Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit available at all times, whether at home or at a show, is vital if you are to administer emergency first aid successfully.

The contents of your kit can be simple or elaborate, but the following are worth having:

  • List of key phone numbers, eg vet, doctor, insurers
  • Pen and paper
  • Torch, ideally a small pen torch and a larger torch (plus spare batteries)
  • Thermometer
  • Curved, stainless steel scissors
  • Small pair of tweezers or forceps
  • Clean bucket or big bowl
  • Antiseptic wound cleaner eg povidone-iodine (pevidine) or chlorhexidine (Hibiscrub)
  • Surgical spirit
  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  • Wound gel (Dermagel, Intrasite gel, Nugel, Vetalintex)
  • A range of dressings including cotton wool and Gamgee
  • Ready-to-use poultice (Animalintex)
  • Non-stick sterile dressing squares to go over wounds (Melonin)
  • Cotton stretch bandages (K band)
  • Adhesive bandages (Elastoplast)
  • Self-adhesive bandages (Vetrap)
  • Zinc oxide tape or electric insulating tape
  • Exercise bandages
  • Stable bandages

Useful extras

  • shoe-removing kit
  • Pliers and wire cutters
  • Spare hoofpick
  • Salt
  • Sterile bag of saline to flush wounds
  • Moist baby wipes to clean wounds
  • Sterile antiseptic-impregnated nail brushes to clean wounds (E-Zscrub)
  • Proprietary ice wrap or cooling bandage
  • Clean, old towels
  • Bailer twine and some rope
  • Medications: to be discussed with your vet and prescribed as necessary
  • Bandages: there are many modern bandaging materials available, ask your vet to advise on the best options for your individual situation.