A road trip with your horse is essentially the same as traveling with a two year old, in that it takes a lot of prep work and supplies to pull off. Here is a comprehensive list, from Fauna Care Equine Silver Spray to ice packs to sterile gauze, of the emergency essentials for your tackle box.
Potential injury? No vet? No problem!
Unfortunately, the question of your horse getting an injury isn’t one of if, but when. And getting an injury on the road could mean that there isn’t a vet for miles. Carrying the appropriate wound care and infection preventing supplies makes all the difference between a wound healing in days and a winding side trip to find a vet.
For Cuts, Wounds and Abrasions
Fauna Care’s equine silver spray is perfect for any open wound--it’s silver-zinc combination kills bacteria and fungi and provides a layer of protection. It’s easy to apply, no-touch application keeps you from introducing infection with your hands, and the spray creates a long lasting moisture barrier that allows for continual healing in active situations, so your horse can keep moving, despite the injury.
Also pack a flashlight--not all injuries happen in broad daylight.
For Preventing Infection
Of course, while you’re treating your horse’s wounds, you want to do everything possible to minimize the chance of infection. A pair of surgical gloves for you, rubbing alcohol to disinfect scissors and thermometers and roll-on fly repellent will all help to keep your horse infection free.
For Wrapping a Wound
And finally, the wrapping of the wound. Sterile gauze should first be used to clean and cover minor cuts and wounds. Then protect wounds, support muscles and hold ice packs with self-adhesive bandages and horse leg wraps, such as Co-Flex self adhesive bandages. Sheet or roll cotton can also help to apply pressure bandages and offer support to injured muscles or bones. Carry a pair of blunt-tipped scissors to safely remove bandages and wraps, and remember to keep up on the cleaning and dressing of your horse’s wound.
Keeping these supplies handy will ensure a speedy wound recovery for your equine friend! They’ll be better in no time!
For the Odd Splinter, Swelling or the Classic ‘Stuck in the Fence’
You never know what your horse could be getting into. Again, it’s just like having a two year old. A complete emergency kit is well equipped to handle any of these odd, but all too common situations.
You’ll want to carry a thermometer to check your horse’s temperature, especially if you are traveling in hot weather. Consider placing an inexpensive thermometer out of your horse’s reach in the trailer as well to monitor the trailer. Bring a hose to hook up to a faucet along the road and spray a cool mist in the trailer if it does get to be too hot. This way your horse will not get overheated and overtired.
A hemostat is used to remove splinters, burrs and thistles from your horse’s skin. A hoof pick is used to remove splinters and foreign objects from hooves and shoes. Both are essential in your horse’s first aid kit.
Prevent and reduce swelling with Ice Cells.
PVC pipes cut 6" diameter piping in half lengthwise and then into 1-1/2 to 2 foot sections can be used as an emergency splint when you’re in a jam.
And definitely bring along a pair of wire cutters, for the (hopefully rare) times your horse gets caught in a fence.
When You’re Performing First Aid
So I think I’ve made it clear here that your horse is sort of like your kid. And when kids get hurt, their parents often turn into a mess. The same can happen with horse owners. But when you find you need to use your emergency kit, remember to:
Nobody can be helpful when they’re in panic mode. Take a few minutes to breathe if you find you’re freaking out, and you’ll be much more able to take care of your horse.
Call for Help
Two heads are better than one. And two sets of hands are better than one. That extra set of hands will help to get the job done faster and safer.
If you get hurt helping your horse, how are you going to be able to help your horse? If the situation is too dangerous or the wounds too severe for you to treat, be sure to call in a veterinarian or get your horse to one, no matter how far away they may be.
Wash Your Hands
It will reduce the chance of contaminating the wound if you wash your hands first and then put gloves on.
And of Course, the Paperwork
It seems like in any situation anymore, you’ve got to have paperwork. Traveling with a horse is no exception. Be sure to carry your horse’s proof of vaccinations and health certificate. Check the health requirements of each state you’ll be traveling through to be sure your horse meets those requirements. Also check for any outbreaks where you will be traveling through that may necessitate any extra immunizations or that would cause your horse to be quarantined upon return. In many Western states, a brand inspection is required; if you are traveling along that way, it is a good idea to carry this with you.
Also keep a list of places where you can stable your horse overnight, if you are traveling long distances. There are people willing to put up a horse for a night as well as horse friendly bed-and-breakfasts at http://www.horsemotel.com/. And here is a list of 25 Cozy Bed and Barns.
Traveling with a horse can be stressful, and the hours on the road can be harsh for your horse. But in the event of an injury, you can now be fully prepared to care for your horse by carrying all the essentials. From silver spray to bandages to the proper paperwork, you’ll have everything you need to hit the road with your horse!