Top 10 things horse riders need to know about dealing with horse bites

1. Some horses are inclined to nip or bite. This bad habit can be very dangerous, resulting in serious human injury. Biting may also be a sign of an underlying health problem in your horse or an indication that it has been socialized to be a little too familiar with humans.

2. If you are bitten and it breaks the skin, clean the site thoroughly with soap and water, before covering with a sterile dressing.

3. A cold compress or ice pack held over the bite for 10 minutes can help to ease the pain and reduce swelling.

4. Do not scratch the wound, as this is likely to make it worse and increase the risk of infection.

5. If the bite is over a joint, hand, foot, or a prosthetic device, you should see a doctor immediately because antibiotics are most likely indicated.

6. If you have a weakened immune system, you should be evaluated by a doctor after any bite.

7. Your bite may take as little as 7 days or as long as several months to heal, depending on how bad it is. Taking good care of your wound at home will help it heal and reduce your chance of infection.

8. A large number of bacteria have been associated with horse bite infections in people, including Actinobacillus, Streptococcus, Psuedomonas and Staphylococcus species.

9. Avoid bites. Pay attention to what you are doing around horses to reduce the risk of being bitten. Do not encourage playful behaviours (e.g. nipping) that could lead to bites.

10. Tetanus – After the initial tetanus series, booster shots are recommended every 10 years. If you experience a puncture wound, it’s best to get the booster shot regardless of when you had your last tetanus shot.

Now you have read our blog ‘Top 10 things horse riders need to know about dealing with horse bites’ you may be interested in taking part in an equestrian first aid course?

We have a FREE introductory course on our website, or if you’d like to find out more about the equine-specific training on offer from Medi-K and the First Aid Training Co-operative, you can click HERE