Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses

Last Modified on Sep 30, 2014

You are probably aware of what a great natural remedy apple cider vinegar is for people, but did you know that it has just as many beneficial properties for horses? Surprisingly enough, ACV is one of the most effective natural supplements for horses and is effective for treating a wide array of conditions. Apple cider can be used to treat urinary tract stones, hoof rot, poor frog growth, and a number of other common issues.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a derivative of apple fermentation. The liquid is made from ripened apples that are fermented and distilled. As the process keeps the fruit’s nutritional make-up intact, the result is an intensely healthful product.

What Are the Health Benefits of ACV for Horses?

The fermentation process used to create apple cider vinegar yields one particularly important compound – acetic acid. This acid generates effective balancing components in your horses regulatory system so that it is all-around healthier. Acetic acid helps balance the pH in your animal’s body, which also helps treat issues with infection and inflammation.

In addition to acetic acid, though, apple cider vinegar also contains a number of other beneficial compounds including vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids. These nutrients, such as vitamin A and phosphorus, are what make apple cider vinegar a key component for treating hoof rot, skin issues, and other specific health conditions for your horse.

What Specific Conditions Does Apple Cider Vinegar Treat in Horses?

In addition to supporting good general health in your horse, ACV can also be used to target specific health conditions. Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for several common yet difficult to treat issues. Among others issues, ACV is effective for treating urinary tract stones, hoof rot, and poor frog growth.

1. Urinary Tract Stones

Urinary tract stones typically result from a buildup of calcium and other particulates in the bladder and urinary tract. Apple cider vinegar functions to dissolve this buildup and promote adequate urinary circulation. To treat urinary tract stones, add 1/2 to 1 cup of ACV to every 6 gallons of water your horse drinks.

2. Hoof Rot

Hoof rot is another common condition in horses. The infection and inflammation often make it difficult to treat and care for your animal, but you can use apple cider vinegar to alleviate both. ACV is naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Additionally, the nutrients in ACV help restore normal cell growth. To use ACV for this purpose, soak the affected area in apple cider vinegar 2 to 3 times a day.

3. Poor Frog Growth

The health of your horse’s frogs is an important factor for whole body health, so caring for them is essential. Apple cider vinegar treats issues with poor frog growth much in the same way it does hoof rot. It helps eliminate underlying infection and restore health to the developing cells in the area. In this case, you should also apply ACV externally to the affected area.

4. Enteroliths

Enteroliths or intestinal stones are another common condition in horses. Like with urinary tract stones, enteroliths form as a result of buildup and an imbalance of the pH in the animal’s body. Taking apple cider vinegar internally will help increase your horse’s intestinal acidity and prevent or even dissolve stones.

Does It Matter What Type of ACV?

While it does not necessarily matter what “brand” of ACV you purchase, you should stick to an all-organic apple cider vinegar. Organic ACV contains the mother or the cloudy, dark web in the bottom of the liquid which actually contains all the good nutrients. You can also sometimes find apple cider vinegar supplements or capsules, which are also effective for treating horses.

Keep reading below to learn more ways to use apple cider vinegar to improve your horse’s health!

References:

Apple Cider Vinegar - http://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses - http://www.thehorse.com/articles/32070/apple-cider-vinegar-for-horses

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses
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Posted by Karen (Tacoma, Wa) on 09/30/2014

I have fed ACV to my horses for years. I get it by the gallon at a health food store. We bought a Baskir Curly horse who had VERY dry skin, Huge dandruff. I started him on ACV and now, he is shiny as he can be and no more of that dandruff. I feed 1/3 -1/2 cup a day in his feed. I was told by a old horseman years ago that ACV is great for loosening joints. Since horses can't talk, I can't say this for sure except I have a 32 year old horse that just keeps on going.

Reader Feedback   68  0   

Posted by Hannah (Lancashire, United Kingdom) on 01/04/2012

Hi, I have been thinking about using ACV for my 14 year old thoroughbred for some time. She has always had cracked hooves and nothing seems to work. She is generally in good condition in the summer but drops condition very quickly when winter sets in and has a dull coat. I am struggling to find ACV in liquid form but have found many suppliers of capsules - do you know if these would be a good substitute and if so how many to feed?

