Horse First Aid – What’s In My Bucket?


I am in no way a vet, but I do have some experience with accident prone horses. I have created a small bucket that I keep with my tack that is filled with items that I have needed or used during dealing with an injured horse. These items have helped me when doing any sort of horse first aid. Here is what I have ready to use just in case;

  • My Vets number

This to me is the most important thing to have handy and available to grab when there is an emergency. Vets truly are the only people fully capable in doing emergency horse first aid and should be contacted in an emergency.  I have my vet’s business card, which has her office number, her email and her emergency pager numbers taped inside my bucket so I can always find it. Now a days my vet is always out on call or busy, which usually means there’s a bit of waiting time before she can get to me when there’s an emergency. My vet is really helpful over the phone and having some of these items below really made it helpful for both of us while she coaches me what to do while I wait with an injured horse. Whether is a small injury or an emergency I always consult with my vet in what she thinks would be best to treat the horse.

  • Vet wraps

Something so cheap and affordable is one of my most used items. Vet wrap has so many uses when you have an injured horse and it’s very user friendly.  I keep a collection of at least three rolls in my bucket. You can make using this fun by purchasing many bright colors or patterns.

  • Gloves

These come in handy when you have to deal with any sort of blood or medicated creams and ointments. I have a box of them that I bought from a dollar store and have had to use them on several occasions.

  • Scissors

These are self-explanatory but another tool that I keep close by because you never know.

  • Paper and a pen

When an emergency is taking place I tend to get very flustered and nervous, having a pen and paper has helped me keep track of everything I notice and see change before the vet arrives. With everything written down I know I can update my vet in an orderly fashion and it’s been a huge help for her as well.

  • Duct tape

Us horse people seem to find so many uses for duct tape around the barn, so why not have some handy when there is an emergency. I have used this for taping up a hoof that had abscessed, taping a bandage closed for a horse that has been chewy on it, and I have also used it to tape close holes on a blanket for my horse that got the chills.

  • Electrical tape

Similar to duct tape but thinner and easier to use for small things. I find this comes in handy if I need to tape a polo wrap on to secure it better. It never hurts to be extra prepared.

  • Medicated/antibacterial soap

You can buy many types of this product from most local tack stores. Good to have on hand if you need to wash out a cut, wash and treat mud fever or even just deal with skin irritations.

  • Towel and a sponge

These are easy to keep on hand and have many uses I’m sure you could all list some. I always make sure I have some clean ones handy at all times.

  • Ointment (heal fast from herbal horse, Vaseline, zinc baby cream)

Important for when dealing with open wound, cuts, scrapes and if your horse has the runs and needs some relief for their skin during that. I have all three and use them quite often and they are great for sharing with your horse friends that may not have anything on hand.

  • Iodine solution which I use a lot

You can find this solution at any tack store and it’s great to use for antibacterial and killing germs. I bought some a few months back to help treat some mud fever and it has now found many uses at my barn. Never hurts to have this handy for your horses.

  • 2 old polo wraps for wrapping if needed

You can use any polo wraps that you have but I like to have a pair of older ones that I wouldn’t mind getting covered in blood and ointments. These are good to help wrap up any leg injury while you wait for the vet to arrive.

  • Bute powder

This must be vet prescribed, most vets will give you it when you ask. I have some and use it when I see my horse is sore, has swelling or has an injury that’s causing a lot of pain. I would 100% recommend you to call your vet before you start feeding it just to ensure you aren’t just masking a bigger problem that you may not of noticed.

  • Banamine only to use when the vet gives the a.o.k over the phone

This is a very heavy pain killer that is either given through an injection to the neck or feed orally. I use this only if my vet has told me to over the phone and in a worst case scenario. Never use this without a vets go ahead because it is a very strong medication. I was given some when my horse went through 7 days of colic and was really suffering. Now I have an emergency dose on hand in case it’s needed.

As you can see I have a rather large bucket full of items, you don’t need all of these but I have found over time that they all play a pretty big part in treating many horse emergencies. I have slowly accumulated these over time as I have found needs for them, at my barn I get a few giggles when I pull out my bucket to help a friend’s horse because of the amount of handy things have available. Yes you can say I’m a little over cautions but when it comes to my horses life it’s all or nothing. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Leave a comment below with what items you have in your bucket that would be good for me to add to mine.