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Horse Health Is A Family Affair


For this family of experts, equine health begins with Southern States feeds

The first thing you notice when visiting Equine Associates near Hawkinsville, Ga., is the setting. Modern buildings are surrounded by pristine pastures where contented horses graze.

Vet assistant Darla Lilly gives one of Equine Associates' patients a cool shower.
Vet assistant Darla Lilly gives one of Equine Associates' patients a cool shower.
To treat the whole horse, you have to treat the feet, says Dr. Bill Baker, shown here along with an associate.
"To treat the whole horse, you have to treat the feet," says Dr. Bill Baker, shown here along with an associate.
An expert in hoof health, Dr. Baker does much of his own farrier work.
An expert in hoof health, Dr. Baker does much of his own farrier work.

The facility, owned and operated by veterinarians Bill and Jennifer Baker, specializes in equine health. A homey front office complete with a pot of hot coffee, a plate of cookies and friendly staff members greets guests as they enter. Beautiful, original horse art decorates the walls and provides eye candy for waiting clients. And immaculate treatment rooms put horse owners at ease when they bring their ailing animals.

Returning clients have come to expect the best of care and treatment for their horses from this husband-and-wife vet team. That care begins with a sound nutritional program based on Southern States feeds.

Opened in 1990, Equine Associates' client base has grown steadily. The larger practice soon made buying feed impractical, so the Bakers looked into becoming feed dealers.

"We tried several brands but weren't finding the right one,"says Jennifer. "Some of our clients were already feeding Southern States, so we decided to give it a try. We have been impressed with Southern States' quality."

"A feed is only as good as its ingredients," says Mike Dameron, Southern States equine feed sales and technical representative. That's what distinguishes Southern States. Dameron explains that the key to Southern States' nutritional quality is organic minerals, also called proteinated or chelated minerals. These minerals, found in Southern States feeds like Legends® and Triple Crown®, are chemically bonded to a protein/amino acid complex. Triple Crown's Equimix technology blends magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper, bonded to two or more amino acids, improving the absorption over single amino-acid bonds.

Dameron says organic minerals improve resistance to stress as well as reproductive performance. "Organic copper and zinc reduce structural disorders in growing horses and improve hair and hoof quality," he adds.

A healthy digestive tract is crucial to equine health. That's the reason for the yeast culture and yucca found in some Southern States feeds. The Equimix blend also aids in phosphorous retention and fiber digestion.

Jennifer points out another advantage of Southern States feeds: palatability. A state-of-the-art nutritional system isn't going to benefit the horses if you can't get them to eat it.

"We haven't had any palatability problems with Southern States feed," she notes. That brings a big smile to her face.

"We like to keep our horses fat and happy," she says.

Bill is impressed with the excellent hoof health obtained when feeding Southern States feed. He's an expert at hoof health specializing in corrective hoof work.

"To treat the whole horse, you have to treat the feet," says Bill, who in addition to being a first-rate veterinarian is also a self-taught farrier.

Some of their clients think the Bakers can actually work miracles with sick horses. "They get a lot of old horses and horses on the verge of death,"says Mike Dameron. "Using their own expertise and natural talents, combined with a sound Southern States feeding program, they've been able to bring horses back from the brink of death."

One such horse is 37-year-old Comanche. The Bakers have been caring for Comanche for many years. "He's alive today because of Bill's excellent care,"says Jennifer, showing obvious pride in her husband's work. "Otherwise he would have been gone a long time ago."

Whether your horse is getting on in years or just a perky little foal, Southern States has a nutrition plan that will help you give it a long and healthy life. Help your horse achieve its fullest potential. Give it Southern States.

Mike Dameron (far left), Southern States area manager, joins the Bakers and their staff for a group photo.
Mike Dameron (far left), Southern States area manager, joins the Bakers and their staff for a group photo.

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