Home Remedies for Horses

horse home remedies

The cost of owning a horse can certainly add up quickly. The expense associated with shelter, feed, veterinary care, hoof care and riding equipment are just some of the things you should consider before purchasing an equine of your own. To save money and have quick fixes at your fingertips, there are plenty of home remedies for horses to consider.

Horse Home Remedies

From reducing the number of flies swarming around your horse to addressing medical concerns with simple household ingredients, there are numerous home remedies for horses that have passed down through generations of owners, groomers and veterinarians. A few to consider include:

a) Apple Cider Vinegar:

To lessen the number of gnats and flies that bother your horse, put a small amount of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on. Apple cider vinegar has also been connected to calming a nervous horse, easing itchy skin, and aiding the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. Add ½ to ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to your horse’s feed once per day. This home remedy can also be used to prevent flies.

b) Homemade Fly Repellent:

If you’re looking for a horse fly repellent recipe, try adding one inch each of white vinegar and liquid dish washing detergent into a one-quart sprayer container. Fill the rest of the container with water and shake to mix the ingredients. Spray on the horse to keep flies away.

c) Preparation H:

If hair loss occurs around a wound, consider using Preparation H [1] to promote hair growth.

d) Meat Tenderizer:

Use water to moisten meat tenderizer until a paste is made. This remedy can ease the painful sensations of insect bites and stinging nettles.

e) Sugar Water:

Combine aloe vera from a plant leaf with sugar water to create a poultice for blisters or cuts. Wrap the remedy to hold in place.

f) Murphy’s Oil Soap:

Clean leather products for horses with Murphy’s Oil, which offers a mild solution.

g) Kerosene:

If your horse equipment has gotten rusty, you can actually soak tools, such as pliers, hoof nippers and fence tools, in a bucket of kerosene. Leave tools in the liquid overnight.

h) Metamucil:

Some people have used psyllium to prevent the build up of sand that can lead to a condition known as sand colic. When a horse lives in a sandy region, it is not uncommon to see them ingest sand. Ask your vet if Metamucil is something acceptable for your horse, and then ask for a proper dosage.

i) Salt:

Add one tablespoon of regular table salt per gallon of water to make a homemade saline solution for flushing wounds.

j) Red Pepper:

If a horse has the nasty habit of chewing on leg wraps or anything else you don’t want bothered, use red pepper as a solution. The spicy taste is not a favorite of horses. Smear a coat of Vaseline on a surface you wish to protect, and then sprinkle on a sufficient amount of red pepper.

k) Crest Toothpaste:

When you want a shiny saddle and bridle, touch up the silver with Crest toothpaste as a polish.

l) Wisk:

To make the white and gray color or markings of a horse really shine, use Wisk detergent. Don’t forget to thoroughly rinse off the soap.

m) Simple Green:

When your horse has romped a little too hard in the thicket or field, use Simple Green [2] to remove deep grass stains.

n) Turpentine:

Treat stubborn sores on your horse with a white cloth saturated in turpentine. Wrap the cloth around the sore.

o) Baking Soda:

When cleaning water buckets, use baking soda as an effective abrasive. Add a small amount of water to baking soda until you create a paste. Use this mixture to provide a soothing poultice that addresses insect bites and stings. This remedy can certainly come in handy during the warmer seasons.

p) WD40:

For show horses, use a little WD40 to shine up the mane and tail. This home remedy for horses is also effective for removing burrs and pine sap.

q) Vinegar:

To repel flies and encourage a shiny coat, add vinegar to horse feed.

r) Mane and Tail Detangler:

Combine one part dry Calgon bath oil beads and three parts water in a spray bottle to make a detangler for horse manes and tails.

s) Sugar:

You probably never thought that sugar possesses antibacterial and anti-fungal powers. Add enough povidone iodine to create a syrupy paste with granulated sugar. You can then pack wounds with the remedy to encourage faster healing.

t) Listerine:

Treat manes and tails to a dousing of Listerine, which helps fight itching and bugs. It can also be used to soothe irritated skin.

u) Clorox:

Add Clorox to a spray bottle and administer to the underside of hooves when they’ve become compromised with thrush.

v) Jell-O:

If you’d like to promote the growth of hooves, add Jell-O to your horse’s feed.

w) Mineral Oil and Hydrogen Peroxide:

Rain rot is a skin condition associated with a bacteria found in the hair coat of a horse. It can cause sensitive scabs to develop when humid conditions mixed with rain causes organisms to multiply. Some trainers have used equal parts Listerine and baby oil as a remedy – rubbing into affected areas.

Sometimes the alcohol found in Listerine can irritate the skin. A milder solution is one that uses a 16-ounce bottle of mineral (or baby oil), 16-ounce bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3%), and ½ ounce tincture of iodine [3]. Fill a bucket with all of the ingredients and sponge onto affected skin. Leave on overnight. In the morning, shampoo your horse with a mild soap and let the skin air dry.

x) Aloe Lotion:

Apply the healing power of aloe lotion to treat scrapes and cuts on a horse [4].


[1] http://www.preparationh.com/

[2] http://simplegreen.com/cleaning-tips/stains/grass/

[3] http://www.equisearch.com/horses_care/health/first_aid/homemade_horse_care_remedies_020410/

[4] http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/home-remedies-common-animal-sickness.aspx


  • Shelby

    Seeing as the link for comments is not working, I’d like to say that adding Jell-O to a horse’s diet is probably one of the stupidest things I’ve heard. You do know that gelatin is made from cow and HORSE bones and hooves? If anything, that’s cannibalism. Just saying.

