Brand Feature: Equiderma

In the spirit of community over competition, I'm excited to continue the Brand Feature Series. Each month, I feature another woman owned equestrian small business that I love. This month we chatted with Bethany Padgett about the amazing business she has built over the past 28 years. She had some valuable advice and words of wisdom to share!
At the root of everything Equiderma does is a deep love and respect for all animals. That is what sets us apart and is the basis for everything we do. For each product we offer there is one driving force; to help animals heal and live a better life. We have achieved that goal by formulating incredibly reliable natural products that produce real results. Each product has been carefully formulated to deliver superior performance for a specific purpose. We specialize in natural solutions for skin issues, wounds, insect bite protection and healing, sunburn, sheath cleansing, and mane, tail, and coat care. 
Tell me a bit about why you started the business.
I started the business 28 years ago in Ellenton, Florida, where I had a successful training center for dressage, Telesis Equestrian Center. It was a magical place where the horses were meticulously cared for, mind, body, and spirit. Over time I began to take in horses, dogs, cats, birds, goats, sheep, or any animal that needed my help. The rescue center became a large part of my life and ultimately, I established a 501 C3 animal rescue, Telesis Animal Rescue. I committed myself passionately to helping abused, neglected, medically challenged horses and other animals.
Helping them overcome the bad hand life had dealt became as important to me as my breath. As a lifelong horse owner, I was accustomed to buying products that did little to help solve my problem. As evidenced by the dozens of half-empty bottles gathering dust in a corner of the wash rack, waiting to be thrown away. Wasted money, false claims. Every horse owner has that place where dud products go and are forgotten.
Unfortunately, it’s all part of the equine products game. It began to matter much more when I was faced with a barn full of horses who needed help. One thing that abused and neglected horses have in common is wounds, sweet itch, rain rot, scratches, sunburn, and all manner of skin diseases. My frustration grew as I spent precious dollars on over-the-counter and veterinary products.
With so many animals relying on me I finally had enough. Necessity truly was the mother of invention and I began to create products to help me help the animals.
What is your favorite thing about owning a business? 
My mission in life is to help alleviate suffering in animals. Plain and simple… I want to help. Through the vehicle of Equiderma, I have been able to achieve this goal on a global scale. That is my favorite thing about owning a business. Knowing my products are helping animal lovers solve their problems effectively without the use of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and toxic ingredients is incredibly rewarding. 
What has been the biggest challenge of owning a business?
The biggest challenge has been breaking through the “Old Guard” glass ceiling where large corporations were given space and the little guy was not welcome. In the vast sea of products, it was almost impossible to get noticed. Customer demand is why we were able to break through and grow as we have. Creating customer demand starts with great products, but that is only part of it.
Equiderma grew for the first 23 years almost exclusively through word of mouth. In 2017 we began to focus heavily on social media marketing. The company grew 800% that year. That kind of lightning growth comes with its own set of challenges. Growth is a wonderful thing but be prepared for it. The challenge came with keeping up with demand. 
What is some advice you would give to entrepreneurs?
When I look back over the past 28 years a quote from Martin Luther King comes to mind; “You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”. When you feel true passion for something, listen to the call and trust yourself. Move forward with your plans and nurture your business every day. No matter how humble the beginnings. You don’t have to know from the outset every step of the journey. The way will be clear as you commit to your business daily. Hard work, faith in yourself, and trusting things will work out are the biggest pillars to getting to where you're supposed to be - even if it's not where you thought you'd end up. If you can stick to these three things, everything will work out. Dream big, work hard, and most of all, have faith. 
  • Always remember all business is personal. It is all about the relationships you make along the way. People want to do business with someone they like and trust. If people like you and trust your word, they're going to want to do business with you. Remember the golden rule in all your business affairs. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 
  • Your customers are king. They are the most important part of your business. Cherish them and cultivate those relationships. They are the backbone of your business and to discredit them is business suicide. You will face difficult customers. Do everything in your power to let them know you care and are giving them your best. In doing this you will often find they are your greatest allies. 
  • Find a great mentor you trust. Equiderma would not be what it is today If some important people in the equine industry hadn’t taken me under their wing and believed in my mission. 
  • If I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard for it. It takes grit and resilience to grow a business from scratch. There will be feast and there may be famine. You must have the fortitude to ride out the storms that come with each situation.   
  • Learn everything you can about marketing yourself on social media. Become your own expert. Don’t rely too heavily on social media marketing companies that promise to help you grow. No one knows your business as you do and no one will care about it as you do.  
  • “Credit goes not to he who discovers, but to he who convinces the world”. When Equiderma was in its infancy magazine advertising was the prevalent marketing vehicle. It was incredibly cost-prohibitive. The world of marketing has changed and it is much easier to get a following for your business. Learn everything you can about marketing yourself. 
Use code DAPPLE15 to get 15% off all Equiderma products through the end of 2022! And don’t forget to enter the Dapplebay/Equiderma Giveaway over on Dapplebay social media to win some great prizes!


  • Sue Chandler

    I use your products and find that they do what they are meant to do. I use the lotion on leg crud that my horse seems to have every summer and it seems to manage it very well. Thank you.

  • Melanie

    I’m in Canada and my mare has suffered for years with painful mud fever sores, scabs, swelling and heat on her hind legs. The scabs never seem to go away and are always painful…until!! I found the Equiderma shampoo, skin lotion and zinc ointment! It removed the scabs that had been there for months. I’m using all three products consistently now to keep her free from this painful condition. Truly a miracle and I am so grateful that you’ve been able to help my beautiful girl feel better.

    Melanie and Bella
    Vancouver Island, BC Canada

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.