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The importance of first aid skills

6th June 2024

We all know horses and injuries go together, even if you aren't riding the risk of being injured on the yard is something we should all be aware of.

But would you know what to do if someone was injured on your yard?

We asked BGA sponsor, Medi-K Training to tell us some of the reasons why first aid training is so important. 

"First aid is not just about doing CPR and putting on a plaster. Neither is it just about injuries that need hospital care. Although all of these are crucial skills, I bet most of the injuries you’ve dealt with have been bruises, cuts and sprains.

Knowing what to do for everyday injuries as well as the emergencies gives you confidence to deal with them.

Here’s our 5 top reasons why you should do some first aid training.

  1. Confidence and competence. When something happens to a colleague, do you know what to do? Can you check their response level, their airway and monitor their breathing then assess and deal with any injuries? Do you know how to monitor a casualty whilst you’re waiting for an ambulance? Training gives you these practical skills but also boosts your confidence in dealing with them effectively removing some of the stress from the situation.
  2. Remote locations. Do you know how to call Emergency Services in remote locations or areas with little or no signal? Exactly where are you? – in a field, country lane or road, stables. Some first aid protocols change if you’re remote and may be waiting some time for help to get to you. Lone working also brings in other issues if it is yourself that is injured.
  3. Self care. Understanding your own injuries and looking after yourself after a bite, kick, fall, rope burn or sprain. Time is not always a healer and knowing how to, firstly, asses and deal with an injury but also knowing how to monitor signs of worsening or deterioration. Your British Grooms Association insurance will cover you for time off work, but first aid knowledge and skills may reduce the amount of time that is needed off work – and save a lot of pain!
  4. Serious injuries, helmets and kit. Injuries to the head, back and legs are common in equestrian settings and injuries can be life changing. Knowing what to do and what NOT to do is crucial. Helmets, body protectors and air vests can all hinder your first aid assessment. But how, and when should you remove them?
  5. It’s the law. It’s a legal obligation in a workplace to have appropriately trained first aiders as well as an appropriate first aid kit. You may also have Duty of Care obligations for clients, visitors and children. Your training should reflect this. There is also the accident reporting procedures both internally and with the HSE if required. This should all be addressed within a First Aid Needs Assessment by your organisation.

We run equestrian specific first aid courses covering all the topics above, both public and private courses throughout the UK. Our trainers are horse riders, trainers and owners themselves. 


You can find out more about our range of courses via this link.

Read more of our equestrian specific blogs on our website too!"

Thanks to Ann of Medi-K Training for sharing this useful information with us.

Even if you have had some form of first aid training in the past, can you be confident that if an accident occurred you would be able to apply the skills you learnt?

Whether you are new to first aid or looking to brush up on your knowledge, first aid training is essential for anyone who works with horses.



Medi-K run Equestrian specific first aid courses throughout the UK, including privately organised workshops.

The Medi-K trainers are horse riders and owners themselves enabling them to provide equine specific, practical guidance.



Find out more about Medi-K’s range of courses;



Did you know BGA members have access to a bespoke online first aid course? This 'First Aid Essentials' e-learning course is FREE for BGA members, log into your account and find the course within the 'Training and careers' section.



If you get injured and you are unable to work your income is likely to be reduced, or disappear completely if you are a freelancer.

Protecting yourself is important, trust us, we hear about accidents all the time.


Are you insured?

Find out more about our groom specific insurance policies and how we can help to protect you.


Join 1000’s of other grooms and belong to your professional association.










What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES