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GoPro – part eight: Tips & tricks on small wounds from the world’s best grooms

Tuesday, 29 September 2020
Tips & tricks


How can you best care for your horse? World of Showjumping asked several highly experienced grooms to share their tips & tricks. In part eight of this series, we continue with medical care – focusing on small wounds.


Josie Eliasson, long-time groom for Jessica Springsteen:

“Since we spend time both in Europe and in Florida, US, I have different ways to treat certain things depending on where we are as the climates are so different. For example, with a tiny little wound or scrape in Europe I would probably just wash it clean and put some cream on. But if any of my horses would get the same small wound or scrape in Florida, I would make sure to cover it by putting on some kind of bandaging if possible, or a fly blanket or fly mask depending on where on the body the wound is. The flies in Florida are terrible and it is very common to get a summer sore if the flies get to it.”

Mel Jobst, long-time groom for Marcus Ehning:

“Silver spray. But first iodine shampoo for cleaning. If it is only a bit skin away and not really open, I leave it without any bandage and put silver spray over – it will keep dirt out of the wound. What I’m also doing is to put Braunovidon first for the healing and then silver spray over.”

Sean Vard, long-time groom for Martin Fuchs:

“Silver spray is a life saver! You can never have enough or over-use it! The properties of the zinc in the spray are 75% of the time enough to heal a scratch or a small wound without any further care. Various other creams like Bepanthen/Betadine cream also come in handy. Keep the wound clean and moist, and then nature will do most of the work!”

Marlen Schannwell, long-time groom for Bertram Allen:

“Always happens fast as horses are horses. Don’t overreact; just keep the wound clean and soft. I use Manuka honey a lot, as this is like a natural antibiotic and the sugar in it helps the healing.“

Heidi Mulari, long-time groom for Steve Guerdat:

“I normally just clean small wounds with Betadine, or not even that. I believe that horses have to have some immunity on their own. If everything gets disinfected and wrapped every time, for sure the horse gets very sensitive and reacts massively to every little cut.”

Denise Moriarty, long-time groom for Kent Farrington:

“For small wounds I like to keep them clean and dry. Florida is summer sore central so it is important to keep the flies away. If this is an issue, I cover the wound during the day and leave it uncovered at night. For persistent wounds I like to use the cold laser to encourage healing.”

Fran Callan, long-time groom for Jur Vrieling, now working for Jos Verlooy:

“For any small wounds, I love the silver spray. It is the easiest, most painless way of keeping a wound clean and helps it healing, especially with those nasty over-reach injuries.”

Madeleine Broek, long-time groom for Marc Houtzager:

“Small wounds I wash with Betadine. If there is a cut on the leg, I first wash it and after washing I let it dry and pack it in with a bandage. The same with open wounds. If I have any doubts about the wound, I call the veterinary – or I send a picture to see what we can do.”

Kay Neatham, former long-time groom for Marcus Ehning:

“Cleaning them is the most important. I would use Betadine or some kind of disinfectant. Then it depends a lot on where the wound is and if it is likely to swell. It’s all about gaining experience and knowing what you have in your first aid kit. Not too much fuss as nature will heal most things that are clean quickly, without too much interference from us.”

Morgane Tresch, long-time groom for Jeroen Dubbeldam:

“Can happen anytime, anywhere... Rolling in the box, during work, in the field, when travelling...  Most of the time you get them on the legs, so make sure to clean it good with Betadine and dry it good. After that you can use some silver spray that will protect the wound from dirt. To keep it dry yet soft, you can use a cream like Bepanthen, and if needed, bandage the area with compress folds and Vetrap to keep it clean.”

Nickki O’Donovan, long-time groom for Darragh Kenny:

“Wash with Betadine and then use silver spray – that should do the trick. However, sometimes it is best to wrap even a minor wound; flies or a bit of dirt can make life hell even with the smallest wound.”


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