Written by Rachael Kraft (Avid Equestrian 20+ Years) Last Updated 3/13/2023
Traveling with your horses is a lot of fun… but it’s also a lot of work and responsibility!
When it comes to safety, one of the most important sets of items you need to stock are your horse first aid kit.
A well-stocked horse first aid kit will let you manage any minor injury while out with your horses. It may also help you stabilize a more serious wound until you can seek professional medical attention.
Any horse owner knows that horses like to explore and get into things they shouldn’t. Often, this results in accidents that may keep you in a constant state of worry.
But you can’t bubble wrap your horse. All you can do is be ready to handle anything that comes your way with smart and calm first aid measures.
It’s a great idea to have a specific well-stocked horse first aid kit for your trailer. Leave it in there all the time so you always have it at a moment’s notice.
When your horse is injured, time is critical. You don’t want to waste a lot of time searching for items in a disorganized bucket or asking a bunch of strangers if they can spare some supplies.
Instead, you’ll have everything you need right at your disposal.
Remember, you can definitely have a larger first aid supply at your home barn. The idea with a travel horse first aid kit is to have the essential items stocked and available. It will take a little bit of time for any vet to get to your location, so you want to be ready to face any emergency while out and about.
Keep your horse first aid kit somewhere where it can be easily reached when you need it. This might be up in the front of your living quarters horse trailer. Or, if you have a SafeTack horse trailer, you can make use of the fully enclosed SafeTack compartment in the rear of the trailer.
A good horse first aid kit for your trailer is portable and well organized. Ideally, it would be divided into various compartments to store and separate all of the supplies.
Things like a compact tool box, large fishing tackle box, or a tight sealing plastic container are all good options.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s airtight, clean, and waterproof. This way your supplies stay clean and sterile.
Along with your supplies, have your vet’s contact information ready for quick reference. Know basic skills like how to take your horses’ temperature, pulse and respiration, and understand normal resting vital signs.
Check your kit on a monthly basis and replace or throw out used items and expired medications. Anytime you need to use supplies from your kit, be sure to replace them as soon as possible before your next outing. Keep your horses’ health records up to date and available for reference.
Use this horse first aid kit checklist below to make sure that your travel kit is fully stocked and ready for any situation that you may experience with your horse.
Flashlight or headlamp
Rectal thermometer with Vaseline to lubricate
Surgical latex gloves
Hemostats or tweezers
Sharp pocket knife
Extra lead rope and halter (chain shank for control)
First aid guide book – read through your first aid book before you head out with your trailer. That way you can be prepared when it’s time to take action.
60-cc dose syringes for oral meds/ 10-cc syringes for injections
Phenylbutazone (“bute”) or flunixin meglumine (Banamine) – pain relievers
Dormosedan gel – mild oral sedative
Electrolyte paste – for treating dehydration
Betadine or other antiseptic scrub
Antiseptic wound cream, powder, or spray-on
Zinc oxide cream for minor cuts and sores
Rubbing alcohol and alcohol swabs
Saline solution for flushing out wounds (contact lens solution works well)
Triple-antibiotic eye ointment (get this front your vet)
Epsom salts to draw out infection
Sterile gauze squares (4x4 inch)
Vet wrap – self-sticking bandages
4-inch gauze rolls for padding
Cast padding (2 rolls)
Elastikon – cloth tape
1-2 rolls sterile sheet cotton
Clean pillow wraps
Sanitary pads or diapers for padding a wrapped foot
It is possible to buy horse first aid kits already prepared. Or, you can assemble it yourself. Either way, having this kit ready to go is an important and responsible step you can take to care for your horses.
Remember, anytime you need to take action to provide first aid, you are NOT a replacement for your vet. Even after giving your own first aid, you should still call your vet if the injury or illness is serious.
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