Last Updated on March 30, 2022
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!
Can you spray vinegar on horses?
Apple cider vinegar is an effective antifungal for horses, so you can use it to prevent fungus from growing on your horse’s skin. For treating fungal infections in horses, use a mix of apple cider vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio. Spray your horse’s legs with this mixture every day until the condition improves. You can also use a more diluted mix of apple cider vinegar and water as a spray to help cool your horse on hot summer days. This mixture is effective as a fly repellent as well.
The first step in using apple cider vinegar for your horse is to find a source that sells high quality apple cider vinegar. It’s important to get the “mother,” which is the cloudy sediment that forms at the bottom of the bottle of apple cider vinegar. The mother contains probiotics, which are beneficial to your horse’s health.
Can apple cider vinegar harm horses?
No, when it’s used correctly and in moderation. Apple cider vinegar has been used for hundreds of years to promote good health. When taken in large amounts, vinegar is known to cause gastrointestinal distress, such as heartburn, upset stomach, nausea and vomiting. But when used in smaller doses, apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for horse’s health. In fact, studies have shown that vinegar may reduce inflammation in the body, improve digestion, boost your immune system and help prevent heart disease. It can help break down acid crystals, which can cause horses to develop pain and stiffness in their joints and can contribute to the development of arthritis. But if you’re going to use it, don’t give to your horse more than one cup of apple cider vinegar daily. You should also always dilute it with water at a 50/50 ratio.
Does apple cider vinegar make horses lose weight?
Apple cider vinegar can help horses with their weight management, and it may be a good dietary supplement if they have high blood sugar levels as it helps with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in horses. It’s commonly used to treat digestive upset in horses, and some owners even use it to aid with weight loss by feeding a horse small quantities (no more than 2 teaspoons) of apple cider vinegar with water before a meal.
Does apple cider vinegar help ulcers in horses?
Apple cider vinegar is a super ingredient for improving digestive health and helping to keep mineral levels stable. It lowers the pH and therefore acidify the stomach for better digestion and mineral absorption. Because of this it protects your horse from different bacteria, parasites, and water-borne diseases. It can even help prevent ulcers.
Apple cider vinegar is also a great alternative to expensive supplements like Zinc, Vitamin C, and others that are hard to get into a horse’s system.
Does apple cider vinegar cure thrush in horses?
Apple cider vinegar is one of the oldest health remedies in the world, but it still holds up today. Apple cider vinegar is also a great homemade solution for treating and preventing thrush. It has antibacterial properties and is highly effective when used as a soak or applied directly to the hoof to kill the fungus that causes white line disease. If used on a regular basis it will also help with the healing process.
You can buy apple cider vinegar in most grocery stores or health food stores but you can also make your own at home.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse
care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since
she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local
stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She
has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in
various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the
patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went
on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in
the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of
horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for
educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN REVN RVN A1