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Rain Rot Home Remedies
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Rain Rot Home Remedies

Rain rot treatment does not have to cost a fortune!

Since I have started rescuing neglected horses I have struggled to find treatments for various problems to help me save money. I have found that more than likely when you buy a product for different ailments you are paying for a name first then the cure. If you break down the ingredients in any over-the-counter medication for horses you can usually come up with a concoction that will work just as well for less than half the price!

Rain rot and skin infections are one of the most common things I see in my incoming horses. From minor to very severe. But if you follow a few key rules you can easily clear this up and have a remedy on hand that can save you hundreds. 

First thing about skin problems is that you need to narrow down the actual problem, but most can still be treated topically unless they are chronic. In those few cases, you may need a steroid injection to jump start the process. After the initial progress is made, if you stay on top of this topically you can usually stay ahead of it without steroids! Less medications and steroids over time is a much healthier alternative.

I can tell you that if you are lazy and not diligent about a skin condition you will usually never make good headway. So be prepared if you have a horse with a skin condition to stay on top of it for less work in the long run. Your horse will thank you too. Could you imagine itching yourself raw and bloody and not being able to do anything about it? I sure can’t! So here are some very simple tips to helping your horse with most skin conditions.

1.      Bathe with antibacterial dish soap once a week or as needed through flare ups.

2.      Apply daily one of two homemade ointment/rub (recipe below)

3.      Keep your horse fly sprayed in the fly season to lessen histamine reaction in the skin.  (recipe below)

4.      Body clip horses or ponies that do not lose their coats to make applying medications easier and to keep dirt and debris off the skin during healing.

5.      Rinse your horse with clean water before new application if he/she is sweaty. The sweat can actually cause flare ups on its own and draws flies!

6.      Apple cider vinegar added to water or feed daily helps to change the pH in your horses skin to make them less appetizing to bugs!

7.      Granulated garlic works well for my horses as well for mosquitoes and is heart healthy!

8.      Be patient. Most take time to show improvement, but once you get the skin healing, the process goes quickly.

These simple steps (although it seems like a lot) will help get your horse on track through the summer months! Here are the recipes I have come up with that work best for me: (These are home remedies. Please use at your own risk. If you are not sure, please do not attempt to fix your horse on your own. Seek Medical advice.)

Rain Rot Salve

  • Large tub of cocoa butter Vaseline (I buy regular Vaseline and add natural cocoa butter but both ways work)
  • Powdered Sulfur (Lowes or Home Depot in the garden center) Lily Miller is the brand I use and it is about $5 for one pound, which will last you forever!
  • Tea tree oil (Dollar General sells it in the hair care aisle for 3 dollars)
  • Rosemary Oil (I order this with my cocoa butter from Essentialdepot.com)


  1. Take your tub of Vaseline and put contents in a glass bowl that can be microwaved.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of sulfur (just enough to turn the mix pale yellow) A
  3. Add 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of rosemary oil
  4. Heat until soft, and mix together with a spatula. (It should now be soft enough to pour back into your tub.)
  5. Use this ointment for faces and any spot that needs better coverage than the oil version I will also give you. This will also heal small wounds and even large wounds like you would not believe. The tea tree has anti-fungal properties as well as the rosemary. Rosemary also promotes hair growth. The Sulfur does most of the work. For years Sulfur has been a go-to for many ailments. Why not use what has worked so well for centuries!? Sulfur is one of the main ingredients in MTG!


Rain Rot Liquid Version (similar to MTG)

  • Large bottle of baby oil
  • Powdered Sulfur
  • Tea tree oil
  • Rosemary oil


  1. You can mix this right in the baby oil bottle or you can use a bigger bottle with a sprayer on it. Whatever works well for you. Y
  2. You want to add ten drops of both oils like before and just enough sulfur to have about a half an inch in the bottom of your oil when it settles. 
  3. Shake well and apply where needed

This works well for larger areas that need more coverage!


Fly Spray

  • 2 tablespoons Skin So Soft
  • One large squirt Dove dish soap (white bottle)
  • 1 tablespoon Citronella Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Lavender Oil
  • 4 cups (approx.) of Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. In a large spray bottle, combine all ingredients
  2. Then, fill to the top with water

This spray has worked well for me for years! I do add other oils from time to time, like lemongrass, cedar, and rosemary. Feel free to tweak it as you like! What works for me may not work as well for everyone!

  • Hope this helps and happy hair growing!

This is Macie's rescue album. This worked well for her and you can see the results in her photos!


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  1. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    Good info. Voted.
  2. Renee Dryden
    Renee Dryden
    VOTED!! Love this and will definitely have to try. I rescue as well and 2 months ago rescues a 23 year old mare that was malnourished and has severe rain rot. I have tried everything from bleach baths to Listerine.. And medications the vet told me to try like Betadine baths.. And nothing has worked so far. Her rain rot is so bad that the hair has formed a crust. She is on antibiotics but I know it's not good to be on antibiotics for too long. I am willing to try anything at this point.
    1. Heather hottbartndr@aol.com
      Heather hottbartndr@aol.com
      I have faith..please let me know if it works...and feel free to call or text me if u need any advice!! 912-548-3301 heather
    2. sundance
      Did the remedy work?
    3. WhiteHorseCowgirl
      If you try this Please do Not get dollar store essential oils they are not pure. They are cheap for a reason because they have chemicals and our products that you do not want to ingest or have your horse ingest. If use any essential oils they need to be 100% pure need to be from a reputable dealer like young living dotara. They are more expensive because they are 100% pure and do not have added ingredients is that are harmful you for you and your horses body if they are 100% pure you can use in aromatically topically or internally
  3. EMcGinn
    love finding home remedies! ! my fav remedy is Listerine, dollar tree sells the off brand and it works the same. I've got a couple horses that get it every year and its always worked well for me.
  4. Timbermama
    I guess we have been lucky with never having to use anything harsher than Listerine for any skin, coat problems. Rain rot, Mud fever (scratches) lice etc. We did a lot of rescue horses and we tell all our clients to never use anything else than Listerine and we are thanked daily by many because of the money and time we save them. It is fast begins the healing immediate kills bugs on contact keeps fly's, bee's and mosquito's away.
  5. WhiteHorseCowgirl
    Please do not tell people that they can go out and buy dollar store essential oils. I am a distributor of essential oils. Pure Oils. and the cheaper the oil meaning the dollar store oils they are NOt pure and will cause harm to your horse and you if you use them. You need to get them from a reputable dealer like young living doterra extra. The oils need to be 100% PURE to use on yourself and your animal topically and aromatically, and internally. so again Please do Not tell people that they can be using dollar store essential oils on there animal you'll get someone's horse Killed.

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