On Tuesday 7 April I went to see a horse that I have not seen since last December.

Phoenix is an 18-year-old mare who belongs to Chelsea. The last few times that I had seen her I had commented on her movement behind. Her hock and sacroiliac joints were really seizing up and they looked like they needed medicating, so I recommended that Chelsea seek veterinary advice. She decided against this for insurance reasons: once you start down the route of medicating, yearly top ups are usually required. However Phoenix is only covered for joint issues until next year, so any treatment after that would have to be paid for by Chelsea and she did not want to start something she felt she may not be able to pay for in the future.

I was pretty convinced that I would be seeing the same symptoms again yesterday. However I was astonished to see a real change in her movement behind. This time her trot up showed a vast improvement: she was really engaged with good articulation to both joints. I assumed she had seen the vet and her joints had indeed been medicated. However it turned out that this was not the case. For the last few months she had been on turmeric!

Now I do know that this is a bit of a craze at the moment and there are many forums out there rhapsodising about turmeric’s amazing curative powers. Until now I had never seen any cases that showed noticeable results, so I have not posted about it here.

I asked Chelsea about the dosage she was giving Phoenix and how she fed it to her. She said she was using three dessert-spoons per day, mixed with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper (these ingredients act as binding agents for the turmeric) and adding this to Phoenix’s food. Apparently this is how it works best. I wondered if the taste of the new mix put Phoenix off her food. “No,” was the reply, “Phoenix will eat anything!”

Now I’m not suggesting that turmeric is going to be a cure for any horse with arthritic symptoms. However the results I observed indicate that it has worked in this case. So it is certainly worth a try.