South Australian horse owners planning for recovery


Emergency 000  
SES (SA) 132 500

Dedicated to the horse owners of the Sampson Flat fire 2015



Separation from my horse during a disaster may be unavoidable. To make it easy to help reunite me with my horse again, I keep contact details for permanent ID up to date (e.g. microchip, brands).


I practice with, and use, a range of temporary ID options in addition to permanent brands and microchip e.g. stock markers or tags in the mane. Current photos of my horse and me are on social media and in my smartphone ready to share.


I have copies of proof of ownership.


All of my family, friends and neighbours know never to let any of my horses out onto the roads.

I also know that there is some help available. The PIRSA Animals in Emergencies Plan explains who is undertakes what job roles.






Our agistment centre has an emergency plan, which forms part of our agreement. We practice the plan each year and the agistees help each other out with preparation.


I have a list of temporary and long term alternative agistment options, which is kept updated, with properties pre-inspected and draft agistment agreements sorted. 


A 'buddy' for emergency accommodation was arranged through our club as a networking activity.


I kept up to date with community initiatives


Bushfires SA Assistance Facebook page (click on 'more' and 'files')

Open Paddocks Facebook page

Statewide Community Assistance Database Facebook page


I am confident with basic first aid and to cope with common injuries or health issues associated with fire, floods (e.g. standing for prolonged periods on wet ground), heat stress or hypothermia.


Here are a few ideas for items to include in an Equine First Aid Kit, perhaps kept in a waterproof container.


Bandages/gauze swabs




Eye rinse,

Wound gels

Scissors & tweezers




Non-adherent dressings

Disposable gloves

Current medications

List of veterinary numbers and SAVEM number


Protective clothing, boots, face scarf

Battery powered or wind-up radio & torch
Batteries for torch & smartphone

Current veterinary medications

Halters, leads, spare rope, hoof pick


Emergency contact list

Laminated, written instructions for horse feed & care

Horse food and water for 3 days

Water bucket

Wire/ fence cutters

Knife & baling twine, duct tape, Large cable ties

Maps of local area

Rubbish bags

Fly repellent

Electric fence kit for yarding

Equine first aid kit

Packed in waterproof containers, in a wheelie bin ready to quickly load into the float 


Alternative power e.g. generators are maintained & tested.


My horses all load into trailers, which we practice several times a year. Sometimes at night, sometimes in the wind or with different people handling.


The loading sites selected has shed walls or fence lines to help guide horses, as I know that even with practice, moving horses ahead of a disaster threat is likely to be stressful.


I have more horses than float spaces. All horses are float trained but if I had time only to get the first load out, they are pre-evaluated for risks associated with 'go or stay', e.g. welfare benefit, age.


The float is always well maintained, registration up to date and we have a 'safety kit' e.g. reflective road cones, Hi-Viz vests and torches should we be caught out on the side of the road at night. It might be a fallen tree over the road or police road block.


Photo: Sam Davies



Here is my basic kit:


Old life jacket and several towels to protect the horse's head
2 x 3 m slings (or ‘strops’), 3-tonne capacity
1 x 4WD snatch strap
2 x 15 m synthetic rope, 12-13mm
1 x broom handle or similar, rock climbing rescue clip and duct tape
1 x  head collar and long lead with strong clip
Tarpaulins for screening, shelter
A helmet, pair of gloves and hi-viz vest for each helper
Hook on the end of a pole suitable for reaching to move a leg e.g. extendable walking stick


A useful book titled,  'Equine Emergency Rescue', is available for purchase from the Horse SA online store.

Incidents involving large animals: Online awareness course

The aim of this free online course is to raise awareness of keeping people safer when working under supervision at an incident involving a horse. This course may assist businesses and clubs to consider taking a systematic approach to planning, training and reviewing preparation for incidents that may occur in the workplace or as a result of natural disasters or biosecurity risks. Accompanying the course are a set of planning tools for horse owners. Download here.

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