Queensland Itch, Summer Itch, Sweet Itch or Summer Eczema - call it what you will, but if you've got an itchy horse then you definitely know what it is and how it affects your horse - up close and personally!
There are many ways and many products that Australian horse owners use to treat their itchy horses (you've probably already got a feed shed full of various lotions and potions designed to help ), with last resort options even coming down to having to send or sell 'insect tortured' horses to a home over the 'ranges' away from the coast for lasting relief.
So, where does a bloke, with a background in molecular biology, a passion for virgin coconut products and a well developed liking - and business - for Hibiscus flowers in syrup (floating in champagne of course!) come into the itchy scratchy horse picture?
Well, Lee Etherington is just that bloke and I met him at Equifest Sydney when I stopped by his trade stand to find out about his new magic 'itch fixing oil' Calafea.
Now, Lee has no real background in horses specifically, but he certainly knows about coconut oil products, the Australia native oils Lemon Myrtle and Neem and after in depth research, the allergic reactions that insect bites can cause in sensitive horses (particularly Icelandic horses and Clydesdales). So, after becoming aware of the ongoing, widespread Summer Eczema problem with horses in Germany (to where he was a regular traveller) he decided to see what he could do about it.
Fast forward 3 years and Lee's 100% natural itch oil Calafea is now successfully into its 3rd year helping itchy horses in Germany and beyond with a proven 89% effectiveness reported.
'Get Rid Of The Rug' is Lee's aim for itchy horses and their owners and having now introduced Calafea Itch Oil into the Australia market, it will be interesting to see how it goes here - from all accounts, well. I'll be interested to try it on one of my horses myself - oh, and did I mention Lee says its effective (and safe) on dogs and humans and their itchy bites too?
If you'd like to know more about Calafea oil head to their website at www.calafea.com or their Facebook page at Calafea-HORSE- Australia.