Many equestrian companies are inspired by a particular horse with a particular issue. “What got me started was Hull, a talented horse with a generous heart and lousy feet who was very hard to keep weight on, despite having the best care, feeds, and vet care,” says Susan Domizi, the founder of SOURCE, a company that specializes in micronutrient supplementation for horses, dogs, and people. “Something was missing, and it was my early experimentation with the micronutrients in seaweeds that made the differences to Hull. He went on to become U.S Intermediate Horse of the Year (Reserve Open) in Combined Training.”
Marine plants like seaweed provide a concentrated form a micronutrient that have a broader spectrum than any other form of plant life on earth. The benefits can include improved coat and hoof condition, better weight, and enhanced health and performance overall.
It took years unlocking the secrets of seaweed before Susan felt she had a product consistently good enough to market. She founded SOURCE, Inc. in 1975, and her broad-spectrum micronutrient supplement was at the helm. The company is still going strong 40 years later, though it wasn’t smooth sailing at first.
One challenge Susan had to grapple with was learning to negotiate the “regulatory dilemma”. “At the time, there was no official ingredient definition for some of the seaweeds we were using for our micronutrients,” she says. “It took eight long years working with AAFCO and the FDA before we were legal and no longer subject to ‘Stop Sale’ in certain states. Susan also soon realized she couldn’t continue buying seaweeds from others. “We simply could not control the quality we needed. So we don’t buy any of our seaweeds ingredients; we care for them every step of the way from sustainably harvesting them from ocean waters, through our proprietary processing, and into the final product container.”
Susan was the proud recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award the NASC has ever given
Not surprisingly, giving her commitment to quality, Susan was also very active in the founding of the National Animal Supplement Council (nasc.cc). The NASC has become instrumental in improving the quality of nutritional supplements for animals. In 2011, Susan was the proud recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award the NASC has ever given.
After about four decades, SOURCE has truly stood the test of time. If you look at magazines from the 1970s, you will find that very few of the nutritional supplements advertised back then are still around. So what is Susan’s recipe for success? “It’s certainly not due to my ‘business acumen’, because I don’t have any,” she laughs. “It can only be because the products are truly effective and have helped so many people help their horses. Out driving force is earning customer satisfaction; not only for our human customers purchasing our products, but most importantly for those animals they love and care for.”