Garlic for Horses: Which Form is Best to Feed?

March 31, 2022

Did you know garlic is one of the most common herbal supplements used in the equine industry? It’s been used for centuries for its many health benefits and as a natural repellant to keep flies away from horses.

There are numerous forms of garlic horse supplements out there. So which is best for your horse? Are some forms of garlic more effective than others? These are good questions, and we have some answers. But first, what is in garlic that makes it such a great health booster and pest repellant for horses, and what are the benefits?


Benefits of Garlic for Horses

Garlic bulbs contain a mixture of organosulfur compounds. This Hartpury University study notes allicin is the compound responsible for most of garlic’s therapeutic effects in both humans and horses. Here are some of the benefits allicin (garlic) may offer your horse:

  • Aids the respiratory system
  • Helps treat and prevent lung diseases and infections
  • Assists with pain relief
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves gut health
  • Boosts immune system function
  • Keeps flies away from horses

4 Ways of Feeding Garlic to Horses

Garlic's benefits are many, but it's potency varies according to the way it's prepared and the form it comes in. That means the benefits your horse gets may vary depending on which form you feed and how it’s grown. So which form of garlic is the most bioactive, stable, and potent way of feeding it to your horse?

Before we dive into the various forms of garlic, it’s important to note that feeding garlic to horses in large amounts can lead to Heinz body anemia.  Always follow manufacturer feeding guidelines to ensure your horse gets the benefits of garlic without any negative side effects. Read this post to find out how much garlic to feed horses.

Fresh Garlic

Some horse owners use fresh garlic to supplement a horse’s diet. While this can be done, there are a few important things you should know. 

Are you tossing whole cloves into your horse’s feed? Garlic needs to be crushed to trigger the creation of allicin, so if your horse isn’t munching and crunching those cloves before swallowing, he’s probably not getting the benefits you’re hoping for.

If you feed fresh garlic, crush or mince it finely instead and add it to your horse’s feed. You’ll need to feed it immediately, however, as crushed garlic begins to lose its bioactive potency in just a few hours.

Also be informed about how much you’re giving your horse. Fresh-crushed garlic doses are less scientific, and potency will vary. That means more guesswork and worry over whether you’re feeding your horse enough garlic or too much.

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is made by drying and dehydrating cloves and then grinding them into fine particles. Horse garlic powder supplements are top-dressed on a horse’s feed.

While garlic powder is easier to feed than fresh-crushed, it’s far less nutritious, and the active allicin is usually destroyed during the manufacturing process when heat dried. In fact, a study by Oregon State University showed that powdered garlic supplements do not contain any allicin.

Garlic Granules or Flakes

A common way of feeding a horse garlic is granules or flakes. These supplements are usually processed through freeze-dried, air-dried, or cold-pressed dehydration. Less allicin is destroyed through these processing methods than in conventional heat-dried powdered garlic, so they may be more beneficial for your horse.

Garlic still loses potency as it sits on the shelf, though, so if you buy granules or flakes, make sure the product comes in a container with a tight-fitting lid to help retain freshness, and resist the urge to buy in bulk.

Garlic Oil

Garlic oil is highly concentrated, which means much less is needed to gain the same benefits as other garlic forms. Oil is typically prepared using steam distillation. The garlic cloves are crushed then steamed, and the resulting condensation contains the oil.

Garlic oil also comes in synthetic or bioidentical form. This oil has the same flavor and active organosulfur compounds that are contained in natural garlic.

Tom McCullough—business development manager for FMF Specialty Agri Products, which creates garlic oil compounds for horse supplements—said synthetic oil generally has a more stable shelf life and more consistent levels of bioactive compounds than other garlic forms.

“There is high variability in organosulfur compounds with garlic due to the climate it’s grown in, soil type, amount of rainfall, and cultivar,” McCullough said. “We create a bioidentical garlic oil that we’re constantly doing quality control on to ensure we’re providing customers with the same product every time.”

Both types of garlic oil are added to pellets or other coarse granules to make palatable garlic supplements for horses.


Why Choose Redmond Rock Crushed with Garlic?

Why is Redmond Rock Crushed with Garlic a smart, safe, and effective choice to give your horse as a garlic supplement? It comes in a natural, loose mineral sea salt that horses already love, with the added benefit of pure, bioidentical garlic oil. Here’s what sets our product apart:

  • Crushed with Garlic contains 63 essential trace minerals your horse needs for better health.
  • 12 times more potent than garlic powder.
  • Consistent levels of bioactive compounds to give your horse the full benefits of garlic.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Longer shelf life than other garlic supplements.
  • Conforms with the National Research Council’s guidelines on garlic dosages for horses. (Check out the table in this post to see the NRC’s guidelines and how Crushed with Garlic compares.)
  • Naturally repels and keeps flies away from horses. Watch the video below from Dr. Jessica Huntington to see how Crushed with Garlic creates a no-fly zone around your horse!
HubSpot Video

With Redmond Rock Crushed with Garlic, you can feel confident you’re getting the best garlic supplement available. Your horse gets all the benefits of a natural mineral sea salt, plus the health-promoting and pest-repelling benefits of bioactive garlic. Click below to shop Crushed with Garlic and start protecting your horse!


Learn More

  • Wondering how much garlic to feed horses?  We've got the answer in this post!
  • Do flies pester your horse? Learn how to use garlic and other precautions to keep flies away from horses.

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