Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Horses

We all know that apple cider vinegar is an excellent, inexpensive general supplement for horses – but do you know what all those benefits are? And how useful cider vinegar is for all sorts of things equine?

We’re sharing ten tips about apple cider vinegar:

Equine Digestion:

Apple Cider vinegar added to your horse’s feed or water acidifies the stomach to promote better digestion and absorption of minerals, cleansing the digestive tract. It also has a natural anti-biotic effect, protecting the horse against parasites and water-borne diseases, slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and contains anti-oxidants to protect from free radicals.

NOTE: Recommended amounts are 100ml for a large horse, proportionately down to 50ml for small ponies, added to feed daily. In water dose half a cup per bucket.

Joint Aid:

Apple cider vinegar has been found to relieve the soreness and stiffness of equine arthritis (in dogs and humans too!). It removes toxins, restores the PH balance and increases the absorption of minerals, which all helps joint health.

Prevention of Intestinal Stones:

The acidifying effect of cider vinegar in your horse’s digestive tract helps dissolve intestinal stones (enteroliths) – one of the causes of colic. It also prevents them forming in the first place, especially in areas with hard water or horses that eat a lot of alfalfa hay.

Detangler & Conditioner:

A cup of apple cider vinegar in a bucket of water for the final rinse will wash out any soap residue and leave your horse’s tail soft, smooth and easy to detangle. With the mane you can use a spray bottle to achieve the same effect.

Insect Repellent:

When you feed your horse cider vinegar daily he’ll have a high level of vitamin B or thiamine which will be excreted through the skin, helping to keep biting, annoying insects away. The vinegar can also be used in a diluted form to bathe minor wounds to deter insects and bacteria.

Hoof Soak:

Apple cider vinegar can be very effective at easing minor hoof ailments like abscesses, thrush, bruising or even white line disease. Soak the hoof in a bucket of water mixed with a quarter of a cup of cider vinegar, or if he – and you – prefer spray it on the underside of the hoof neat.

Paddock Weed Killer:

I’ve not tried this tip (be interested to know if it works!) but apparently cider vinegar is a good alternative to spray on the weeds in your field from early spring onwards, instead of using chemicals.

Fussy drinkers:

Most horses are fussy drinkers, and if you travel somewhere may be reluctant to drink the “foreign” water. If your horse is accustomed to having apple cider vinegar in his water, you can disguise the taste of the objectionable water by simply adding a dose.

Laundry Aid:

Adding a dose of cider vinegar to the rinse water when you wash saddle pads, blankets, bandages, wraps and so on and it will ensure removal of all soap residue and odours. Particularly useful for sensitive horses prone to skin irritations.


Pure apple cider vinegar added to drinking water lowers the freezing point from 32 degrees F to 28 degrees F. So, in winter it may be the slim margin between the water freezing in the bucket or not.

Turn Your Horse Into a Cider Drinker!

Useful stuff for horse owners, I’m sure you’ll agree! There are dozens of brands of apple cider vinegar available – be sure you pick one that is 100% pure and natural. You’re pretty safe if you choose a brand from one of the major equine supplement manufacturers.

Horses generally like the taste of apple cider vinegar, but if you have trouble introducing it just do it a little at a time and he’ll be lapping it up in no time!

Totally Tack is always interested to know your experiences with various supplements. If you have comments about apple cider vinegar why not let us know via email to or our Facebook page.