Ready For Any­thing

Practical Horseman - - Inside Your Ride -

Prepa­ra­tion will give your horse an edge in any emer­gency. Here are six ways you can be ready: 1. Know your horse. “Know what’s nor­mal in terms of his per­son­al­ity and be­hav­ior so you can rec­og­nize if he is dis­tressed or in pain,” Dr. Mudge says. “Know his nor­mal vi­tal signs and how to take them.” 2. Keep your ve­teri­nar­ian’s of­fice and af­ter­hours num­bers on your phone and posted in the barn. 3. Know which friends and neigh­bors you can turn to for help and keep their num­bers handy, too. 4. Have a first-aid kit in the barn and an­other in your trailer. It can be sim­ple—ster­ile gauze pads, clean ban­dages and wraps, ad­he­sive wrap or tape, sharp scis­sors, an equine ther­mome­ter, maybe an in­ex­pen­sive stetho­scope—or more elab­o­rate. 5. Make a game plan for re­fer­ral to a hos­pi­tal. “Know where you’ll go and how you’ll ship the horse there,” ad­vises Dr. Mudge. “Time counts—if it takes four hours to ar­range trans­porta­tion to a clinic, your horse could ar­rive sicker and stand less chance of re­cov­ery.” 6. Know what you can spend. “De­ci­sions can be col­ored by emo­tions in an emer­gency and costs for hos­pi­tal care can add up quickly,” Dr. Mudge notes. “If you know in ad­vance how much money you are will­ing to spend, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.”

Hav­ing a well-stocked, easyto-ac­cess emer­gency firstaid kit handy will help you feel more pre­pared in any sit­u­a­tion. Make sure to have your vet’s num­ber posted in the barn as well.

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