Ready For Anything
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.