First Aid for Horses: A Dose of Medicine

how to get a horse to take medicine

Sooner or later, you are unfortunately going to have a situation where your horse is required to take medicine. For some horses, this is as simple as adding to their food. For others, it's a nightmare. 

How can we get a horse to take medicine? We've collated a few tricks to help you succeed!

1. Mix with their regular feed

Sometimes, changes to the usual routine can make horses suspicious and less likely to cooperate. Try adding the medication to their normal feed and see how they respond. It may be worth introducing the medication at a lower dose initially to get them used to the subtle differences

It can also help to add some water to the feed to hide the powder.

2. Bran mash or molasses

Bran mash or molasses can be a great treat for some horses. Before you know it - medications are gone!

3. Apple sauce

hiding horse medicine

Again, another sweet treat! You can make powder or pastes into an apple sauce slurry and place it in their feed bowl. Alternatively, if you have a wide tipped syringe, dose it like a wormer. If apple sauce isn't up your horses alley, you can try strained carrots or pears - these jars of baby food are an ideal single dose size!

4. Sandwich

Powders, smaller pellets and pastes can all be put between a folded piece of bread for a quickly gobbled dose. For powders and pellets, put something sticky on the bread, like molasses, jam or peanut butter. Remember, these are just treats to hide med's, so don't go overboard!

5. Hollow Apple

Try partially coring an apple, making sure not to go all the way through. Add the medication, then use part of the core to 'cork' it. This works really well if you use smaller apples and your horse is happy to take big bites (preferably the full apple).

6. When all else fails, ask your vet for an injection

Some medications are available in an injection - and your vet may be able to provide the injections or dose your horse regularly themselves.

HOT TIP:

If you use some of the treats, like apple sauce syringes or jam sandwiches, regularly or semi-regularly without medication, your horse will be much more willing to gobble it down when it comes to medication time!

What tricks do you use to get your horse to take their medicine?

horse riding tips