Replied by Julian
Liverpool, Uk
01/16/2012
Hiya Hanna, Try these for ACV and other horse supps.

http://www.equineanswers.co.uk

I'm not into horses but buy from these and have found prices and service great.

Julian

Replied by Jntte
Winnsboro, Texas, Usa
02/17/2012
[YEA]   I have used raw apple cider vinegar on my horses since last fall. One horse is 24 and of course predisposed to hoof rot and poor frog growth. Instead of putting him on antibiotics I decided to try the ACV as my vet suggested giving him 1/2 cup daily the next time the farrier came the growth looked really good and just minimal rot. It is very wet in East Texas so battling mud and slop is common, that was the first 6 weeks. It has been 18 weeks now and even though they have been walking and sometimes standing in mud his feet look really good, as well as the others as they have all been on the ACV. I used the raw for the first 12 weeks and have gone to a regular ACV w/o the mother in it for expense costs, but the results have been the same.

Posted by Stu (Cambridge, New Zealand) on 03/19/2010

[YEA]  Hi, Im a racehorse trainer and have fed my horses apple cider/garlic and honey for over 30 years about 20 mils in their feed every night.I have trained major stakes winners in both nz and australia, and at this time im the leading trainer in Oman [middle east] my horses are the healthiest here and i get so many comments on how they look.

I would not do without this secret and we do not give injectables. Stu

Replied by Lsutigger
Acworth, Ga, Usa
03/26/2010
Hi Stu, I am working with a Halflinger that has Spring/Summer allergies. His skin is already beginning to break out and is raw all along his underside. He has been tested and is not highly allergic to any one thing. He gets allergy injections but it doesn't help and the gnats and flies make it so much worse. He has midline allergies to a lot of stuff. What is the exact measurements of your ingredients? Do you just chop the garlic up? Any topical treatment you recommend? This horse will find a stump and just rub till he is raw. Tks.
Replied by Skipper523
Las Vegas, Nv, Usa
01/13/2011
[YEA]   I place apple cidar vinegar in our horses water. We have 3 horses, and one of them had a bad skin condition all over her neck when we first got her. It was either hives or some type of allergic reaction. In a fresh full bucket of water (our water buckets are 18 gallons in size), I use about 2 cups of ACV. I pour a little more in when filling it up again.. A dash here and a dash there. This past summer she had no irritations or hives!! I also find the horses drink more water when the ACV is in it! I would never not give it to the horses!!
Replied by Brenda-lee
Alliston, Ontario, Canada
04/27/2011
How much of each (Cider Viniger, Garlic and Honey)? What kind of Garlic? Cloves? Powder?
Replied by Horseyjen
Lancaster, Uk
02/29/2012
HI, I have also used www.supplements4horses.co.uk Found them really good... Hope you find what you need. :)

Posted by Prayerwheel (Sunland, CA) on 07/14/2009

ACV for Miniature horses

Hello, I was reading all the Q&A about ACV & horses but couldn't figure out how to post my own question. I'm wondering how much ACV to give my minis. My equine dentist recommended it for the bad fly problem I'm having. Their coats are also dry, brittle and growing in very sparsely for the first time ever. Not sure what's going on but trying to figure it out.

My minis range between 140lbs-170 lbs. I've started mixing it, about 1/4 C per horse, with their pellets in the evening and covering the whole bowl with water, about 3 Gal for 5 bowls.

Can you help me?
Thank you in advance,
Ann & the minis

Replied by Horselover
Manitowac, Wisconsin
06/14/2011
ACV can dry out the coat. try using AVON skin so soft or a horse leave-in conditioner.

Posted by Chris (Toledo, Washington) on 05/15/2009

I have heard that some people feed ACV to insure getting a filly if so how much to feed & when? thanks

Posted by Cadence (Vermontville, MI USA) on 04/25/2009

I have not tried this yet but intent to, When I do try it if my foal dont like ACV what should I do to make him take it or like it. I will mix it in his grain. I just need to no ahead of time what to do if he wont touch it? please let me know asap please and thanks

Replied by Natalie
Masury, Oh, Usa
10/20/2009
Hi Cadence, if your horse won't touch food with ACV in it than it won't help him. Horses know what will help them. They can tell if it will work for them, they are very smart.

