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The Gentle Giant with a fragile heart.
I first met this big gentle giant, named Informer, when he was 3 years old. He already stood at just below 17.3 hh with big ears that looked somewhat out of place and a beautiful blaze that set him apart from the rest of the herd. What stood out even more was his gentle nature, and so we dubbed him, GG, short for Gentle Giant.
My ex-husband and I purchased him just after he turned 4 years old and so the journey began. As I never sell off animals, GG is still with me today after 23 years together, and back then I didn’t realise what a profound impact he would have on my life.
He was the one horse that could drop his shoulder like no other and unseat me in a moment. Being a Thoroughbred, he definitely had spirit but has never been cruel in nature. He rode and looked like a warm blood because of his big bulky stature and his smooth movement. Where have you ever had a horse that could throw you at a drop of a hat and yet when worked in, I could canter him collectively at a walking pace? While saddle-work was always rewarding, the moments we had in the stable and paddock were by far the most special. He has always been a very affectionate horse and loves having a good head rub against your back or just nibbling grass around you as you sit with him in the paddock.
After having this big man for 16 years in my life, my ex-husband and I went through a divorce. Something about GG (and the rest of my animals) made the difficult time a little more bearable. He is so much more than just a horse, he is my companion and my friend – something that only a handful of people will truly understand.
6 Years ago I was informed that my big guy had a bad heart murmur, we would have to monitor him. He had also developed a little stiffness in his hocks, and so from then work was very light and we just enjoyed each other’s company more than anything else. He was entering his retirement years and we both adapted to this quite well.
Things really took a turn for the worst 3 years after hearing of the heart murmur when considerably high temperature spikes of 39.5 °C and up were becoming a regular occurrence. This was really taking it out of him and my heart broke every time I would see him so warn out for approximately a week afterwards. These temperature spikes used to occur on regular intervals, normally no further than 6 weeks apart at a time. I had him on an antibiotic so often that eventually he was starting to show negative side effects to it. We even tried a long course to try to rid his body of whatever was causing these problems without success. At the time, the vet presumed he most probably had an infection in one of his heart valves.
I had my vets on speed dial already as you can well imagine and was often in correspondence with them and, in turn, they got to know my big guy very well. The temperature spikes went on for a year and then I heard the dreaded news that GG has been diagnosed with the first stages of heart failure. I felt so defeated. What other choice did I have but to start considering one of the hardest decisions a horse owner can make, to put him to sleep and out of misery. I just couldn’t see this big, gentle, noble creature go through this any longer.
Before I could give up, my vet suggested we try Equi-Strath. It was a new product on the market but he advised me that the hospital had had some promising results in other older horses with serious health issues. I was willing to try anything! Being a natural product from Switzerland, I had hope that it would do good, so we went ahead and hoped for the best.
Now at the age of 27, he is healthier than he was 5 years back!
The results we got were far beyond my wildest expectations. Not only did his condition and appetite come back, but these nasty temperature spikes cut back completely. We have them once every few months now, and they are generally not as severe and he recovers so much quicker. For the first time in years I also see dapples on him! What a relief to know I have what seems like will be many more days left with my big boy, that they will be happy ones, comfortable ones and days of good health! I would move Heaven and Earth for GG, but the joy he brings me makes it all worth it.
Equi-Strath has certainly been a blessing to us, I just had to share our story in the hope that it might help at least one other horse too. I wish you, the readers, happiness for you and your gentle giants.
I’ve had my mare for 8 years and have battled year after year with a chronically itchy mane. She obsessively rubbed her mane out leaving her bleeding and sore.
I’ve had numerous vets out, done skin scrapings, tried cortisone for short term relief, home-made remedies, different topical agents, dietary changes and nothing seemed to provide long term results and relief.
I was at my wits end and had come to the reality that my mare was going to have to live without a mane and we would manage her with prescription medication when it was really bad.
Then comes along Equi-Strath…
I heard from a friend that there was a new product on the market that was 100% natural and to give it a try, it couldn’t hurt trying one more thing – I’m so glad I did!
Within 2 weeks there was visible new mane growth with significantly less itching, the dry flaky skin was much softer and supple. After 6 weeks her mane was starting to grow in so nicely with no itching and obsessive rubbing and her coat was beautiful and shiny. I also noticed cognitive improvements, her attention span when working had increased, she wasn’t as easily distracted and we had more productive schooling sessions. There are no words to express how grateful I am to have found Equi-Strath.
I have a very happy horse and I am beyond thrilled with the results.
Thank you Equi-Strath!
Miracle is a grey, Arab gelding. I adopted him on the 19th of March 2019 when he was just over 5 years old from the Coastal Horse Care Unit. He was in good shape and so our journey started together. He went straight to a yard in Cato Ridge with many other horses and was welcomed into the herd. He stayed there for a few months during winter before I moved him to my property in Hammarsdale in October 2019. Miracle has always had many issues stemming from emotional trauma, but he never had an issue with his coat.
Once I moved him to Hammarsdale, he suddenly started to lose his beautiful coat. It looked like he had tiny black spots everywhere and on closer examination, I realized he was actually losing his hair. I also noticed that he was extremely itchy and suddenly loved being brushed, which he always hated. I became very worried and consulted the vet. Unfortunately, the vet wasn’t sure either and suggested a bath once a week with a strong shampoo. This was quite a task as Miracle hates being cold and I wasn’t sure if the shampoo was hurting him but he looked very uncomfortable with every bath. Miracle then became extremely sick in February with soaring temperatures of 39 – 40.8 degrees over 7 days. The vet put him on all sorts of medication and I then put him onto EquiStrath.
