Therapy Horses - 7 Horses - 7 Issues -
7 Incredible Stories - Horses of Warriors
John: Hello and welcome to another Equinety podcast. I am so excited this week to have on Jamie Franklin. He's the founder and president of an organization out in California called The Horses of Warriors that helps combat veterans that are battling PTSD, and uses these horses to really help them cope with the things that they've been through and get them back into the life.
John: And not only is that an exciting thing in and of itself, Jamie had reached out to me and he's got some amazing stories with the horses that they have at their farm, because these horses are vital to being in their tip top shape, helping these veterans. And so he told me about his horse, Jake. And then he says, "Well, I've got stories of six other horses." Tell you what, let's just welcome Jamie to the show. Jamie, welcome.
Jamie Franklin: Thank you, John. I'm excited to be here and share my story about our horses, and how the product has helped them significantly.
John: That's exciting. Well, I tell people all the time, when people go to our website and they hear and read the different things that the Equinety Horse XL does for horses, it's like, "Well, how can this do so many things for so many different horses?" And I often tell the story of well, if you have 12 horses with 12 different issues, it's going to customize to each horse, while at the same time there'll be commonalities across the board.
John: And so as we started talking, I'm like, "Ah, I got to have you on this podcast because although we're not talking 12 horses, we're talking seven horses and a dog, mind you." So let's get right into this. You started The Horse of Warriors about a year ago, and then you're bringing in different horses from rescues and donations and things like this. And you've tried to do the best you can out there with what you have, and you know. But you have to have these horses in tip top shape. You need to do trail riding and different things. Tell us a little bit about just that aspect of it, and what you're doing with your horses. And then we'll get right into your main horse, Jake.
Jamie Franklin: Sure. Like you said, we started last year, May of last year. And this program is for combat veterans who suffer from PTSD as well as all veterans. We made available to all veterans, and their families free to them. So this is a free to them. And we do have seven horses, and it's basically our program is set up to where it's just the camaraderie of that veterans hanging out with each other, and being around the horses. And the horses help heal veterans from the PTSD and whatever they're going through; the bonding and whatnot.
Jamie Franklin: And we just take veterans on high country trail rides. We also do a grand entrance at rodeos and parades, and a lot of folks like to participate in that. Some don't, right up front. And we try to provide good, sound riding horses for them. And sometimes that's hard to do. But the product has helped significantly with the horses that we have that have issues.
John: Right. Now we're going to go through these things that happen with these different horses, and I want to get talking back into more specifics about The Horses of Warriors, and how they help. And I just find it absolutely fascinating. And if you're not up to speed on these types of programs, please stay tuned because this is, it's really, really amazing how these horses help in the way that they do. So the horse that you ride is a 17 year old Arabian quarter horse named Jake. And what was going on with Jake? I understand he had an older injury, and tell us about Jake and kind of the struggles you were having with him.
Jamie Franklin: Yes. I had Jake for about three years now, and I noticed when I've taken him on trail rides, especially going up hill, he would start bobbing his head and seemed like he had a flat tire somewhere in his back. And like someone walking with one shoe on. He would simply turn around and want to go back down from where we started. And I would have to always dismount and walk him up the rest of the way. And once we leveled out I gave him a rest and whatnot before I could continue on the trail.
Jamie Franklin: And this would happen every trail ride. He would sweat a lot, and if we're on a single trail and there's people behind me, I'm backing everybody up. And normally when I go out on the trail and people see me coming, they're like "Oh it's Jake and Jamie again."
Jamie Franklin: But I did take him into the vet. They did an ultrasound and confirmed that Jake had a right hoof fracture sometime in his lifetime. And normally the fracture would heal down in back. Poor Jake's healed down and forward. And that's what made it hard for him to go up inclines and whatnot. So shortly after the Equinety product, I noticed that on the next trail ride I took him on he did good; big difference. And then on the second trail ride he made it all the way through the trail. And this is the same trail that I would have issues with, he would have issues getting up that hill. Well he made the whole trail, every hill and without a sweat. And I wish just at awe with that. And then so thankful that he's got a better quality of life with-
John: Sure. And how long was he using the product? From the time he couldn't climb the hill until he could?
Jamie Franklin: I would say about three weeks.
John: Wow. The only thing you changed was just adding the Equinety.
Jamie Franklin: Right. I started off with giving him two scoops for the first week because I thought maybe it would help boost the timeframe and then after the first week of two scoops I gave him one scoop. Better-ness of doing the trails and whatnot, I noticed that his hoof growth and his coat growth is just amazing.