Posted by Mindy Eckhardt (Longmont, CO) on 03/15/2009

I am a fan of Pat Coleby and am trying very hard to figure out where i can purchase Seaweed meal and Dolomite, here in the United States. Pls, if you have any contact info for me, my horses and i would greatly apprecite it.

Replied by Kayla
Petersburg, Mi
03/30/2010
there is a supplement that tractor supply co. carries and it is called source and it comes in powder or granual form i know for sure that it has seaweed meal in it but not positive about the dolomite
Replied by Jane
Alexandria, LA
08/14/2014
You can get all 4 ingredients on Amazon or Ebay. I get the best prices on Ebay. There is a company that sells dolomite, seaweed meal and they may carry the copper sulfate, not sure. Sulfur can also be had in 5,10,15,20# bags, thru another company on ebay- just do a search. I make my own supplement, costs me about 12 cents an ounce!

Posted by Cheri (Gentry, AR, USA) on 02/20/2009

[YEA]  I have a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse whose joints would pop a lot when he moved. I started him up on 1/2 cup of ACV in his feed, twice a day, and within 3 days - no more popping! I also noticed that his attitude was brighter, he had more range of motion, his coat took on a darker richer tone, and his new hoof growth was smoother. I won't be changing his diet any time soon. Also used it as a spray for his coat with about a teaspoon of tea-tree oil. It really glossed up his coat.

Posted by C Alesi (Lake Mathews, California USA) on 11/21/2008

[YEA]  I have been putting a cup of ACV in my horses water barrel since last spring. I noticed my gelding was drinking alot more water with ACV. A few weeks of ACV, my gelding peed out a calcium deposits the size of a walnut. It also helped with the biting flies. One of our mares would get terrible fly bites, but this year she was scab free.

Posted by Cheri (Siloam Springs , Arkansas) on 11/10/2008

I just read about apple cider vinegar for horses. It sounds great! But has anybody had experience with cribbers? My horse cribs on the door knob of the tack room and I'm tired of replacing it. He is not bored and has a pasturemate, is out 24/7, and gets played with plenty. I heard it was a digestive disorder. Would ACV help?

Replied by Karen
Greenbank, Qld Australia
12/21/2008
Hi Cheri, cribbing is usually a sign of copper deficiency. Make seaweed meal freely available & add at least 1tsp copper sulphate to feed each day.(mine get 2-2 1/2 tsp)Further info = Pat Coleby's "natural horse care"
Replied by Katie
Brisbane, QLD Australia
01/17/2009
Hi Karen I was wondering If I could chat to you more thoroughly via email/phone about your experience with the pat colby horse feeding. I have the booka nd have read it, but feel a little confused so it would be good to chat with someone who has had such good results.

Ta katie

Replied by Ginger
Reddick, Florida
09/12/2009
another cause of cribbing is ulcers. Apparently when cribbing it increases the saliva or something and that changes the Ph and eases the pain of ulceers.. Try looking into ulcer cures for horses. My vet confirmed this info. Hope it helps
Replied by Pam
Sheridan, Illinois
05/03/2010
Please note that "cribbing" and wood chewing are two different things. Many people mistakenly refer to horses who chew their stall walls as "cribbers". Horses who chew the stall walls either have a mineral deficiency, usually zinc, sometimes copper (in which case you'd also see them eat the shavings or dirt), or they are irritated in their stall. True cribbers place their upper teeth over the edge of whatever they can and "suck wind".
Replied by Horselover
Manitowac, Wisconsin
06/14/2011
use apple cider vinegar. It has potassium. when horses crib it is because they need potassium and potassium is in wood
Replied by Lee
Salt Lake City, Ut
03/23/2012
[YEA]   Here are some good remedies to cribbing---read and try them out---look for the ***'s

Apple cider vinegar and my herd.....

