EquiNatural is an independent equine Herbal and Mineral supplement consultancy based in Somerset, UK, run by me, Carol Moreton-Worth.
Trading Standards EC Feed Hygiene Regulation 183/2005, Registration No. GB280/4203
I've been so lucky to have had horses in my life since the 1960's - sounds like forever, but the older I get, the quicker time seems to pass, and it seems like just yesterday since those early fun days of galloping mad ponies bareback with just a headcollar! Don't quite think my heart-rate could cope with that now ...
Since those happy days I've watched modern progress change the horse world beyond all recognition, with chemically-driven agriculture leading to technological feed breakthroughs, and management techniques the likes that have never previously been witnessed - or even concieved - before. The equine feed and nutrition industry has become a minefield of confusion; the longer I've been caring for horses, the more I've come to realise that while it appears to be for the benefit of the horse, the only advice available with some feed companies seems to be based purely on product sales, and not for the benefit of our horses' health, if the overall deterioration of the domesticated horse's health over the last couple of decades is anything to go by.
Back in the late 1960's, the words 'Laminitis' and 'Cushings' were virtually unheard of. Horse life was a whole lot simpler back then, before progress took over. For me, it was only when my horse world started to go horribly wrong in the mid-2000's that I had a massive wake-up call, and ran at top-speed back to a more natural ideal and methodology. Since then I've been on an eye-opening trip of healthy discovery. If I've learned nothing else, the one overriding factor to sustain the health and longevity of our horses is so very simple - feed our horses with what they're meant to be fed, and keep our horses how they're meant to be kept. In other words, let our horses be horses.
My EquiNatural world is supported by my years of practical experience in caring for my own horses since the early 1970's, and of course our wonderful clients, their horses, their stories and testimonials. My competition days are now long gone, and my horse world is now much more relaxed, with our horses now pretty much retired and living a well-deserved leisurely lifestyle.
It all started . . .
. . . when mum took me for my first riding lesson as a child. Although in truth we can probably say when I was born in1958, when my maternal grandmother put Pepi, a cuddly toy donkey, into my cot. Pepi is still with me to this day, residing on my desk and overseeing my day.
Then, when I was 18-months old, look what I got for Christmas . . .
Me and Lulu - you can't argue with destiny!
I was so lucky to spend my childhood in the beautiful Surrey Hills countryside with literally miles of glorious never-ending Crown-Estate forest and hills to play in. It's no wonder that I became a committed tomboy - nature was my world. My childhood was literally spent outdoors, playing cowboys and indians, climbing trees and taking off into the woods to make camps with my brother.
Meanwhile my poor mother had tried every girlie hobby for me to make something stick - swimming, bit dull; ballet - bit girly. I kept saying 'Ponies!', but she kept resisting, and it wasn't until many years later that I realised she was allergic to all things pets and pollens so needed to avoid ponies at all costs! As a Last Chance option she enlisted me in the local Brownies, which I actually quite enjoyed but 'White Horses' was on TV at the same time - anyone remember that? So I sulked and Brownies came to an abrupt end. (Click here for a 'White Horses' blast from the past!)
Eventually mum very stoically gave in and contacted the local riding stables. On a lovely summer's day I was introduced to Wichy, a beautiful white Connemara Princess-Pony, with a coat soft as cashmere and warm breath. My heart melted; she was my real life 'White Horses' white horse. I can still remember that moment as if it was yesterday.
From then on I've never looked back. I became the typical pony-mad kid, spending every spare moment of my early teens helping out at that same riding school. By the mid 1970's and now aged 16, I started the 1-year Working Pupil training at that same riding school for the BHSAI exam. Run by one of today's most esteemed equestrian families, Marion and Peter Larrigan and their daughter Tanya, who became an Olympic Team member and one of Britian's leading international dressage riders and classical trainers, they had an eye for a more 'natural' way of communicating with their horses - it was never about controlling or dominating that regrettably we see so often. There was a genuine respect for their horses; they recognised them as partners, their team-players, yet very much with an appreciation that their horses had horse needs, and there was always a lot of 'play'. You only have to see Tanya's 'Magic of the Horse' and 'Mini-Marvel' shows to witness the amazing relationships she has today with her horses. You don't achieve partnerships like that through dominance and control.
