What's the best way to crush pills for my horse?


We all must do this at one time or another to medicate our horse with some sort of pill.  Chances are your horse won’t just pop it under his tongue, take a swig, and swallow.  So, it’s up to us to convince/trick him into taking his meds. 


However, some pills are darn near impossible to crush!  Here are my favorite ways to get those buggers into powder form:


-Use a coffee grinder.  This is by far the easiest way to do things.  Except that you must be hyper vigilant about WHAT you are chopping up, as many things test positive and you don't want to mix this with that.  Don’t use the same grinder for antibiotics as you use for flax, otherwise every horse that gets flax could test, and he might get traces of unnecessary antibiotics, which is not good.  You also need to clean thoroughly after every use.


-Use a mortar and pestle.  This is also a great tool to use, but again the same issues as the grinder with cross contamination.  Also be warned that super hard pills have a tendency to eject themselves as you press down.  (Safety goggles?)


A kitchen mortar and pestle that was purchased for my home, but now lives at the barn.  No one is shocked by this. 


-Use the back of a spoon.  This works well for soft pills, you can crush them in a feed bin or bucket if possible.  If you choose this method, have a plan for mixing the meds at the bottom with the feed you will add to the top.  Also, you can put what you need in a baggie and crush the baggie, this helps contain the medicine-dust.


-Use hot water.  This is one of my favorite methods.  I have an old supplement container that holds about 6 ounces, which works great for adding the whole lot of pills (sometimes 15 or 20 per dose) and soaking them in hot water.  After they dissolve, you can easily pour over the ration.  This is a good way to go because it makes the medicine stick to the rations.  And, it’s easy to find scoops around, you could label the scoops with names or medications.

-Use your dosing syringe.  This is another of my favorite methods.  Fill your syringe with your uncrushed pills, then use the plunger to draw water into the syringe.  Your pills will dissolve in the syringe, you have no messy container to clean, and all of the meds can end up where they belong - in your horse.  (Hopefully).


My favorite trick - stuff your syringe with meds, then draw up some water.  You may need to wait a bit for the meds to dissolve, sometimes minutes, sometimes hours.  


Here are some helpful links to medicine related articles:

How to hide medicines for easy consumption

How to find out if something will test positive at shows

What are your tips?