Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vinegar for Horses...a miracle cure?

"Long a folk remedy, cider vinegar has been shown to improve the health of dairy cows, horses, dogs and other animals. It reduces common infections, aids whelping, improves stamina, prevents muscle fatigue after exercise, increases resistance to disease and protects against food poisoning. Cider vinegar is rich in the vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in apples, especially potassium; it normalizes acid levels [pH] in the stomach, improves digestion and the assimilation of nutrients, reduces intestinal and fecal odors, helps cure constipation, alleviates some of the symptoms of arthritis and helps prevent bladder stones and urinary tract infections." By Wanda Barras

I have read alot over the years about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for horses. Taken orally, ACV has many healing and detoxifying properties with no negative side effects. You could mix ACV with your horse's grain, or add it to their water. Remember that when changing anything in a horse's diet you must do it gradually to prevent digestive upsets. Begin with a low dose of ACV and increase it over a few days to the full amount. I add it to my horse's Beet Pulp (which is soaked in water), and she loves it. It also really seems to keep the flies away.

For a healthy horse, use 1/4 cup (60 ml) of unpasteurized ACV on his feed per day. Dilute the vinegar 50/50 with water before adding to the feed.
Because of it's potassium and associated trace mineral content, this feed supplement is invaluable for mares coming up to foaling and it is also beneficial for older horses with digestive difficulties or arthritis. Besides the nutritional benefits, vinegar helps to purify the drinking water by destroying harmful microorganisms that can thrive in neutral or mildly basic water.

*Promotes healthy joints.
*Enhances skin and coat health.
*Balances the horse's pH.
*Boots immune system health.
*Helps to dissolve calcium deposits in kidneys and bladder, and around joints and helps prevent intestinal stones called enteroliths.
*Improves urinary tract health.
*Stimulates proper digestion.
*Helps horse to resist internal and external parasites.
*Contains beneficial enzymes.
*Flushes the body of toxins.
*ACV has natural antibiotic properties.
*Helps to calm a nervous horse.
*ACV makes horse blood unsuitable for insects, and acts as a repellent.
*May help improve and relieve arthritis.

Uses of ACV Around the Stable

*Fly Spray: A great tried, tested and true recipe for ACV fly spray is mixing equal parts water, ACV and Avon Skin-So-Soft. Black tea has also been mixed in with success. This fly spray is safe and gentle for your horses, children and yourself. You'll find that your horse's coat is softer than ever!

*Topically: ACV helps to reduce swelling. Take care not to put in an open wound. It also has antifungal properties and can be used to treat ringworm.

*ACV has long been used on racehorses for swollen hocks, bowed tendons. Dampen a quilted leg wrap and apply to the affected leg. Wrap with a polo wrap. We leave them on over night. The swelling is gone by morning.

*Thrush Buster: Spray ACV on your horse's soles and frog to prevent or treat thrush. Much more gentle than bleach and cheaper than other remedies! By making the hoof area more acidic, fungus is no longer able to grow well there.

*ACV and Water: Adding ACV to your horse's fresh water supply is easy and an efficient way of making sure your horse is consuming ACV. Add a cup or so of ACV into your water tank. (Less if in a bucket). Remember, start with a little and work up to the full dose over several days. This will help keep the water tanks and buckets free of bacteria and build up. (Do not use ACV in metal buckets or tanks!) If all your horses are taking ACV, you'll be amazed to notice less flies around your stable general. ACV makes a horse's blood unsuitable for flies and pests. If your water tank automatically fills, use this formula: Add1 cup of vinegar per 6 gallons of water contained in the tank. Then, add an additional 2 ounces of apple vinegar per horse per day.

*You can take care of all those pesky flies that hang around enclosed areas like barns or transportation trailers, by using you own homemade vinegar fly trap:
3 cups (750 ml) Water
1/4 cup (60 ml) Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup (60 grams) Sugar
Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar solution then place in a large jar and punch holes in the lid. The flies will get in but won't be able to fly out.

As you can see, ACV is a must have at the stable! I keep a full jug handy at all times. Get organic and unpasteurized ACV if you can (pasteurization kills the important enzymes). It also does wonders for humans, but I have yet to try it. I found it at for $13.99 per gallon and shipping is only 99 cents. If anyone finds a better deal let me know. I can't find the unfiltered in the gallon size at an actual store.

If you live in a country where apple cider vinegar is difficult to find, try making it at home. Here's a couple recipes on the web to make apple cider vinegar.

Anyone have any experience with feeding ACV?


Sherry Sikstrom said...

Great post thanks for the info !I have heard about some benifits of ACV before ,but nice to see it all together and explained.

Jessica said...

Wow! Thanks for the great info! My horse is allergic to gnats, so I'm always looking for new fly control methods. I will definitely be placing an order through Amazon. Thank you so much! :)

Desert Rose said...

Very intersting info, thanks for sharing!

Paint Girl said...

Great information! I will have to give this a try. The flies are starting to get really bad around here already!

Pony Girl said...

I just read about using vinegar on the Pioneer Woman's site, too (to help with hard water on her hair) and several commenters mentioned using ACV, too! ;) Thanks for the tips!

storybeader said...

that's great news! Maybe we can also put a little in the doggie's water bowl... I remember horses like apples too - was always amazed at how they would eat the whole thing, when I was a kid! Now I do that!

Andrea said...

We have been using it for fly spray for a long time! It has a tendency to stink a bit. So, if you don't mind the smell. My in laws use it in their horses feed. It's a great product. I think they get their's at Sam's. But I'm not sure it's unpasteurized.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Wow! Thanks for this info! I don't like using chemicals at all. I'll have to switch over my metal water tank for the plastic one and start this immediately.
Thanks again!

Small City Scenes said...

We put it in the horses water. No sketter eggs or hatches. They stay away and the horses can't tell there is ACV in their water. MB

Unknown said...

I am interested in reading much more about using apple cider as a water conditioner for horses. Or any other type of chlorine reducing (but not adding sodium) system.

Does anyone know of a vet journal or current articles that endorse apple cider?

I am new to Las Vegas but I do know every other time I try to arrange a vet appointment, my vet is busy with back to back colic's. All year round.

Ronanne Morrow said...

Q: What do you feed your horses?
A: Oats, quality forage, Garlic powder, Apple Cider Vinegar, minerals
APPROX: 2 TSBP of garlic and vinegar twice daily in feed
from Cindy Cappel (google) Certified Herb Specialist-----I feed this to my three horses and they love it, I have seen a different in them

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!
I'm an herbalist & my family all takes ACV for health.
Apple Cider vinegar is an amazing remedy & preventative for humans, I can't believe we have never used it for the horses!
Great all around info for equine/barn usage, thanks!

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