Once out in the big world, it wasn't hard for me to lean towards what is now generically known as 'natural horsemanship'. As the 'natural' concept grew, I dipped in and out until I found my own natural direction. How I tumbled into EquiNatural, however, was quite by chance.
Fast forward to 2007 . . .
. . . I'm in my 50th year, and for the last couple of years I've watched, helpless, as my beautiful herd of horses have metabolically crashed in front of me.
Now let me introduce Kelso, a truly charming, beautifully bred, elderly ex-show cob, who we'd originally met a couple of years previously via our trainer (I'll explain later why we had a trainer).
Kelso is really the catalyst behind EquiNatural. In August 2007, Kelso joined our family as my husband's horse. We knew Kelso well as we'd fostered him for 6-months when our trainer had previously been unwell. We knew he also came with baggage - Allergy was his middle name. He suffered dreadfully with chronic sweet-itch, with deep-rooted habitual red-raw scratching and serious head-shaking, but I was perfectly happy to manage this with the usual paraphernalia of fly rugs and face masks.
However, he also came to us with brittle, crumbling hooves which he hadn't had previously, and a worrying hacking cough which, for August, was unusual. The only respiratory term banded around then was COPD, which as far as everyone knew only related to winter, didn't it? The now very recognised seasonal pollen allergy response hadn't been acknowledged then.
Within a week of Kelso coming to live with us, his cough got progressively worse, and he was now wheezing so badly, with exaggerated heave lines and nostril flare,that he literally couldn't get his breath to walk. Kelso's respiratory system was in meltdown.
The vet diagnosed secondary chest infection. He was prescribed a cocktail of bute, antibiotics and Ventipulmin, yet two weeks later he'd not only not responded to any of it, but he was significantly worse. He was now in his stable permanently as he no longer had the energy to walk out of it. The vet came again and prescribed another 2-week course of meds. Still Kelso didn't respond. I was desolate, and having only just got him in our lives, we were now facing the very real prospect that we could lose him. As his respiratory system weakened, it was crystal clear that his immune system wasn't coping, and the prescribed antibiotics weren't killing off anything other than what little immunity he had remaining. In desperation I wondered if herbs could help Kelso, and hit the web.
I lost sleep researching every herby web page I could find, and finally put together a bronchial-busting blend of respiratory herbs, with a generous helping of liquorice for lovely vapour and soothant to help re-open and soothe his upper respiratory tract to get him breathing again. Naturally, Echinacea, the renowned immunity booster, was a major player, alongside tonic herbs to try and lift Kelso's spirits. I gave him a double dose for breakfast, crossed everything I had to cross, and waited.
His response was quite astonishing - if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I would never have believed it. Within 48 hours, his nostril flare and wheezing were significantly reduced. By Day 3 his eyes were bright again and he was breathing regularly. Within 5 days his heaving had completely stopped and he was able to be turned back out with the others. Within 2 weeks we took him out for a gentle walk on the flat. I can't describe the relief we all felt - Kelso was on the road to recovery.
The EquiNatural seed was sown
The stress of watching Kelso struggle - and worsen - for a month, had left me with little confidence in our vet, yet a simple blend of herbs had given Kelso not only symptomatic relief within hours, but a curative effect as well, and at a fraction of the cost.
A couple of months later as the weather got colder, a friend of mine had a COPD horse who was not responding to Ventipulmin, and she asked if I could put together some 'Kelso Herbs' for her. A couple of days later, her horse was much improved. Soon I was bagging up more bundles of Kelso Herbs for horsey friends, and by December I'd given the blend a name - BreathePlus - so named because those herbs had literally got Kelso breathing again. As the orders started coming in, I wondered whether maybe there was something in this and by early 2008 I'd set up an Ebay page alongside my full-time job. Thanks to Kelso, my life was starting to change. The learning, however, had only just begun.
The bit in the middle - when our horse-world went horribly wrong
Pre-Kelso days - our idyllic piece of toxic Wiltshire heaven . . .
From the Surrey Hills for my childhood, to the South Downs as an adult - it didn't get much better than that for riding! Then, early 2000's, me and my Connemara, Murphy, moved to Wiltshire, where the newly acquired husband and I found 7-acres of (what we thought were) perfect grazing - unkempt, overgrown, unfertilised - and private!
