Safety for the horse is something a lot of equine enthusiasts seem to leave on the back burner. However, if you were to be stranded in the middle of the woods, packing an elk off a cold mountain near dusk or even in an arena and your four legged friend that you are relying upon for transportation and he needed help, would you be prepared? Do you have the knowledge and carry the proper first aid for him/her?
After 30 years of riding horses, training and riding all over in numerous obstacles you will always learn something new. You always find yourself somewhat unprepared. I hope to put a bug in your ear so you think about this next time you mount your trusty steed.
You can go online and buy numerous different first aid kits for trail riding. Just be sure that anything you purchase you know what each item does, or your horse will be carrying extra weight that is useless to both of you in an emergency situation. If you chose to make up your own, which is perfectly fine, start with doing some research, getting ideas or I have created a "starter" list for you. Please remember these are just suggestions of mine.
- Diapers or feminine pad. (GREAT for blood absorption due to minor cuts on both human and horse.)
- Bute (a product that acts like an anti-inflammatory for horses.)
- Stethoscope. Again useful for both horse and human. BUT, it is pretty important to know your horse's resting and working heart rate to make this useful in an accident situation.
- Banamine. This is used for a muscle relaxer for colic. Consult with your Vet before using this product at liberty.
- Duct Tape. Do I need to explain the 1,000,000 uses for this product?! :)
- Gauze or Vet Rap. All of which can be used on both human and horse.
- Scissors or an multi-use tool.
- Ice Pack. The ones you hit against something to activate. No, carrying a bag of ice in your saddle bag is not the same.
The above list is just a starter list. I carry leather pieces in case a bridle breaks, tying jackets to the back of a saddle or even for a spare hair tie! I always have a few granola bars or apples in my saddle bags. Those are items both you and your horse can enjoy. Compass, folding saw, TP and of course don't forget your camera!
Happy trails and make your adventure a safe one for both you and your horse!