Equi-Health Canada provided the Canadian Horse Annual with a comprehensive first aid kit that includes everything you could ever need for any kind of barn emergency. When assembling your own kit, make sure you include the essential items (red numbers) then purchase as many of the others as your budget and storage space allows.

1. aluminum pan – a clean space for wound cream, bandages etc.

2. gauze pads – at least 3×3, as when it comes to horses, bigger is better!

3. cotton roll – an absorbent bandage layer on smaller wounds

4. gauze roll – such as Kling, used as an absorbent bandage layer

5. thick sanitary pads – super absorbent, good for applying direct pressure to a bleeding wound

6. tampons – insert into puncture wounds

7. diapers – an alternative bandage layer or temporary boot

8. self-adhesive bandages – such as Vetrap™, to secure and protect dressings, hold bandages in place

9. duct tape – useful in any emergency; especially good for hoof wraps, as it’s water-resistant, moldable and fairly durable

10. razors – shave hair from around wounds

11. cotton swabs – clean small or delicate wounds

12. 60cc syringe – flush wounds; administer oral fluids

13. peroxide – its bubbling action is good for cleaning dirt out of fresh wounds and for dealing with thrush; don’t use it routinely on a healing wound as it will inhibit the healing process

14. iodine – or an antiseptic scrub such as Betadine® (povidone-iodine, or “tamed” iodine) or Nolvasan (chlorhexidine)

15. Blood Stop – helps stop serious bleeding wounds

16. aloe wound gel – great for healing wounds naturally, as it has minerals, vitamins, amino acids and very strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties

17. antiseptic wound cream – like Hibitane® cream or Furacin® ointment

18. spray bottle – fill with soap and water and use to clean delicate wounds

19. scrub brush – with fairly soft bristles to scrub larger wounds

20. wash cloth – clean and scrub wounds or use to dry your hands

21. Cool Cast Emollient Leg Bandage – apply to help alleviate swelling

22. plastic wrap – sterile and non-toxic, use as a single layer wound dressing to prevent wound contamination, fluid losses and pain from swelling

23. tube socks – cut out toes and cover bandages for protection, spray with fly spray to keep insects away

24. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) – mix with warm water to soak an abscessed foot or use in a poultice

25. stethoscope – inexpensive ones can be purchased through medical supply stores or pharmacies for under $30

26. weight tape/tape measure – use to calculate weight of horse for medication doses

27. rectal veterinary thermometer – or the plastic digital kind, which is safer around the barn and gives faster readings

28. alcohol swabs – good for cleaning small wounds or creating a cleaner site for injections

29. bulldog clip – use to hold a veterinary thermometer to tail for three-minute temp

30. notepad/pencils – write down vitals, important phone numbers

31. lipstick – mark sore spots upon investigation of pain

32. Mineral Ice® – alleviates heat and muscle pain

33. hot/cold pack – alleviates heat and muscle pain; useful when cold hosing an injury isn’t possible

34. rubbing alcohol – for sterilizing instruments; can alleviate pain and itch of stings or bites and soothe sore joints and muscles

35. hand sanitizer – good for when a hose isn’t handy to ensure you’re not spreading germs

36. latex gloves – keep your hands clean and free from germs and other gross messes

37. face masks – minimize exposure to odours from necrotic tissue, for example, or to protect yourself from spray from wounds/blood/pus

38. wet wipes – use to pre-clean wounds if really dirty; clean your hands

39. antiseptic mouthwash – can be used for bug relief, on scratches and thrush as well as rain rot and bot eggs

40. pair of safety scissors – with rounded ends so you don’t accidentally cut into your horse if you’re snipping off a bandage

41. hoof pick – you can never have too many

42. flashlight/head lamp – to help you see wounds in a gloomy stall or dark field at midnight

43. rope – use as lead if you don’t have one

44. garbage bags – cover large wounds; clean up

45. treats – entice, calm, distract, reward

Also useful, but not shown (available at any drug store):

• lubricating jelly, like Vaseline® – for the thermometer and for protecting the tender skin of your horse’s heels from chapping if you have to cold-hose a leg injury for several days

• medical adhesive tape – for securing certain bandages

• bottle of saline solution – useful for cleaning out wounds in delicate places like around the eyes. A bottle of contact lens saline solution with a squirt nozzle is perfect.

• forceps or tweezers – for removing splinters, ticks, or other nasties