Horse owners always cringe and twitch when they hear two things: “vet bills” and “emergency”. Unfortunately, both are not completely preventable, but there are methods and measures to take beforehand to avert these.
Emergencies are always a nightmare for horse owners, barn managers and stable hands. They pose many obstacles and can be a lot of work to rebuild and a full recovery for the horses, buildings and property.
Having an equine first aid kit and an emergency plan put in place before an emergency happens is one of the keys to an efficient and successful recovery.
A horse first aid kit should look very similar to a human’s. Think of the most common items you use around your barn for nicks and scratches as well as some more serious issues to stabilize conditions until the vet arrives.
Depending on the size of your barn and number of horses it houses, the container for the first aid kit could be a small backpack or large plastic tub(s) (however many you need).
What all should I include in my equine first aid kit?
An equine first aid kit should include, but is not limited to, the following:
There are many more items that can be added to this depending on your barn’s first aid protocol or what your vet recommends. Practicing with all of these items so you know how to efficiently and correctly utilize them on the day of the emergency is crucial!
Your vet will thank you!
In the event of a natural disaster or any other emergency that endangers the well-being of a horse, a separate kit may be assembled. Natural disasters can be heavily geographically based such as tornadoes (more common in the midwest), earthquakes (more common in the westernmost states) and hurricanes (most common in the southern coastal states).
Knowing the geography that surrounds your stable and land is crucial when planning a suitable retreat area in case of flooding, barn fire or dangerous intruder incident. Other emergencies such as a horse that is trapped in fencing, faulty fencing and/or stall doors etc. can also require some tools on hand.
Where do I begin with planning my emergency stable kit and protocol?
In the event of a natural disaster such as a fire, flooding, a horse stuck in a fence etc. a kit should include, but is not limited to, the following:
All of these should be easily accessible and the location should be known to all managers, employees and clients.
Things to consider to implement in your stable and riding areas:
Preventative measures to take to avoid disasters that could cause injuries or even death to horses or humans:
Being involved in an emergency can cause people to act illogically and quick. Make sure that you try to keep your cool as quick and brash decision making can result in even more dangerous situations. Practice runs of emergency protocol and making all employees and clients aware is crucial to keeping everyone and all horses safe as well as making a smooth road to recovery.
Prevention and prepare the keys to deal with disasters, no matter how big or little!
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