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Detoxing Your Horse Can Be Beneficial…

by Kamie Roth April 05, 2019

Detoxing Your Horse Can Be Beneficial…

Detoxing Your Horse Can Be Beneficial…

Spring is here and a lot of us are looking at ways to clean out the winter from our bodies. We hit the gym, start eating “clean”, go on diets, and other things we think that will help accomplish it.  Detoxing has become increasingly popular and you can go to just about any grocery store and find products for people.  But what about for our horses?  Does my horse even need to detox?

Our horses are exposed to toxins daily that some of us might not be aware of.  When we mix different products together, just like humans, there can be different reactions in your body. It is better to do your research or ask your Veterinarian before giving multiple products to your animals. This will also help you figure out the toxins that can be building up.

A good question is, “What can happen with a build-up of toxins in my horse?” Some signs to look for are; Soft and slow growing hooves, A dull and coarse coat, Poor mane and tail growth, Sour attitude, Chronic pain issues, Performance issues, and Digestive issues.  A simple test you can do to see if your horse needs detoxing is to briskly rub with your fingers to the forehead until you get to the skin.  Are your fingers clean or covered with a grey oily substance?  That substance is the horses body pushing out toxins.  There are very little muscles in the forehead that can show you that the horse has quite a build-up.  Once you start a detox, the head will be the first to clean up and the hind quarters the last, due to that area being heavily muscled.

How can I detox my horse?  There are some over the counter products you can buy to make it simple or you can try some home remedies that can be just as effective and maybe more cost efficient. 

  • 1-2TBS of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to feed. Detox’s the liver and kidneys and improves digestion.
  • 1-2TBS of Baking Soda on feed will help clean out toxins and can help relieve ulcer issues
  • If you own your own land, you can plant some detox herbs along the fence line for the horse to free choice graze on.
    • Cleavers (Galium Aperine) A very powerful blood cleaner and for supporting and toning the Lymphatic system
    • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Stimulates digestive functions, cleans the blood and stimulates excretion process through the bowels and skin.
    • Nettles (Urtica dioica) A High source of chlorophyll. High in protein. A very good blood cooler/ cleaner.
    • Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum carduus marianus) It is popular in Europe as a liver tonic. It can also help regenerate liver cells, stimulate bile flow and relax spasms.
  • Try changing your horses diet to a clean diet. Some processed feeds may contain chemicals.

How long will I need to detox my horse?  That will depend on the horse’s body and how toxic they are.  A slow detox is a good way to start.  Too much at once can cause other health issues.  Some will be done in 1-2 months and others might take 4-6 months.  Once you see a nice shiny coat, then you know that the detox is complete.  The average horse can benefit from a twice-yearly detox. 

 On a side note: Exercise caution with special needs horses.  Horses with Metabolic issues, or EPM, HYPP or other ailments.  Also, you should never Detox a pregnant mare or nursing mare and foal.  As always, if you are not sure what to do, then seek the advice of a veterinarian or Equine Nutrition expert.  This article is not meant to replace any Veterinary advice or cure anything.  This is just from personal experience and opinions.

 By Adrina Murray

Kamie Roth


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