4 Helpful Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Horses

Apple cider vinegar is an amazing natural resource that can enhance your horse’s health in many natural ways.

We recommend Braggs Apple Cider vinegar, which is raw, unfiltered, organic and contains “the mother”. Most other brands are missing “the mother” and therefore will not provide the natural benefits of apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses: Nutritional Supplement

Apple cider vinegar is great for horses as a nutritional supplement in feed and/or water.

For general use, ¼ cup daily on feed is plenty. You can also dilute apple cider vinegar with equal parts water.

ACV can help disguise the taste of unfamiliar water when traveling or competing, but one caution – ACV will leach minerals from metal or galvanized tanks, so use a hard plastic watering container.

Here are a few horse ailments that apple cider vinegar helps:

  • prevent and dissolve enteroliths (intestinal stones)
  • acidify the stomach for better digestion
  • arthritis relief

Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses: Insect Control

As a natural insect control, ACV causes thiamine (vitamin B1) to be excreted through the skin, which in turn repels flies and mosquitoes. Optimum levels of B vitamins (particularly B1) in the body seem to discourage bugs.

Please note that for this to work, it’s important to make sure your horse has a diet containing high levels of B vitamins. Horses that eat any significant amount of grain (which ferments into sugars in the body) or are on commercial molasses-based sweet feeds are often B-deficient, as sugar uses up extra B vitamins in order to be metabolized.

As an interesting aside, people who are sugar junkies or “bread-aholics” are usually mosquito magnets for this very reason. Remember that healthy non-toxic horses are not attractive to flies. And since ACV helps with protein digestion, there will be less undigested protein (indoles and skatoles) in the manure to attract flies.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses: Thrush & Other Hoof Problems

Thrush and other hoof problems can be addressed with soaks or poultices of natural apple cider vinegar. You can spray or drip a little undiluted ACV right into the commissures of the frog.

You can also mix ¼ cup of vinegar with a gallon of water and used as a soak or poultice for hoof fungus and abscesses.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses: Fungus & Other Skin Problems

Fungus, burns, wounds and skin infections often respond well to a spritz of diluted ACV because apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. You can even try a little on the mane and tail, too.

Rinsing with a 1:1 ration of apple cider vinegar and water after bathing will cut right through leftover soap film and hard water residues, leaving your horse super shiny.