Apple cider for thrush

Narelle sent this in - thought I'd publish it as I've been sent it a fair few times now, since the 'bleach' tip.

"Just a matter of intrest, did you know that using apple cider vinigar is also a treatment used on thrush as it not only disinfects, it doesn't kill living tishue like other products do......."

Horse Whisperer link is here - another book added!

And here's a youtube on applying the bleach one:


  1. Sue

    Getting rid of those metal shoes will go a long way in healing those feet.

    1. Ruth Careri

      The bleach trick has been out for over 50 years. Personally, there are better products on the market specifically for thrush.

    2. Suetoo

      Couldn’t agree more! (about the shoes)

      And bleach is nasty stuff. Shouldn’t be used on a horse’s foot. Plus, it will ruin your clothes if only one drop finds its way onto you.

  2. Tritty

    This is something else i have learnt, but Selsun gold is good for rain scold. I have used it on a thoroughbred mare i had up in the Northern Territory in Australia and it worked really well. but it may not work for every horse.
    All you need to do is put it on the affected area and leaveon for 10 min or so, then wash it off real good, and repeat again after a couple of days if it hadn’t cleaned it.

    1. Rob

      We use baby oil on rain scald. Rub it onto the rain scald, leave it. Repeat as necessary. The baby oil normally kills the rain scald and then it comes off with brushing and scratching.

      1. Padraig

        The rain scould on my horse back was bad one winter and a man told me to use baby’s bottom cream, called sudocream. It worked well

    2. Lesley

      Thanks Tritty, I live in the Top End and have 20 horses who are in the Riding for the Disabled Program and every wet season we struggle with rain scald, I will certainly give this suggestion a go!!!! 😛

      1. kathy

        Have found the No name brand Baby oil (no fragrance that could cause a reaction) great for rain scald. And for helping to treat mud fever.

  3. Carol

    I have found that thrush has a lot to do with diet, keep sugars to a minimum. A correct barefoot trim and the thrush will disappear.

  4. jacque steele

    I have tried and tried bare foot but my mare cant seem to cope. Brought her 2 year ago and i’ve been trying for that long. She was a laminitic when i brought her and very over weight. I now shoe her in the summer and bare foot in the winter. That means i wont be riding in the winter though. Can anyone help please. Thanks Jacque. p.s. She is bitless and treeless.

    1. Sharon

      Hey Jacque, have you tried ‘boots’ like the ones that are becoming popular with endurance riders who like to go barefoot? They can be removed during times when your mare is paddocked and put on when you ride-out in winter. They aren’t cheap and need to be fitted well; but with the front feet taking the brunt of the force, if $$ are tight you could try getting just two (they are sold in pairs). More and more farriers are specialising in boots and barefoot. Get them fitted once and they should last years – best of both worlds! Good luck!

    2. jobi

      my horse has never had shoes on and is susceptible to thrush, it’s just a combination of modern management and genetics – the same as some people are more prone to needing teeth filled than others. some horses simply can’t cope barefoot. don’t fret about it. in fact, having shoes on has actually improved the overall condition of my laminitic pony’s feet. each horse is individual and should be treated as such. you know your horse far better than any over-opinionated do-gooder on the internet 😉

    3. kathy

      Once Laminitis – good chance always. Keep her shoed in the winter if you cannot keep her in dry conditions.
      No harm in trying other suggestions though.

  5. Elena

    a good barefoot trim, and a low sugar/starch diet, plus lots of exercise will do your horse good — you will quickly see the difference in his mood and performance! no more iron!

  6. Suzie

    Jacque, why don,t you buy her some hoof boots? They protect her feet like metal shoes & you can take them off after you ride. I got the Cavallo Simple Boot for my mare. She was ouchy when I took her shoes off, but I want to keep her barefoot, so I got the boots. Check them out.

  7. linda

    cider vineger is a great addition to any stable.In the northern US every spring when 2 yr olds ship to the racetracks influensa appears even in inoculated horses. Cold water wraps soacked in it will drop a horses fever very nicely, even at room temp in july the evaporation cools the blood . Spongeing it on also will help and no alcohol fumes

  8. Zoey

    I think all those ideas are great,but i find using zinc as well keeps the oil or vinegar sealed and doesn’t wash off very easily when it rains.A great barrier for sunburn,itchy bites and paspalin bites on the face.

    1. Zoey

      condies crystals is the best for thrush.Soak hoof for a few minutes everyday till its gone.Doesn’t take long at all,you can even make up a spray to spray on the hoof each day,Easy.

