What You Need In A First Aid Kit For Horses
When you own horses, you need more than one first aid kit. In the event of an injury, you don’t want to spend time running across to the stable to get your first aid kit, hoping you don’t run out of time before you can return and help them.
The best thing to do is keep your main kit in your stable, a spare in your car for when you’re out and about using the horse box, and a mini kit to store in your saddle bag. Your mini kit should have the essentials to stop an immediate bleed and other critical emergencies where time is of the essence.
While it might be tempting to stick to a shop bought first aid kit, these often miss the mark in terms of having the right supplies for common emergencies.
So we’ve created a guide to help you create your own complete first aid kit.
Containing Your First Aid Kit
The first thing you need is a container to store your first aid kit supplies. You want something sturdy that is going to keep your supplies clean and dry. Most people choose a zippered leather bag, which is a lot easier than carting around a plastic tin.
It’s easier to fit items into a flexible bag too, and as they come in a range of sizes you can easily find the right one for each location you choose to keep a kit.
Think of this kit as your primary resource for any medical need your horses may have. This could be anything from minor scrapes and bug bites, to a major injury.
Minor Injury Supplies
Most of the injuries you treat are going to be minor, where you want need to call your bet but will need some basic supplies to ease your horse’s discomfort. Such as:
- Anti-bacterial scrub, like Hibiscrub or betadine
- Antiseptic ointment or spray
- Bright torch for inspecting wounds
- Clean bowl or bucket
- Clean towel
- Eye wash
- Hydrogen peroxide for cleaning out wounds
- Large roll of cotton wool
- Non-stick dressings, gauze and melolin
- Ready to use poultice
- Scissors – round for cutting hair around the wound, and large for cutting bandages
- Various bandages, you’ll need stretch cotton, adhesive, self-adhesive, tubular, orthopaedic, and a set of stable bandages to cover every possibility.
- Wound powder or gel
An emergency isn’t just about treating your horse but ensuring their safety, and your own, as you do so. That means you’ll need some additional equipment for your kit, such as:
- Pen and paper to record vital information for your vet
- Electrical tape can be used to strengthen bandages and dressings if your horse is distressed and difficult to keep still
- Hoof pick
- Shoe removal kit
- Wire cutters
The more horses you care for, the more of these items you will want to have on hand.As you use supplies, make sure you replace them in your kit. It’s also a good idea to check your kit every month, making sure you have everything you need and checking for any expiry dates.
The first aid kit you take out while travelling is going to be smaller than your stable kit, especially as injuries are less likely to happen while your horse is safely stowed in their box. Amy injuries are likely to be cuts and bruises, so you’ll want some;
- Antibiotic spray
- A smaller selection of bandages
- Bandage scissors
- Bandage tape
- Gauze Pads
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Wound powder
As you’re less likely to use this kit, it is important that you check expiry dates before you travel so that you have time to replenish before you leave.
Saddle Bag Kit
It may sound odd, but sanitary towels are perfect for your saddle bag first aid kit. They are designed to be slim and highly absorbent when it comes to blood. A small roll of vet wrap will keep the towels in place until you can get help.Make sure you have some gloves, along with some antibiotic spray, gauze, bandages tape and scissors.
Think of this small kit as a way to immediately address an injury to get you both back to the stable safely where you have access to your main first aid kit and can call for help.
Prepare and Prevent Injuries
The best time to create your first aid kits is now. You never know when an accident will happen, and they can unfortunately happen to all of us. If you aren’t prepared, the situation can quickly turn more stressful than it needs to be.
One way to prevent common injuries is to have a well cared for property. Derelict buildings put your horses at risk for injuries. We can help you in this area by working with you to build quality barns, stables and other outbuildings.
Get inspired to build your new barn style stable today by checking out some of our designs.