Life Data Labs is a company founded on solving problems, not theoretical problems, but real-world problems. The research we conduct is driven entirely by the practicality of producing a product or service that will benefit the equine industry. Unlike many companies who perform research to substantiate products they have produced, Life Data Labs develops products as a result of our research. To conduct privately-funded research, it is absolutely critical that the research is usable to continually support the ongoing efforts. Since 1973, Life Data Labs (as the name implies) has funded and conducted equine research that has benefited the entire industry; a testament of our success and dedication.
We find maintaining our own horses to be essential to properly-conducted research. Rosetrail Stables allows us the opportunity to exercise complete control over the horses' diet, environment, care, and activity levels. Without this level of control, the precision of our research would be diminished due to the presence of these variables. Furthermore, by owning our own horses, we are able to conduct full life cycle research: from mares in foal through the senior years on the same horses. Good nutrition will benefit a horse at any age; by studying the full life cycle, we can understand which nutrients provide which benefits.
Starlet Game was our foundation broodmare.
We acquired her at 15 years old in 2002. At that time, she was chronically foundered with approximately half of the front hoof walls built with plastic. She was in foal to "Distorted Humor", which is a half sibling to Kentucky Derby winner "Funny Cide". The picture, taken 9 months later after being on our nutrition program, shows Starlet Game romping in our Research Farm pasture with her filly, "Starlet Rose". Since then, Starlet Game has had an additional filly by “McCabe” and a colt by "Euro Silver".
Unfortunately Starlet Game died at 24 years of age due to natural causes.
Many of her progeny continue to race and contribute nutritional information, enabling Life Data Labs to continue to develop effective products.
THE NUTRITION LABORATORY
Life Data operates a comprehensive nutrient analysis laboratory dedicated to the purpose of establishing nutrient targets for horses. Currently, over 80 targets have been established (4x the quantity published in the NRC guidleine). Each nutrient has a correlation with every other nutreint, making it vital to understand how to delvier a balanced diet. The correlations vary from strong positive to strong negative and all levels in between. Thirty years ago, these targets were used to develop Farrier's Formula® by focusing on the nutrients that affect the dermal tissue organ. Today, these targets are studied to understand how the needs of a horse varies based on its breed, environment and occupation.
TSQ Quantum Tandem Liquid Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry Analyzer
This equipment will accurately perform analysis on amino acids, blood sugars, enzymes, hormones and many other blood components.
Thermo IRIS Intrepid II XSP ICP Analyzer
The Inductively Coupled Plasma analyzer heats samples in a flame of Argon gas to measure the mineral content. Blood mineral levels can be accurately determined.
The Immulite automated chemiluminescent immunoassay system uses IFA (immunofluorescent antiobody) testing to determine hormone, enzyme and antigen levels in the blood.
Cryogenic Preservation Vessel
Blood samples are preserved by freezing with nitrogen until time for testing arrives.
Vet Ace Clinical Chemistry System
This equipment is utilized by many laboratories to provide doctors with a basic blood chemistry profile, providing valuable information on the general health of the animal or person.
Cell Dyne 3500R Hematology Analyzer
This equipment provides a complete blood count, including red blood cells and white blood cells. The white blood cells are further categorized into the different types of white blood cells.
Once Dr. Gravlee could see the gross physical changes in the hoof that were achieved from supplementing the horse's diet, he sought the expertise of Dr. Susan Kempson at the Department of Preclinical Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh. Dr. Susan Kempson specializes in electron scan microscopic anlaysis of the hoof structure. These studies showed how the nutrition affected the molecular level of the hoof structure to result in a healthy hoof appearance.
PRIVATE AND UNIVERSITY RESEARCH ON FARRIER'S FORMULA®
"It is the only supplement to have been researched over a very long period of time and has been proven to be successful for all different types of hoof horn problems." Dr. Susan Kempson Department of Preclinical Studies University of Edinburgh
The Result of Ten Years of Private Research
The development of Farrier's Formula®is really a large part of the Life Data Labs story. Working for many years as an equine practitioner and nutritionist, Dr. Gravlee set out in his research to determine nutritional deficiencies in horses through laboratory testing. Initially, he performed extensive lab tests and developed dietary supplements for individual horses to correct deficiencies. He re-tested at intervals to determine the exact nutrients required and the amounts needed for each animal. During this initial process, he quickly realized that many severe hoof problems could actually be corrected by correcting the nutritional deficiencies. So he began to look for exactly which nutrients were needed for healthy hooves. Dr. Gravlee studied blood samples from over 200 horses - some with hoof problems and some without. Each blood sample was studied for more than 175 different factors. By entering this data into computerized database, he was able to determine through statistical analysis which nutrients were lacking in the horses with bad feet.
