• A pleased owner 15/6/23

    "I have used Cavalesse for a number of years now and transformed my horse from quite literally a giant walking scab to a beautiful boy. I wanted to see if there was anything better though and after some searching on google found this and I have to say I think it’s even better than the Cavalesse and much easier to administer. Because really who loves having medicine injected into their mouth. I’m on my second bottle and will definitely be sticking with this from now on! I should add he now has a full tail and mane (something previously unachievable) and is no longer in a sweet itch rug most days"

  • Samantha Spriggs 19/6/23

    "We spend thousands each year on vets bills for our old TB mare who suffers from the most hideous allergic reactions to any type of fly bite. This summer we have tried Heard leader and we have a very happy senior TB. This stuff isn't good, it's magical. Can't rate it highly enough, it's brilliant."

  • Pippa Dorey 12/9/23


    "My horse had blood tests which showed lots of allergies. She had immunotherapy for 2 years and I tried antihistamines and Cavalesse. This caused sores so couldn’t continue. The one thing that showed the lost relief was Herdleader Oral. Not a cure but has helped the itch. So much. I put a neck rug on her from snuggly hoods and even though needed 1 course of steroids this year- it was only a low dose oral. Thanku x"

Spring sees the start of the itchy season

Summer can place an additional burden on our horses skin health. Factors in the environment change with increased insect activity, pollens and fungal spores. extra support for your horses immune system from Herdleader supplements can give both you and your horse a more comfortable summer. 

Herdleader is ready mixed: saving you time and trouble each day.

Herdleader contains more Nicotinamide than any other brand - giving your horse maximum comfort.

HerdLeader is a neutraceutical non-medicinal product containing nicotinamide, one of the B vitamins, which helps to maintain a healthy skin in horses prone to irritation from insect bites & allergies in the summer months.

Midge bites cause Sweetitch in horses

Insect bites

Typically insect bite irritation is a condition in equines caused by the bites of Culicoides midges. It may be found in any horses and ponies and especially in the warmer regions of the world.

The irritation develops at the sites where the insects feed.
Mainly these are the mane and tail and dorsal midline. Ventral midline irritation may also occur. Similarly around the ears and head. 

These irritations result in itching, which results in rubbing and considerable self-trauma. The itch response is triggered by the immune reaction in the mast cells of the skin, releasing Histimine.

Other triggers

Under normal living conditions horses are engulfed in dust, mould spores and other foreign substances all day long. In pastures where horses graze there are many different airborne proteins that could mean your horse needs extra support to maintain a healthy skin.  

Such triggers leading to the need for support are commonly pollens (often tree), grass, foods (grains and hay)

Information on Feeding & Ingredients


Feed once daily by drawing up the correct amount of the product into the measuring chamber and sprinkling it over a small handful of concentrate which you then give to your horse. Horses over 500kg feed 20ml, smaller horses and ponies feed 15ml.

If you choose to add it to your horse’s whole feed ration then ensure that the liquid is taken and not wasted in the bottom of the feed bucket/bowl.

A 1000ml bottle of HerdLeader is 50 days supply for a horse, more for a pony, up to 66 days supply.

Ingredients, Safety & Regulations

Herdleader Oral is a composition of pharmaceutical grade 99% pure Nicotinamide (one of the B3 vitamins) and Purified water. No other ingredients. Nicotinamide is the only one of the various forms of Vitamin B3 that suppresses the immune response that releases the irritant histamine.

Nicotinamide is a water soluble natural vitamin. It is very safe. Excess vitamin is expelled through urine. It does not accumalate in the body.

The level of Nicotinamide is 250mg/ml. This means that a 500kg horse receiving 20ml per day of Herdleader Oral is fed at the rate of 10mg Nicitinamide per kilo of bodyweight.

The current FEI banned and controlled substances list does not include nicotinamide. Rest assured, Herdleader Oral and Lotion contain no prohibited substances.

When to start feeding and how long before you would expect to see an effect?

If it’s been a mild winter, for example, midges will be active earlier than after a prolonged cold season.  Then there are environmental factors, i.e. where the horse is kept, low lying ground, proximity to water, etc.  Add in all those other measures that are available, factor in how early in the year you started the supplement & then, of course, each animal will react to the same irritant individually. 

Now, more technical information for you.  Nicotinamide works in two different ways.  Firstly & most well known is the dampening down of the immune system & therefore the urge to scratch/rub itchy parts. Secondly,  it works to thicken the skin.  The first effect - relating to the immune system - builds up quite quickly, in a matter of days, while the second takes effect much slower.  The skin’s thickening is caused by increasing numbers of fat cells it contains & this process is ongoing, it can take a month or more. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 19 reviews

Good product and great delivery

Angela Goodwin
Great stuff

I was recommended Cavelles by my vet but it has to be made up and is really expensive, soni did some research, found this and it had great reviee, with very quick delivery. I've only been using this for just over two weeks, but this time last year, my boy was beginning to get covered in lumps/bites and was also so itchy he would drop to the ground to rub his chest and belly, touch wood this year, we've got no lumps/bites and he's not at all itchy. Fingers crossed he stays like this for the summer.

Andrea Reid
Fan of the product

I have a gelding who rubbed until he bled had no mane or tail so I tried cavellese but it's expensive and required diluting so when I heard about heard leader I started using it a few years ago & use from the start of march it's just a case of adding to his feeds nothing more he still goes through several fly rugs every summer too but can live out and be happy and way less itchy

Hi Andrea & thank you for your kind words. We know there's no cure so it's a case of finding what works best for your horse as an individual. Always grateful when someone takes the time to show their appreciation. Sheila

Tracey-Anne Emms
Still itching

This product is easy to use, but sadly hasn't stopped my senior mare from itching like fury.
I'll have to try something else :(

My rising 30 year old has been very itchy this year too, a first for him. The nasty biting insects have survived winter with the weather being so mild. Hope you find a solution for your mare, sorry we weren't able to help her.

Sophie O'Hearn
He still has a mane!

My horse developed sweet itch three years ago and for the last few summers he’s rubbed out his mane by June. I started giving him summer itch relief this spring and so far (touch wood) he still has a full mane and tail, no weeping sores and he’s only been in a standard fly rug not the thick sweet itch hood which he hated. I’m keeping everything crossed this keeps going for the rest of the summer.