Like many significant achievements, Absorbine grew out of humble beginnings—and the dogged tenacity of someone willing to question the status quo. Wilbur Fenelon Young was an enterprising piano deliveryman from Massachusetts who relied on his team of horses to make his deliveries. His enterprising wife, Mary Ida Young, was an avid gardner and herbologist, as well as a passionate animal advocate, who staunchly rejected the then common practice of treating a horse’s lameness or injury by “blistering” the affected leg with caustic chemicals.
She knew there had to be a better, more humane way. Using her extensive botanical knowledge, she formulated a special blend of herbs and essential oils into a tincture designed to increase blood flow and speed healing—without painful burning or blistering. The result was Absorbine Veterinary Liniment, and they were both so impressed with its effectiveness in relieving sore joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles that Wilbur began carrying it on his delivery routes and selling it to local horse trainers and other business owners with working horses. The exact formula remains a closely-guarded family secret, but the results have been trusted by riders and trainers since 1892, making it the horse world’s most trusted name.