When Duct Tape Isn’t Enough…

Karlie Mitchell outlines a list of useful stuff to have on hand at the barn in the event of an emergency. PLUS! 13 totally inappropriate uses of duct tape. Just because.

From Karlie:

“So before my horse cut itself it warned me the day before to be ready and have all my supplies in stock at the barn,” said no horse person ever. Not only do horses have accidents or sometimes cause disasters, but they generally tend to do so at the most inconvenient times. Here are some tips to make life easier when mayhem strikes.

Equine first aid it. Put together or purchase an equine first aid kit. It can really help while wse’s regular vitals recorded to give you a baseline. I like to keep a record for each individual horse as some horses may have a higher-than-average baseline temperature or a tad faster or slower heart rate.


Human first aid kit. I am assuming I can’t be the only person who’s accidentally rasped their hand with a hoof rasp or injured themselves at the barn.


Hoof rasp. Have a farrier show you how to relieve a crack in an emergency. This can keep a crack or chip from spreading until the farrier arrives. You can also remove sharp points that could cut the horse or a pasture mate. With a few basic farrier tools, you can also pull off a shoe that’s just hanging on by a thread.


Emergency contacts. Have your veterinarian, farrier, emergency phone #s, etc. all posted in the barn along with the address.


Fence repair supplies. Horses are great at breaking fences. Keep a hammer, nails, a spool of electric tape, spare boards or whatever your fence may require in the event that it needs fixing.


Fire extinguisher. Just to be safe.


A white board. If you are not the only one in your barn this can make communication a bit easier. If you are trail riding alone, it’s a good idea to leave a note letting someone know where you are riding and when roughly to expect you back.


A supply of basic medication. Wound creams, disinfectants, anti-inflammatory, etc.


Blankets. Even if you do not blanket your horse for winter if your horse ever has to be sedated for a treatment or emergency, they will probably sweat coming out of sedation. A blanket can keep them from getting sick from sweating in cold temperatures.


Flashlight. Ever had the power go out in the barn with horses in it? I have. Ever lost something in the dark? I have. In case you have not I’ll fill you in… it sucks.


Grain and a bucket. When a horse gets loose this will help. “FREEDOM!! RUN!” will change into “OATS!!!”


A hammer. Nails get loose and can become dangerous for horses and people to get snagged on. Also if you are lucky enough to live where it gets cold and snowy a hammer can help knock those stubborn balls of snow out of the feet that are too tough for the hoof pick.


Vaseline. Need to take your horse’s temperature? Trust me, it helps things go a bit smoother… literally. Also, those ice balls I mentioned above? It can deter them from forming when applied to the bottom of the hooves.



Duct tape.


OK, OK, we’re going to end things with one APPROPRIATE use of duct tape. Reader Karen Caffrey sent us this photo with the note, “I was 10 minutes into a lesson when things got a little drafty in the saddle: my breeches had split down the back, from waistband to crotch! My riding instructor provided the duct tape, I provided the hilarity, and the lesson continued. The tape held up through a jump course, but I always try to carry an extra pair of tights in my car now!”

Go Riding.

About Karlie: I am from Alberta, Canada and live on a farm with my equine crew (a Paint, QHx Arab, and two OTTBs). I mainly do English and jumping, but also enjoy western and trail riding. I love riding, training, learning about Equine Science related topics, and having a great time with my horses.



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