EcoLicious Equestrian - Soothing a horse’s itchy skin
By Petra McGowan
Like many successful enterprise stories, this one began with a simple desire to improve a condition. Petra McGowan has sensitive skin and she would often suffer with a rash on her hands. By coincidence, her Trakehner, Durango, suffered from countless allergies and skin sensitivities, and the use of regular grooming products continued to irritate his skin.
EcoLicious Equestrian founder, Petra McGowan, and her Durango, the inspiration behind their product line due to the horse’s allergies and sensitivities.
“I started researching ingredients in traditional personal human care products and learned that what is allowed in both human and horse grooming products certainly should not be,” says McGowan, owner of EcoLicious Equestrian in Ste. Anne, Manitoba.
“Synthetic preservatives that can bio-accumulate in the body, formaldehyde releasing agents, [and] sulfates are known to be toxic to fish and wildlife. At that time, I had overhauled my personal care but couldn’t find high performing equine grooming products that would not only deliver excellent results but would be clean of the most objectionable ingredients. Skin is, after all, our largest organ and what we put on it will be absorbed into our body.”
McGowan decided to do something about the problem and create an alternative product. Questioning the logic of the use of toxic ingredients in grooming products, she searched for natural and effective resources. When she realized that there was a complete lack of desired comprehensive product lines, she launched EcoLicious Equestrian to meet the demand of a needed and growing niche.
“The development of the products was a joint effort with Adriana DeLuca from Tiber River Naturals,” says McGowan. “Tiber River Naturals is a Canadian company with a huge line of personal care products, with focus on natural cosmetics. They have been taking over Canada and were the fastest growing company of 2016.”
EcoLicious horse care and grooming products are made with natural and organic GMO-free ingredients, and are 100 percent free of chemicals, silicones and parabens. Biodegradable and earth-friendly, they are sourced from renewable resources and packaged in 100 percent recycled bottles.
The priority for all the products formulated at EcoLicious Equestrian is to keep skin moisturized and free of blemishes.
“Our signature ingredients are organic hemp oil and sunflower oil grown here on the Prairies,” she says. “They have an amazing natural ability to moisturize and condition the skin and coat. They are able to do this as they have an EFA (essential fatty acid) profile that resembles our skin’s lipids (fats) very closely. Sweet orange essential oils is our signature scent as it is known in aromatherapy for its uplifting benefits. When combined with a carrier oil, it is very nourishing for dry skin. Tea Tree Oil is added to our products to keep skin blemish-free with its antibacterial and antifungal properties.”
SQUEAKY GREEN & CLEAN Shampoo is designed to gently but thoroughly cleanse, protect, and condition the horse’s sensitive coat and skin.
For preferred favourites, McGowan really likes burdock root extract, lavender essential oil, and anything coconut. EcoLicious Equestrian offers products for the coat, mane and tail, full bath and horse care, hoof care, and for the rider. You can order any of their products online at the EcoLicious Equestrian website.
IN CONTROL provides subtle hold and allows for a good grip, making it an excellent mane styling and setting tool that is invaluable in training manes to lie flat.
McGowan is environmentally conscious and all their products are GMO (genetically modified organism) free with the intent to detoxify the entire grooming routine. They are produced with organic ingredients, wildcrafted plant extract and essential oils. Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their naturally-wild habitat where they have grown uncultivated and without any human interference. She is of the opinion that GMO technology has yet to provide the promised lower costs, fewer pesticides, and an ability to feed the world. It concerns McGowan that broad-spectrum systemic herbicides like glyphosate, often sold under the popular Monsanto brand name Roundup®, is widely sprayed on agricultural crops that are genetically engineered to withstand the chemical.
MOISTURE MANIAC Detangling Infusion is a sunflower extract and silk-based detangler that smells deliciously orange and leaves mane and tail silky, fortified, and tangle-free. All EcoLicious products are 100 percent free of nasty chemicals.
SMEG-U-LATER all-natural sheath cleaner is made with gentle coconut-derived cleansers, vegetable glycerine, honeysuckle extract and lavender to make the often unpleasant task a little less daunting.
“California is at this time moving to label glyphosate as a potential carcinogen under Proposition 65 based on WHO (World Health Organization) findings,” she says.
McGowan believes that, primarily, EcoLicious Equestrian customers are actively seeking to avoid putting toxins on themselves and their horses. Candidly, she says that product performance would be second, and earth-friendliness third.
EcoLicious provides natural and earth-friendly products for both horse and rider.
“My perspective on life is that by healing ourselves, we can heal the planet,” she says. “Once we start making the right (non-toxic) choices for ourselves and the animals, we are in most instances making the right/better choice for the planet. As consumers, we do have the power to change the landscape of the marketplace, thus alleviating the burden on the earth. When we support companies that try to do better, we are creating a huge shift.”
Making horses beautiful naturally.
To learn more, visit the EcoLicious website.
This information was provided by EcoLicious Equestrian.
Main article photo: iStock/Somogyvari. Additional photos courtesy of EcoLicious Equestrian.