Hi, I’m Jacquie, co-founder of The Conscious Way, and I wanted to share my story with you and explain what has driven the development of these beautiful safe products for your horse and dog.
My husband and I have been farming organically for nearly 25 years, and are passionate about the importance of eliminating harmful substances from the land and sea and managing the land in a sustainable way.
We came to the farm over 30 years ago, 140 acres of land that had been growing arable crops for many years, conventionally and intensively. One of the first things we noticed was the lack of birds on the farm – a rural area on the edge of the Cotswolds and there were no birds. I remember the shock I felt and a deep sense of unease, because I knew something was wrong.
We set about introducing grass crops because we farmed livestock as well as growing corn, and the birds slowly started to appear. However, we knew that they were not present in the numbers or varieties there should be. We also realised that our land was not productive, however much money and effort we lavished upon it – we now know this was telling us that the soil was dead.
After battling for a few years, spending disproportionate amounts of money on chemicals and artificial fertilisers, and still not producing the results we expected, we decided to follow our hearts and our instinct and convert to organic.
So here I am now, 25 years later, looking out at lush green fields, where our flock of Polled Dorset sheep are grazing alongside our horses and a plethora of birds. It is now the norm for our fields to be covered in Redwing, Fieldfares, Starlings, Pigeons, Crows, Seagulls, all feeding from the life in our soil. The garden is full of song-birds and in the summer hundreds of swallows spend their days sweeping over the grassy fields, enjoying the millions of insects that are now part of the farm’s eco-system. It is now such a rare thing to see fields covered in birds, that walkers regularly stop and take pictures! The importance of this is not to paint a picture of some woo-woo rural idyll, it is the fact that these are the signs of nature in balance – biodiversity and the ecosystem have recovered, and are in full operation.
Further evidence is that our livestock is healthy. The sheep and their lambs grow big and strong on our productive clover leys, without the need for artificial fertilisers, sprays, or man-made feeds, and our horses require only light balancers (non-GMO, of course!) to keep them in excellent condition throughout the year. There is plenty of published evidence that conventional systems of growing crops are poisoning our world, destroying the soil and biodiversity, and we have proven that organic management of the land leads to healthier livestock and increased fertility of the soil.
However, over the years I have become increasingly aware of, and nervous about, the chemicals and plastics that are prevalent in almost everything we use - from food packaging to what we use on our bodies, and I firmly believe that we would all be healthier if we could eliminate these manmade substances from our lives.
Luckily, I am not alone, and the availability of organic produce and products for people continues to grow. However, I also want to protect my beloved horses and dogs, and having struggled to find care products that I felt were effective as well as safe, I decided to develop my own range of organic shampoos and de-tanglers that would help horse and dog owners to improve the well-being of their animal friends.
The Conscious Pet and Equine products are certified organic (you do not need to take our word for it!), so when you use them you can be certain that you are not putting synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances onto your horse or dog, or run-off into our waterways – you will also be doing your bit to save our wonderful planet.