Poseidon Thoroughbred Health

We are world-leading in gut health supplements

From breeding to yearling prep, from trialling to racing and life after racing, a Thoroughbred’s gut will have a major role to play in the extent to which they can live up to their genetic potential. The more we learn about the importance of gut health and gut microbiome, the more we recognise the potential for change for  improved performance across the Thoroughbred industry. The results speak for themselves.

We are world-leading in gut health supplements

In 2017, Linda Goldspink-Lord founded Poseidon Animal Health, the parent company of Poseidon Thoroughbred Health. Her inspiration began with her personal gut health journey and motivation to help her retired Thoroughbred, El Cairo sired by the great Redoute’s Choice. This led to a company that is leading the way in equine gut health.

Poseidon Thoroughbred Health Founders, Linda and her husband Peter, have been involved with Thoroughbreds across many aspects from breeding to racing, spelling racehorses and competing OTT’s. The Thoroughbred horse has always played a prominent role in their lives.

Linda and Peter have been relentless in pursuit of the key to unlocking good equine gut health, and their vision to improve the overall wellbeing of horses globally.

Digestive RP can be a gamechanger for racehorses' gut health

Within the first week, Trainers are reporting horses on Digestive RP appearing calmer and more settled, with less scouring. In the first month, Trainers consistently tell us they see significant behavioural, performance and recovery improvements, as well as improved feed conversion, better topline and coat condition and improved suppleness under saddle.

We don’t believe in guesswork. We create evidence-based supplement formulations which provide results that speak for themselves.

Poseidon Animal Health delivers evidence based gut supplements which serve every aspect of the Thoroughbred industry; along with a commitment to education on feeding and managing for optimal performance and recovery.

Poseidon Thoroughbred Health is trusted and used by many leading Thoroughbred studs and racing stables across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Improving a horse’s gut and microbiome is transformational at many levels.

Great gut health can impact on every aspect of a Thoroughbred horse’s performance and behaviour, so the earlier we can create and maintain a healthy gut, the better for its growth, development and performance.

The life cycle of a Thoroughbred racehorse means they are often exposed to many risks for gut health. Recognising the impact that stress can have during key periods such as yearling prep, pre training and racing allows us to prepare and manage from a gut health perspective.

Poor gut health is linked to illness, increased risk of colic, poor doers, low appetite, poor hoof condition, stressed or dangerous behaviour, poor performance, and even possibly infertility.

Good gut health is linked to better performance and recovery, constant supply of energy to the muscles, ability to maintain weight, calm, safe behaviour, well-formed manure, vitamin production to support muscle energy generation, good appetite, healthy hooves, strong immune function, normal hormone production, lower stress and reduced risk of colic.

Wellness from within

Better gut health in Thoroughbreds can mean less reliance on gastric ulcer medications, better outcomes in yearling prep, longer time in training, improved performance, better recovery, better appetite, improved behaviour and the list goes on. With great gut health, the horse can utilise an efficient energy system and achieve better results. Recent research shows that horses fed a gut friendly diet have a delayed lactic acid threshold and a reserve of glycogen stores. Such is the power of a healthy gut.

Understanding the Thoroughbred's gut

Horses are designed to be powered by their hindgut bacteria which starts to colonise at birth. The establishment of the right beneficial bacteria in favour of the disease creating bacteria is essential for creating the foundation for great health and performance.

The earlier we can impact in a positive way on a Thoroughbred horse's gut microbiome, the greater the lifetime benefits.

At Poseidon Thoroughbred Health, we look at gut health being attributable to treating not just the stomach but the 30 metre digestive tract to get there. Put simply, the good fibre loving bacteria can create the majority of a horse’s energy and also keep the gut intact, preventing bacteria, pathogens and toxins from entering a horse’s body, where they will cause disease and inflammation.

These helpful bacteria also create B Vitamins for behaviour, appetite and hoof condition. The unhelpful bacteria create lactic acid and they feed on starch (from uncooked or too much grain) and create inflammation and reduced performance.

