Horse First Aid Products

An appropriate inventory of horse first aid products that are readily accessible is an essential part of barn safety. In this article we’ll review the key products to include, how to choose the ones that are right for you, and ways to put your kit together. From pre-made first aid kits to a complete DIY list, we want to keep you and your horses happy and healthy. Before we get started, here are some initial things to consider:

 Where Is Your Barn Is Located? Environmental factors, such as climate, local flora and fauna, and other geographical factors definitely play a role. If you’re new to the area, your veterinarian and longtime residents who have horses are good resources to recommend additional first aid kit necessities unique to the needs of your location.

What Type Of Horses And Operation Do You Have? In addition to scaling up your first aid kit based on the total number of horses, it’s helpful to take a moment and think about what the most likely injuries or emergencies are for your facility. Things like herd turnout, differing types of fencing, individual horse personalities (we all know a horse that should be in bubble wrap), specific health issues, footing, equipment on the grounds, and even barn routine can play a part. All that said, we’ll try to set you up for the unexpected as well!

Where Else Might You Need First Aid Supplies Handy? It’s a good idea to duplicate your first aid kit, or a version of it, for the barn, your trailer and your saddle bag, as needed.

How Far Is Your Veterinarian?
This can be a very important topic to discuss with your vet, especially if they are hours away. You may need to be prepared with extra supplies or be ready to administer other products such as bute, Banamine or DMSO at your vet’s direction.

The basics of any first aid kit, including your emergency trail riding kit, should include:

  • Nonstick sterile pads
    • Cotton bandage rolls
    • Bandage tape (like Elastikon Bandage Tape)
    • Adhesive wrap (like Vetrap)
    • Latex gloves
    • Sanitizing wipes (handy for cleaning your hands and minor wounds)
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • A diaper or incontinence pad (used for putting pressure on a bleeding wound)
    • Scissors (or a pocket knife in a pinch)
    • Hoof pick
    • Tweezers
  • Electrolyte paste
    • Emergency hoof boot

For a trailer kit, especially if you’ll be traveling for a longer period, the following are suggested (in addition to the above):

  • Saline solution (for cleansing wounds and eyes – eye contact solution works great)
    • Digital thermometer
    • Stethoscope
    • Cotton roll
    • Betadine
    • Aerosol Bandage (like AluShield)
    • Duct tape
    • Isopropyl alcohol solution
    • Quilt wraps and standing bandages
    • Scissors or knife that can cut through a halter in an emergency
    • Emergency halter(in case yours is damaged or lost)
    • A flashlight or lantern (for dark stalls at shows, and to save your phone battery)

Finally, in your barn, consider adding the following to your kit (in addition to the above listed products):

  • Additional nonstick pads (sterile and non-sterile)
    • Wound spray (Vetericyn and Healing Tree make some great ones)
    • Bandage scissors
    • Alcohol swabs (especially if you need to administer your own injections)
    • Anti-Lick Strips for bandages
    • Dosing syringes for oral meds
    • Zinc oxide or diaper rash cream (great for rubbing on heels and other areas if you will be cold hosing a lot or if your horse is prone to scratches)
    • Epsom salts
    • Cold pack (it helps to have one already in the freezer ready to go)
    • Ice boots or ice wraps(Ice Horse wraps come in all shapes and sizes)
    • Hoof poultice
    • Leg poultice and poultice paper
    • Animalintex(comes in rolls or hoof shaped)
    • A hoof wrap or boot for soaking (The Medicine Boot is a favorite)
    • A hoof boot for protection
    • Rasp and nippers (for removing a shoe as needed before the farrier can get out)
    • A clean fly mask or specially designed mask like the Kensington Recovery mask (for protecting eye injuries)
    • Fly boots (for protecting minor leg wounds or sores while allowing them to breathe)
    • Clean towels and buckets
    • Fleece cooler or other wicking sheet
    • Treats (for your assistant to distract your horse while you tend to the latest scrap!)
    • Emergency prescription medications as recommended and prescribed by your vet

From getting your horses vitals to wound care to rehab, a well-stocked first aid kit can be crucial in an emergency and make your life easier for routine care.

Courtesy of SmartPak