First aid for horses

 

Is it time to start stocking up your horse first aid kit? In preparation for the competition season re-starting, it’s important to get your first aid kit stocked up ready for the lorry and buying your first aid essentials from brands you can trust will bring you peace of mind when it comes to treating your horse. We caught up with our friends at NAF to find out what makes it onto their list of essential first-aid kit items.

 

As well as stocking up on essentials for competitions and trips away from home, it’s worth regularly checking your home horse first aid kit to make sure it’s fully stocked. After all, you wouldn’t want to be in desperate need of something to treat your horse and not have it to hand.

 

Of course, when it comes to first aid you can never have too much, however, this essential list will give you a good place to start, it is by no means an exhaustive list, and you can add in items that you find handy to have as you build it up:

 

horse first aid kit bandage

Cleansing shampoo or rinse aid: containing grapefruit seed extract to clear and cleanse any area of muck and dirt is recommended before applying any necessary dressings and treating minor cuts and scrapes with sprays or creams.

 

Cotton Wool: use it as wadding, padding, holding something in place or to clean out a wound. It’s also handy to have to plug up stud holes if you’re in need of something quickly. It is the go-to item for almost anything and compulsory for any first aid kit.

 

Self-adhesive, elasticated wraps: correct and careful application can help to ensure dressings are held neatly and comfortably over a wound. If bandaging one leg always bandage the opposite leg for balance and be careful not to apply any wraps or bandages too tightly. If in doubt, ask an equine professional to show you how to safely apply a bandage next time they’re on the yard, they’ll be more than happy to demonstrate the correct amount of pressure to apply.  

 

Dressings and Poultices: active ingredients such as the natural poulticing agent Tragacanth and Boric Acid are extremely useful, applied carefully and where appropriate, these can help to maintain a moist, clean environment to support the natural healing of skin and tissue.

 

How to poultice a hoof

 

Wound spray or cream: for treating minor topical wounds, popular choices contain MSM, Calendula and Aloe Vera to soothe and protect. Having a cooling gel to hand, ideally containing the natural coolant Arnica is also useful to soothe any suspected minor strains, sprains or suspected bruising following muscular exertion or a knock where the skin hasn’t broken.

 

And lastly, no first aid kit is complete without a pair of blunt-end scissors, a tail bandage to keep long tails out of the way when treating any areas around the hindquarters, a tub of vaseline and that all-important hoof pick.

 

 We hope you've found this handy guide useful and head to The Harry Hall One Club Facebook group to let us know what's in your horse's first aid kit.

 

The Horse Trust