What would you do if you saw one of your horses “off,” rolling on the ground, or bleeding?
You know not to panic because if you panic your horse, being a herd animal, will probably join you. You remind yourself to calm down. breathe, and pray. Are you overreacting? Is this serious? Where is the vet’s number? Do you need to call someone else to help you either physically or emotionally? Where is their number?
You start by haltering your horse. Can you or someone else find a halter and lead easily? Can you catch your horse if he is worried?
Next you check his vitals if it is not immediately obvious that he needs to see a vet now. If he needs a vet immediately you call the vet then check his vitals. Do you know how to check your horse’s vitals and do you know what is normal for your horse? Is that information posted so someone else could find it? Could you find it?
I created the Equine Emergency Information sheet after one of my girls called me with a sick horse and she didn’t know what to do. I suggest you print it out and post it somewhere you will see it.
Even simple things like a lost shoe or worse, unexplained lameness, can throw you off your game. Colic and major injury to your horse can make even simple tasks difficult. A booklet that describes how to take vitals will not do you much good if it is in your desk and you have to search for it. Having a simple plan and everything very easy to find can mean the difference between a stressed out horse owner and a horseman who is able to be there for their horse when their horse needs them most.
- Vet’s number
- Friend’s number
- Farrier’s number
- Halter and lead easily accessible, but not hanging on the gate for safety reasons
- Practice catching and coming when called
- Know how to check vitals and the normal ranges
- Post the vital information so you and others can see it
- Stethoscopes are cheap and worth it for the peace of mind. Hang it next to your vital sign list
- Talk to your vet about what other emergency supplies you should have on hand.