Due to their nature, horses of all ages and breeds are very prone to injuring themselves. Almost every horse will have at least one, if not several wounds throughout their life time, so as a horse owner it is important to know some basic first aid.


  • First step is Don’t Panic! – Be as calm as you can when catching your horse and try to calm them so they don’t cause any further injury to
  • If your horse is able to walk then take them to a dry and clean stall or a quite area on the yard. If you feel your horse is too sore to walk far then keep them where they are. A feed bucket is always a nice way to distract your horse from the pain of its wound and is often an easy way to relax them.
  • Get an extra pair of hands to help hold your horse before your try to assess the wound or apply first aid. Wounds are often painful and your horse might be quite anxious – the last thing you need is for them to accidentally hurt you whilst you are looking at their wound.
  • If the wound is still bleeding, apply even and direct pressure to the area using a sterile absorbent bandage, such as gauze swabs (avoid cotton wool). If the bandage soaks with blood simply place fresh material on top. By doing this you can avoid disturbing newly formed blood clots when the soaked material is peeled away.
  • Once bleeding has been controlled, try to assess the location, depth and severity of the wound and call your veterinarian. It is important to remember that wounds can be very deceptive in appearance. Some large wounds that appear horrific initially can heal extremely well where as other seemingly minor wounds can result in severe career-ending infections if they are not dealt with quickly and appropriately.
  • Gentle cold hosing the wound is a useful measure to initiate. Cold can help reduce swelling, stop minor bleeding and clean the wound of contaminated material. One must try however to avoid further imbedding contaminates deeper into the wound by using a stream of water too powerful.
  • You should remember to avoid giving your horse any painkillers before your veterinarian arrives as they can mask the severity of the wound. Also avoid placing any topical treatments onto the wounds without consulting your veterinarian first.


Horse first-aid box

All good tack rooms should have some sort of a first-aid or bandage box. The following is our recommendation for what you should have inside.

  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Sterile Gauze swabs
  • Various sizes of Melonin®
  • Cotton Wool rolls
  • Gamgee®
  • Vetrap®
  • Elastoplast®
  • Scissors
  • Digital thermometer

As you can see, this is quite a simple list but it will allow you to look after most types of wound. All of the components of this first aid box can be purchased from us (we have kits available for purchase), your local pharmacy or tack shop.



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