10 Things You Should Have in Your Equine First-Aid Kit

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1. Self-stick bandages

There are so many uses for these around the farm. In a first aid situation, they are invaluable for keeping dressings in place or helping to support stable wraps. Name brands such as VetWrap or Co-Flex are common, but there is little difference between pharmacy name brands and tack shop off brands, so buy whatever is on sale at the moment and buy in bulk. They have the added advantage of coming in a rainbow of colors and just about every pattern you can dream up, so you will never have a dull bandage again.

2. Digital thermometer

Knowing how to take your horse’s temperature is important, but having a digital thermometer on hand when you need one is just as important. They have a habit of disappearing when you need them most, so I’s buy those in bulk too. Be careful to clean them thoroughly after every use or use disposable thermometer covers to prevent the spread of potential contagions

3. Antiseptic wound cleaner

Bandaging wound won’t do any good if it isn’t clean first. A good antiseptic wound cleaner such as Betadine is necessary for washing skin infections, cuts, and punctures.

4. Scissors

These are pretty self-explanatory. Scissors are needed to cut VetWrap, gauze, and any number of other things.

5. Diapers

Any equestrian who has had to deal with abscesses probably knows how useful baby diapers can be for make poultices for a horse’s hoof. They conform perfectly to the shape of the horse’s foot and come with their own stick closures. Combine with duct tape and VetWrap they make a waterproof bandage that will keep an injured hoof nice and dry.

6. Gauze

This is another no-brainer. Every first-aid kit, for humans or horses, needs gause of varying sizes to soak up blood and bodily fluids.

7. Vitamin E Cream or Zinc Oxide Cream

Some people use Zinc Oxide Cream for sunburn  and minor nicks, but I prefer this Vitamin E cream. It is cheap and very effective. For most nicks and scrapes only one application is needed to see a marked improvement.

8. Epsom Salts

Epsom Salts is a key ingredient in DIY poultices and great for soaking stone bruises and sprains. It is inexpensive at most bulk food stores and it also work great for a nice bath for yourself at the end of the day.

9. Ointment

Ointment is is great to have on hand for both horse and rider. It keeps the skin moist and clean and prevents bandages from sticking.

10. Liquid Bandages

There are many kinds of liquid bandage products. I prefer AluShield. It’s an aerosol bandage that is quick and easy to apply. It protects the wound and encourages clotting, but lets the wound breath more than traditional bandages. This is my go-to for small cuts and nicks.

2 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Have in Your Equine First-Aid Kit

  1. I always had a small pack of baby wipes on hand to help clean dirt away from scratches. Also, a cold pack would be a good item to add to your kit to help prevent swelling. A couple of cold packs would have helped my horse after he slipped in the trailer and banged his knee. The whole lower half of his leg swelled up 😔

    1. Good ideas Amy. I can see how baby wipes and cold packs would be useful. The cold packs would be especially nice if you have a horse prone to injuring themselves and baby wipes are great for cleaning the horse and the tack in a pinch. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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