About Equine First Aid Kits
- The container to act as a kit can be a tack box, bucket, plastic tote box, small suitcase or gym bag. Basically, any portable container will do. Many horse owners make separate home and away kits. The home first aid kit is generally larger and stays in the barn; the away kit stays in the car or trailer. Be sure to check these kits every couple of months and replace any perishables, even if they are never opened.
- Every equine first aid kit should be stocked with a variety of sterile bandages, including cotton padding. Human bandages or any bandages with adhesive should not be used; they will fall off quickly. Bandage material can be made from clean cotton blankets or clothes cut into 1- or 2-inch-wide strips. Safety pins, bandage tape and self-adhesive leg wraps should also be packed in order to keep the bandage in place. Disposable diapers also make excellent emergency bandages.
- You'll need a few wound-cleaning materials such as a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic ointment, antibacterial soap, saline or an iodine solution. Human Neosporin and petroleum jelly also work on horses. Be sure to change these materials every few months to check the sell-by date on the materials.
Tools and Utensils
- A rectal thermometer is recommended for a horse first aid kit, so long as you're willing to learn to take your horse's temperature. Of vital importance are scissors, hoof picks, tweezers and chemical ice packs. These can be used in a variety of ways, from removing ticks or bee stings to soothing a sprain. Some people also like to include a small flashlight in their horse's first aid kits.
- In any and every equine first aid kit, you should include the phone number and office hours of your regular vet and an emergency vet. With an injured and panicked horse, you will not have time to look up the phone number and may forget the number. For traveling first aid kits, a record of the horse's inoculations and wormings is helpful. When traveling, a list of vets in the destination area will help immensely.