California Riding Magazine • February, 2014

Dr. Gabi Gross & Equolution
Hair mineral analysis is one of many powerful tools in preventative, whole-horse care.

by Kim F. Miller

Dr. Gabi Gross traces the origins of her prevention-oriented equine health practice to 1967. She was only 5, but that's when she first experienced the joy of helping animals. Empathy was her only tool at the time, and that quality has since guided the native German to pioneer a unique approach to horse health and peak performance.
Under the banner of Equolution, Dr. Gabi's system is not a miracle cure, she acknowledges. It's a system designed to enable horse owners to help their horse's bodies and minds heal themselves.

"Equolution stands for 'equestrian evolution,'" she explains of the name she chose to define her mission. "As a horse owner, you want to catch a problem before it creates permanent damage to your beloved companion while also protecting your investment, especially if you have an expensive show or race horse."

Endocrine profile of a horse with a history of allergy problems. The hair mineral analysis revealed reduced adrenal activity and consequently reduced immune defense. The allergy symptoms subsided after balancing this horse's adrenal glands.

Hair mineral analysis graph of a horse with copper deficiency.
The coat of this naturally black horse had turned brown and he also had developed tendon problems. The corresponding blood results did not show an abnormality in the copper level. Over the period of four weeks on a copper mineral salt, the coat changed to black.

Conventional western veterinary medicine has a huge place in horse health, she assures, but the discipline often limits preventative measures to de-worming, teeth floating and vaccinations. Veterinarians are called after a disease has done damage, a condition has emerged or an injury has occurred.

Indentifying potential health issues isn't easy, but Dr. Gabi is well prepared for the task. She earned her veterinary certification in Germany, holds a degree in equine nutrition and herbal sciences and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and brain research. (And a Masters in mental sports performance coaching.) She constantly monitors the latest scientific developments and combines that with her original empathy, ever-evolving intuition and the first-hand experience of a lifetime of horse ownership and involvement with race and sport horses.

"I am an educator, a researcher, a consultant to my horse owners and a specialist for difficult cases," Dr. Gabi explains. She provides pre-natal programs for broodmares so their foals will get off to the best possible start. She helps older horses keep age-related issues, like Cushings, insulin resistance and metabolic disorders at bay, and she helps elite athletes perform at even higher levels. For horses in any life stage, colic, ulcers, chronic allergies and too much or too little energy are a few of the myriad issues that can be addressed through the proactive whole horse approach Dr. Gabi advocates.

Hair mineral analysis is one of the most powerful tools in Dr. Gabi's kit. A teaspoon of mane hair speaks volumes about what's going on inside a horse's body. Mineral and nutrient deficiencies and/or imbalances reflected reveal everything from early indicators to full-blown mental and physical problems and it can unveil issues that won't show up in a blood analysis.

Hair mineral evaluation on its own provides valuable information, but it's most effective used together with a clinical exam and the owner's observations about changes in the horse's behavior, attitude and/or performance. Then it's Dr. Gabi's job to distill these and other factors to determine the source of the problem.

No Push Button Fixes

Natural supplements, including enzymes and probiotics, are part of the solution to most issues. Equolution has developed its own line of neutraceuticals in order to be confident of quality, quantity and consistency of the ingredients. These, too, are powerful on their own, but most effective when used with a whole-horse approach to recovery. And that's where the owner comes in.

"For people who expect a 'push-button' solution, I am probably not the right person," Dr. Gabi notes. "In some cases, the source of the problem is environmental and not solved with a detox program or through nutrition alone. I may have to recommend a change of environment for the horse." Her recommendations can be inconvenient. Owners' willingness to take on such regimens for their horse's welfare has inspired Dr. Gabi on many occasions.

As a pioneer in a multi-faceted, prevention-focused field, Dr. Gabi's recommends paths to recovery that often require a leap of faith for owners to buy into the Equolution mission. Although she would like to weigh in at the beginning of a horse and owner's relationship, "Often, I am the last resort and do not get much time and patience.
"Also, most of these internal problems have been going on for a while and the body takes some time to rebalance itself," she continues.

San Diego dressage trainer Jill Beltran was just such an example. Shortly after getting her Friesian Waling D (California Riding Magazine, Sept. 2012) to the Grand Prix ranks, his star qualities began to disappear. It began as a lack of energy, but progressed to Cushings-like symptoms in his coat and, ultimately, a collapse.

"My hat is off to Jill," Dr. Gabi notes. "Her horse had a 10-year history of metabolic issues and had been severely ill for six months when she heard about me. Nevertheless, she never lacked in following the nutritional and management program that was needed. I am proud of her and all my horse owners who show that kind of diligence, strength and love for their horse."

Jill Beltran's Friesian, Waling D in October 2012 (photo above) and in December 2012 (photo below). He got ill very fast, but with Dr. Gabi's help his health turned around. Jill credits Dr. Gabi with saving Waling's life.

"I am so very grateful to Dr. Gabi," Jill reports. "Waling was deteriorating very quickly.  A good friend of mine called me having heard of my troubles and suggested I call her. By the time Dr. Gabi saw Waling he was in very bad shape. Without her I know that he wouldn't have made it. She honestly saved his life."

Based in Southern California, Dr. Gabi can help horses located anywhere. Mane hair samples can be mailed and consultations conducted by phone, Skype and other means. Because teaching is such an important part of Equolution's mission, Dr. Gabi welcomes the chance to explain and demonstrate her methods. Trainers are encouraged to contact her about hosting clinics for clients.

"Our Equolution community is growing daily," she concludes. That could be partly due to the tendency of Dr. Gabi's efforts to impact more than horses. "Often the work we do heals the horses, and to some extent, their owners. It requires the two be genuinely in touch with each other and that can be a healing experience."

For more information on Dr. Gabi Gross and Equolution, visit and Facebook, e-mail or call 855-409-8500.