Hear From our Experts > Equestrian

Why should you feed your horse garlic?

Published 29th April 2020
Estimated 2 minute read time.
Why should you feed your horse garlic?

Using garlic as a supplement in your horse or ponies diet has many benefits, such as, anti-septic, anti-flammatory, improving respiratory problems and acting as a fly repellent. Many horse owners feed an equine garlic supplement for its insect repelling qualities. The sweat produced by a horse fed on garlic gives out an odour that keeps flies, ticks and midges away, making it a natural fly repellent.

Garlic is one of the most effective natural healing substances in the world. Garlic is rich in selenium and sulphur. Sulphur is recognised as having blood cleansing properties that are useful in treating and preventing equine diseases.

Garlic can be used to give relief from the symptoms of coughs, it contains a substance that helps to clear mucus in the airways. This cleansing action, together with its ability to reduce inflammation, also benefits the urinary tract.

The recommended amount to feed is half an ounce to 2 ounces per day depending on the horse or ponies' size. It comes in several forms for equine use: powder, freeze dried granules and some herbalists claim freshly grown garlic is the best way to feed it.

 

Claimed benefits

- Helps to increase a horse's appetite.

- Boosts the antibiotic effect of drugs.

- Acts as a fly repellent, keeping away midges, gnats, flies and mosquitos away.

- Reduces blood pressure.

- Purifies the blood.

- It is a natural source of methysulfonylmethane (MSM), commonly used to treat joint problems and allergies.

Dangers of feeding garlic to horses

- May cause anaemia

- May allow unfriendly bacteria to flourish affecting the health of the horse's gastrointestinal tract.
 

How to put garlic powder in horse feed

Sprinkle 1 tsp of garlic powder on the top of the horse's feed. This will allow the horse to experience the taste and smell without being overwhelmed. Continue adding 1tsp to food for the next 3 days.

Increase the amount of garlic powder to 2 tsp. Continue sprinkling 2tsp on the food for approximately 3 days. Increase the amount by 1 tsp every 3 days not exceeding 9 tsp per day.

Monitor the horse's feeding area. Ensure that it is eating the food and not throwing it on the floor. Reduce the amount of garlic by ½. If you discover the horse is not eating. Sprinkle the reduced amount on the food for three to seven days before increasing it again by ½ tsp.

Increase the amount by ½ tsp every 3 to 7 days until you reach a maximum amount of 9tsp or approximately 3 tablespoons.

Tips

- While you could see positive results in as little as one week, allow several weeks for the garlic to build up in the horse's body to see results.

Warnings

- Do not exceed 3tsp of garlic per day while increasing the dosage, monitor your horse to see if the number of flies irritating it are reduced or non-existent.

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