New Equine Product Available
Reporting by Kathryn Henderson
While attending The Devon Horse Show this year, I noticed a new product, Sooth’n Cool® Gel, garnering quite a bit of attention among exhibitors. Apparently the gel is an effective and convenient alternative to poulticing, providing the natural anti-inflammatory action of Arnica, Calendula and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane). The Gel is USEF and FEI compliant.
I found the manufacturers, Equine Advantage LLC - Performance Products, in their booth at Devon. Barry Hess and Bob Towarnicki founded Equine Advantage LLC in 2015 after taking almost two years to develop the proprietary formulation they call Sooth’n Cool®. Barry and Bob bring over 60 years of experience in human pharmaceutical and medical device development and manufacturing to the equestrian market. They’ve brought this experience to the equestrian world because of their shared passion and experience with horses. For the past 10 years, they’ve partnered in acquiring young hunters and jumpers that professional rider and trainer Kaitlyn Hess trains and develops for competition and sale.
Equine Advantage’s first product, Sooth’n Cool® is a cooling gel being promoted as an alternative to poulticing after competition and work. The product label recommends using for: 1) Hot tired legs after working; 2) Muscle strains and sprains; 3) Stiff and sore joints; 4) Relief from insect bites. After talking with Bob and Barry, as well as competitors who have used the product, the primary use is post-work out cooling and inflammation reduction.
Barry noted the inconvenience of poulticing and the desire for something easier to use. “Sooth’n Cool® Gel is not runny and stays in your hands and where applied on the horse until you rub it in. Once friction is applied, the gel breaks into a cooling liquid that is quickly absorbed.” If using on the legs after work or competition, you can wrap or not, consistent with the requirements of your specific horse or pony. If your animal has a sore area, massaging Sooth’n Cool® Gel into the spot will help relieve stiffness and reduce swelling and inflammation.
I inquired about the key ingredients in the formulation, Arnica, Calendula and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane). Arnica has long been loved for its natural anti-inflammatory properties, but Calendula was less familiar to me, and MSM used in a topical was also new to me. Bob told me that while most studies on MSM have focused on the benefits of MSM use in feed, it is absorbed through the skin and it appears to be effective when applied locally. Calendula is a plant in the marigold family that has been used for centuries by people as an antibacterial and to reduce inflammation due to its high concentration of anti-oxidants. Calendula was employed by the military in the battlefield during World War I, prior to the development of modern antibiotics. MSM and Calendula have also been reported to increase skin penetration.
When I rubbed the Sooth’n Cool® Gel on my skin, I was struck by the consistency and how it rubbed in. Just as Barry described, out of the tub it felt like a thick cool gel, and then magically transformed into a liquid as I applied it. The gel rubbed in easily and left my skin feeling smooth and silky, like when I use one of my better hand creams!
I was glad to learn that the product is being manufactured here in the US with the highest grade ingredients which have been sourced in the US as well. No denatured alcohol is employed. The MSM is manufactured in the US and is pharmaceutical grade and the US sourced preservatives are FDA approved for use in human cosmetics.
Bob noted he and Barry have big plans for the company. “Equine Advantage is committed to using the highest quality components available from US and if necessary Western European manufacturers who maintain quality standards consistent with Equine Advantage’s commitment and promise of safety and quality for our equestrian customers. We will not source from developing countries such as India and China, who don’t share our commitment to and demand for quality and consistency. Every product we develop and sell will be the best in its class. Our commitment to the equestrian is their ability to be confident when Equine Advantage introduces a new product that it is the best product for the intended uses.”
You can learn more about Equine Advantage LLC and Sooth’n Cool® Gel at their web site: www.equine-advantage.com or look for them at shows they are attending. The show schedule is listed on their web site as well as stocking Tack Shops and local Representatives. Of course, you can also order on line for a flat $5 shipping charge. If you see their booth don’t hesitate to stop in and talk with them. They are friendly and approachable and would love to talk horses, their products and plans. Best of all you can get a free sample to try on your horse (or yourself). I heard many of the competitors commenting on their using the gel for their own aches and pains with great satisfaction.