For Poseidon Equine founder Linda Goldspink-Lord, the lessons learned over the last decade are helping to shape the future of true health for Australian horses.
I can't remember a time when horses weren't a part of my life.
I grew up in country NSW, and horses were my first love. As I've grown and progressed through the chapters of my life, horses have remained a constant. Sharing this love with my children was a huge privilege for me - my daughters Molly and Emily both competed in horse shows and events growing up. And when my beautiful daughter Molly died in an accident, aged 13, horses were my comfort. A safe place, a warm flank, an ear to talk to.
When Molly passed, learning about gut health and the links between our guts and our brains and overall health was a huge turning point for me.
I started looking after my gut health as a way of healing and giving my health the foundations I needed to start to feel better. To learn to live and love again.
A few years later, we were having trouble with our beloved horse Cruz, an off the track Thoroughbred. He was losing weight. He had trouble getting the right canter lead. He would grind his teeth and tilt his head. He even randomly one day bolted out from underneath my daughter Emily, putting her in the hospital.
I couldn't work out what was wrong. I spent thousands on getting a custom saddle made and getting it regularly re-checked. I had his teeth treated routinely. I even had moulds done of his mouth and got a customised bit made. As any horse-lover knows, we'll stop at nothing to help our horse's feet better.
Out of ideas, I started to look into the impact of gut health on horses, and the research I found filled me with hope.
I reached out to equine nutritionists and vets, to get their input into what would go into a horse gut health supplement. Something created from high-quality ingredients, backed by scientific research and designed to help horses feel better and enjoy the gift of true health.
My husband had previously run an animal pharmaceutical company, so between all of our team we were able to create Digestive EQ ... And so Poseidon Equine was born.
We've learned a lot over the last five years since launching our business, and I'm proud to have played a part in educating Australian horse owners about the importance of gut health for horses.
In recent years, our understanding of horse nutrition has improved dramatically. We have been reminded that hay and grass are the gold standard of feed for horses and that a horse's gut bacteria has a dramatic impact on their behaviour, physical appearance and performance.
We've also learned that stress in a horse can take a long time to show up. Often, by the time they are displaying signs of stress, they're at a crisis point. Just like white ants in timber, when stress finally makes itself known, it can be catastrophic.
Since starting this business, I've met so many amazing people throughout Australia and around the world who share our belief in the power of horse gut health. Researchers and nutritionists who've helped us understand how the gut works and why horse nutrition is so important. Veterinarians, trainers and breeders who are forward-thinking in their approach to horse nutrition and health. Owners and riders who want the very best life for their horses, and to help them make the most of every day.
We've had thousands of horse owners contact us to share their stories of transformation. Just like we experienced with Cruz, they've seen a horse who was stressed, struggling to gain weight and lethargic, turn into a vital horse with a glowing coat and boundless energy. Every call or email we get with a story of a horse enjoying the benefits of a healthy gut makes all our hard work worthwhile.
Today, we're still a family-run business with big ideas and big ambitions. Many people are surprised when they see firsthand just how hands-on our operation is - we're a dedicated, hard-working team, and it really is a family affair, with everyone pitching in to pour their passion into the business.
Over the past two years, our presence has grown in New Zealand, and we are now exporting to the Middle East and Asia with further international expansion plans due to be announced soon. Despite this growth, we're still committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products, leading-edge research and education, and maintaining our integrity.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself that an idea to help one horse, has turned into a business that's helped thousands of horses throughout Australia and across the world. But we still have a long way to go - I dream of helping every horse live a life of true health, and empowering every horse owner about how to help them. Thanks for being part of our story, I can't wait to see what the next chapter brings.
Written by Linda Goldspink-Lord, Poseidon Equine Founder