Why Organic?

Soil Association Logo

The UK Soil Association provides us with a solid basis for using certified Organic
 ingredients. The list is impressive. Organically grown produce uses fewer
 pesticides, fewer additives and preservatives, no GM ingredients. Organic means
 reduced use of antibiotics, more diversity, nutritionally different food.

But that's not why we use Organic ingredients here at Horseward.
There's one key reason.
It's very simple.
Horse Hair Heart
When I first started using a combination of diet and therapeutic herbs – in 2009, 
trying to help a horse with massive and infected leg injury who was responding
poorly to conventional treatment - I was putting into practice a theory that had
been germinating for quite a while.

Getting a horse into a stress-free environment and switching to a clean diet with adequate levels of key nutrients gives the horse's immune system a chance to reboot and start to do its job.
Some simple lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on any horse's overall health.
You can go a long way towards addressing chronic problems before you even start to look at supplements.
My patient was receiving massive doses of pharmaceuticals. Some of them were
helping and some of them weren't working at all.
I was particularly worried about the amount of gut-deranging anti-inflammatories and painkillers she needed to keep her comfortable. I threw myself into researching natural anti-microbials and pain relief.
For the first time I fully appreciated the potential benefits of a less chemicalised approach.
The notion of treating the whole horse rather than a bunch of components with sets of symptoms totally resonated with me. And it made sense to me to use the cleanest herbs I could find, so I went Organic. The story of that particular horse, a remarkable little chestnut Arab mare, I'll save for another day but on the day she left my "Horse Ward" to go home she was described by her senior vet as "the closest thing I've seen to a miracle in all my time as a vet".


In my subsequent work with some pretty far gone horses with
issues like intransigent gut disorders, respiratory disease, sarcoids and arthritis, I
have carried out some direct side by side trials between conventionally grown and
certified Organic herbs. The Organic herbs consistently outperform the
conventional. Consistently, and in some cases quite dramatically. As in the
difference between working and not working. That, for me, was a stunning discovery!

And I'm in no doubt at all that it's saved a few lives in the Horseward circle.

The publication of a systematic review of 343 scientific studies in the British Journal of Nutrition provided some explanation for what my observations and intuition had told me.

The review found that concentrations of beneficial antioxidants were found to be
substantially higher in Organic ingredients. Many of these compounds have been
linked to a reduced risk of all sorts of chronic diseases. Occurrence of
inflammatory pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional
crops, and concentrations of heavy metals are higher.

If you are giving your compromised horse a therapeutic supplement to help the
body to restore healthy balance, the last thing you want to introduce is chemical
residues and toxins which can further inflame an already distressed system.
While it's great to know that there's solid science to support my experience, the
most important thing for us at Horseward is the results.
I say it again and will keep on saying it – we use Organic herbs because

And yes, I shout about it!