As a child, Annette was already a big animal lover and she grew up with a special passion for horses. That love and that desire to better understand animals and to be able to work with animals in a professional manner, sparked her to pursue veterinary medicine in college. During her study she worked as a groom at various sports stables. Here she first encountered the huge amounts of supplements, and other remedies, that riders and veterinarians would give to their horses.
During her veterinary study, her passion for the animal remained intact, but more and more doubts arose about the secondary interests that are intertwined in regular veterinary medicine. This was the reason she chose not to graduate as a veterinarian, but to graduate with a free field of study in veterinary medicine in 2004, after overcoming much university resistance. Her graduation subject was animal ethics and ‘doping in equestrian sport’.
All the research she did during her veterinary study in this area and the jungle of supplements she was confronted with during her work as a groom, led her to really understand that things had to change. Annette could no longer see the wood for the trees, let alone how any well-intentioned horse owner must feel. In addition, Annette believed that when horses are under too much stress and do not receive sufficient nutrients, veterinary and behavioural problems are waiting to happen. This sparked her quest to make a positive contribution to improving horse welfare.
She started to research what a horse really needs to keep their body healthy. She found that equine nutritional management, as it was written in all the books, was outdated. A major shift was needed to start providing horses with their natural nutritional needs. In addition, Annette discovered that there was no product on the market that met all her requirements. She decided not to sit back, but to be part of this change herself. In 2008 she founded Equilin and started developing products that matched her vision.
In 2018, her vision of a doubled roughage standard was internationally recognized. It was adopted as a welfare standard for horse management. A horse needs at least 1.5% of their body weight in dry matter in roughage to feel satisfied and to keep their body healthy. They’ll naturally eat even more roughage.
Annette calls this ‘The New Feeding Concept’: an innovative, cutting-edge view on nutritional management, in which roughage is the foundation.
“Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.”