be exporting from our long established British factory and allowing you to get the full benefit of our weak pound!
We are passionate about customer service so feel free to access one of our experienced advisors by email or Facebook (EquiFeast North America). This service is as much a part of our offering as the products themselves.