Information for Those Competing in U.S. Equestrian Federation Events*

Interested parties have asked me what the ingredients of my mixtures are and if they can be used in USEF events.  My short answer is that I don't reveal the ingredients, but the mixtures have been used successfully many times in USEF events with no problems.  The following expands on this answer.

Competition horse owners understandably want to evaluate the use of my products in competition, screen for possible unwanted effects on their horses, and determine if the use of the products could expose them to a positive drug test. 

Although my mixtures are perfectly safe and have never tested positive, the USEF rules unnecessarily try to discourage the use of all herbal products.  They do this by listing many prohibited substances, some herbal, and stating that others, not named, could result in a positive test.  Of course this could discourage many competitors like yourself from using anything herbal.  But the tests really can't screen for herbs such as the ones I use any more than they can test their dinner salad, nor should they try to.  In the case of my mixtures, they needlessly keep the horses from getting the vegetable substances they would choose in a natural environment if they had access to them.  My mixtures that a USEF competitor would use would only help the health and condition of the horse and not unfairly enhance its performance.

The herbs that I use are the horse's natural food.  We might eat some of them, such as dandelion, cleavers, chicory, etc. in a salad or as a vegetable.  The USEF just doesn't see it that way.  In their effort to regulate the competition, they unwittingly keep the horses from improving their health.  Unfortunately, this can result in a horse having to compete with some otherwise easily managed problems which make it uncomfortable and might make it just miss clearing a barrier, injuring itself and the rider.  A horse with a bellyache, for example, can't be at its best.

Some of the herbs on their list are innocuous, showing the USEF's ignorance of the effects of such herbs.  Their rules, as I read them, could just as easily restrict hay and grass.  I know that my mixtures are as harmless as hay and grass, and would feel completely confident using them myself if I competed. 

Interestingly, many clients have used some of my products in competition without having previously asked me, and not only did they not test positive, quite a few won their events.  It may satisfy prospective users to know that, according to their website, the USEF uses the same criteria as The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, under which all my products have been tested thousands of times with no positives. 

I don't list my ingredients because the formulas have been developed and perfected over many years and are the basis of my business.  Clients trust me by reputation, referrals, and the use of my products successfully and safely over many years.  I suggest that competitors use the products when not competing if they are ultra cautious.  For example, if a horse is sick or has an infection, use the Herbal Immune to beat the infection before he competes - he should recover fully before he competes anyway, and couldn't possibly test positive in competition because it would be well out of his system by then.  The Stomach Powder can be very effective with ulcers without using it on competition day, although I myself would use it then.  The same goes for many of the other mixtures because they are used to correct problems rather than to enhance performance. 

It's a shame if the USEF considers a horse made comfortable in competition to be performance-enhanced, rather than just being allowed to perform at its best.  I consider it humane, not enabling a horse to perform beyond its capabilities.  A case could be made that it is unfair to prevent a horse from being naturally at its best.

(A few have asked me if I use valerian, which is strictly prohibited. I don't.)

* The contents of this page reflect the opinions of the site owner, and have no connection with the United States Equestrian Federation.