The subtitle of this post should be, How a Professional Barn Owner Becomes Humbled by Icky Cannon Bone Crud … or I Almost Lost My Cred To The Crud
These days it seems like everyone who has a horse with skin issues knows about Equiderma. With the Skin Lotion, Fly Spray, Shampoo, Conditioner, etc - the health of horses’ skin and coats is improving all over the country!
Flashback 22 years or so, though, and that was not the case! (Wait - it can’t have been that long - both Bethany and I are far too young for that!!) Anyway - my husband, our daughter, and I had just purchased our first horse farm in Connecticut, after having leased a place for 3 years which we had outgrown.
We trained and competed dressage horses at the national level, taught lessons, coached students at shows, and coached the local US Pony Club members. We were both certified by the British Horse Society and had taught on two continents. Seriously, we knew what we were doing. Until a rescued OTTB got this gunky, icky black… stuff on the front of both rear cannon bones.
Although I hadn’t dealt with cannon crud before, I had a plan I was sure would work! Plan A: I cleaned the legs with medicated shampoo. Plan B: I sprayed with a few skin care products for horses, Plan C: I rubbed and scrubbed with all sorts of hair solutions, and to no avail. Sure, it would get better for a couple of days, but then it was right back again. I had run out of plans… until the day one of our boarders came up to me in the wash stall about 3 months into Plans A, B, and C.
“Having dealt with horses’ skin ailments on two continents, I had never been defeated. I thought I’d have to give up my barn cred due to this cannon bone crud!”
You Seriously Need to Try This!
Julie was an awesome boarder. She was fun to be around, no drama - 20 years later we’re still friends (yes, those magical boarders do exist). So when she handed me a bottle with the name Equiderma and some pale blue liquid in it, I thought, “Why not? I’ve tried about everything else…”
I put a little in my hands and rubbed it on Journey’s legs, honestly not expecting anything different than the short-term treatments I’d been dealing with. But this stuff at least smelled good. Not like some nasty cheap perfume, or like bacon grease and tar mixed together, just kind of clean and pleasant. It also felt pleasant in my hand - no slimy or greasy feel. It didn’t make me feel like I needed to go scrub my hands when I was through to get rid of the smell, or because it burned. You wouldn’t think a skin treatment would burn, but at least one I had tried did! I had to scrub it off my horse and myself. The Equiderma Skin Lotion rubbed on well, and Journey stood quietly, so I knew it wasn’t burning or stinging him. I turned him out for the night and figured I’d be back to the daily scrub within a day or two.
The next morning, the black tarry gunk on his legs was almost gone. That surprised me. I applied it again before I turned him out that night, and the following morning - it. was... Gone. All gone.
That surprised me, but I wasn’t easy to convince (would you be after months of temporary fixes?) Day 3, we’re still looking good. Day 4, I rubbed my hands up and down the horse’s cannon bones fully expecting to have that nasty gunk hidden under his suddenly very healthy looking hair, but there was nothing. No gooeyness, no discoloration, no hairs coming off in clumps. Just healthy skin. Could this Equiderma Skin Lotion really be that good??
By this point, I was pretty convinced, but I’m an eternal optimist (some would say naive or gullible), and I often throw my heart over the fence only to have it thrown back, much worse for the wear. I decided the results on my OTTB were good, but let’s give this “Blue Stuff” a run for its money. Let’s try it on the boarder that had just come back from a summer being turned out near the beach in Maryland.
This poor mare was covered in rain rot. And I mean covered! I could not place my spread out fingers on any area of her body and not encounter bald spots. Truth be told, she didn’t have a fur coat with bald spots, she had a bald coat with fur spots! I loved this mare and her owner, though, and I was determined to get them both feeling better.
I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we slathered that mare with “That Awesome Equiderma Blue Stuff”, and promised her we’d do whatever it took to get her feeling well again. I figured it would be at least several weeks before this mare started to re-grow hair. We planned to keep her up during the day because we were worried about sunburn, even on her dark skin, because she was just so bald.
When we checked her over the next day, nearly all of the remaining clumps of hair came off along with the white patches that had held them to her skin. She now looked like one of those hairless cats or naked mole rats - in other words - pathetic.
I told myself all day not to get my hopes up, and was wracking my brain trying to come up with what we’d do for her next, after this lotion didn’t work… The next day, her skin felt and looked different - somehow it felt a little plumper, like it was getting its strength back. Fingers crossed, I promised myself I’d give the Equiderma Skin Lotion a full week before I made any judgment on the success or failure of the treatment. It was going to be a long week.
Except… day 4 brought a miracle. There was hair growing on this mare! It was growing on her back, under her belly, on her poor face, her legs - she was sprouting hair everywhere! It really was nothing short of a miracle.
A customer for life
Well, at that time, I called up Equiderma, and spoke to Bethany Padgett, the owner of the company, and ordered a few more bottles of this wonder lotion. I learned that Bethany had developed the Equiderma Equine Skin Lotion for a mare who had the worst case of rain rot Bethany had ever seen. The first batches were created in a bathtub. This not only was a great product, it was a company I really wanted to do business with. There was a name and the voice of a person who really cared at the end of that phone line. I told Bethany then and there that she had a customer for life.
Fast forward 22 years, Equiderma Equine Skin Lotion is no longer made in Bethany’s bathtub (which is a good thing - she’d need a pretty big tub!). Equiderma now boasts a full range of skin care products for your horses and your dogs. All of her products are made with human-grade ingredients, and they’re made by a company which is still run by a woman who cares.
When Bethany was glancing through orders a few weeks ago, she noticed the email address, Penny@TheHorseWriter.com. She had been wanting to hire someone to help write content (since this company keeps her pretty busy), so she pulled out the information on the person attached to this unusual email address only to realize it was me - a customer for 22 years, and a big cheerleader for the Equiderma line of products.
We’re both delighted to be working with the other because we each know what we stand for, we know we’re here to help horses and their owners. We’re here so that cannon bone crud can become a thing of the past; so that horses with rain rot don’t have to undergo painful removal of scabs as part of the healing process, so that one horse - maybe yours, will live a better life. We’ve come full circle, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!