Apple Cider Vinegar – Natural Horse Care Product

Apple Cider Vinegar – Natural Horse Care Product 15 May, 2012
– Dr Rensia Möller

Some of the ways that Apple Cider Vinegar help horses:

1) Water and Feed Nutritional Supplement
ACV is an excellent source of easily absorbable potassium and other trace minerals. ACV is invaluable for mares coming up to foaling and it is also beneficial for older horses with digestive difficulties or arthritis.

Feeding directions:
– For a healthy horse, use 1/4 cup (60 ml) of ACV on his concentrate feed per day (30 ml twice a day). Dilute the vinegar 50/50 with water before adding to the feed.

Besides the nutritional benefits, ACV helps to purify the drinking water by destroying harmful microorganisms that can thrive in neutral or mildly basic water.

– Recommended dosage rates vary from 1 cup (250 ml) of ACV for every 190 litres of drinking water up to 1 cup (250ml) for every 23 litres.

A tip commonly used for horses that will not drink the water in a new location: add some ACV to the unfamiliar water.

2) Helps prevent intestinal stones
Intestinal stones called enteroliths can develop in susceptible horses which can cause blockages that require expensive surgery. Since the ingestion of vinegar increases the intestinal acidity in horses, it helps prevent these stones from forming.

3) Natural horse fly spray
Feeding ACV to your horse makes him less attractive to flies and insects. Some specialists believe that horses sweat the vinegar out so that it becomes a natural horse fly spray.

Insect bites and stings not only cause your horse itchy discomfort and hives, these areas can be prone to skin bacterial and fungal infections. Insect bites can also cause other health risks by spreading such diseases as African Horse sickness virus.

For those who prefer not to use insecticides for horse care, especially on foals less than 12 weeks old, try feeding ACV and make up your own vinegar based natural horse fly spray that you can rub or spray onto your horse’s coat as needed:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Bath Oil
  • 2 tsp ( 10 ml) Eucalyptus Oil (or Citronella Oil)

Mix all ingredients well and store in a spray bottle.

You can also take care of flies around enclosed areas like stables and trailers, by using you own homemade vinegar fly trap:

  • 3 cups (750 ml) Water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) Sugar

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar solution, place in a large jar and punch holes in the lid. The flies will get in but won’t be able to fly out.

4) Mild cure for skin conditions Full strength ACV can be rubbed directly into the horse’s skin around a ringworm fungi infection. Rub in thoroughly two or three times a day for several consecutive days.

5) Horse hoof care: Thrush and other foot fungus infections can be greatly reduced by regular spray or soak application of ACV to the sole and frog of the horse’s feet. By making the hoof area more acidic, fungus is no longer able to grow well there.

A general hoof soaking solution can be prepared by adding 1/4 cup (60 ml) of ACV to 3.8 litres of water. This can be used to soak the hoof once daily until an abscess, after having been opened, has drained completely.

The vinegar application will, at the same time, speed up the healing of any other foot infections or bruises your horse might have.

All the best
Rensia Möller

Article Brought to you by:

Dr Rensia Möller
Equine Veterinarian and International Nutritionist

Dr Rensia Möller obtained her Agricultural Science before graduating cum laude for her BScAgric Honours in Equine Nutrition and Genetics. She obtained her Masters in Equine Exercise Physiology and Equine Nutrition at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty before completing her Veterinary Science degree at Onderstepoort cum laude.

She opened an equine veterinary and nutrition practice in 2002, as well as developing her own equine nutritional supplement brand in South Africa. She was appointed manager of Zabeel Feedmill in Dubai in 2006 where she custom designed professional performance equine feeds for various internationally acclaimed trainers including Mike de Kock, competing for the Dubai World Cup, with numerous race winners and success stories on these feeds. She also exclusively developed formulas for the world renowned Godolphin and Darley equine racing and breeding houses.

She is currently on board the dynamic Epol team, doing part-time consultancies for Epol clients, and passionately formulating and upgrading their range e.g. the newly launched long awaited mueslis and the international add-on of the Mike de Kock racing range. She is also available for private client consultancies.

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