Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses - Top 10 Uses
Here's a list of my favorite equine uses (in no particular order):
1. Natural insect control. When horses ingest ACV daily in their feed it causes higher levels of thiamine (vitamin B1) to be excreted through their skin, Optimum levels of B vitamins discourage all types of insects including flies and mosquitoes (see tips for feeding below).
ACV also makes an effective and inexpensive fly spray. Try my Easy Homemade Fly Spray recipe.
2. Improves digestion. ACV works to acidify the stomach for better digestion and absorption of minerals. This can help protect your horse against bacteria, parasites and water-borne diseases. Research has also shown that it can slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which is helpful for those founder-prone ponies/horses that are sensitive to sugar.
5. Helps prevent intestinal stones (enteroliths). An alkaline environment in the horse's digestive tract can cause intentional stones to grow to the point of causing dangerous obstructions. The acidifying effect of ACV helps dissolve enteroliths, or ideally prevent them, This is particularly useful in areas with hard water, or for horses that consume a lot of alfalfa hay.
Bonus: It also works as a natural detangler!
6. Wound treatment. Spraying fungus, burns, skin infections and other wounds with diluted ACV is a great way to speed healing time by helping to help keep bacteria and insects away.
7. Ease arthritis symptoms. Both horses and humans alike have benefited from ACV to help control arthritis pain and stiffness. When fed daily ACV, works to remove toxins, restore pH balance and increase crucial minerals, all of which improves joint health.
8. Treat hoof problems. I've seen great results using ACV to care for minor hoof ailments including bruises, abscesses and thrush. Use about 1/4 cup of ACV in 1 gallon of water to soak a hoof or (if your horse isn't the type to stand still) just use it undiluted in a spray bottle.
9. Weed killer. If you don't like the idea of spraying harmful chemicals all over your fields (I know I don't) then ACV is a great alternative. For best results, spray weeds early in the growing season and as often as possible.
10. Clean blankets & pads. Add some ACV to the rinse water for your saddle pads, blankets and polo wraps. It will help remove soap residue which is a nice benefit for thin-skinned horses that are prone to irritation.
Bonus: It's great for removing odors too!
How to Feed ACV: For maximum benefits, I'd recommend feeding approximately 1 cup of ACV daily. It should be diluted 50/50 with water and added your horse's usual feed. An added bonus is that it will help keep flies away if your horse is a slow eater. As with any adjustments to your feeding program, always make gradual changes and introduce it slowly, ideally over a two week period.
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