Handling and Restraint

Read pages 4-12 in your reference guide

Large animals are just that…large. They, through their very size, can cause a great deal of harm to people and other animals. Your safety is the highest priority and you should never endanger yourself or others. Cattle and horses can become very nervous, anxious and unpredictable. Being prey animals, livestock utilize a number of defense mechanisms when they feel they are in danger. Their fight or flight instincts kick in and you want to make sure you understand their body language, behavior and vocalizations that could save you from serious harm. Use great caution when working with livestock during an emergency.

Injuries from horses:

• Getting kicked
• Strike with front feet
• Biting
• Hit you with their head
• Can crowd or crush you with their body or run you over

Horses are accident prone and due to their size, accidents can cause serious physical harm. Common emergencies can include lacerations, lameness and illness such as colic. Being prepared to manage an equine emergency is vital to anyone who works in the horse industry as well as horse owners. Despite the safest of environments, even the most careful horse owner can end up facing an equine emergency or at least administering first aid. This text will also cover some other livestock species as they are commonly found on farms where horses are also kept. It is also necessary to know when to call for veterinary assistance. The material in Module 1 will go over the handling and restraint of horses. Complete each lesson within the module.  Read pages 8-12 in your reference guide before taking the module quiz.

First aid for horses is generally broken down into two categories:

• Medical aid which does not require veterinary intervention
• A temporary measure until veterinary care can be ascertained

Primary rules of equine first aid:

• Keep calm. Proceed in a slow, calm manner in order to not panic
anyone else or the horse.
• Assess the horse’s attitude- see if you can safely approach and work
on the horse
• Soothe the animal. Get the horse to quiet, familiar surroundings;
always moving quietly and slowly.
• Assess the injury
• Seek veterinary advice