Once you discover all the benefits of apple cider vinegar for horses, it’s really a no-brainer.
Not only is it natural and affordable, but it’s also a safe and fool-proof way to get into DIY horse care.
If you’re sick of spending all your hard earned money on expensive products that may have unnecessary (or questionable) ingredients, then apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great place to start!
💲 This specific brand of apple cider vinegar is most popular with my readers.
✅ Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses
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).
It also makes an effective and inexpensive fly spray. Try my Easy Homemade Fly Spray recipe.
You can use apple cider vinegar for horse lice to help remove the eggs from the hair. Just like with humans, you must first kill the lice, so I recommend following the steps found here.
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, and even ulcers.
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.
Because of this, using apple cider vinegar for horses with laminitis can help to reduce the risk of it reoccurring, along with proper care.
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.
4. Mane & tail conditioner
Add 1 cup of ACV to a bucket of water for the final rinse of your horse’s tail. For the mane I like to use a spray bottle, This will leave it feelingly incredibly smooth and removes any extra soap residue.
Bonus: It also works as a natural detangler!
5. Disguise water while traveling
If your horse is accustomed to the taste of ACV, bring some along on your next road trip and they’ll happily drink unfamiliar water. It usually only takes a few tablespoons (more details below).
This can be incredibly helpful if you’re worried about dehydration (especially when your vet’s in another state).
Caution: Only use ACV in plastic buckets as it can leach minerals from metal or galvanized tanks.
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 joint 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 and abscesses.
You can also use apple cider vinegar for horses with thrush (see Treating Thrush in Horses – Tried & Tested Solutions)
I like to add 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 Apple Cider Vinegar to Horses
For maximum benefits, I’d recommend feeding approximately 1/4 – 1/2 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.
✅ Adding Apple Cider Vinegar To Horses Water Trough
Even if you don’t feed ACV daily, your horse can still get the benefits from their drinking water.
Some owners choose to add apple cider vinegar to their horse’s water trough on an ongoing basis (recommended amount is 1 cup per 5-10 gallons). This can also help reduce algae growth and deter mosquitoes.
As mentioned above, only use ACV in plastic buckets as it can leach minerals from metal or galvanized tanks.
✅ What’s the Best Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses?
The secret to success is using high quality Apple Cider Vinegar.
Natural, unpasteurized ACV is made by crushing organic apples and maturing them in wooden barrels.
This results in a brownish liquid that contains a cloudy web-like form called “the mother”. The mother has enzymes and minerals that you won’t find in the filtered and pasteurized versions from most grocery stores.
As you know, I’m all about getting the best quality at a good price and there’s two brands of ACV I’ve been using exclusively for the past few years:
Healthy Traditions Apple Cider Vinegar, which is also a great source for other high quality organic food, and where I purchase all my coconut oil in bulk (see Feeding Coconut Oil to Horses…Without Going Broke!)
Bonus: If you order from Healthy Traditions by clicking on any of the links on my site, and are a new customer, you will receive a FREE copy of The Virgin Coconut Oil Book, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (1 gallon) which can be ordered through Amazon.
💲 If you can get it for under $25, grab it. It’s a great deal! Check the current price here.
Here’s a quick review of the top uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for horses:
- Natural insect control
- Improves digestion
- Helps prevent intestinal stones
- Mane & tail conditioner
- Disguise water while traveling
- Wound treatment
- Ease arthritis symptoms
- Treat hoof problems
- Weed killer
- Clean blankets & pads
Have you tried using Apple Cider Vinegar for horses?