Farrier's Formula® is the result of ten years of intensive research by Dr. Gravlee. It is a nutritional supplement, and its effectiveness has been proven in scientific studies at independent universities.
Confirmed Through Independent University Studies
Veterinary Record (1990) 127, 494-498
S.A. Kempson BSc, PhD, Department of Preclinical Veterinary Studies Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1QH
Ultrastructural observation of the response of equine hoof defects to dietary supplementation with Farrier's Formula®
Farrier's Formula® feed supplement was added to the diet of 18 horses with 2 types of hoof horn defects. The first group of horses showed sand cracks and crumbling horn around the nail holes, the second group suffered frequent bruising and had flat feet with collapsed heels. Hoof clippings from both groups were studied in the transmission and scanning electron microscopes. All of the horses showed a progressive improvement in the gross and microscopic structure of the hoof horn, starting 6 weeks after the supplementation began. Once good quality hooof horn had grown, there was no relapse during the 2 year period of the study.
Electron Microscope Scan of the Hoof at the Beginning of the Study
The electronic microscope scan shows the loosely packed keratin squames in the hoof tissue.
Photo provided by Dr. Susan Kempson
The Same Hoof After Feeding with Farrier's Formula
After 6-8 months the cells were more dense, showing well defined "tubule" whirls.
Photo provided by Dr. Susan Kempson
The White Line at the beginning of the study:
This electron microscope photo shows the cells of the white line without organized structure, and several cracks and holes.
Photo provided by Dr. Susan Kempson
The same White Line after six months of feeding Farrier's Formula
The structure of the horn tubules and intertubular horn in the stratum medium of the hoof wall around the White Line is now well-organized.
Photo provided by Dr. Susan Kempson
The Edinburgh Project
Under the supervision of Dr. S.A. Kempson Farrier's Formula® was fed to 18 horses over a period of 1 to 2 years. According to the hoof horn defects they were divided into two groups:
Horses with sand cracks and crumbling horn around the nail holes
Horses with flat hooves and poor hoof growth, collapsed heels and frequent bruising
According to Dr. Kempson
Indeed, one horse was so sensitive he had not been able to wear shoes for 12 months, and was only sound on soft ground. The results were remarkable; "All of the horses showed improvement with increased horn growth." Within 6-12 weeks, all of the horses retained their shoes for a longer period of time.
Visible Results Within Only a Few Weeks
The first positive effects of Farrier's Formula®, according to experience, are visible after 2-4 weeks in the form of a more glossy coat. After 9 weeks into the study, improvements in the horn quality below the coronary band were already visible. This layer of denser horn is easily differentiated from the old hoof horn. Electron microscope examination proved that the horn quality develped incresasingly more stable structure in the course of the study, and defects in the horn were eliminated.
Improved Growth and Higher Stability of the Hoof
In the course of the study all horses showed a clear improvement in their appearance and in the growth of the hoof horn. The quickest to react were those animals in the first group with visible horn defects such as sand cracks: Already after six to 12 weeks an extended shoeing interval was apparent and the farrier noted "a considerable improvement in the firmness and stability of the hoof wall".
In the case of the horse with the particularly severe hoof defects after eight weeks it was possible to observe a disappearance of the crumbling horn around the nail holes. In its place, a firm elastic horn gradually grew.
After 8 weeks of supplementation with FF, a visible ring of newly formed, physiological coronary horn became apparent in the horses with flat hooves, poor hoof growth, or collapsed heels. After 5 months a bulge was formed, which after 2-3 further months was gradually replaced by a newly formed, firmer hoof horn.
At the end of the study period in all sample horses a considerably improved macro and micro structure of the new hoof horn could be determined as a reaction to the feeding of Farrier's Formula®. A microscopically visible improvement of the horn growth and the horn quality that was spread over 2/3 of the horn capsule could be determined in all animals after an average of five month's supplementary feeding with Farrier's Formula®. Also, in the horses that were fed a "biotin only" supplement without success, the horn quality was improved substantially when supplemented with Farrier's Formula®.
Video With Dr. Susan Kempson on Research on Farrier's Formula®