John: What were some of the reactions? Because I know you ride with some other folks that know Jake and have known Jake for quite a while. What was their reaction when they saw Jake all of a sudden climbing this hill like nobody's business?
Jamie Franklin: Well then, as usual they're expecting some type of delay with Jake or ... So when actually on the flash trail ride, Jake's previous owner rode him and she was just excited about it, and talking about how different of a horse he is now. And she was expecting him to have some issues, and there wasn't a one. And I got it on video actually. And it's just, I'm just happy just for the guy, and everybody was amazed about it.
John: Wow. And then you had also mentioned to me just his overall demeanor, his mindset, concentration, everything's better.
Jamie Franklin: Oh, absolutely. I would do a lot of groundwork with Jake, and he's Arabian, so they're kind of hot blooded and scared of every little thing. And he would take his focus off me quite frequently when I'm trying to work with him and whatnot. And I noticed not only with Jake, but with all the horses, they're concentration level towards me was significantly better.
John: Now, Jake also had thrush as well, correct?
Jamie Franklin: Yes, he did. He has thrush, and I had a hard time of getting rid of it. I would pick out his feet every day and put some thrush buster in there and whatnot. And he always had this thrush. So I would say about a week and a half, two weeks after the product, there was no signs of thrush. Even the farrier was pretty amazed by that as well.
John: Wow. So Jake is a happy camper.
Jamie Franklin: Yes, he is. I'm happy that he has a better quality of life. With the product. It's without a doubt.
John: Yeah. Well now let's go ... Now, Jake's 17. So now we're going to go to the other end of the spectrum. And you've got a two year old Arabian Quarter horse by the name of Tulip. What was going on with her?
Jamie Franklin: Well, Tulip, I haven't had a too long. I got her when she was along yearling. She had no ground manners. I don't think anybody had really worked with her. But I noticed when I would get out there and try to halter another horse, I had to go to an event or whatnot, she would come around and try to kick and bite whoever's trying to go in there and halter another horse. When I worked with her trying to do groundwork with a halter and lead rope, her attention really wasn't there. It wasn't focused.
Jamie Franklin: It just took some time. But I noticed I was ... She should have come along quicker than what she was. I noticed when I put her on the product as well, I would say two weeks, two and a half weeks in with the product, her attention level was really good. And now she's able to have her feet picked up so the farrier could do her feet. I could rub her ears. I could rub her hind quarters and she doesn't kick out like she normally did.
John: Right. And you had also mentioned to me that she was sporting a Mohawk for her mane, cause she couldn't grow a mane.
Jamie Franklin: Yeah. Her tail was short, and her main looked like Mr T. It looked like a Mohawk, and there wasn't really [inaudible 00:10:56] looked kind of funny with that. But after the product, we noticed that her coat started just popping out all kinds of thick winter coat in clumps, and her tail was just growing fast, and so was her mane. Now her mane is up and over in just a very short time. I've had her on product for about, I'd say within three and a half weeks to a month, her mane finally folds over. And her hoof growth is immaculate as well.
John: Wow. Oh, wow. Okay. Now we're going to go back up to 15 year old Ricochet, who has a DSLD, which we do get questions often. Does this product help with DSLD? So tell us about Ricochet there and how it's helped.
Jamie Franklin: Well, I've had ricocheted the longest. I'd say about four years now. And I didn't even know what DSLD was. I was learning about horses at that time. And then someone pointed out to me that his [inaudible 00:12:05] box was very low to the ground, and they believe it's DSLD. And a Ricochet was always laying down on the ground frequently. And I just thought he was being a lazy horse. But after taking him to the vet and them checking him out, they confirmed that he does have DSLD, and him laying down frequently is a sign of the DSLD being in pain and whatnot.
Jamie Franklin: So after him being on the product for about two weeks, I noticed I didn't see him laying down as much. And he was actually frolicking around the pasture with the other horses. And I'd say about three, three and a half weeks after, I haven't seen him lay down once. So yes, his fat blocks are still close to the ground, but it seems that he's having a better quality of life as well with no pain. I haven't seen him lay down once yet.
John: When the farrier would come in, what was that typically like?
Jamie Franklin: Well, when, particularly with Ricochet, when you'd do his back hooves, he would show some types of sign of pain and discomfort. And he wouldn't settle down. And on our last trim that we did, he just sat there with any without any signs of discomfort or pain. And just sat there licking his lips and a soft eye. And I was tickled pink about that.
