Apple cider vinegar is becoming increasingly popular with horse owners for keeping their precious equines fit and healthy. Reported to keep joints healthy and treat thrush, adding apple cider vinegar in horse’s water trough seems an easy and straightforward thing to do. But is this the best way to give apple cider vinegar to your horse?
Apple cider vinegar may also help to reduce algae in water troughs. However, to keep your horse healthy it is best to add it to the feed. Let’s take a look at the benefits of apple cider vinegar and find out the best way to give it to your horse!
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from the juice of apples. The apples are crushed to squeeze out the juice, which is then fermented to make cider. The cider then undergoes a second fermentation process to turn it into vinegar.
The end result is a yellow liquid, which has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of conditions. In ancient times it was believed that apple cider vinegar would cure coughs and infections. Nowadays, it is used for its probiotic and antioxidant benefits.
Apple cider vinegar can be used in a variety of ways. It can be added to the feed, sprayed or wiped onto the body, or added to the water trough. The way you use it depends on what you are using it for. Let’s take a look at the benefits of apple cider vinegar and the best way to give it.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar For Horses Joints
Apple cider vinegar is a common feed supplement for horses suffering from joint diseases such as arthritis. This is because it helps to break down acid crystals within the joint capsule, easing pain and stiffness.
Many commercial joint supplements contain apple cider vinegar, or you may consider adding it in separately. A daily dose of apple cider vinegar for a full-size horse is 100ml or half this amount for a pony. Start off with a small amount in the feed and build up gradually to the full dose. Your horse may take a while to get used to the flavor!
Treating Thrush In Horses With Apple Cider Vinegar
Thrush is a fungal infection of the horse’s hoof and can be very difficult to treat. Standing the affected hoof in water with a capful of apple cider vinegar can help to treat this persistent condition.
If your horse will not tolerate standing in water, spray undiluted apple cider vinegar onto the affected area instead.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar As A Fly Repellent
Apple cider vinegar is a very effective fly repellent and is often used in homemade concoctions to deter flies. It can be wiped or sprayed onto the coat but should be diluted at first in case of any allergic reactions.
Feeding apple cider vinegar will also help to deter flies. When added to the feed apple cider vinegar causes higher levels of thiamine to be excreted through their skin. This discourages biting insects such as mosquitoes and flies.
Apple cider vinegar is also a good mane, tail, and coat conditioner. Adding a capful to your final rinse at bath time will keep your horse sleek and shiny, as well as deterring flies.
Can You Give Apple Cider Vinegar In Horse Water Trough?
When giving apple cider vinegar to your horse as a healthy addition to his diet, adding it to the water trough is not an effective way of doing this. This is because the apple cider vinegar will be so diluted that it will not have any benefits to your horse.
However, many horse owners do find that adding apple cider vinegar to the water trough does help to keep algae at bay. This will help to stop the water from becoming green and murky, particularly in warmer weather.
If you choose to add apple cider vinegar to your horse’s water trough then start with very small amounts. Adding a large amount will change the taste of the water and may prevent your horse from drinking. Monitor your horse’s water intake and change the water if he is not drinking as much.
An added benefit is that you can then add apple cider vinegar to the water when you are away from home with your horse. Many horses will refuse to drink water that tastes different to home, so a splash of apple cider vinegar will help to disguise the unfamiliar taste.
Another great way to use apple cider vinegar to reduce algae is to use it as part of your cleaning routine. Your trough should be drained and deep cleaned at regular intervals. Wiping the sides with apple cider vinegar after cleaning will slow down the recurrence of algae.
Other Ways To Keep Horse Water Troughs Clean
If apple cider vinegar isn’t doing the trick at keeping algae at bay, you might need to look at your water through a cleaning routine. Try to fish out any debris every day – as leaves and sticks start to rot, they will provide nutrients for algae.
Look at where your water trough is located – can you move it away from direct sunlight? Or perhaps you’ve got it under a tree, in which case moving it elsewhere will help to prevent leaves from falling into the trough.
So, as we’ve learned, apple cider vinegar can be a great way to keep your horse healthy. When given in the feed it can maintain joint health. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to treat thrush by applying it to the affected areas of the hoof. If added to the water trough, the health benefits to the horse will be minimal but it may help to reduce algae in the water.
We’d love to hear about your experiences – have you ever given apple cider vinegar to your horse? Or maybe you have a different suggestion of how to reduce algae in your water trough? Add a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!