Right on the edge of Salisbury Plain, we were tucked underneath the White Horse of Westbury, with sweeping open country as far as you could see, and surrounded by miles upon miles of fields of crops and heady yellow rapeseed. The only blot on the landscape was a concrete factory a couple of miles west of us with a huge eye-sore chimney that belched out its smoke-cloud over us when we had a westerly wind, which was most days - we always knew when we had the westerlies as the air smelt of kids cap-guns.
Sure enough, within 6 months everything started to change. Our horses became lethargic, and generally out of sorts. Bromley, my husband’s once-sweet New Forest cob, became positively evil; he bit, kicked and rear-ended, refusing to leave the yard. The only way we could get him out of the gate was by literally riding him in reverse to get him going in the direction we wanted. He threw the nastiest naps imaginable, many of them on the main roads just when an articulated truck was going by. It wasn’t long before we were referring to him as ‘dangerous’. When my husband finally ended up with several cracked ribs and a fractured jaw, he threw in the towel – understandably.
As for Dinky, my step-daughter’s second pony, he literally crashed overnight with very unexpected laminitis. Meanwhile, Murphy's gut went into overdrive, colic-y and ulcerogenic, with projectile gravy replacing healthy droppings, alongside pounding digital pulses. It wasn't long before he soon acquired lots of labels - EMS, IR, LGL, and mega-spooky. My beautiful, calm, laid-back sociable boy changed to bordering on wide-eyed psychotic, and he frankly started to scare me when riding out.
Our once-gentle herd had became metabolically challenged within months of moving. At the time I was clueless - if only I'd known then what I know now, but back then all I could see were the symptoms. I just couldn't understand it - I was completely baffled.
We spent a fortune on every specialist we could find; backs, teeth, saddles, bodyworkers, but nothing changed. Eventually tunnel-vision set in - I couldn't even think within the box, let alone outside of it. Finally, all I could think of was to get a trainer on board to try and school-out these 'attitudes' that Bromley and Murf had developed. This was tough for me, after all, I'm a qualified instructor, trained with the Larrigan's! And here I was feeling like a novice and ringing round for a trainer . . .
Meanwhile, I started making pretty much every excuse not to ride. Knowing what I know now, especially as these days I ride my horses out barefoot and bitless on the buckle, when I think back to those days of forcing Murf against his will in the school, when all the time he was desperately trying to tell me that he had real physical and systemic discomfort, I am still mortified with guilt.
Definition of Co-Incidence
'A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection'
Without question, Kelso's illness was the start of my starting to question - and demanding answers - for what was going on in my horse world. Him getting seriously ill got me studying again, which effected profound changes in the way I kept my horses.
The same summer that Kelso came to live with us, we also moved house to be nearer our step-daughter's new school. We swapped to the Somerset side of Salisbury Plain, a very different landscape of dairy and sheep, and not a crop in sight. Within a few months, I noticed that our horses were becoming more like their old selves again, and with a distinct improvement in their overall health. Best of all, I had the old Murphy back - my boy was back to his old friendly self, happy to be with me again, and his gut seemed so much more settled.
Me and Murphy, Salisbury Plain
It was now time to address Kelso's hooves, and I started researching the possibility of taking him barefoot. 2008 was still early days in barefoot-ville, with very little information around. I hit the search engines and by sheer chance found a forum, full of advice and support from people who'd either taken the plunge, or were considering doing so, not so much out of whimsical desire, but more because for many, they were in Last-Chance-Corrall. Many of their horses were crippled with various lameness issues and the choices were limited - either try barefoot or it was PTS.
The forum was invaluable for barefoot advice, and I learned early on that diet and enviroment were two key factors. While researching diet, and more specifically equine feed ingredients, I started becoming aware of the chemical treatments used on those same ingredients, which led me to learn more about the risks of metabolic effect due to toxic overload in our horses systems. I promptly dumped the shiny processed feedbags and stripped back our feed regime to a more natural forage-based diet. I also put in a track system in their field to enable natural and constant movement for them to forage, while keeping them off the rich grass. Kelso's hooves made a miraculous recovery.
On the strength of Kelso's success, I took all my horses barefoot. Happy that we seemed to be heading back to the good old days, I put the positive changes down to going barefoot, with the diet change and the novel track system. It was all coming together! However, the final part of the jigsaw was about to reveal itself when I started talking with another horse owner who had also, like us, watched their herd metabolically crash after moving.
