I was lucky enough to be approached through my freelance marketing business to build new websites for Poseidon Animal Health, but once I spoke with the lovely Linda, Founder of this amazing brand, the connection immediately got a lot more personal.
Gut health is something I have written a lot about in my marketing work, and I'm quite passionate about how important it is to people, but had never really come across anyone talking about gut health in horses. Over the 7 years I have had my horses I have been researching equine nutrition and fine-tuning what I feed as I learned more about good diets for horses.
Trinny's mother was an off the track thoroughbred and as with many exracers she had ulcer pain, so I tried omeprazole then when that didn't help, I tried a lot of supplements and found one that helped. When her gut pain reduced, she put on an inch over her ribs in just a couple of weeks, and became a lot calmer. Seeing how fast that change happened was a game-changer for me so Juno and Trinny were still getting this supplement as I definitely noticed more sensitivity and reactivity if I stopped using it. They were also on a really good multivite and mineral supplement, and I had worked really hard to get a diet that kept them in great condition physically.
So they had good diets, a gut product and a good multivitamin. They looked good and felt good. But unknown to me, there was room for some dramatic improvement!
Linda showed me how the free diet calculator works (try it here!) and I was absolutely rapt to learn that I had a near-perfect balance of protein, fibre, fats, minerals and vitamins in my horses' diets.
But as Linda told me so much about horses gut health, and I learned more about how it affects their digestion efficiency and nutrient absorption, condition, immunity, behaviour, ability to cope with travel, stress, competition and all around wellbeing, I got more and more excited about how focusing on improving my horses gut health could affect so many diverse and important aspects of their lives.
I knew I had to try the Poseidon's equine supplements ASAP.
Fast forward to 10 weeks later - we have the power
I called Linda and said "You know how you told me my horses would have more power but without fizz, and I said they were pretty willing and go-ey already? I get it now." She laughed as I told her how both horses felt as though they were bursting with energy and power but not spooky or rushy. She's seen it time and time again but for me it was a revelation. I would have told you my horses were already 'full power', and now they were at a new level.
There were some fantastic visible physical changes too.
More Topline Condition
Trinny is half Friesian and what horse people politely term a ‘good-doer’. This year she is simply bursting with vitality, and chunky as can be, but happily smashes out a 12 km trail, with gallops, without breaking a sweat.
Juno normally loses some condition in winter and is lighter coming into spring especially along her topline. This year she has a topline to dream of and her hindquarters are full peachy quarterhorse glory. She feels incredibly 'powered up' and never tires.
Shine bright like a diamond
Gloss, shine, and more gloss. The mares normally shine, but now they look like liquid satin. Even when they are covered in mud you can see the shine beneath the dirt. This glistening sheen without the aid of grooming sprays and polishes is undeniable evidence of inner health.
Better Hoof Condition
I’ve been really aware of good nutrition driving good hoof quality and my horses already had strong hooves that didn’t chip or crack. But adding Digestive VM and Digestive EQ has visibly improved both horses hooves, with a band of denser, glossy dark growth that began when we changed to Poseidon supplements.
Not only that, Juno’s hooves have a more upright angle above this line, meaning that the connection to the hoof wall has been improved, which suggests to me that the tissues inside the hoof are stronger too. I never thought that nutrition could change the shape of a hoof as well as the quality of the wall, but it makes so much sense, and seems obvious now.
A Black Spring Coat
Juno can turn ebony black in spring and autumn, then fades in the summer sun. Last spring when her coat changed, her hair became dry at the ends with an orange tint at the tip. I knew this was due to low copper and changed her multivitamin. (Ironically a standard multivite had more copper than the main copper supplement in my local horse-store, so check those percentages!!)
This year Juno had been on Digestive VM for 5 weeks when her coat changed, and boom, it was luscious black. Obviously the right amount of copper in this supplement!
Less Spook – And Zero Rears
This is one I am really grateful for. A rear looks fantastic, but when it’s blinding fast and very high and you didn’t ask for it... not so much fun!
With Digestive EQ gut support, my horses are not showing the ‘spring’ behaviour I have come to expect this year. Normally in late spring with all the sugars in the fresh grass, Juno acts like there are goblins everywhere. I honestly think sometimes she literally hallucinates as she will stare, shaking and snorting, ready to explode - at a spot where there is nothing to see.
We’ve had no rearing, no snorting and no leaping about. We’ve had no springy bucks from Trinny and no pawing-the-sky rears from Juno. Canter leads are not an issue, and show jumping has no extra ‘surprise bounces’ after the jump!
Juno had a bacterial patch on her skin for a full year. I tried every topical treatment I could think of, to no avail. 10 weeks on Digestive EQ and it was gone. Her body needed to fight that one from the inside out, and inner health with a strong gut microbiome was the answer.
We also had a hoof abscess that caused her pain but never got really bad, and then, was gone. I was using a great topical hoof treatment from Buzz Balms (Hoof Beehave) to help kill the bacteria in the crevice, but I’ve never seen an abscess resolve without erupting or being dig out before so... who knows!
Less Stress – With Stress Paste
I’ve given Trinny and Juno Stress Paste a couple of times with great results. I took Trinny out for a beach ride and since the travel is 50 minutes each way I split a tube between her and Juno who was staying home (she’s not happy about being left behind). Instead of fretting and running Juno had a lovely 4 hour nap and graze session, and as for Trinny, when I arrived at the beach for the trail she was so deeply relaxed I wondered if I would be able to ride her! She woke up from her "happy-comfy-stomach-B-Vitamin" dream state a few minutes in and gave me a brilliant trail ride and lots of happy gallops!
The next time was a cowboy challenge competition where a stressed anxious horse loses you marks. When we arrived at the venue Trinny was really, really tense so I gave her half a tube and she calmed down beautifully. She was able to stand on a long rein and watch the competitor before us and handled all the obstacles like a star, trotting through curtains and strolling over a tilting bridge, carrying bright orange plastic hi-vis pants stuffed with rustling feed sacks, and much more for a cute 6th place.
Because stress paste works by lining the horses gut for protection from acidity, and providing them with calming magnesium and B Vitamins, I know I can give it to my horses any time they need a gut-protection boost. I’ll definitely be using it for Trinny's next dressage test as in the last one we got a little pop-buck each time I asked for a right canter lead!
The Kicker? I fed them LESS and will Save almost $2.5K
Yes, it's true. After putting my horses on Digestive EQ and Digestive VM, I fed them each a kilo less each day of their combined fibre feeds (year round) and a kilo less of hay a day (half year). That works out to savings of $2442 on an annual basis.
I have no hesitation in recommending these equine supplements, and really couldn't be happier at how my horses have fared with the Poseidon gut support, and mineral and vitamin balance of Digestive EQ and VM!
You can use NZMARES10 to get 10% off RRP in New Zealand.
If you're in Australia, use Rachel's code WILLOW10 here.
Feature photo by BRV Creative for Saddle & Canter.