      1. kathy

        Getting hard to find Condie’s Chrytals
        in Australia – like sulphur powder to heal a wound.
        Thank goodness you can still get Stockholm tar!(which I use with animal fat and vege oil – best hoof oil ever!)

  9. I’ve used diaper rash cream (20% zinc) to treat rain scald and mucd fever. Clean area well and apply on dried area. Works really great.

    1. Cass

      I use the same cream on sunburn areas (nose-tail)it does a great job. However, the smell is really strong and it gets everywhere (clothes-side of barn). Went back to sport sunblock.

  10. p

    Boudreaux’s Baby Butt Cream is great for the rain rot scald stuff. I clean it with ivory soap (which drys out too since its kinda oily anyway) and apply that and wash it out every other day until I see new hair growth. Personally I have used apple cider vinegar for thrush, but nothing works like keeping moisture to a minimum, although the higher starchy grain fed horses do seem to get thrushy more easily, jmho

  11. When confronted with a tail in a neglected mess, I have a really quick and kind way to transform it into a bushy, tangle free tail to be proud of.

    1. Thoroughly wash any sticky dirt out of tail
    2. Liberally apply pantene conditioner.
    3. Starting from the bottom of the tail work upwards with a metal mane comb easing out all the knots and tangles.
    4. Rinse out the conditioner and leave tail to dry.

    1. kathy

      Better way! Wash dirt out. When dry spray oil from a spray bottle – and then the rest of your idea.
      Why pay money for Pantene when clean vege or no brand baby oil a lot cheaper – and does the same job?
      The oil stays in for a couple of days, but you just do step 4!

    2. Cass

      I am dealing w/a severe 3/4 matted tail from a rescue. It is as thick as my forearm, no joke. I have tried Cowboy magic; natural oil hair relaxer (specifically for black-americans)that has tea oil in it. The tail is still a major project in the making. HOWEVER,the tea oil I put on a dermatitis (warts?Vet.)issue and it is reducing the area/warts. The smell is very neutral. Go figure.

  12. Jan

    I swear by Solution4Feet made by the laminitis research centre. It’s a bit pricey but it clears up thrush and pretty much anything else you can think of in a couple of days. It is also the only thing you ever need to put on the hooves, so you save on buying hoof grease etc.

  13. Carol

    My Tb is unable to go bare foot or she will develop really sore feet she was bare foot on rear when I got her 18mths ago but soon developed severe bruising and hoof abcesses on her soles, her hooves were in a terrible state when I got her 18mths ago and it took my farrier and vets 12mths to get her sound again due to her hoof issues. she has had no hoof issues since Nov 2012 and she is now shod all round with no problems. 😆

  14. Steve

    ❓ have a 13 yr old QT gelding 2 yr when feeding lifts front leg paws the air and when grooming lifts leg paws or puts hoof on fence rail or strikes it worried he may catch his leg in fence rail and panic. Why does he do this? How can I stop this?

    1. Vanessa

      Hi Steve, my TB gelding lifts his right paw when feeding time. Not sure what it is, would like to find out too. Is he excited to eat or is there something else??? Have you googled?

      1. David

        Hi I find a lot of horses do this when feeding have been told that it’s a sort of thank you for the food it makes sence as it’s always when they get fed

  15. shannono

    A friend of mine used a tea tree and water solution spray and the rain rot healed up perfectly.

  16. shannon

    Zinc diaper rash cream works really well for fetlock rot too, after scrubbing with betadine and water.

  17. linda allison

    Jacque…for the lamanitic horse i used timothy cubes and very little low starch grain. On her feet..i love the easyboot glove. They just slip right on and she loves them too because her feet don’t hurt.

  18. Shiela

    How do you cure horse with severe skin rash due to sun burn, sand burn and dove weed.

  19. cheryl

    Horsemen and women have done this for 100 years

  20. Thank you for the valuable information.


  21. Susan

    Thrush is an infection like athlete’s foot in humans. Some horses get it, some don’t. I had 2 Paso Finos, same living conditions, same diet, same exercise. One got thrush routinely, one never did in the 20+ years we owned them. Shoes, or no shoes, didn’t matter. The thrush-y one had a narrow foot, with deep sulcus. The other one had a more open style foot. Genetics!

    Here is another way to treat thrush: Clean the foot thoroughly then apply peroxide. It reacts with all organic matter until it hits live tissue. It does not hurt the horse. It is safe-you can use it on your own cuts.

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