Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Allison Price
It’s easy to see the many benefits apple cider vinegar has for horses.
It’s easy and inexpensive, and it’s a foolproof and safe way to start DIY horse care.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV), a great option if you are tired of spending your hard-earned money on products with questionable or unnecessary ingredients.
I’m curious, or in a hurry. This particular brand is the most loved by my readers.
Horse-Friendly Apple Cider Vinegar
Here is a list of some of my favorite uses for horses (in no particular order).
1. Natural insect control
Horses that ingest ACV in their food daily cause higher levels of vitamin B1 (thiamine) to be excreted from their skin. This prevents all kinds of insects, including mosquitoes and flies.
This makes a great and affordable fly spray. Check out my Easy Homemade Fly spray recipe.
Apple cider vinegar can be used to kill horse lice. You must kill lice first, just like humans. I recommend these steps.
2. Improves digestion
ACV is an acidifier that helps to improve digestion and mineral absorption. This will protect your horse from bacteria, parasites, water-borne diseases, as well as ulcers.
Research also shows that it slows down the absorption sugar into the bloodstream. This is a benefit for founder-prone horses/ponies that are sensitive to sugar.
Using apple cider vinegar to treat horses with laminitis is a good option.
5. It helps to prevent the formation of intestinal stones (enteroliths).
Intentional stones can grow in horses’ digestive tracts if they are alkaline. ACV’s acidifying action helps dissolve or prevent enteroliths.
This is especially useful for horses who eat a lot alfalfahay or in areas with hard water.
4. Mane & tail conditioner
For the final rinse, add 1 cup of ACV and a bucket full of water. Spray bottles are great for the mane. It will make it feel silky smooth and eliminate any soap residue.
The bonus: It can also be used as a natural detangler.
5. Travel with water disguised
You can bring ACV with you on your next road trip if your horse is used to it. They will be happy to drink the unfamiliar water. It takes only a few spoonfuls. (more information below ).
If you are concerned about your pet’s dehydration, this can be very helpful.
Caution! ACV should not be used in plastic buckets because it can leach metals from galvanized tanks.
6. Wound treatment
Spraying wounds, fungus and skin infections with diluted ACV can speed up healing and help to keep bugs and bacteria away.
7. Reduce arthritis symptoms
ACV has been proven to reduce stiffness and joint pain in horses and humans.
ACV is a daily supplement that helps to eliminate toxins, balance pH and boost vital minerals. This improves joint health.
8. Treat hoof problems
I have seen amazing results with ACV for minor hoof conditions such as bruises, abscesses and sores.
Horses with thrush can also be treated with apple cider vinegar (see Tried & Tested Solutions).
To soak a horse’s hoof, I add 1/4 cup ACV to 1 gallon water.
9. Weed killer
ACV is an excellent alternative to spraying chemicals all over your fields.
To get the best results, you should spray weeds as early as possible in the growing season.
Update: Horticultural Vinegar has been suggested by many readers to kill weeds. It is a concentrated solution that can be used up to 6x higher than regular vinegar. It is not recommended for feeding.
10. Clean blankets and pads
To rinse your saddle pads, blankets, and polo wraps with water, add some ACV. This will remove soap residue, which can be beneficial for horses with sensitive skin.
Bonus – It can also remove odors!
Horse Feeding Tips
To reap maximum benefits, I recommend consuming 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ACV every day.
Mix 50/50 of water with your horse’s regular feed.
This will keep flies away from your horse if they are slow eaters.
Make gradual adjustments to your feeding schedule and do so over a period of two weeks.
Horses Water Trough
Your horse can still benefit from ACV even if you don’t feed it daily.
Apple cider vinegar can be added to horse’s water troughs on an ongoing basis by some owners (recommended quantity is 1 cup per 5-10 Gallons). This can help to reduce the growth of algae and repel mosquitoes.
ACV should not be used in plastic buckets, as it can leach metals from galvanized or metal tanks.
What is the Best Apple Cider Vinegar For Horses?
High quality Apple Cider Vinegar is the key to success.
Unpasteurized, natural ACV is made from organic apples. They are then aged in wooden barrels.
The result is a brownish liquid with a cloudy, web-like substance called “the Mother”. You won’t find the mother in most supermarkets’ pasteurized and filtered versions.
You know I am all about quality and value. I have been exclusively using ACV for the past few decades.
Healthy Traditions Apple Cider Vinegar is also a great place to source other high-quality organic food and where I buy all my coconut oil in bulk (see How to Feed Coconut Oil to Horses…Without Going Broke!
Bonus: When you place an order at Healthy Traditions through any of the links, and you are a new customer you will get a free copy of The Virgin Coconut Oil Book and I will be able to offer you a discount coupon.
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 1 gallon, which can be ordered through Amazon.Tip for Buying: Buy it if it’s under $25. It’s a great deal! You can check the current price by clicking here.
A quick overview of the top horse uses for Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Natural insect control
- Improves digestion
- Helps prevent intestinal stones
- Mane & tail conditioner
- Use to disguise water when traveling
- Wound treatment
- Get rid of arthritis symptoms
- Treat hoof issues
- Weed killer
- Warm blankets & pillows
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!