About This Page:
We hope you enjoy the articles below and that you find them helpful. They all come from years of hard won personal experience & lessons learned. Please keep one thing in mind, when you own a horse, you also own a great responsibility to that creature. Our horses rely on us to keep them safe and healthy and when we are unable to do that, they trust that we will do whatever it takes to take their pain away and "Fix" them. They put a great deal of trust in us and we need to be worthy of that trust. When in doubt, CALL A VET! Preferably a vet that you have a solid working relationship with and you know to be reliable and knowledgeable. Please don't "Wait & See", don't wait for an issue to get so sever that a vet will have little chance of reversing the damage done. In the long run, you will save money by catching an issue quickly and treating it before it escalates. Our horses cannot speak our language, they cannot point to the exact spot that hurts, they cannot beg us with words to please take the pain away. They can only show us through their actions and we must always be willing to "listen" when they try to tell us something is wrong. A sudden loss of appetite, laying down in a place they normally don't lay down or staying down longer than normal, detaching themselves from the herd, kicking or biting at their belly, grinding their teeth, even some behavioral issues such as kicking, bucking & rearing, can all be not so subtle signs of distress in an otherwise normally gentle horse. Know what your horse's "normal" is and always pay close attention when they deviate from that. Horses are creatures of habit and when those habits change for no apparent reason, it's time to take a closer look. The responsibility that is placed on us when a living, breathing, precious, animal puts their well-being in our hands is huge but it's part of sharing our lives with the creatures that have so thoroughly stolen our hearts and so freely given us theirs.
Safety on the Go...
The Boy Scouts hit the nail on the head with their motto “Be Prepared”. In an emergency, having a well-stocked first aid kit readily available can make a huge difference when your horse is hurting. When you are at home it’s fairly easy to have many first aid supplies within easy reach, even when somethings are hanging out in your tack room while others are hiding in your laundry room and that pesky thermometer that is forever disappearing can quickly be replaced by the one currently living in the medicine cabinet in your own bathroom (Shhhhh..... Just don’t tell your significant other this). When you are on the road you can lose the luxury of having everything you need within easy reach making it imperative to “Be Prepared”. It doesn’t matter if you are on your way to a schooling show down the road, a trail ride with your friend in the next town over or a 5 day trip across the country to a National Breed Show, it’s vitally important to have a well-equipped first aid kit making that trip with you. The items listed below should help you handle most common problems you may run across while traveling as well as help you to cope with more serious issues until you are able to locate a veterinarian near you. Keep this list handy and when you and your horses are heading out on your next big adventure you can rest easier knowing that you have what you need to keep them happy and healthy .
*Tongue depressors can be used to apply topical medication without contaminating the wound or the medication.
**Diapers work great for packing hooves and they are very absorbent and can also be used to staunch the blood flow from a seeping wound.
*** Use to soothe and protect sunburned noses
****Rubber tubing can be inserted into the horse's nostril and secured, to keep the horse's airway open in the event of snakebite, excessive bee stings, or other bites that cause severe swelling of the face.
Tips to remember:
Temperature- A horse's normal body temperature is 99 - 101 F.
Pulse- The normal pulse rate is 30 to 40 beats per minute.
Young horses tend to be a little faster
Respiration-The normal rate for horses is between 8-12 breaths per minute.
Capillary refill time (time it takes for color to return to gum tissue adjacent to teeth after pressing and releasing with your thumb): 2 seconds.