Horses are extremely powerful and majestic yet sadly can be injury-prone animals.

Accidents will happen and when they do, it’s important that first aid is on hand at a moment’s notice.

You can purchase an equine first aid kit but they aren’t cheap.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to prepare one for yourself at a fraction of the cost.

Ideally, you should have a fully-stocked kit for safe keeping in the tack room or stables and a secondary, more compact kit with just the basics that you can take out with you when riding.

Keep the kits in a cool place under steady temperature as extreme heat or cold may impact the shelf life of some of their contents.

Remember too to take a kit with you in your horse trailer whenever you attend a competition or show.

The container for your first aid kit

You’ll need a kit that is portable and includes compartments to allow the storage of lots of smaller items and keep them all as easy as possible to find.

And you’ll want one that comes with a tight seal to keep it airtight and waterproof.

A grooming tote is ideal but you could also potentially use a fishing or sewing box or even a toolbox.

The key is to choose something readily accessible that offers a sterile environment for your supplies.

What to stock in your primary first aid kit

Whenever in doubt and wherever possible, call your vet for advice on the preferred dressing and wound management before treating an injured horse.

Here is a list of basic items as well as bandages, swabs and antibacterials which you should have on hand to treat a wound.

Basic items

  • Stethoscope
  • Digital thermometer
  • Lubricant like Vaseline or KY Jelly
  • Gloves
  • Stable bandages and bandage pads
  • Bandage scissors
  • Towels
  • Hoof pick
  • Wire cutters
  • Torch
  • Electrolytes (Humidimix or Salkavite)
  • Molasses or other additive to mix with powdered medications to encourage consumption
  • Twitch
  • Pad and pen to record notes to relay to your vet

Wound and injury treatment

  • Elastoplast rolls
  • Brown crepe bandages
  • Combine roll bandage padding
  • Melolin dressing
  • Gauze swabs
  • Chlorhexidine and iodine scrub (diluted 1:10 solution with water)
  • Yellow Lotion (antibacterial for skin wounds)
  • White Healer cream (zinc-based cream for skin abrasions and infections)
  • Flamazine cream (antibacterial cream)
  • Septicide (antiseptic cream with insect repellant)
  • Cetrigen (‘purple spray’ antiseptic with insecticide)
  • Ice wraps
  • Epsom salt
  • Sterile water

Medications

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone (bute paste). Your vet can advise re the dosage.
  • Sedative such as Dormosedan gel (be sure to wear gloves when using)
  • Triple antibiotic eye ointment
  • Electrolyte paste such as Bectyl for dehydration

What to stock in your secondary or mobile first aid kit

You’ll need a compact, robust bag for your mobile first aid kit that can fit in a saddle bag or backpack while riding.

But it still will need to be airtight and waterproof.

Injuries too often happen when riding and your horse may need immediate treatment.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A couple of bandages
  • Cetrigen or another antiseptic spray
  • Handypick (or a hoof pick and separate pocket knife)
  • Baling twine to safely tie your horse
  • Basic human first aid items (band aids, pain relievers etc for yourself)
  • Your identification details including name, age, address, phone number and any relevant medical issues (in case you are found unconscious)
  • Phone number of your veterinarian

Contact us today

Your first aid kit is your first line of defence in treating your horse for injury.

Sometimes, it may be all that is required but if you’re not 100 per cent certain, it’s advisable to check with a qualified veterinarian to ensure there is no further risk of injury or treatment required.

Performance horses are susceptible to a number of injuries – that’s why it is important to establish a relationship with a trusted and accomplished equine veterinarian who can give your horse the care it needs.

We’ll also help you identify minor health issues before they become major ones, potentially leading to tragic consequences.

We provide a dedicated service to the thoroughbred racing industry with the practice having a long and proud history based around the excellence of our staff.

State-of-the-art equipment is provided including digital radiology, digital ultrasound, shock wave therapy, video endoscopy and IRAP processing. 


Contact us today to book an appointment.

The information contained on this article is general in nature and does not take into account your horse’s individual needs. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your horse’s needs, and seek professional advice from a qualified vet.

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