The only factor they could pinpoint was that for the first time ever they’d chemically sprayed their fields, and that they could taste chemicals in the air when the local farmland was sprayed and the air drifted over their property – just like us back in Wiltshire. It all started making sense. Our previous home had slowly been damaging every fibre of my horses' systems, thanks to chemical exposure from local crop spraying and the factory chimney. The nearby crops were regularly sprayed with chemical fertilisers and the full buffet of the 'ides' - pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, alongside the chimney dropping its sulphur cloud onto our grazing land. I recalled the Letters page in the local paper from angry locals demanding answers from the Environment Agency, and gradually, I started to understand.
This was a major turning point for me. I now realised the importance of 'environment' as a whole - it wasn't just about the field they stood in; it was also very much about the location and surrounding area.
Thanks to a series of co-incidences, I'd finally found the answers to my horses' mystery syndrome. Getting chemicals out of their lives seemed to be key - thanks to going barefoot, I'd learned some eye-opening facts about the chemical processes on packaged feeds but now, with the growing body of evidence that I was building from my somewhat obsessive research, I had a fair idea of the direction I needed to take to ensure my horses never experienced such devastating effects on their health again.
I've since completed several training programmes, including Equine Health & Nutrition, Equine Herbal Medicine & Remedies, Nutrition as a Therapy, Nutrient Digestion in the Equine Gastrointestinal Tract, and Feeding the Metabolic Syndrome Horse. In 2011 I completed an Equine Soundness Hoofcare programme, and in 2012 I followed the Coursera Equine Nutrition course with the University of Edinburgh. I also actively follow esteemed veterinary, Dr Eleanor Kellon, and her ECIR group which is an ethos I firmly believe in. Thanks to all my horses I've intensively researched the subject of laminitis, both dietary and metabolic, PPID, and appropriate feeding of horses with ulcers and/or compromised digestion.
However, I'll be the first to put my hand in the air and say I'm no qualified nutritionist or vet, nor am I here to replace professional veterinary and/or medical advice. At heart I'm still that pony-mad kid - I'm just a normal person speaking with people just like me, who have maybe crossed my path because they too have struggled with their horse's health. I don't consider myself an expert in any kind of way, but if anything I've learned can help another horse owner help their horse, this is what it's all about for me. For me it's all about keeping everything in balance while keeping an open mind, with a foot in both the conventional and natural camps, and knowing when to use what.
My life's overriding passion are my horses - all animals, come to that - working on a farm we also have alpacas, Billy the goat, who is simply adorable and everyone's best friend, sheep, cows (including Rowan, the very friendly bull!), hundreds of chickens, many of whom are ex-battery rescues, guinea-fowl, peacocks, geese, ducks ... plus several adorable dogs and cats. As I type, two of the dogs are now curled up on my knackered and chewed-to-bits office sofa after a fun-run doing the yard chores :o)
My horses are my first love though; over the years I've watched them grow and interact within their environment, with as natural a lifestyle as I've been able to provide for them always at the forefront of my desire for them. Each one of them has been responsible for the blends that we’ve put together under the EquiNatural banner, and they in return have told me over the years whether I've got it right or not. Without doubt, my horses have been, and still are, my greatest teachers.
Bally-Murphy (Murf) is my beloved Connemara, who came to me aged 7 in 2001 - I can't believe he's now in his 20's and very content in semi-retirement. I met Murf at the West Sussex Horse Rescue, following the wonderful care he received from the sanctuary after after his journey from Ireland (another story!). He is my absolute heart-horse, having given me years of XC fun, and still a wonderful fun ride with a sharp edge to keep things interesting. However, he is my most metabolically challenged. Diagnosed IR at 8-yrs, with a sensitive gut so high-risk laminitis, he's also my most challenging for barefoot hoof soundness. Murf is wholly responsible for the creation of our Laminitis and Gut blends.
Cookie is our gorgeous girl, 13.2hh of native cob, sweet, sensitive and very affectionate. We were looking for our daughter's third pony and found Cookie in a trekking centre back in 2006 when she was 6 years old, covered in lice with matted mane and tail. Boy could she jump though, and daughter was smitten; she and Cookie spent a couple of years whizzing round the junior XC circuits, with Cookie clearing the 2'9" courses with a foot to spare.