  • Toni Nelson

    instead of buying expensive show-sheen…….mix conditioner and water into a spray bottle and spray horse completely all over just after a bath for shiny coat and mane.

  • Tara

    Actually Toni, Gelatin is a a very good dietary additive for horses, especially ones who suffer from abscesses in the feet. Sure it’s main ingredient may be from bones of livestock, but last time i checked, the term ‘cannabilism’ refers to the act of consuming ‘flesh’ of the same species. Bones are not flesh, and as the animal is not making a conscience decision to feed on another of its kind, it can hardly be considered as such. So ‘just saying’ your comment is one of the stupidest things i have heard.

  • Tara

    My apologies to Toni, that comment was aimed at Shelby

  • Bonnie

    Ive heard of some of these tips before and Im sure true horse men and women know that some of these tips also work on humans. Ive used some of them myself. The one with Dawn dish soap, vinegar and water for bug spray works as bug spray for camping or your yard as well as your garden pla.ts. Tried and true.

  • Sheldon

    We have discovered with “TWO” different horses, that giving the very small over-the-counter store brand “GEL” GAS CAPS, has helped as soon as COLIC symptoms appear.
    Give half the pack-should be 12.
    Longe a little.
    No food.

    If not better in 6 hours we dose again.

    The best way to give is to save and clean a worming container.
    Load the barrel up with your gas caps, hold the head way up and dispense at the back corner of the mouth.

    OR-if you want the meds to act quicker–poke tiny holes into each gascap and squirt the contents into a 5cc syringe with NO needle.
    Dispense into the back of the horses mouth.

    This worked for our gelding, and my dads horse that started to colic.
    Good luck.

    We cannot be held responsible if it does not work for someone else, or causes any problems.

  • Morgan

    Also for fly spray and/or mosquito repellent, mix vanilla and water and spray the horse with it! Works great!

  • sammi

    white willow, birch and caynne is very good for horse that are arthritis and for wound care skin so soft mixed with listerine mouth wash is good and i have a white horse and in the winter stains are the worst well baby powder dus the trick it make white horses more whiter and leave in white vinger on main and tails for 5 mins will get out stains and yellow markes and if your bored at home with nuthink to do well make some home made cookies for you horse or poiny you need 1 cup or margarine , 1 cup of brown suger , 2 eggs , 1 cup of all purpose flour , 1 cup bran, 1 tsp backing soda , 1 cup quick cooking oats, diced carrots and diced apples ( 350f – 190c ) cook for 15 to 20 mins make 4 dozzon . you make them your horse will love you and did you no honey is very good its good for sick horse and tierd horse its high is suger and high in energy and its also a antibackterial agent its good for burns and beet root and red clover and yarrow ans good for ligaments and tendons and polish is good for main and tail its a detangler and thats all i can think of for now 🙂

  • sammi

    ow and wild rose hips are very very good i use them all the time very good for joints and muscles my boy has arthritis in his back legs and he runs like a hot rocket they do the job you find then any were there red you mostly find them in the marsh on the back lanes some are orange if they are they ant ready they must be red summer is when you get them if your luck you mite find them in the winter i dont no if you can frezz them and then use then when there unfrozzen i will give it a go if they have gone really soft that means there off so do use then but good luck 🙂

  • Cindy

    Petroleum jelly applied at the coronet band will help with dry hooves or simply overflow their watering tank if one if used so they step into the mud when they come up to drink.

  • Morgan D

    I just wanted to let everyone know that it is a lot easier to just add apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar to your horses water,(they like the apple cider vinegar but both work). It depends on how big your water trough is to how much you put in but by doing this it also helps get your horse to drink more water and keeps them healthier overall. Plus you only need to add it to your horses water every time you fill it up instead of everyday with their feed.

    It has the same effect as putting it with their feed, keeps bugs away and helps make their coat shiny.

    Also if your horses feet are dry and cracking and you don’t have anything for them make a moat around your horses water so they have to step in it every time they take a drink, also you can use regular corn oil or vegetable oil just apply with a rag and have them stand to let it soak for a half hour, its cheap and it works, not the best but it helps for sure.

  • angel

    Horse colic

  • savannah

    a home remedy that guarantee to work is take 1\2 cup of powder bleach[ hair die bleach works] and 1\3 of white powder lime mix with water to make a thick paste and apply once every two days for prouflesh or any infections on cuts. each time you clean it use rubbing achol to scrub it clean its best to make it heal from in side to out

    • Colleen S

      Savannah – do you put bleach on *your* cuts to “heal from inside out?” Do you gargle with hair dye bleach? No? You don’t? Well then don’t subject your poor animal to these “remedies.”

  • Colleen S

    Turpentine? WD40? Dish detergent? Bleach? Put the crack pipes down, folks… Don’t use products on a horse that you wouldn’t rub onto your own bare flesh, PERIOD.
    Also, be mindful of that big hot thing in the sky called the sun when applying crap like Skin-so-Soft, hair conditioner, Vaseline, vegetable oil, or any other oil-based product on your horse; I’ve seen horrible, painful blisters on a horse from being burned when the sun beat down on the oil on the horse.