My Dad used to say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure..” obviously an old saying from his own parents and grandparents. In other words, it’s wise to anticipate issues that may cost you time and money and effort in the long run.
Let’s talk about how to prepare for scenarios that may someday affect you and your horse or donkey or mule – a minor injury and a serious injury requiring vet attention.
Tack Room Basics
I’ve had good barns and not-so-good barns where I’ve had to keep my essentials in a less than organized tack box. We recently remodeled a dedicated barn space. It’s horse secure and organized in such a way that if one of our horses or donkeys or mules has a problem needing immediate attention – we don’t have to race (and I do mean race) to town for supplies.
Looking for an expensive storage cabinet? Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist may be a place to start. It needs to be big enough to hold basic supplies such as eyewash (contact lens solutions work great), salves, peroxide, and pain relievers such as bute (to be used carefully as it can cause stomach issues and mask some more serious problems by relieving pain.) Ours is a locking cabinet and that option may be something to think about if storing vet prescribed pharmaceuticals or if others may be sharing your barn areas.
If an injury involves blood or other wounds requiring that they be covered – sanitary pads and baby diapers (unfolded) and vet wrap is available in the cabinet. The sanitary pads and baby diapers are clean and absorbent and can be disposed of as soiled. Be cautious not to wrap the vet wrap too tight for blood needs to circulate but many a secondary issue can arise if the vet wrap becomes loose as it can become an unwanted tourniquet of sorts around a hock.
We have two whiteboards posted in clear view within the entrance of the barn. Names of our equine’s birth dates, breeding, and foaling date information, etc. Most importantly are Emergency Contacts – the names of our vet and trainer and a trusted neighbor with their phone numbers. If something would happen to us – our neighbors would know who to contact.
Please take some time and prepare for the unexpected. It’s my hope that you will never need to use any of these supplies!