Cookie's metabolism is rock solid, thank goodness, but she expands in summer so grass management is essential for her, although ideally she'd love to live out permanently. She gets itchy eyes during heavy summer pollens, and straw beds instantly congest her respiratory system. She's also suspect cushingoid; as soon as we saw the signs back in summer 2014, we got her on our CushSupport, and within a month she was back to her former cheery self and hasn't looked back. Cookie initiated our EyeClear blend.
Carmen on the day of her first trim, Sept'14 Carmen now, Jul'15
- you wouldn't believe she's 15.1hh; I'm only 5'6" and - all gloriously gorgeous full-up 15.1hh's worth! -
you can see how shrunken and pathetic she looks -
(plus how glum I look at her poor state)
We've all got a horse story, haven't we. We've had several, and Carmen is no exception. Here's her story.
In September 2014, I was neither looking for, or needed, another horse. I had the perfect life/horse/work balance with Murf and Cookie, but then I met Carmen, a very pretty 8-yr old TB mare.
Carmen had started her life as a prospective racer, beautifully bred to fly and win. But - she was born with a turned-in front left hoof, so discarded to a life as a brood mare. By the age of 6 she'd been passed from home to home, and was found by her previous owner abandoned in a field when they were looking at another horse for their daughter. They didn't buy the horse, but saw the whip scars on Carmen's rump and how she hobbled, and took her home there and then.
The vet pronounced her effectively 2/10 lame with a permanent script of pain-relief and annual steroid jabs. She was turned out and loved, but meanwhile her barrel was expanding rapidly, more so than a summer on grass. Several months later Carmen produced a perfect foal, the result of an illicit night with a big coloured WB!
Enter me. A sucker for a sob story, on hearing about her sad background, of course I went and cuddled her, and sure enough there was her pronounced wonky hoof, and in a pretty ropey state to boot. In fact, all her hooves hadn't seen a rasp for months - they were all overgrown and dished, poor quality with underrun heels and laminitic event lines on every one.
She also didn't look fabulous - not scrawny or thin so much, but under-nourished, dull scurfy coat, just generally not as good as you'd expect, especially for a TB. I casually asked what feed she was on and shuddered at the response - apart from 24-hr grass turnout she was on twice-a-day feeds of high-molassed, 17% sugar chaff and really crappy nuts with all the ingredients I avoid like the plague. Trying not to look condemning, I asked why she was on so much feed for summer. "It's what our others get so she's on the same," came the reply. Ah. She obviously hadn't had any decent nutrition for months. I'm not implying for one minute that the then owners weren't caring - totally the opposite, in fact. They just didn't know much, not even the basics, about any kind of equine nutrition or management.
There was also a particularly nasty looking wound on her right hind fetlock, which looked very gammy, borderline infected, and in need of a good clean-up. I mentioned it, and they said she'd caught it on barbed wire months back after a hoon in the field. Months?! Apparently their vet had looked at it and said it would heal nicely on its own. It plainly wasn't. Then the owners said they were thinking of selling her on as a companion. Aww cripes. Those fatal words . . .
With her story ringing in my ears, I mentioned it to the husband. "Are you sure you want another horse?" he asked, looking a bit worried. "Um ..." I replied. I couldn't get her out of my head. You know that feeling. I wanted to get her right, and really felt she deserved a bit of a life other than being permanently turned out in a small paddock on her own, with pretty much zero attention other than a feedbowl put down for her. Apart from anything, her hooves needed serious attention, and that wound definitely needed looking at. The owners wanted £500.00 for her, so I figured I could scrape that together and she could be a companion for Cookie who adored the company of mares, and had meanwhile been very stuck with Murf for years. I already had 2 horses, I argued; one more wouldn't be too much extra work,would it?! After all, we'd originally had 5 - I could manage, no bother, I tried to convince myself. Husband shrugged, and gave me the cash to go get her there and then.
The deal was done and Carmen was mine. I now had a beautiful 8-yr old chestnut TB mare in my care. She joined up with Murf and Cookie in the field and settled perfectly - Cookie was overjoyed!
First off I switched her feed straight away to our regime of Copra, our EquiVita minerals and herbal JointSupport. She looked at me as if I was some kind of mad, and refused it all. Took a while but within 2-weeks she was converted, licking her bowl cleaner than the other two. I set to on the fetlock wound and cleaned it up. Our trimmer, Deb, came over within days and spent hours taking photos of Carmen's hooves and giving her her first proper trim. She was impeccable throughout, and by the end of the day her hooves looked remarkably improved. Deb also commented on the fetlock wound, and I gave her the story, assuring her I was on the case.
