First Aid Kit for Horses

first aid kit checklist for horses

Whether out in their field, in the stable or while being ridden, horses seem prone to inadvertent injury. So every horse owner needs a first aid kit. Actually, you may need two or even three depending on the nature of the riding you do. For example, if you’re lucky enough to have transport for your horse, you really need one for this; if you’re an endurance rider or go for very long hacks, consider taking a “mini kit” with you.

Emergencies are never fun to deal with, BUT they’re much easier to deal with if you’re prepared. Even everyday cuts and grazes need proper treatment as soon as possible to prevent them from getting worse, so horse owners need to be well prepared.

We've put together the basic first aid items that are most likely to be required to treat an injury.

Container

First, let’s talk containers. Really, this is simply a matter of what to keep your items in. They need to be protected from damp, kept clean and be in an easily accessible place. Plastic stack-able containers with drawers are often popular or, if you’re like me, an old, large grooming box. Other suggested containers include plastic bins with lids or another good one is waterproof bags with zippers. The Plastica Panaro Medium Tack Box is a great choice, as it has a removable tray inside for quick access to essentials. Or a simple back pack, like the one below from Busse, will keep everything together. 

                    Plastica Panaro Medium Tack BoxBusse Back Pack

 

Clean Bowl or Bucket

If you need to wash a wound, you’ll need a clean bowl or bucket. Following a visit from my vet for an exposed shoulder bone, I always now have a clean bowl, wrapped in a carrier bag, with my first aid kit. The Lincoln Stable Bucket includes a carry handle and a pouring spout for easy use. 

        Lincoln Stable Bucket

Clean Towel

Often, I use my clean towel to dry off my horse if he comes in soaked from the field, but I always take it straight home afterwards, wash it and return it to my kit the following day.

Roll of Cotton Wool

You can never have too much of this. HyHEALTH Cotton Wool is made from 100% cotton.

      HyHEALTH Cotton Wool

Adhesive Wrap

Keep several rolls of this. Ideally you want one that unrolls easily and lasts as long as possible throughout the day. Shires Cohesive Bandages provides breathable and lightweight compression.

Shires Cohesive Bandages     

Poultice Pads

These are golden when you need to protect a minor open wound and can be cut down to the size needed! NAF NaturalintX Poultice is multi-layered and natural. 

     NAF NaturalintX Poultice

Duct Tape

Abscesses make the hoof grown fonder…or not! Make sure you have duct tape on hand for this lovely little task amongst others, from taping separated hooves to re-enforcing bandages. Just remember not to use it directly on your horse’s hair or skin. VetSet Sealing Tape is waterproof and heavy-duty.

  VetSet Sealing Tape

Wound Cleaner

A spray that doesn’t need to be rinsed off the wound means less “ouch” handling time and it helps to maintain a level of moisture necessary for healing wounds. VetSet Blue Spray has a highly effective cleansing action which kills germs and inhibits re-infection.

    VetSet Blue Spray

Wound powder

There are times when a powder is better than gel or a cream, especially when applying a topical solution will cause some discomfort. Powder can be squirted on to the wound to help it dry up. A good item to have in your kit in the summer as it doesn’t attract the flies. Lincoln Antibacterial powder is ideal for application to minor wounds and scratches in horses. It effectively dries weeping wounds and optimises the natural healing process.

      Image

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are great for drawing out infection. Many people use good old salt water to wash out cuts and scrapes. This is an essential for hoof abscesses. Keep it dry and sealed if you can. Gold Label Epsom Salts are a great traditional remedy.

Image

Antiseptic Cream or Ointment

Nicks, cuts, and scrapes can be encouraged to heal by keeping the skin moist and clean. There’s a wide variety of products available. You can choose from all-natural products or products containing various medicinal and antibiotic ingredients. Botanica Natural Herbal Antiseptic Cream can be used for skin conditions as well as injuries, and contains a natural insect repellent for added protection.

    Botanica Natural Herbal Antiseptic Cream            

Syringe

A syringe to dispense medication orally. This simple, reusable one from Lincoln does the trick!

  Lincoln Syringe      

Dressing Scissors

It goes without saying that a clean, rust-free pair of scissors most certainly need to be in your first aid kit. The ones in your grooming box will inevitably be dirty and possibly even too blunt to cut a bandage or dressing! Robinson's Dressing Scissors are the perfect addition to any first aid kit. 

 

  Robinsons Dressing Scissors  

 

      

And finally…

Keep all these items in a clean box with a secure lid, preferably in a relatively dust-free area, such as a cupboard. Be disciplined and ensure you replace items as soon as they’re used.

Spotted a few things you need? Check out our First Aid Collection

Shop Equine First Aid and Healthcare

Author

Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

Comments

  • Kalli posted on July 21 2019 at 10:07 AM

    Hi
    I am a non horsey mum who’s now finds herself proud owner of a pony for my daughter. This is a fab article – thanks. All added to my basket. Just wondering if there is a horse first aid book you would recommend that I can keep with my first aid kit? So that I can work out how to use all these things and when!

  • Joanna Smart posted on January 28 2020 at 03:01 PM

    I always have Aqueous spray on plaster in my first aid kit it is fantastic as it forms a barrier over the wound and as it has silver speeds up the healing process and allows wound to breathe.

  • Jacqueline Wigley posted on February 17 2020 at 10:02 AM

    This is a really useful and helpful list – for which I thank you – but one thing made me flinch and that was the recommendation of wound powder. I once attended a lecture given by Derek Knottenbelt, a hugely respected vet from Liverpool Veterinary Hospital, on wound management. The one thing he emphasized was NEVER to use a dry powder on a wound. It inhibits the healing process and, should the wound subsequently need veterinary treatment, it is very difficult to clean the wound properly and will therefore impede the vet’s ability to treat the wound.

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