What do I need to have for my horse’s "GO BAG" - you know, like when you need to get out of town in a hurry?
It seems that as of late, I’m seeing (and experiencing) more and more natural disasters that call for human and horse evacuations. Because I live in such an area, I have a “go bag” packed for my own families evacuations. Which we have done three of. UGH!! We have important papers, some cash, water, changes of clothes, etc. No only does this make evacuations easy and safe, it makes you feel like a super spy.
But what about the horses? I have evacuated horses twice, and each time I learn something new about how it could be smoother. Some recent wild fires put me on alert to the possibility of a third evacuation, and I was luckily blessed with loads of time to get ready. SO - what could be in your horse’s GO BAG? And remember, this is also applicable to a trip to the vet, a show, or any other time you are trailering your horse.
I like to keep a horse “go bag” in the trailer, and so far it has these items:
- Fly mask. In my area, wild fires are the main reason for evacuation, and this often creates horrible air conditions. A fly mask can help keep fine ash and gross air away from my horse’s eyes and nose.
- Buckets for water. I have a stash in the trailer, that’s where they live for shows and transport. I also have screw eyes to go into stall walls, a screwdriver to use as leverage to get the screw eyes into a wall, and double ended snaps. LOTS of double ended snaps.
- Extra lead ropes, a stud chain, and a spare halter and bridle. 99% of the time my horses won’t need anything more than a halter and lead rope. Be prepared for the 1% when a stressful situation creates a crazy horse and you need some extra oomph in containing him. Some horses are much better contained in a bridle than a stud chain.
- Medications and supplements that are critical for you horse’s day to day survival. If they need to be refrigerated or should not be stored in a trailer, leave yourself a note on the outside of your horse’s “go bag” so you remember to grab them as you exit!
- Some sort of food. If it’s safe to bring hay and you have time, go for it. But, a hasty exit or an exit through an area with embers floating around is not a good idea for hay in the back of your truck. I keep a stash of hay pellets in my trailer, just in case. My horses are also used to eating them. For most emergencies, you will just need to plan on finding hay at your destination.
- A hoof pick. You horse will be fine without your collection of grooming products and brushes, but a hoof pick is a handy tool and his hooves are critical.
Hoof picks also double as tools to set up stalls at your final destination.
- Is there room for a bag of shavings in your trailer? Just in case your emergency evacuation location is a hard bare floor, at least you have something! The trailer should be clean and have bedding down already.
- Think about having duct tape, twine, actual maps (in case cell towers are down), and anything else that can help you travel and set up a stall at a new location, with limited resources.
What else is critical for an emergency evacuation with your horse?