Classic Equine Connection

First Aid You Should Know While Riding

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Aug 9, 2023 3:38:17 PM

You all probably know the basics of how to take care of  your horse in case he gets hurt.  But do you know what to do in the event that a rider is injured and/or is left unconscious? Could you recognize the signs of shock, and do you know how to treat it? If you spend a lot of time around horses, then it’s possible that you will have to help a rider in a serious situation at some point. Here are some First-Aid basics that you will want to know.

horse-6769279_1280Dealing with a Fall

If a rider is injured, immediately call 911 and keep them still. Do not remove the rider’s helmet. If the rider is bleeding, use a clean towel and apply firm pressure. Do not remove the pressure until medical assistance has arrived. Have another person catch the horse and instruct any other riders to dismount and hold their horses as the ambulance approaches.

Performing CPR

If a rider’s heart or breathing has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is necessary to keep the rider’s blood flowing to his or her brain until medical help arrives. The American Heart Association recommends that anyone not trained in CPR provide only chest compressions and not attempt rescue breathing.

Before beginning chest compressions, you will want to make sure the person is unconscious and there is no heartbeat. Call 911 immediately, then begin chest compressions. To perform chest compressions, lay the person on their back on a firm surface and kneel near their shoulders. Put the heel of one hand in the center of the person’s chest, and put your other hand on top. Using your upper body and keeping your arms straight, push down into the person’s chest firmly – you should be pushing their chest down by about two inches. Repeat the compressions at the rate of 100 compressions per minute and continue until help arrives.

For emergency cardiovascular training, visit the American Heart Association’s website.

Dealing with Shock

A rider can go into shock for any number of reasons, including a traumatic fall, blood loss, and heatstroke. Signs of shock include a weak and rapid pulse; skin that is cool, clammy, and pale; the person feeling nauseated or vomiting; and the person feeling weak or being confused.

If you believe a rider is going into shock, immediately call 911 and have the person lie down. Elevate their feet higher than their head (unless the person is injured – in that case, allow them to lie flat). As you wait for help, keep the person warm and make sure they are breathing and their heart is beating. Monitor them to make sure that they don’t vomit – if they do, you will need to turn them on their side.

In a medical emergency, acting quickly is key. Always call 911 immediately. It is a great idea to take an emergency training course, and to post “how-to” sheets in your tack room to help other riders.

It's not only a good idea to be prepared, but to also be ready for the small cuts and bumps of everyday riding.  Have a full stocked first aid kit available.

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