So today I thought we would have a chat about First Aid kits. Most people seem to have the same first aid ‘staple’ items and then after that, their contents can be so vastly different. With Hamish being my first horse, perhaps it is just me, but I have ended up with a first aid kit which contains things based on ‘first aid’ experiences I have had to date (which luckily is very few). I think people often stock up on things they know they’ve needed in the past, which makes total sense.
I thought it might be interesting (and maybe even useful, I hope) for me to share my first aid kit essentials with you. If your starting out with your own horse or just needing a bit of a stock up, I hope some of these bits might be useful for you – I am by no means an expert but these things have worked wonders for me (well, more for Hamish actually but you know what I mean).
Vet wrap. The obvious place to start. I think we all have this in our first aid kits and just generally dotted around the yard. It is so useful and probably something everyone has in their kits and if you don’t, I’d highly recommend grabbing a couple of rolls when your next at the tack shop.
Derma Gel / Spray. I swear by this stuff, its magic! I have used the gel and the spray and I have to say I like them equally. I preferred the spray for when they’re our in the field, as it was less ‘sticky’ but they both work well and help heal up any little cuts and grazes really quickly.
Thermometer. This is actually quite a new addition to my first aid kit and I have to thank Katie for the recommendation. When Hamish was a bit under the weather, I hadn’t thought to check his temperature – I know, that sounds ridiculous but it just wasn’t my first thought. So, I went to boots and brought myself a thermometer to keep in my first aid kit. Its also a good idea to check their temperature at the same time for a few days running, to check their ‘normal’ temp – then you know whats usual and whats not. I believe the regular temperature for a horse is between 37.2 & 38.3 (please don’t take my absolute word for that).
Manuka Honey. A few years ago now Hamish got a nasty laceration at the back of his pastern, he came in from the field like it and it was quite a slice! Anyway long story short, our vets actually recommended manuka honey and it was fab stuff. Firstly its natural which is always a bonus and it also helps to heal up the cut really quickly. It would need to be used under a dressing I would think, as it is quite sticky and could probably attract dirt and dust if not covered. But I always keep some in my first aid kit.
Duct Tape – Useful for anything and everything. I always have some stocked up in my first aid kit and also what I call my DIY draw.
Cotton Wool Rolls – This was anther item I went through rolls and rolls of when Hamish hurt his leg a few years ago, hence why I have so much left over. He had to have whats called a Robert Jones Bandage, and this is made up of layers of cotton wool to prevent movement and aid healing – sort of similar to a cast. But cotton wool is also just handy for cleaning wounds and stuff too. I also keep cotton wool buds which I sometimes use to put on creams and gels, to try and keep it clean (rather than rubbing it in with my potentially dirty hands).
Poultice Dressing – something we probably all have. It is always handy to keep a roll, just in case you ever need it.
Iodine Spray / Wash – it works as an anti-septic solution, you can buy it ready diluted or some you have to dilute with water. Its handy to have on hand for any cuts and scrapes.
Purple Spray – Now my knowledge here is pretty limited but I think this is similar to the iodine in that it is an anti-bacterial spray for minor cuts and grazes. The one I have also has Aloe in to help the healing process, not sure if all purple sprays do but I like the idea of it nonetheless!
Syringe – Always handy to have a spare syringe in case you have to give any medication, pain killers etc. in syringe form. Mines not been used often but I have kept if for emergencies.
Scissors – It is possibly the most annoying thing to be stuck without scissors in a first aid situation, I keep a pair in my first aid kit always!
Vital Signs – Now, if you have a great memory perhaps this isn’t so important, but I know I don’t. It is well worth making a note of your horses vital signs: Temperature, Respiration, Heart Rate. If you check these things when they are fit and well (at rest), then you have something to go by if they seem a little poorly. Keep them in a card in your first aid kit and perhaps save them into your phone too.
So, that covers my basic / essential items. Do you have any of these things in your first aid kit too? Or do you have any other lotions and potions that you swear by? I would love to know – I am sure we would all welcome any first aid tips and tricks.
Thanks for checking in and I hope you have a wonderful week. As this post goes live I will be in beautiful Cornwall, enjoying a long weekend break in a quaint little Air BnB Cottage. I’m sure you’ll see some photos over on my Instagram.