Can You Ride a Horse with Hives?


You want to ride your horse and suddenly notice that your horse is covered with hives. The first question that hits in your mind is if it’s fine to ride on a horse with hives or not?

Avoid riding over the horseback if he has an active outbreak of hives. Usually, this small outbreak or bumps can irritate the skin by heat and tacks. However, the reaction doesn’t last long. It’s better to avoid riding on horseback unless these hives vanish or go away.

At the same time, some horse owners think that it is safe to ride on the horse if they have minor giveaways on their back, but we suggest you wear horse gear every time you go for a ride. This is why we share this post to make you familiar with the hives on the horse’s back; whether it is safe to ride during these active breaks? How can you deal with the hives?

So, let’s get started.

Pictures of Hives on Horses:

Is It Safe to Ride on Horse When They Have Hives?

Hives are a small outbreak, swelling on the horse skin. It may be around 0.5 inches and maybe larger up to 8 inches in diameter. The outbreaks are small itchy bumps that may irritate. These bumps usually arise near the neck, back, and head region. However, it may occur in any other body parts.

These hives may go within a few hours, but there is no specific duration when these hives break on the body. If it happens for one time, then it would be safe to ride the horse. Here are some essential oils for horses to keep them healthy on track.

But the repetitive hives on the horse can also cause bacterial infection. This can trigger anxiety, irritation, and fear as they constantly feel distressed. Hence, if you’re thinking of riding the horse when they have active hives, re-think and possibly skip the idea of riding as they are already in pain.

Riding horses during these outbreaks is neither safe for the horse nor the horse rider. Moreover, the horse will not support you during riding because they are irritated and uncomfortable. As soon as the bumps go away, you can enjoy riding on the horse.

Common Reasons of the Hives

There is no specific reason for the hives on a horse. It can be an allergic reaction triggered by insect bites, medicines, foods, and pollen dust. These outbreaks can often be caused by brushing pressure on the skin of the horse.

The allergic reaction stimulated in the body causes redness, bumps, and swelling on the horse’s skin. These welts occur when the body of the horse releases the histamine in response to allergies. This allergen-induced response allows the small veins to increase the absorbency of the skin capillary, which in turn causes the bumps in the horse.

Fluid-filled skin capillaries caused the bumps. Hence, if you put pressure on the fluid when you ride on the back, it can also cause swelling in the surrounding tissues. You must have to calm the horse first before starting your ride, for that you should know about these calming supplements for horses for quick response.

Sometimes overmedication can also cause hives to the horse. But it is impossible to pinpoint the exact reason for hives. In most cases, horses can recover within a few days without any medication. However, in some cases, hives can cause significant health issues, alter breathing rates, and be fatal.

Therefore, it is critical to take your horse to the veterinarian and examine the exact reason for these hives. It can help you to give them primary treatment and save the horse’s life.

Is There Any Remedy for the Hives?

As discussed earlier, hives can go easily after some time. Sometimes the vet even advises removing those items that can cause allergies. Also, keep monitoring the improvement and take your horse away from the surroundings, which can cause allergies to them.

However, if the hives don’t go away, you can make some changes in the diet. You can proceed with a skin allergy test and blood test. Sometimes, food allergies are harder to detect. So, it is advisable to make slow changes and monitor the progress. Big Horse breeds need more attention rather than the usual breed of horses, make sure you know the difference between the two.

If they have a sensitive digestive system, then follow the basic diets. Gradually, decrease those food items that irritate their stomach. Some foods cause allergies to them, and kicking them out of the diet can help to reduce the irritation and get relief from the hives.

Apple Cider Vinegar Is Excellent to Reduce the Hives

Apple cider vinegar is the simple and quickest solution that helps to reduce hives. Make your horse bath with apple cider vinegar to help soothe the hives if you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in your home. Give your horse a quick bath at first. However, make sure to dilute the vinegar before making your horse bath.

Ideally, it is preferred to have 75% water and 25% vinegar mixture. Moreover, there is no need to wash the vinegar after the bath. Just do some brushing and remove the sweat.


How long will hives last on a horse?

Hives usually can last for hours, for weeks, and even for months. It depends on the cause of the hives and response to the allergen. However, if the condition is severe, then taking some antiallergic drugs such as corticosteroids or antihistamines can help recover from the hives faster.

How do you get rid of hives on a horse?

Urticaria can be resolved within 24 hours. If the issue doesn’t settle in the given period, you can provide some antiallergic drug such as antihistamine to resolve the problems of hives. Other than this, you can try an apple cider vinegar bath to resolve the hives issues.

Can I give my horse Benadryl for hives?

Yes, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a common antihistamine given to horses to treat hives.


Hives are common in horses which can go away within a few hours and days. But try to avoid riding the horseback as it may cause them more irritation and discomfort. When they have hives, give them extra care and change their diet. This will help to recover faster. Moreover, you can choose an antihistamine drug if the condition gets worse.

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