Prior to setting out on the trail you or someone in the group should have first aid knowledge. A first aid kit for the rider and horse is a good idea when trail riding. Remember to keep a cell phone or other emergency signaling device on your person, not on the horse, in case you are separated. Either bring a lead rope and have the horse wear a halter underneath its bridle or use a bridle in which the bit detaches for tying. 

First Aid for the Rider


First aid kit supplies can be stored in a pommel or cantle bag, and attached to the saddle during a trail ride.

Here are some ideas for what should go into a first aid kit for the rider:

  • absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  •  adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  •  adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  •  antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  •  antiseptic wipe packets
  •  packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  •  blanket (space blanket)
  •  breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  •  instant cold compress
  • pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each
  • scissors
  • roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • triangular bandages
  • tweezers
  • first aid instruction booklet

(Source: American Red Cross)


First Aid for the Horse

Here are some ideas for what should go into a first aid kit for a horse:

  • emergency contact phone numbers
  • syringes (large and small)
  • cotton leg wraps
  • sterile gauze
  • non-stick pads
  • cling wrap
  • duct tape
  • white medical tape (1 inch is a good width)
  • disposable diapers (good for padding, etc.)
  • Vet-Wrap or similar product
  • disinfectant such as Betadine or Nolvasan
  • sterile saline solution
  • thermometer
  • stethoscope
  • flashlight (Newer LED types use less battery power and are very bright.)
  • spare halter
  • hoof pick
  • tweezers
  • bandage scissors
  • latex exam gloves
  • clean toweling
  • wire cutters
  • small roll of strong twine
  • farrier’s nail/shoe puller

(From My Horse University Trail Riding 101 Short Course)


Additional Items

Here are some ideas of what to bring with you when trail riding in addition to the first aid kit for rider and horse previously mentioned.

  • Rain gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent for you/your horse
  • Hoofpick
  • Easyboot
  • Multipurpose knife
  • Cell phone
  • First aid kit
  • Halter/lead rope
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Snack/water
  • Riding gloves if desired

Find out more about trail riding: