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Wizard Ride 42: I’m Made out of Turpentine…

January 29, 2009


“I’m sticking with you…
‘Cos I’m made out of glue…”
(or turpentine)

Thursday 1/29/09

I have a public service announcement for horse people everywhere…

What Not to Do with Venice Turpentine
By Sarah Andrew

Horsemen have long used Venice Turpentine to toughen the soles of horses’ feet.

Turpentine Don’ts:

1) Do not apply Venice Turpentine to a horse’s hooves without wearing gloves. Venice Turpentine is the stickiest substance known to mankind and it sticks to everything. How do I know this? Because I forgot my gloves and applied it to Wizard’s soles without wearing gloves.
2) Do not expect Venice Turpentine to be workable in any way whatsoever in cold weather. I could not even open the jar without soaking it in H-O-T water first.
3) Once the jar is open, do not spill it. And if you spill it, wipe it up while wearing gloves (see Rule #1).
4) Do not apply Venice Turpentine while your horse is out of his stall. Apply Venice Turpentine when your horse is in his stall so the shavings can coat the bottom of his foot. Contrary to what you read online, the paper of a feed bag does not stick to your horse’s foot once Venice Turpentine has been applied to the sole.
5) Do not expect the brush included in the jar to do a very good job applying the product. A toothbrush or hoof brush will work better.

Turpentine Dos:

1) If you get Venice Turpentine all over your hands, apply Corona Ointment to keep your hands smooth instead of sticky.
2) Tie up your horse’s tail so the tail does not get sticky.
3) Have a plastic freezer bag ready for the Venice Turpentine jar when you are finished.
4) Do apply Venice Turpentine as the last task in your grooming ritual.

After all that, does it work? I have no clue. I put it on Wizard’s feet after I rode. Let’s hope it’s worth the aggravation.

ANYWAY, back to my ride…

I turned Wizard out in the arena to let him stretch his legs. He was quite appreciative of the playtime, especially since he’s been getting less turnout time with all the funky weather this week.


After Wizard played for about 10 or 15 minutes, I tacked him up and longed him in saddle, bridle, and quarter sheet. Wizard handled the freedom of the longer longe line very nicely. I’ve begun introducing a tiny bit of canter work on the longe, mostly to help Wizard with balance and for a little variety. His canter is sort of floaty but VERY fast- I think it will be OK with some more work but right now, I cannot imagine riding him at a canter!


After 7-10 minutes of longeing, I hopped on and rode Wizard for about 10 minutes. We did just a little bit of trotting. Because he had not been ridden in a week and because he did not have enough turnout this week, he seemed quite excited just from the longeing and turnout in the arena. He was sweating more than usual so I took it easy. We did just a bit of trotting and mostly walked because I did not want him to get too sweaty in this chilly weather.

I untacked and gave him a good grooming. He’s already shedding! The quarter sheet, cooler, saddle pad, girth, everything is covered in hair. I rode Wizard in a Lettia Coolmax girth. I did not notice any difference from how he is with my Professional’s Choice girth or my leather girth.

I fed Wizard his Dengie, gave him warm water, and went home to get the Venice Turpentine off my hands :^P


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosina Dennis permalink
    August 22, 2010 4:19 pm

    Venice Tupentine does not stay liquid in cold weather, but a product I get here (Ocala, Fl), does stay liquid. It is called VENETIAN Turpentine. The difference in the two products? Venice Turpentine has BEESWAX in it, VENETIAN Turpentine does not. Works just as well and is is made from Balsam pine, like the other.

  2. May 8, 2012 9:06 pm

    Thanks for this post and its info and warnings, Sarah–I’m only finding it now (3+ years after you posted it) as I’m about to embark on my first experience with this stuff on Mr. Big’s soles. I googled “Venice Turpentine” and your blog post popped up–yay! Thanks again!

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