Garlic! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Garlic!

Good evening all!

My two mares, and all of the other horses in the stables, are being bitten alive by horse flies, ! They go in the barn and attack all the horses when they're in their stables, they attack when they're let out, and this evening when I was riding I was killing them as they landed on her... They're covered in bites poor girlies. We also have a mosquito issue but the main one is the horse fly issue.

Sprays work for a limited time, so I was wondering if anyone had any ideas? I was thinking garlic, but I'm not sure if it has any effect or horse flies? I'm willing to try anything!

I live in France so probably not all of the products you have available in the USA are available here...

Thank you to anyone who has any ideas and advice
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 05:38 PM
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I've read lots of bad things from vets about feeding garlic. In high quantities it causes anemia and really compromise a horse's health. In small amounts, the effect may not be as noticeable on their health, but it's not going to do much for flies, either. And it could be harming them on some level without it being as apparent. I wouldn't feed it.

Here's just one article to that effect: https://horseandrider.com/horse-heal...lic-for-horses
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
I've read lots of bad things from vets about feeding garlic. In high quantities it causes anemia and really compromise a horse's health. In small amounts, the effect may not be as noticeable on their health, but it's not going to do much for flies, either. And it could be harming them on some level without it being as apparent. I wouldn't feed it.

Here's just one article to that effect: https://horseandrider.com/horse-heal...lic-for-horses
WOW, I had no idea! Thank you for bringing this to my attention and for the very interesting article.

So... garlic is out of the picture...
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 05:52 PM
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It does sound like it might be effective to use garlic oil as part of a spray, but yeah, feeding it is no good. :(
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 06:07 PM
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Garlic has pros and cons...
https://thehorse.com/110261/should-i...repel-insects/

I've heard offering sulfur infused salt blocks can help...don't know and not sure how "safe" it is but know several horse people who have done this for 30 years and no adverse effects did they see or have but horses are not insect feasted upon.
Have seen some report ticks no longer bite or stick to horses, flies leave them alone, horses with sweet itch their skin heals and they stop the incessant scratching...
Also have read it can cause anemia think it is... those that fed sulfur did blood chemistry and did not have issues.
I don't know, truly don't know.

Sulfur is a essential element, not a amino acid as some write of {I think}. Been a long time since I read and worked the periodic table for chemistry.
You need to do your own research but if you read feed bag labels you can often see sulfur as a ingredient in some feeds.
My well water has sulfur & iron if unfiltered.
You can smell & see residue of them after we return from a few days of not drawing extensive water in the house.
My horses do not drink filtered water and they drink from the well with no problems, in fact they crave their water.
If I am at someone else home they drink lightly till home they then drink, and drink large quantities.
My neighbors horses come to my trough and drink, preferring my water to theirs all the time...she filters her water.

I found a article about all kinds of food sources, where they come from and values of them needed/desired in diets of horses.
https://horses.extension.org/nutrien...es-for-horses/
More reading material to investigate.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 06:42 PM
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Though garlic needs sulfur to grow it is not what causes the problems when eaten. I've used sulfur blocks in the past to help keep mine off of trees they were stripping and killing. I also upped vitamin C. No ill effect, no more tree destruction and I can say fewer flies but they were an a much larger acre to horse rate and being rotated with us dragging pastures and removing poo mounds from the couple that would go in the same spot all the time.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 07:00 PM
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Ok, this is from my own personal experience of feeding processed garlic for several years to three of my horses, and nobody died.

1. First, read the complete article linked above. It took pounds - POUNDS, not ounces before a horse finally developed anemia.

These types of articles can be very misleading if one doesn’t carefully read and dissect the information — at least the writer was honest enough to state the amount of garlic it took before the horse became anemic.

2. The villain in garlic is the allicin. Allicin is cooked or baked, or however raw garlic is processed, out of raw garlic.

Allicin is not found in powdered (processed) garlic.

3. To reiterate, I fed processed garlic to three of my four horses seasonally for the control of ticks.

3.1. It is roughly 85% efficient in either keeping ticks off horses or killing them when they do attach to the horse.

3.2. Garlic does NOT do one single thing to control flies of any sort.

4. That all said, the reason my fourth horse was never fed garlic (and the ticks loved him the most:( was because he dealt with ulcers off/on throughout his life.

Garlic can be hard the stomach and is not something I would suggest for a horse with any sort of digestive issues.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 07:02 PM
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Only thing that keeps horse flies away is a dark barn. They won't enter a dark barn,that is what I do for my horses come horse fly season.

Nothing repels them for long fly spray wise. They'll drive the horses to running ,in a panic to escape the bugs

My horses are brought in barn by 8 am an go outside after dark. Ride at 4:30 am or at night with headlamp. Thank goodness they aren't out yet.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 07:40 PM
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To assist with keeping flies away from the barn...
This sounds crazy but it works, honest!!

I do this in my barn when the flies are at the worst...
I've never seen horse flies enter the barn but have seen them occasionally in the pasture and see the horses running from certain areas...
So...


A clear plastic gallon bag like Ziploc bags..
Fill it 1/2 full of water..
Drop a shiny penny, bright copper in color in it..
Seal...
Hang high where horses will not normally touch or reach...
I poked a hole in the thicker edge where the seal part is and hang from a hook screwed into barn headers or window frame top, high enough the horses can't reach.

The flies stay away...
I don't know why, maybe someone else can explain...
I just know it works.
I hang a bag in every stall window, in every stall front, each side of my side entries and my barn is 48+ feet long so every 10 feet across the barn front {the back side is stall windows or solid wall}...
The flies don't come in...they just don't.
My barn has good/great ventilation but still flies were inside till the bags went up...now they're gone.
Poof!!
You can try that for relief in the barns...a little strange to see, but who cares what it looks like if it works!!

If you have mosquitoes then you have standing water or drainage problems, but swampy stagnant water sources.
By me, when this happened to us because of intense deep standing water from flooding {someone destroyed the natural aquifer land barrier}, we were under 3' of standing water over 3 acres of my land.
In desperation we called the county who put us in touch with the vector control department who does our mosquito control.
They brought me out "dunks", white chunks to throw as far and hard as I could into the deepest parts of the property we could reach.
Each dunk they promised would last 4 months if we stayed drowning in water that long...
No harm to... animals, wildlife, our horses, dogs, chickens... only stops the cycle of the mosquito.
Told us 5 days we had to endure and a huge difference would be noticeable....and the dunk lived up to the hype we were given. Mosquitoes gone...bye-bye!
Something else to try. You can also purchase dunks in any store with pond supplies but ours were free from vector control.
...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-26-2020, 07:47 PM
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My experience is similar to Walkinthewalk. I've fed garlic for several years spring through fall. It doesn't do much if anything for flies but I never find ticks on my horses like many of my friends do. We're in a Lyme disease area so keeping ticks off is enough benefit for me. Horse flies aren't too bad here but we do have them certain times of the year. The only effective control I've found is to smash them. My kids and I have played a game keeping track of horse fly kills with the winner receiving a small prize at the end of the ride.
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