Horses are breathing easy thanks to Louisville man [Breeders’ Cup]

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When Louisville resident Mickey Ballew contemplated working for a New York company that developed silver products aimed at humans, he started thinking horses.

“That’s when I talked about getting into the equine side since I was based here in Kentucky, so that’s when I just started my own business to develop the equine side,” said Equisilver owner and creator Mickey Ballew.

Equisilver is a Louisville-based company that provides respiratory treatments to horses and also sells equipment, chelated silver solution, wound care, and even anti-bacterial water buckets. When Ballew started the business seven years ago, it was geared more toward silver’s antibacterial and wound care benefits, but it soon became an equine respiratory business. Ballew started out treating about 10 or 12 horses a month and now treats about 100 horses a month. Most of his business comes through referrals from either veterinarians or trainers.

“In the last four years, the respiratory has really become big,” said Ballew. “Kenny McPeek gave me the opportunity to start doing all of his horses and we started seeing some really great results. Not just on the race side, but the post-race recovery. The horses are recovering better. They’re coming out the race doing better.”

The treatment works much like a human respiratory treatment, with a mask held over the mouth and nose connected to a nebulizer machine. A non-toxic, natural solution of chelated silver is administered through the mask and breathed in by the horse. The chelated silver solution kills the DNA of harmful microorganisms without harming the animal. Each treatment takes about 30-45 minutes to administer.

The horses don’t seem to mind the treatment and generally are very good patients. While the horse receives the solution, Ballew stands beside the horse, talks to the horse, and pets the horse. In addition to the benefits received from the respiratory treatment, the one-on-one attention Ballew gives to each of his patients is an invaluable bonus.