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
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
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
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.