John: Yeah, that's great. Okay, now we are going to move over to Chance, who's a 10 year old AQHA Quarter horse. And this is a very interesting situation here. What was going on with Chance?
Jamie Franklin: Well, I got Chance from a ranch, and they ... Somewhere out on the 350 acre ranch, he had cut open his bulb, his right rear bulb, and that bulb was cut open two and a half inches deep. And with a hoof wall up in the front, that was cracked halfway down. And so they put them in a cast for six weeks. Or three weeks on a cast and then wrappings and stuff. So it took about six weeks before I could actually pick him up and get him, and brought him home.
Jamie Franklin: He would limp and he had, after the injury, I've seen this horse before the injury and then after the injury I noticed he lost some weight over by his loin. And his hips seemed to look like an old mirror kind of hit. And I've been trying all kinds of supplements with him, and beef pulp, and weight boosters and I didn't really see any results. And then when I put Chance on the Equinety product, he gained weight back and he doesn't look like an old mare again, he looks like a competitive horse again. And his hoof didn't have a well enough frog on that injured hoof. And now his frog is fully grown and his scar tissue is just a line now. It doesn't look like it'll separate. But we keep the bell boot on him anyway, so his other hoof won't break into it.
Jamie Franklin: But I see a significant change in how the skin looks, and the hoof wall, the crack on the hoof wall looks much better. It doesn't look like it's split open. You could just vaguely see a line going down. So that's a big big deal, right? To me.
John: Absolutely. And you've got him now back on trail rides and riding in parades and?
Jamie Franklin: Absolutely. He's doing trail rides again, he's doing parades. He would limp. I mean I've had him in parades before and he would limp after a parade being on the asphalt and whatnot. And I wouldn't take him on any severe trail rides or anything like that. But I tried him out on this last trail ride that we did up in Peoria and he made it all the way and without a hiccup or a glitch. And his foot looks great, and he seems to have ... He's just healthy.
John: Okay, now we're gonna move over to Ranger.
Jamie Franklin: We got Ranger from a horse rescue, and we had him for a short time, but Ranger would kick out whenever you pet his back. And we were wondering why he's kicking out. Maybe we thought he was afraid or head shy or whatever. But turned out that he had, after taking him to the vet, he had a previous injury on his scapula. Excuse me. And his, we couldn't ride him at first. And then we put him on the product, he didn't kick out anymore.
Jamie Franklin: I would do this little test where I pinched my index finger and my thumb and rub it down his, where there's crosses back, and very lightly I'd do that and he'd kick out. And after the product I'd do that. And he didn't kick out, so I applied some more pressure trying to get them to see if anything bothered him, and it didn't bother him at all.
Jamie Franklin: And when we first got him, he didn't have much hoof growth up front. And the farrier didn't have much room to work with, but he had to have shoes on. And on the second trim where they were placed his front shoes, there was still not much hoof growth. But we put him on Equinety, and I would say about on the ... It was five weeks later, we did him a week earlier. And within those five weeks on Equinety the farrier took off the shoes and started picking them out and said, "Oh my goodness." And I thought something was wrong. And I'm like, "What's wrong?" She's like, "Oh no, the hoof growth is immaculate here. I got plenty of room to work with," and I was quite happy about that. And we were able to ride him after that, saddle him and ride him without a hiccup.
John: Well now one of the other things you mentioned to me about Ranger was because his feet, they were so tender.
Jamie Franklin: So when the horses know the sound of my truck and when I start pulling up to the other ranch, they'll come running up for their food and whatnot. And Ranger would kind of walk over and look like he's walking on needles and pins. And after the product, I'm coming up over the road and I see them all running. And here's Ranger running with them. And I'm just like, "Well somebody looks like they're doing a lot better." And I was just happy to see him out there moving around in that capacity. It's just really great.
John: And that was just a about a little over a week on product.
Jamie Franklin: Right.
Jamie Franklin: When he was running up for his food, that was just about over a week.
John: Wow. Yeah. Well and of lot of questions we get are ... Well, one of the most popular questions is how long does it take to start seeing the product work? And it's a difficult one to answer because the product actually starts working in 24 hours. So now it's just a matter of what you can start seeing. And for the majority of cases I would say people would see a difference within 30 days or less. In these instances here, we're noticing changes within a week around, about. Sometimes a little bit more, but for the hoof growth it's obviously going to take a little bit longer. But man, so these horses are now found good. And we can't leave out our old man with four teeth by the name of Recon, 21 years old. Tell us about Recon.
