I own a small horse farm in Middle Georgia; I have been boarding and teaching riding lessons for thirty years. I stumbled on the idea of EquiBella while helping our daughter research cosmetic products and ingredients for her hair salon.

While helping her, I had educated myself a little on ingredients then I found myself turning every bottle around in the house and barn looking at the label. Wow, things that I had never heard of!

I stopped in the feed store to pick up dog food and I found myself looking at horse shampoo products and once again reading the labels…I had become obsessed with what we were putting our hands in when we gave our horses and dogs a bath. I would set on the computer at night with Google looking up all the things that I had found.

The first thing that I noticed was that many of the cleansing and foaming ingredients were nothing more than industrial floor cleaners and wax strippers. I didn’t have to wonder why our horses ended up itchy and rubbing their tails out…

The next thing was the preservatives being used in the shampoo and conditioners. I found out that…

There is little to no regulation when it comes to what can go into a product. The products most commonly use parabens as their leading preservative. It’s cheap and cost effective, being in business I certainly understand the bottom line and you must be cost effective, but a little research showed that parabens have been linked to breast cancer. Parabens are chemicals with estrogen-like properties, and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer.

Parabens mimic estrogen in the body and accumulate in breast tissue. Being a riding instructor for over 30 years I have little girls that would bathe their horses daily if I would allow it. My first thought was of the young girls that are washing their horses and having their hands in something that has now been proven to be a leading cause of breast cancer and that is readily absorbed into the skin.

One of the best gifts of being a riding instructor is being able to see my student’s blossom into strong and confident young ladies.  There is an element of bravery and confidence that naturally develops when you become one with a horse.  My job allows me to help cultivate that inner strength and belief in them.  These are the qualities and characteristics that will be used throughout the rest of their lives.

Now I was on a mission, I wanted to develop a safer shampoo that would do the job without being an industrial strength floor cleaner, for my young riders here at the farm.

I know that any product must have a preservative to prevent it from growing bacteria and fungus but surely there is something better for young girls than this.

With all of this said at this point I must say that parabens are in almost every type of cosmetics we use, shampoo and skin lotions to underarm deodorants. No, I’m not going to save the world and I’m certainly not going to stop young girls from all chemical exposure but I thought I could cut out one source of the exposure and provide a better, less harsh shampoo for our horses in the process.

EquiBella was born at this point, a Shampoo and Conditioner with Tea Tree Oil and Pure Peppermint Oil. A safer product that does its job!

Why should something as innocent as a little girl giving her horse a bath expose her to chemicals that lead to breast cancer?

I want to inspire, make a difference and create value in each young girls life that we touch!