Monday, February 15, 2010

Apple Cider Vinegar in Horses?

In my Equine Health class last week, one of my college classmates brought up the fact that she gives her horse apple cider vinegar. "Vinegar?" I thought, "what a strange thing to give a horse..." It wasn't until I was browsing the other day on the Big Dee's website ( for a cough remedy for Johnny that I found this breathing remedy. The listed ingredients were simply honey, apple cider vinegar, alcohol, menthol, eucalyptus oil and lemon juice. After seeing that, I decided to do some more research on the use of apple cider vinegar in horses. Here's what I found:

One website claimed that

Benefits of adding ACV to your horse's diet include:

*Promotes healthy joints.
*Enhances skin and coat health.
*Balances the horse's pH.
*Boots immune system health.
*Helps to dissolve calcium deposits
*Improves urinary tract health.
*Stimulates proper digestion.
*Helps horse to resist internal and external parasites.
*Contains beneficial enzymes.
*Flushes the body of toxins.
*ACV has natural antibiotic properties.
*Helps to calm a nervous horse.
*ACV makes horse blood unsuitable for insects, and acts as a repellent.
 *May help improve and relieve arthritis.

Here is some more interesting information:
Dr. Jarvis, the Vermont country doctor who popularized the use of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in his book Folk Medicine, found that a horse would chew the wood of his stall because the wood contained potassium.
Experimenting with calves, he found that they would not chew the wood of their pens if ACV was added to their drinking water, since apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of easily absorbable potassium and other trace minerals.

For horses, recommended dosage rates vary from 1 cup (250 ml) of ACV for every 50 gallons (190 liters) of drinking water all the way up to 1 cup (250ml) for every 6 gallons (23 liters).

For a horse that will not drink the water in a new location, a commonly used tip is to add apple cider vinegar to the unfamiliar water.

For a healthy horse, use 1/4 cup (60 ml) of unpasteurized ACV on his feed grain per day. Dilute the vinegar 50/50 with water before adding to the feed.

Because of its potassium and associated trace mineral content, this feed supplement is invaluable for mares coming up to foaling and it is also beneficial for older horses with digestive difficulties or arthritis. 
Thrush and other foot fungus infections can be greatly reduced by a regular spray or soak application of apple cider vinegar to the soul and frog of your horse’s feet. By making the hoof area more acidic, fungus is no longer able to grow well there.

A general horse hoof soaking solution can be prepared by adding 1/4 cup (60 ml) of apple cider vinegar to one gallon (3.8 liters) of water. The vinegar application will, at the same time, speed up the healing of any other foot infections or bruises your horse might have.

ACV also has anti-fungal properties and is particularly effective on ringworm. Rub in thoroughly two or three times a day for several consecutive days. This is especially useful for ringworm infections that are too close to the eyes to use a copper wash.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

Another site also sings praises about ACV use in humans as well:
Mix Apple Cider Vinegar with water and raw honey or nectar for a refreshing morning drink; the honey is also beneficial to your immune system and provides energy.
  • Smoothes skin texture and tone.
  • Promotes a healthy immune system.
  • Improves digestion and helps expel body toxins.5
  • Can help soothe neck, shoulder and back pain.6
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar helps clear skin irritations, like acne & contact dermatitis.7
  • Helps with weight control – Raw Apple Cider Vinegar taken before meals will speed up the metabolism.8
  • Can be applied shoulders, neck and forehead to feel rejuvenated (only for 30 minutes per session and shower after).
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has even been known to help relieve the symptoms of constipation 

REFERENCES listed on

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits & Multiple Uses.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar, by Cathy Wong,
    Apple Cider Vinegar History (Part 2), by Wanda Barras.
  3. Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, by Lata Batra.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar History (Part 2), by Wanda Barras.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Research Blog.
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar History (Part 2), by Wanda Barras.
  7. The Secret Behind Apple Cider Vinegar - Multiple Uses for Every Day Maladies.
  8. Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, by Lata Batra.

Other references used in this post:

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