With any emergency, time is of the essence. Much like the importance of having the correct gear on hand for competition season, having the necessary items in your first aid kit for both you and your horse is essential. While the kit itself doesn’t have to hold every single item you could ever need, having the basics on hand will help you treat your horse–or yourself–until the proper care can be administered.

In order to understand what needs to be included on this list of first aid essentials, a few factors must be considered. As emergencies can happen anywhere, your first aid kit must be easily portable. Obvious as it might be, make sure your kit has a handle so it can be easily carried in a hurry. The opening and closing mechanisms should be secure, but easy to use. Next, think about choosing a kit that has organizational features, whether it be dividers you can move around or trays that can be stacked. You want your kit to remain organized with each item having its own designated spot, as this will cut down on the time spent locating the contents.

When it comes to the actual items within the first aid kit, stick with the basics as you’re simply treating your horse (or yourself) until additional care can be provided. Medical personnel are the best ones to assess a situation and are better equipped to offer additional care.

Items such as dressings, gels, and bandages should make up the bulk of your kit. Wound care is a common practice that comes along with treating horses and having these items easily accessible is important. Additionally, don’t forget to include scissors, cleansing wipes, and even tape to ensure your kit is complete.

As for the rider, having items to treat minor wounds is just as important. There should be plenty of finger plasters and graze plasters as these items will protect the skin from abrasion. Dressing pads, cleansing wipes, and even insect repellent wipes should be considered when building a first aid kit.

With rigorous schedules leading up to competition season, it’s common to run into minor injuries for both yourself and your horse. So, it’s important to have all the necessary items in one place, organized, and at your fingertips. An excellent reference for the essentials of a first aid kit can be seen in our Robinson First Aid Essentials Kit Bag.