Do you have a first aid kit? Everyone should have a mini first aid kit at the barn. I keep mine in a little box with a handle and it goes to shows as part of my travel kit as well! It contains the usual stuff you need when the usual stuff happens – like cuts, mud fever and hoof abscesses.  So what do you need, here is a list of some of the essentials to always have in your kit.

1. Cleanser – alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or betadine scrub.  For cleaning anything that needs to be cleaned.

2. Diapers – the best absorbent padding around for almost every need!  Staunching blood flow, packing wounds and packing feet.

3. Vet wrap or other elastic self adhesive wrap.  When you need it, you need alot of it so keep few in your kit

4. Duct tape – because you always need duct tape for something!

5. Plastic bags – a few extras just in case you cant find one when you need one.

6. Ointments – antibacterial and anti-fungal

7. Scissors – always come in handy!

8. Epsom salts – easily found at a corner drug store

Other optional items I like to have as well are: mineral oil/glycerine, rubber gloves, zinc cream (diaper rash cream is good for many things), syringes (not needles just in case you need to clean out hard to reach places), people bandaids and pens. Check it out here.

One of the top things you will need to do with your kit is addressing hoof abscesses. Everyone typically has their own way of wrapping a hoof, but the basics you need are: epsom salts, which you’ll mix in water for soaking the hoof (if you horse lets you),  and for wrapping you need equal parts epsom salts and glycerine/mineral oil to make a paste; padding (usually a diaper), vet wrap and duct tape.

wrapped hoofHave everything out and ready for your wrap so you can easily grab it as you are putting the wrap together while holding the foot up.

Put the paste in the hoof, padding on top to hold it on the sole to allow the abscess to be drawn out, then generously wrap with vet wrap.

Cover the vet wrap with duct tape. Try not to cover the coronet band and bulbs of the heel, but if you do I like to cut a small slit in between the two bulbs to allow the wrap to move/expand with the foot. It is likely to fall off within 24 hours so for now you are hoping to keep the epsom salt paste on the sole for as long as possible to help draw out the abscess.

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