Jamie Franklin: Yes, Recon, he's our old boy. He's got a superficial wound on his left rear, and it's just a dry scabby mark that won't go away. But his left was a lot bigger in diameter than the right. And he was showing signs of discomfort while he was walking. So we haven't ridden him yet, and he had a bald spot on his back. I don't know if that's from a saddle or whatnot. And his coat was kind of transparent, you could almost see some parts of his skin through his coat. And after about two weeks on the Equinety that bald spot is gone. His left leg is exactly the same diameter as his right leg, and he's not walking funny like he did before. So-
John: Let me jump in real quick there. How long was his leg swollen?
Jamie Franklin: Since we got him. And we've had him for probably a month. It was swollen for a whole month and then we put him on the product. And I would say a couple weeks after the product, the swelling, it's down.
John: And same size as the other ones and doing good.
Jamie Franklin: Oh yeah, absolutely.
John: So the swelling went down, which that's due in part because again, we're giving the body what it needs to help heal at a cellular level. It does have a high level of L-arginine, which that amino acid is known to help open up the veins, which is causes more blood flow, more oxygen. So it definitely helps with inflammation. And so now what's going on with the bare spot on his back?
Jamie Franklin: He grew hair there and it's not bald anymore. It's not even with the rest of his coat, but it's not bald anymore. And the rest of his coat that was kind of transparent is actually full now. So it looks like a brand new copper penny, the glean and glow to it. And he's actually shedding up right now, I got to brush him every day.
John: Yep, that's great. Well, and I tell you every farm is not complete unless you have a five-year-old wild Mustang. So tell us about ...
Jamie Franklin: Yeah, that's Pendleton. He's our Wild Mustang. He was in the northern Nevada herd. Very skittish horse, very head shy. He would kind of blow up if you try to even pet him. And so I just started putting the Equinety in his grain and I noticed-
John: That was the most you could do is just get ... While he wasn't looking, sneak over and put some Equinety in his bucket, huh?
Jamie Franklin: Well, I didn't have to sneak over to put it in his bucket, I just ... But I'd have to sneak over to try to pet him, whatnot. And he would just freak out and take off. And I don't know how he was haltered when he was delivered to us, but could never get a halter on him again after that. And I just see that a difference in his coat as well. And his hoof growth is immaculate. And I haven't had him trimmed yet, so I'm working on getting him haltered. But each day that I go out there, been working with him every single day. I noticed being on the product, he just, his attention is to me more. He's not looking around out there and whatnot. But right now it looks like he's wearing linen stilettos.
Jamie Franklin: So, yeah, the product for all the horses all around, I just noticed significant hoof growth, their coats, their attention, their focus. And with Pendleton hopefully I'm able to get him halted up here pretty soon so I can get him over to the vet and get him trimmed.
John: Yeah. So with all the commonalities across the board, you've seen the hoof growth, focus and attention, softer, shinier coats, across all the horses. While at the same time, the product is customized to each horse, depending on what their issues are. That's really fantastic. And now every farm, probably more than likely, highly likely, has a dog. And if they're named Duke then that's even better.
John: So of course you had asked me, hey ... And we get this question a lot too. Can I give this to my dog? And so what was going on with the ... Well I guess the answer to that question is yes you can. And they get the same dose as a horse since it's targeting the pituitary gland, which is roughly the same size in mammals, about size of a pea. So tell us what was going on with Duke and then what happened after you started giving the Equinety.
Jamie Franklin: Well, yeah, like you've mentioned, I had asked you if it's okay and safe to give it to my dog. And when you told me it is, I wanted to try Duke on it because Duke's 10 years old now, and last year when he was nine, he started having some issues with getting into the truck. I'll open the back door of the truck and he would normally jump in. And starting last year he couldn't make it in. I'd have to pick him up. He's 97 pounds and I've had four back surgeries so I'm not always able to pick him up and get him in there all the time.
Jamie Franklin: And so I put him on the product for about a week and a half and I noticed him running around the yard chasing the ball or a stick, that he's moving a lot better and not stiff in the back legs. And I've opened the back door to the truck and he jumps right in now. So it's even working for him.
John: That's great.
Jamie Franklin: And I'm just tickled pink about that.
John: Yup. No, with everybody, everybody's happier and softer in the eyes, and healthier. And in what you're doing, which is, oh, can't thank you enough for your service and what you're doing for these veterans. Let's talk a little bit about the Horse of Warriors project, what exactly it is, how that's helping, and yeah, let's just get right into that and how you were inspired to start all this up.
