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Old 04-20-2007, 08:03 AM  
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A Natural Way to Repel Flies...Old Wives' Tale?

I heard of an interesting idea yesterday and I thought I'd run it past you guys...a friend recommended mixing a little (like 1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar in your horse's feed as a natural way to keep the flies away. She also said she'd heard of people putting a little garlic powder in the feed bucket for the same purpose. Anyone had any actual success using either of these methods? I'm thinking you'd probably have to disguise either of those pretty darned well to get your horse to eat them!
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:05 AM  
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Actually a friend of mine has a horse with severe bug allergies. She uses a homemade concoction of garlic, acv and some other things and swears by it. I've never actually tried it myself, but it does seem to help her mare.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:09 AM  
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I've heard the garlic powder tale, as well.. A girl at my barn uses it on her Appy colt. However, she also smoothers him in smelly sprays and hair products everyday, so I'm sure that alone could keep the bugs away..

I've also heard of rubbing fabric softeners all over them.. I've never tried it though...
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:17 AM  
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I use the clear vinegar /dishsoap and water in a spray to keep the flys away and it works great.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:19 AM  
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I use 1 tablespoon of garlic chips/day mixed in Sugar's feed, she doesn't mind the taste of it either but the whole barn smells of garlic when I feed it to her.

I started using the garlic to boost her immune and digestive system but was told by my vet to continue it throughout the fly season because she also has allergies to the bug bites.

She was the only one on the garlic chips last year and she was the least bothered by the bugs but they still bit her.

I was told to put the apple cider vinegar in her water not in her feed though. I never did try it to see it it really worked or not.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:21 AM  
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I have heard of putting the apple cider vinegar in the water supply, but cannot imagine the horses consuming it "straight up" with their food..ewwwww
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:03 AM  
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I have heard of putting the apple cider vinegar in the water supply, but cannot imagine the horses consuming it "straight up" with their food..ewwwww
This is what I heard. It is also a good idea because if your horse goes off water at a show because of strange water, the ACV covers the smell and taste and they don't know the difference.

I have heard of the garlic but also heard not to overload horses on garlic. How much do you give? Sometimes people that do herbal/home remedies go overboard on the amounts given. Not sure how it effects the horse but wouldn't want to find out.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:33 AM  
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I did both for a while when we only had a couple of horses, now with 12 and most not getting grain I've quit.

We did notice a difference between our two horses and the rest of the horses at the boarding stable. Ours were always out grazing while the rest were standing in the shelter stomping flies.

We used garlic power and fed about a teaspoon a day in their grain, then we poured about a 1/2 cup of ACV over the top of that. The horses always dove right into the ACV wet grain and ate that first, then ate the rest of the dry grain so I guess they didn't mind too badly.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:35 AM  
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Is that one of those things that all of the horses in the barn have to be on for it to actually work?
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:39 AM  
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No, it changes the Ph or something in their skin and saliva and makes them taste less appealing to the biting pests.

Same thing in humans that eat lots of garlic like my husband. Bugs rarely bother him.
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:20 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth55051
I did both for a while when we only had a couple of horses, now with 12 and most not getting grain I've quit.

We did notice a difference between our two horses and the rest of the horses at the boarding stable. Ours were always out grazing while the rest were standing in the shelter stomping flies.

We used garlic power and fed about a teaspoon a day in their grain, then we poured about a 1/2 cup of ACV over the top of that. The horses always dove right into the ACV wet grain and ate that first, then ate the rest of the dry grain so I guess they didn't mind too badly.
Thanks for those specific dosages...I think it's definitely worth a try, especially since after I posted this question here, I decided to google the subject (guess I should've done that first! ) and I read a bunch of testimonials that the ACV was good for a whole whack of things, including joints and overall coat conditioning. I also read that garlic was good for their immune system.

I'm going to start this weekend, and I'll post an update in a couple of months as to whether or not I see an improvement.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:16 PM  
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Apple Cider Vinegar
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:34 PM  
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ACV and garlic

I have used both ACV in a water supply and crushed garlic ( but my barn stank so much we had to stop it was chasing the customers away..) However it made a BIG difference to my trail horses. I hadn't hought of garlic powder, I think I will try it, also a good hommade remedy for fly spray is:
1/4 cup ACV
1/4 cup Skin so soft
teaspoon of citronlle oil
mix with equal parts water
the water and skin so soft allow for a good abosrbtion and the ACV and cirontella repel the flies. and it is not as expensive
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:59 PM  
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I've just recently started my horses on minced garlic. I tried the powder & it didn't go over very well. I heard somewhere, to start them on the garlic a month or two before the actual fly season so its in their system by the time the flies are really bad. I've also attached dryer sheets to their fly masks during fly season and that does help (until they lose them).
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:14 PM  
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The TB in my barn is the only one fed the garlic for the flies and he seems to be bothered more than all the others horses every year.
Also, the cross ties are right outside his stall and it stinks so bad on a warm humid day that I spend the entire time gagging while I'm trying to get my horse ready
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:22 PM  
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I can't say enough about the benefits of garlic, both in human and animal consumption. It's a good flea repellant for dogs too, if you feed it to them.

But I swear by the Skin-So-Soft... love it.
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:22 PM  
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Well, I just started the ACV yesterday...you should've seen the looks on their faces when they took their first whiff of the grain bucket! Too funny. But after they glared at me for a minute or two, they decided to go for it any way, and they ate it all down. I think I'll just stick with the ACV for now, maybe add the garlic later. I've heard the vinegar is also good for other things, like joints, so even tho' we don't have those problems right now, at least we're being pro-active about their health! I'll let you all know if it actually works for the flies.
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:26 PM  
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Our horses love the ACV. They get approximately 1 cup in their feed each day and really enjoy it. It has other health benefits too- joints is the big benefit but also helps in creating a healthy gut too.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:39 AM  
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I had to stop using garlic many years ago, when the huge bucket fell off the shelf in the tack room and covered everything, and my trainer banned it from her property So, can't attest to how well it works.

Apple cider vinegar, OTH, is supposed to slightly affect the composition of the sweat. You know how they say that what you eat may attract or repel insects, like if you eat bananas you will actually attract mosquitoes? Anyway, it's along those lines. I use it in the summer, half a gallon to a garbage-can sized bucket, along with sprays, and do find that it helps the sprays, but is not all THAT effective all by itself. Maybe it depends on how persistent the flies are? Also, it makes The Boy's urine smell better, which is a nice side benefit! He likes it, too!
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:06 AM  
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With growing up w/horses in South Florida, I can't tell you how bad the flies would get sometimes, especially in the barn during the summer. We used both powdered garlic and ACV all year long and from the time that we started it, we noticed a BIG difference!!!

Also, we had an old Cuban guy who gave us the advice of taking a plastic bag, like a ziploc and filling it about 1/4 to 1/2 up with water and hanging them from trees outside your barn or around in the pasture. For some reason it draws the flies away from the horses. Don't ask, I figured I'd give it a try and it worked. Between adding garlic and ACV to their feed and the bags of water, it cut down on our fly problem BIG TIME!!!!!

Anybody else with any ideas, I'm more than willing to try just about anything once, especially with new horses coming home and summer time getting ready to hit down here.
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