I have had my herd of horses on apple cider vinegar for over a year now and I have to say hands down that it is one of the best 'natural' products out there for a number of reasons.

Horses who have apple cider vinegar in their water drink way more of it. This is a fact with my herd. I go into the barn each morning and find that my stalled horses go through '2' full water buckets each and every night.

An added benefit to adding it to their water is if the horse is travelling, he will never shy away from 'new' water as the ACV hides any taste of a new environment. I know a few show people who swear by adding it to water when they go to shows and they have had no issues with them refusing water.

ACV works wonders on cracked hooves as well as improving the quality of new growth in the foot. It can be sprayed directly on the hoof as well as the frog and it has the added benefit of acting as a hostile environment for thrush and fungus to live in as well.

***The vinegar is high in potassium and horses which are low in potassium will seek out wood to chew on which is also high in potassium for horses.

I met an old cowboy the other day that has used ACV mixed with crushed garlic daily in horse feed to prevent ulcers in race horses. I am not sure if it's a cure-all or not but I have found that adding the ACV to the water in the stall of Bliss has made him really pack on the pounds.

ACV can be used as a natural fly spray and I have read wonders about using it as such. I will be using it on my horses this summer and I will advise what I find out although I have read glowing recommendations about it on-line. (ACV mixed equal parts with Avon skin so soft and citronella. )

My research on-line also showed that ACV can help with arthritis in horses and although I cannot say that it was either the herbs or the ACV dosage for Bliss in his water, he's way more spry as of late and I'm convinced that if it can work on arthritis in humans, it should work equally well in our equine friends.

I know from experience that ACV mixed with black pepper works wonders on proud-flesh. I used the combination with ichthamol on Maverick when he came as a rescue and the results were amazing. My vet was even impressed.

The race track here keeps ACV on hand always for horses that colic. They shoot it into the mouths of horses in a syringe and it helps with the pain. They also soak standing bandages in it before wrapping to bring down swelling in the legs of worked horses.

Finally, ACV added to pasture water helps reduce algae and keeps flies and mosquitoes from hanging out by it.

Hands down, ACV is one of the best natural products that can be used on horses. I have used it for a long time and the lists of things that it can do is extensive and really quite impressive.

It has worked wonders with my herd and I thought it a great idea to put the 'research' out there that I have done on using ACV on horses and the results of doing so.

03/19/2010: Stu from Cambridge, New Zealand: "Hi, Im a racehorse trainer and have fed my horses apple cider/garlic and honey for over 30 years about 20 mils in their feed every night. I have trained major stakes winners in both nz and australia, and at this time im the leading trainer in Oman [middle east] my horses are the healthiest here and I get so many comments on how they look.

I would not do without this secret and we do not give injectables. Stu"

01/13/2011: Skipper523 from Las Vegas, Nv, Usa replies: "I place apple cidar vinegar in our horses water. We have 3 horses, and one of them had a bad skin condition all over her neck when we first got her. It was either hives or some type of allergic reaction. In a fresh full bucket of water (our water buckets are 18 gallons in size), I use about 2 cups of ACV. I pour a little more in when filling it up again.. A dash here and a dash there. This past summer she had no irritations or hives!! I also find the horses drink more water when the ACV is in it! I would never not give it to the horses!! "

02/20/2009: Cheri from Gentry, AR, USA: "I have a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse whose joints would pop a lot when he moved. I started him up on 1/2 cup of ACV in his feed, twice a day, and within 3 days - no more popping! I also noticed that his attitude was brighter, he had more range of motion, his coat took on a darker richer tone, and his new hoof growth was smoother. I won't be changing his diet any time soon. Also used it as a spray for his coat with about a teaspoon of tea-tree oil. It really glossed up his coat."

11/21/2008: C Alesi from Lake Mathews, California USA: "I have been putting a cup of ACV in my horses water barrel since last spring. I noticed my gelding was drinking alot more water with ACV. A few weeks of ACV, my gelding peed out a calcium deposits the size of a walnut. It also helped with the biting flies. One of our mares would get terrible fly bites, but this year she was scab free."