Jamie Franklin: I'm a veteran, a war veteran. 12 years in the army and I was living alone and I always sequestered in my own home. I didn't get out much into the public or whatnot. And I had two suicide attempts in 2015. And when my neighbor asked me what was the happiest time of my life, and I explained to him, when I was with horses. He indicated to me that there was a horse rescue here in town that I didn't know about, and mentioned that I should go over there and I could donate my time and spend time with the horses all day.
Jamie Franklin: So I went over there and I did that, and that's when I found Ricochet. Then I brought him home. And from that point on, I just started working with him and there was days that he would work with me and days he wouldn't. I'd come out to the gate and he'd look up at me and then he'd take off. And some days he would walk right up to me.
Jamie Franklin: And I think it was about six months after talking to a horseman, explaining what's wrong with my horse. And they were telling me, "No, it's not your horse. It's you." That horse is going to know who you are before you even get to the gate. And if you've got anything negative inside of you or balled up, or angry or whatnot, the horse isn't going to know, or allow you to be with him. So I had to change all that and set that aside, and I had to go in there calm. And that's what made things better for me.
Jamie Franklin: Then I've taken a couple veterans out on trail rides, and they told me how it helped them. And then that's how the program ... This program just transitioned from that, taking veterans out on trail rides. Basically our program now is the camaraderie of veterans being with veterans. We don't have any therapists on hand or any workers or anything like that. The horses are the therapists, and the horses help heal veterans and help keep them from committing suicide. 22 veterans commit suicide each day. And if we could save one veteran from committing suicide, this program is well worth it and everything that I put into it.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Wow. So you were dealing with veterans that are dealing with some of the most traumatic things. Being in the PTSD and just to like in your case, trying to adjust back into society.
Jamie Franklin: Yeah. There's an old saying, a horse is a mirror to your soul and will show you who you are. For the horse will mirror your feelings. If you're angry or scared then that's what is displayed and that's what the horse will show you. And the horse will react in that capacity as well. And it took me a while to understand that and with the knowledge of great horse people that know this stuff, that had explained it to me.
Jamie Franklin: And that was helpful for me to set things aside that I'm going through to go out there and go into calmly with the horses. So it helped me acclimate back into the public and get out in the public. Because I would stay sequestered at home, and I had no sense of self purpose anymore. And my horses helped me to have that sense of self purpose, and something to live for again.
Jamie Franklin: And they also help other veterans with that as well.
John: Sure. So with your organization and being able to bring veterans in to help get them acclimated back into society, and then you're also having the ability to have these veterans go out into these parades, and which is another step into getting around people. And they almost have their horses kind of like their security, I guess it could be said in some ways.
Jamie Franklin: I don't know if it's a sense of security. I mean, I feel safe with other veterans and I feel safe around the horses.
John: So a camaraderie all the way around him.
Jamie Franklin: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But I don't know how to explain it. I just know that being with the horses helps. And if you get the horse to work with you, helps change everything inside of what you're feeling. And actually it's not only helped me work with the horses, it's helped me as a person and how I interact with others, for the better. I mean, I've had people let me know that I'm different in a better way when I'm talking to them, or around other people. And I wouldn't engage with my family or anything like that. I mean, my family would try to get me off the couch, go somewhere and do something. I wouldn't participate with them. And I felt like I was invaded by my own family. And I just wanted people to leave me alone. But now I'm much better. And I want to get out and do things.
John: Right. Well that is awesome. And I tell you what, Jamie, I really, really appreciate your service, and the things that you're doing through The Horses of Warriors, and you can ... To those listening in, right on Facebook, you can type in Horses of Warriors and find their page to like their page, follow them. If there's anyone listening that knows a veteran that's struggling, Jamie, what would you have to tell them to maybe get the message through to the person that needs this kind of a help?
Jamie Franklin: That we're here for them and our horses are here for them. We could be contacted 24/7. I have veterans that call me at two o'clock in the morning. They may not want to ride or anything like that, but just simply hang out and talk and have somebody to listen to them at night. I do that as well. So it's not a program that is structured that has rules or timeframes, or anything like that. Anyone's welcome to call us at any time. We'll be there to listen, to help in any way we can.
John: That's great. Well, Jamie, thank you again. I know this is going to bring a lot of benefit in a lot of ways to the people listening in, so thank you so much for taking the time to share the stories about your horses as well as about The Horses of Warriors. And thank you again for your service.
Jamie Franklin: Thank you, John, my pleasure.
John: You bet. Bye bye.
Jamie Franklin: Bye.