During one of our weekly lessons, my amazing friend and trainer, Carol noticed that Sugar wasn’t extending her step as much as she should. Sugar tended to keep her front feet closer to her body and tenderly put her hooves on the ground each step she took.
Carol investigated the structure of Sugar’s hooves and deemed her hooves sound, but said the soles might be tender. She recommended brushing Venice Turpentine on the soles of Sugar’s hooves in order to toughen them up.
I’d never done anything like that before, but Venice Turpentine is inexpensive at $11 a container, so it was worth a shot.
Sugar received a fresh hoof trim on Thursday, so I started the Venice Turpentine that night. I was careful to coat the bottom of Sugar’s hooves, but made sure to leave the frog turpentine-free. By Sunday afternoon, after only three treatments, both Carol and Toni noticed an improvement in Sugar’s gaits. She was actually walking and trotting like a normal horse, not tender-footing it around the pasture. Les watched Sugar moving and told me that not only was Sugar matching Kobi’s gaits, at points she was actually quicker than he was.
Tuesday brought Carol out again, this time to assist on the trail. I asked her to come and ride Sugar in the woods with me and Kobi. A trail ride would show just how slow Sugar walks; Kobi either has to wait or go back and get her.
Sugar kept up the entire time. I have never seen anything like it. Someone took Sugar and left a real horse in her place!
Carol swears the Venice Turpentine is working – we’re not sure how, but thankful it is. My next steps are to start backing down on the daily turpentine applications and monitor how she walks.
If you have any ideas on how Venice Turpentine actually works, please let me know. The science behind this baffles me.