When we improve gut health in thoroughbreds it can mean less
reliance on gastric ulcer medications, longer time in training, improved
performance, better recovery, better appetite, improved behaviour and the list goes on.

Gut health is created through a fibre-based diet and using
cooked/extruded grain as opposed to raw, supported by great management and science backed supplements, the horse can utilise an efficient energy system and achieve better results.

Additionally, research has shown that when horses are fed larger
amounts of hay, they may have a delayed lactic acid threshold and a reserve of glycogen stores. Meaning they could sprint for longer and reach fatigue later. Such is the power of a healthy gut.

Risk factors for poor gut health include:

A low forage diet – not feeding enough forage will starve the good fibre fermenting bacteria

An empty stomach increasing the risk of squamous gastric ulcers

An unbalanced diet lacking in minerals like copper and zinc which are essential for gut wall maintenance

Feeding uncooked grains – feeding unprocessed grains like barley or corn sends a lot of starch into the hindgut where it feeds and supports the ‘bad bacteria’ who then create acid build-up, hindgut acidosis, gut wall damage and when severe enough, laminitis and colic

Competition – long hours of transport, long hours without feed and stress all combine to create the perfect storm for gastric ulcers and may negatively affect hindgut bacteria

Sudden changes in diet – sudden changes don’t let your horse’s gut have time to adapt and can cause colic and shifts in hindgut pH and bacterial populations

Change in living arrangements – often leads to stress and increases the risk of gastric ulcers

Stabling or travel – long hours without feed is one of the worst offenders for disturbing normal gut health and creates high risk for gastric ulcers

Big meals – feed and particularly starch will travel too quickly through the small intestine when big meals are fed, which means lots of starch gets dumped in the hindgut to feed the bad bacteria who will then kill off the good, fibre fermenting bacteria.

Too much anti-inflammatory medication – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Bute are well recognised for increasing the risk of gastric ulcers in the lower section of your horse’s stomach.

Overuse of antibiotics – Oral antibiotics will wipe out many of your horse’s good bacteria.

How we began

Meet the Experts of Poseidon

The Poseidon Animal Health team posesses a collective wealth of experience across various equine disciplines which includes managing, breeding, training and competing. As horse owners and breeders ourselves, we’ve noticed first hand the benefit of targeting gut health to improve overall health, appearance, performance and recovery. This shared expertise is strengthened by a passionate commitment to helping as many Thoroughbred Trainers and Owners and their horses as we can.

Our senior management team and consultants come from the health, veterinary, pharmaceutical and education/training sectors.

DR NERIDA McGILCHRIST

B Rur. Sc (Hon1) PhD RAnNutr

Nerida has a degree in Rural Science in 1999 and a PhD in Equine Nutrition in 2004, and is a registered animal nutritionist (equine) with the Nutrition Society of Australia. Nerida founded Equilize Horse Nutrition in 2003 and as a consulting equine nutritionist she provides high level technical support to feed and supplement companies in Australia and abroad. Nerida works closely with Poseidon Equine on formulations, research and horse owner education.

DR ERIN RODDY

DVM - Proprietor and Head Veterinarian

Erin has always been interested in Equine Nutrition and particularly in the role that nutrition plays in Equestrian Performance and Disease. She is passionate about researching the science behind Equine Nutrition and Gut Health and the outcome different feeding strategies and practices can have on behavior, development, performance and disease.

Elizabeth Owens

BSc Agriculture (Hons)

With over 40 years as an equine nutritionist, feed researcher and advocate for equestrians, Elizabeth has worked with equestrian and performance horses at the AIS, and as the Chef D’Equipe to the Australian Dressage Team at the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and is currently the non-executive Director of Equestrian Australia. 

DR BELINDA CHAPMAN

PhD, BSc (Hons), Grad. Dip. Science Management

Dr Belinda Chapman is a microbiologist with 25 years’ experience in microbiology research, and is Director of Quantal Bioscience, an Australian research company based in Sydney and specialising in microbiology research and education. Belinda works with Poseidon Equine as a consultant to improve our understanding of the microorganisms present in the equine gut, and the effect of prebiotics on the equine gut microbiome.