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01 September

Essentials for your First Aid kit

author image Edeline Bourrier Edeline Bourrier
Essentials for your First Aid kit image

We might hope we never have to use it but horses being horses it’s very important to keep a small initial First Aid kit for emergency use. Remember to take it with you to competitions or whenever you are travelling your horse or pony anywhere. If you leave it hidden away in your tack room, then the day you need it will certainly be the day you are miles away from the yard. Talk to your vet about supplying you with the products that are prescription only (POM) such as anti-inflammatory powders or anti-bacterial creams.

What are the essentials for a First Aid kit?

  • Thermometer – wash and disinfect after using before replacing in its plastic case (Useful to know : a horse’s normal rectal temperature is 37.5 – 38°C)
  • Single use gloves
  • Rounded scissors for cutting vet-wrap and poultices (wash and disinfect as well after using)
  • A small plastic bucket or washing up bowl for washing off wounds.  Keep it clean and wrapped in a plastic bag when not in use.
  • Plastic syringe to use for flushing out wounds or for administering oral treatments
  • Tick-twister
  • Hoof-pick
  • Tweezers
  • Head lamp
  • Conforming bandage such as Knitfix or similar
  • Self-adhesive bandage such as Vet-wrap
  • Poultice - Animalintex or similar – various sizes including for feet
  • Bandages
  • Cotton wool
  • Disinfectant solution ie Hibiscrub
  • Wound cream
  • Non-stick dressing in various sizes
  • Anti-bacterial cream
  • Saline solution (useful if you have no water available)
  • Silver duct tape (for keeping foot poultices in place)
  • Clean towels

Keep your First Aid kit in a robust plastic crate with a tight-fitting lid. That way all your kit will stay clean and dry, which is just how you need it when you come to use it!

Keep an eye on the condition of your kit.  Check use-by dates on sterile compresses and bandages as well as creams etc. If you compete be aware that some creams and poultices may contain ingredients which could provoke a positive dope test!

Make sure you are happy about how to use all the various bandages, compresses and poultices in your kit.  Practice your bandaging and poulticing skills before you need to use them. Maybe even investigate if your riding club runs equine first aid courses.

In any event ask for advice from your vet before administering anything other than basic first aid.

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author image About Edeline Bourrier Edeline Bourrier

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