I gave him a tablespoon 4 times a day. He refused to eat, but as soon as I mixed his food with EquiStrath, he gobbled it up. Eventually he got better but I noticed his coat getting better too! I couldn’t believe it. After months of trying so many different medications and shampoos and sprays and creams. I even had my grass in my paddocks cut regularly just in case it was something in the grass. I still don’t know what it is but he is such a happy, healthy, strong and comfortable horse now. Thank you EquiStrath!
Wildboy is one of our retired Dutch Friesian Police horses that has made history at our local equine hospital last month. Wildboy was diagnosed with severe laminitis in all four legs. He could hardly walk, never mind stand. I would find him lying down often to get weight off his legs and at first thought he had bad osteoarthritis as the police horses work very hard for many years and walk on hard surfaces often with a heavy policeman on their backs that causes severe and quick degeneration on their joints. But with Wildboy this pain and the symptoms he showed was much worse.
Our vet came to see him and told me this is laminitis – he needs to be hospitalised for treatment as it is very severe and he is in excruciating pain. He would need around the clock care and treatment. He is an 28 year old boy and has come to retire on our property in our care. She said to me, “Estie, there is a strong possibility that Wildboy will not make it. If the X-rays are bad, we would need to put him down.”
In that moment I just knew he had to go to hospital and no matter the cost, this is what we need to do. He deserves a chance. She gave him a strong pain killer intravenously, my husband arranged for a horsebox and Wildboy and I climbed in the back. He sweated profusely all the way to hospital and I thought it was because he was scared of being in the box. It wasn’t, it was because of the severe pain he was in. At the hospital the vet was waiting and his stable was ready. X rays were taken and she called me an hour after dropping him off to say that the farrier had been to trim his feet and put special shoes on him to make him more comfortable and to get him off his toes and they started treatment. Green boots with ice were put around his legs and changed often to get the inflammation down. We prayed! That’s all we could do. I asked her how he got this terrible disease and she said through the food he ate!!!!! He is a cold blood and they can get fat on fresh air so when you feed a cold blood horse food that has a too high corn concentrate, they build up inflammation in their body that leads to laminitis!
I never knew the food we fed our horses had corn in it and was made for warm bloods and not cold bloods (you are never too old to learn.) He was put on a crash diet at the hospital and lost kilos of weight in the 8 days with them. On day two I received a call in the morning from the doctor. “Wildboy is doing remarkably well”. They don’t know why, but he is looking better. Pain is better and he is more comfortable. And so the positive news from the hospital came in daily. On day three I went to visit him and speak to the vet. She said to me, they have never in all the years seen a horse respond so quickly to treatment. ALL the vets at this hospital, five in total, believed Wildboy would die. He was so severe! All of them!
I said to her he has been on Equi-Strath since he arrived on our property a year ago and we pray for him. Must be the combination of prayer and Equi-Strath? Equi-Strath enhances immunity and when immunity is strong, the medicine given can work quicker and more effectively. That pricked the vets ears! “What is this Equi-Strath?” We sent more information, our sales rep went to train them on the product and left a sample and they have now given it to an older mare in hospital that was battling from a virus. She was underweight, lethargic and had no appetite.
Within days of being on Equi-Strath she was eating again and her condition started improving! Wildboy came home 8 days after going to hospital and this time with his Policeman daddy that dotes over him in the back of the box. No sweating, happy and comfortable and without any more pain. How remarkable to see how much our products help all of God’s creation.
As my right hand man, Ernest Shozi says, “Horses are God’s transport because one day Jesus will come again and this time on a horse!’’
19 year old Jacco, my Dutch Warmblood, suffered from a terrible cough and nasal discharge. After a week or so of daily administration of Equi-Strath, his cough subsided, breathing improved and his coat and weight became beautiful, even with the change of season. I now regularly administer Equi-Strath to all my horses and can ascertain in them an increases willingness to perform.
In several extents (coat, digestion, energy, shorter recovery time in young horses after ling transport and hard training) they make an even better impression. Equi-Strath is an authentic “Power Maker” and a precious support to me.
I gave Equi-Strath to my 16 year old top horse, Flor du Loup, for the very first time and noticed significant changes in him even after a short time. Particularly noticeable was the fact that the recovery time after trials and major efforts in training was considerably shorter, and that he was on top form even in his first events in the spring and was able to maintain this level of performance effortlessly at the subsequent difficult three- and four-star trials in the summer and autumn as well. An additional he shed his coat without problems in the spring and that his coat was particularly glossy.
As a result of these convincing experiences, my five horses have all been given Equi-Strath daily since that time during the training and build-up period. In the knowledge that this product, produced on a natural basis, contains no doping substances, I doubled (and sometimes even tripled) the dose of Equi-Strath shortly before major trials. Many of my horses tended to go off their feed during the long journeys and also at the big international events, but with Equi-Strath I have seen a marked improvement in appetite.
I am convinced that Equi-Strath is a fundamental support for the health of the horses and have a fantastic effect in boosting their performance.