Saturday, January 15, 2011

the unexpected

You never know what will happen when you go to the barn, or ride, or hike. Last week I was putting my tack away and looked over at the arena just in time to see a horse running to one side, and at first I thought he was on the longe line until I saw his rider on the ground. I ran down to find her shaken but ok, we sat for awhile before she felt ok to get up. Her helmet left a huge dent in the sand. We were the only people at the barn.

It made me think. And when the opportunity arose to take some classes at work I signed up for CPR and basic first aid. I needed them for work, but they are so important to know!

I last took CPR in the dark ages, so needed a full refresher. It was a great class, lots of hands-on dummies and scenarios. The basic first aid was good as well: learning splints and bandaging techniques. My partner did pretend one of his injuries was from falling off a horse! I think one of the best parts was learning how to evaluate a situation and the process of action steps to take. I am now Red Cross certified, and hope I never have to use it. But I can unfortunately think of too many scenarios where it could be put to use.

My saddle bag already has first-aid items, and I may rethink a few and add some (vet wrap and duct tape are so handy to have). Are you prepared for an emergency? Could you take charge and assess a situation? Do you have basic first-aid items on your horse, in the barn, in your car? I feel empowered with these classes, which I think is important in scary situations. Everyone tries to be careful, but I like knowing I could hopefully help a friend, or hiker, or family member or stranger, if something happened.

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