Troy Brandenburg doesn’t believe in micro-managing horses. The co-founder of Brandenburg Equine Therapies, a prominent distributor of equine health resources, Troy has built his business around the philosophy that horses need, above all else, to be horses.
I think we’ve gotten away from the basics of horsemanship and what we used to do.
Troy grew up in North Queensland, Australia, finding his first claim to fame as a race jockey. He clawed his way up the ladder, earning the leading jockey title by the age of 16. He later retired from racing to pursue a career in rodeo, and it was in that industry that Troy found his true calling.
“I started doing some massage work on the rodeo horses, and I noticed how much better they went afterward,” Troy recalled. “I just fell in love with treating horses and I got great results. It was different than anything I had ever done in my life.”
Troy knew that rodeo wouldn’t pay his bills forever, so he started exploring ways to work on horses’ bodies for a living.
“I decided to advance to really learning about horses and how they move and think and feel,” he said. “I wanted to simplify things and I have been able to make this my entire life.”
Troy realized that opportunity to advance his business could be found in the U.S., so after his services were requested in 2002 by a client in the States, he packed his bags and the $86 he had to his name. The uncertainty was rampant, but Troy stuck with it.
“I made $1000 in my first day working on horses, and I thought this could really be something,” he recalled.
Troy believes that many common soundness and soreness issues within horses can be fixed by applying basic knowledge to the treatment. “It doesn’t have to be fancy,” he explained. “Muscles control the skeleton, so if the bones are out of place then most times it means a muscle may be pulling them of of place. Unless you release the muscle, you will continue to have problems. Find the cause of any problem and you have more chance of fixing it.”
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and if you don’t fix small problems, they’ll come back to haunt you.
Troy had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, prompting him to travel the world to learn more about horses and the advancing technologies that could help them. His education brought exposure to many products that could be used for horses, and from this came Brandenburg Equine Therapies.
“Technology has come a long way,” Troy said. “I believe things should be simple, and I also know that many times some of this equipment does more harm than good. But for the equipment, there are many benefits. I started Brandenburg Equine because I wanted to offer products that I personally have used and that I believe in. It’s not about distributing everything under the sun, it’s about bringing products to people that actually work the correct way.”
Troy, together with his late wife, Tiffany, built Brandenburg Equine on the concept that many horse owners rely on the advice of others – which can often be conflicting – to find treatment options for their horses. Troy wanted to eliminate the guesswork, offering products that he personally endorses and has learned about in his work and travels. For him, it’s not as much about the dollar signs as it is ensuring his clients have the best possible options in their arsenal.
“I think we’ve gotten away from the basics of horsemanship and what we used to do,” he said. “We have advanced, and there are many good products on the market, but if you don’t know the basics of what it is you’re treating, you can do more damage than good. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and if you don’t fix small problems, they’ll come back to haunt you.”
“What does a horse need? He needs to be a horse. Horses want to please, and it’s our job to give them the best opportunities to do that.”
Brandenburg Equine’s curation of holistic health products is a labor of love for Troy, who continues his work today in memory of his wife, who passed away in 2016.
“Brandenburg Equine is Tiffany Brandenburg,” Troy said. “This is a business, but it’s my life. I will always do it because I love it and because Tiffany loved it.”