Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is beneficial for horses in many ways. It helps balance pH, which helps keep them healthy. Even though ACV is acidic to taste, it throws off an alkaline ash once in the body and is thought to help restore the acid-alkaline balance. It has been used by people since ancient Greece and now apple cider vinegar for horses is known to be highly advantageous as well.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
ACV is mainly apple juice in which naturally present sugars have converted to alcohol. This is how apple cider is made, but when the alcohol combines with air, the cider turns into vinegar with the help of Acetobacter bacteria.
In short, it is produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates. The process starts by using apples that are crushed and distilled prior to being fermented.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses
Through detoxification and reducing acidity, ACV can have many benefits for healthy horses and those with underlying conditions. It is, in fact, an easy and affordable way to care for your horse. Here are some of the known benefits that it can have:
Detoxifies the body
A daily dose of ACV is great for detoxifying and cleansing the digestive tract and cleaning out the colon. Toxins can build up from things your horse eats, veterinary products, and other elements in its environment. Signs your horse is building up toxins include a dull, coarse coat; soft, slow-growing hooves; stunted mane/tail growth; pain and performance issues; or a gray oily substance on the skin of the forehead.
Cleanses entire digestive system
As a prebiotic, it allows health microflora in the colon to grow. The digestive benefits of ACV include improvements in mineral absorption (which protects against bacterial infections, parasites, ulcers, and water-borne diseases) and digestion of proteins and fats (possibly reducing body weight and fat). It can even help detoxify the kidneys.
Improves digestive health
Feeding raw apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce the risk of calcification and intestinal stones in horses. Furthermore, horses that already have signs of calcification or intestinal stones (enteroliths) may benefit from raw apple cider vinegar in their diet. The presence of antioxidants protects a horse’s body against damaging free radicals.
Speeds up metabolism
Studies in humans have shown ACV helps metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. It can therefore help horses with metabolic conditions when used in combination with mineral supplements, slow feeding, and a diet low in non-structural carbohydrates.
Relieves pain in joints
Horses with joint pain due to arthritis may see benefits such as reduced pain and stiffness. Tissue soreness and stiffness can be alleviated as well, as ACV can aid in the breakdown of acid crystals in the joints.
Improves blood circulation
Research shows ACV is very effective for heart health and blood pressure. It also helps improve lymphatic drainage, thereby aiding natural detoxification processes in the body.
Apple cider vinegar for horses can be used to treat anything from minor ailments to more serious problems. It is helpful for skin allergies, infections, treating fungus, and improving healing by repelling insects and bacteria. ACV is also effective for treating hoof ailments such as abscesses, thrush, and white line disease. It has even been found to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses for Horses
Apple cider vinegar is a multi-purpose horse care solution that can be used for:
While you can mix ACV with water, bath oil, and citronella and spray it on your horse’s coat, feeding apple cider vinegar daily helps too. It increases thiamine, which is excreted with sweat, and repels mosquitoes and flies.
Add a cup of ACV in a bucket of water and use it to wash your horse’s tail. For the mane, a spray bottle can be used. The result is a softer and smoother mane and tail, free of any soap residue.
Improving the taste of water
Horses accustomed to the taste of the water they drink may be fussy when they travel. By adding a little ACV to the water, your horse will not likely taste the difference and continue to drink, avoiding dehydration.
Spraying diluted ACV onto a wound can help reduce healing time, keep insects and bacteria away, and combat infections and fungus. It is even good for treating burns.
Many chemical weed killers can have toxic effects. You can more safely kill weeds by spraying ACV, starting early in the growing season. This can be done quite often as ACV is non-toxic and highly effective at preventing weed growth.
By adding ACV to rinse water, you can get blankets, saddle pads, polo wraps, and other horse accessories clean without dealing with soap residue. This can reduce irritation, especially for thin-skinned horses.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses Dosage
How much apple cider vinegar for horses will be dependent on your horse’s individual needs and condition. A consultation with a qualified health practitioner can help you determine proper dosage and adjustments to make over time.
Order Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses from Equi-Herbs
Our premium quality apple cider vinegar products are available in powder and liquid form. Place your order via our online checkout system or call 800-786-0708 for assistance.
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.