Two weeks later, Carmen couldn't walk. She was fine that morning when I turned her out; now she was stock still in her field. It soon became apparent that she was hopping lame on her right hind and in real pain. Somehow I got her in - she was brave and stoic, and hobbled painfully along the track to her stable where I was able to have a good look at her. She seemed all disjointed in her stifle area, and I wondered if she'd dislocated it.
Seriously worried, I called the vet, who checked the stifle, thankfully gave it the all-clear, then focussed on the fetlock wound. I gave her the story - a several-months' old wound I inherited when I bought her, but we've cleaned it up and it's not getting any worse. The vet looked very concerned, took fluid from the joint with a very nasty needle, and gave me the bad news. Our beautiful 8-yr old girl had developed joint sepsis in her fetlock, assuring me that the internal infection had probably been there for weeks, and only presented itself that day as the infection reached its pinnacle. You could have knocked me over.
Carms was immediately prescribed bute and antibiotics, although the vet gravely told me that the antibiotics only had a 5% chance of working, and if there was no improvement within 48-hours, Carmen's prognosis was PTS.
I went home in shock. Tears were shed. I barely slept until the next morning when I could drench all her drugs into her, which she took without batting an eyelid. 24-hours came and went. She was still in agony and couldn't put any weight on her leg at all. Very aware that I only had one more day, I diligently gave her her drugs and prayed hard to all the gods. I'd barely got to know her for 5-minutes and now I was counting down the clock to have to end her young life.
The following morning she was no better, barely shuffling around her stable and still not able to weight-bear. I called the vet that morning in floods, accepting the prognosis, not wanting to prolong her suffering. We agreed to speak the following morning and make the dreaded appointment.
That night something in me changed. I drenched her as usual, hugged her like crazy and cried my eyes out. I knew I had to do the right thing by her but oh boy it was appalling to have to do. Then I got angry. What the heck was I doing, about to let a beautiful, healthy, young girl die? How come vet anti-b's only had a 5% chance of working? What on earth was the point of a miserly 5% chance, next to nothing, as well as all the damage to her gut and systemic immunity? It was almost a Kelso deja-vu all over again. Vet meds not working. Hang on, worse than that. Didn't have a hope in heck of working. I had to turn to herbs. Just like I'd done all those years ago with Kelso.
All I could think of was that I somehow had to give her the biggest blast of natural antibiotic, detoxing and immune support that herbs could muster, to draw out the infection as best I could. That night I put together a blend, and the following morning I gave her a double dose and crossed everything. I didn't call the vet that day.
Two mornings later, when I peered over her stable door, Carmen's hoof was flat on the floor. I couldn't believe my eyes! Then I noticed a flipping great hole on her coronet band right below the fetlock wound. She'd abscessed beautifully - I've never been so happy to see an abscess in my life! She walked out of her stable that same morning after her breakfast without a care in the world, and never looked back.
That was October 2014. Since then we've taken Carms out happy-hacking, and she's the sweetest ride, loose reins on her Dr Cooks' bitless bridle and completely non-spooky. She also looks awesome in my western saddle! She really enjoys going out, and loves out-pacing Murf on the last blast up the final hill! Her coat is glowing and she looks amazing. Her hooves are beautiful now, her underrun heels still a bit of a work in progress, but they'll take the time they need. We keep her on our JointSupport herbs, combined with appropriate mare herbals, and she's comfortable and happy. She does not get an annual steroid jab.
It's barely worth thinking about, but imagine if I'd gone with my vet (which in my emotional state I so nearly did), I'd have ended the life of a beautiful 8-year old girl who'd already been through enough of a horrible life, and who is now thriving. I am so lucky to have her in my life and we adore her. Carmen is entirely responsible for our EquiBio blend.
RIP Kelso,1990-2012. 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 safest, kindest chaps you could ever hope to meet. Kelso was responsible for our BreathePlus respiratory blend, our original BareEssential for his hooves (now our overall conditioning blend BareEssential Conditioner), and our SkinSoothe blend for his itching. Kelso was also chief test-pilot for many of our other blends, including our JointSupport and SeniorPlus.