Posted by Cathy (Topeka, Kansas, USA) on 10/29/2008

[YEA]  I have 9 horses in my barn and have used unfiltered ACV for the past two years with marvelous results. One TB gelding has even reduced ulcer problems with ACV and garlic. I go through so much of in the barn that I am now processing information as to how to make my own to keep costs down. Any ideas on how to make ACV that does not require fermenting Hard Cider?

EC: Here are a couple of recipes, but it appears that both recipes ferment Hard Cider: http://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/how_to_make_apple_cider_vinegar.html

Posted by Liz (Stuttgart, Germany) on 07/06/2008

[YEA]  i mix 40 ml of cider vinegar with 20 grams of copper sulphate into a one liter spray bottle..top with water and it makes the most effective wound spray i have ever used (been using on it on my horses for over 20 years) .. it works equally as well on skin conditions ..
copper sulphate prevents proud flesh and kills all skin fungus.

Replied by Karen
Greenbank, Qld Australia
10/13/2008
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:

Pat Coleby is Australian Animal natural care expert. Many books. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Cures based on mineral deficiencies in our soil caused by super phosphate/modern farming. Promotes use of Dollomite, Yellow Sulphur, Copper, Seaweed meal, Cod liver oil, rock salt & borax.

Been feeding my horses her diet for 4 years - NEVER GOING BACK to modern feeds. ALL problems gone with my horses.
Qld Itch is a copper defficiency,
worms are a copper deficiency,
lice/mites are a sulphur deficiency,
laminitus/founder is a magnesium &/or a calcium deficiency.
arthritus is a boron deficeincy.(Pat takes this herself & still runs a goat farm alone at age of 80+++- despite being diagnosed with osteo arthritus 30 years ago & told to buy wheelchair.

Can't recommend her enough - everything she says proves to be true - amazing woman - highly respected by CSIRO.

Posted by Shaylee (Adelaide, Australia) on 03/28/2008

[YEA]  My horse has just been diagnosed with Cushings disease... i amn thinking of putting him on ACV to help him as well. he is 32...

Replied by Minna
E.Burg, Pa
10/08/2008
Hi,
I am wondering if anyone has tried ACV or any other remedy for Cushings Disease. My 13 year old Wire hair fox terrier has it and even though the Vet has him on meds, he still has some accidents in the house. Shaylee mentioned about trying her horse on ACV and I would like to know if there were any good results.

thanks,
Minna

Posted by Abbey (Coffs Harbour, Australia) on 03/17/2008

[YEA]  I used ACV on my horses for many years, along with dolomite, seaweed meal, sulphur, occasional garlic, occasional dose of copper sulphate as an additional worming, a little molasses, sometimes a few drops of cod liver oil for extra vitamin A when needed, mixed in with a small amount of slightly moist lucerne chaff. The horses loved it, it got them through a drought when there was not much to eat and not a lot of goodness in what there was. They never lost condition, always bright, shiny coats, healthy feet and when tested for worms - no worms and I did not give them anything commercial for worming accept what I have listed previous. When I bought an old horse home, wormy, in poor condition and a coat that was coming away in handfuls, I gave her a diluted apple cider wash and within days her coat stopped falling out and within weeks was growing a beautiful new coat.

Replied by Julie
Rockhampton, QLD.Australia
05/28/2008
Hi Abbey , I have heard of people using these types of remedy before and got positive results. But can you please specify in what quantities each product is used to make up the mix. many thanks, Julie.
Replied by Abbey
Coffs Harbour, Australia
03/08/2011
I used Pat Coleby information from her book and the amounts for each horse were different according to their weight. Sorry for the very late reply, looking through this page and discovered my comment, oops.

Posted by Kimbelry Carter (Orangeburg, sc) on 03/03/2008

[YEA]  My horse came down with uvitis commonly called moonblindness and after 4 weeks of doing everything the vet said he still was unable to open his eyefrom the pain, it also drained constantly. I bought him a special mask and everything. Two weeks ago I started him on acv and he is now opening his eye and the draining is much better. I am so happy his is feeling better.


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