We are delighted to welcome Kay Patterson as a new guest blogger to The Gaitpost. Kay’s expertise is in First Aid and through her regular blogs, she will be teaching us and inspiring us on a number of different First Aid procedures. Kay’s company, Medi-K Training, was set up for horse riders and all the paramedics who run the training are all equestrians themselves with first hand experience of the accidents that occur when out and about with our equine friends.
According to Kay, although most people expect accidents to occur at competitions, most of her equine-related call outs as a paramedic were to riders who had suffered a fall out hacking.
“We’d go out to people whose horse had spooked and they’d fallen, or riders who had decided to pop a log on a forest ride and come off,” she says. “Everyday riding can result in all sorts of dramas which makes it so important for riders and horseowners – and friends and relatives of riders – to be educated in first aid”.
“Being around horses can be fun, but it’s also high-risk and you need to be prepared.”
Kay adds that if someone is with a person that has an accident they tend to panic because they don’t know what to do. And often it’s what not to do that’s the most important thing to learn.
Certain things that someone might instinctively do can cause more damage to the casualty. For example, pulling them to their feet and telling them to get back on the horse or taking off someone’s hat when they may have neck damage.
“You’ll find people take their friend off to the coffee shop for a drink because they’ve had a fall and are feeling drowsy, when in fact they’ve got concussion and need medical help”.
“In most cases the best thing you can do is call for help, offer reassurance and encourage the injured person to stay still until medical assistance arrives.”
Taking a first-aid course will leave you with the confidence of knowing what to do should a situation arise – and it could lead to you saving someone’s life. Forewarned is forearmed.
To start off the series, Kay talks us through boosting blood sugar levels:
Often, riders don’t eat properly if they go to a show, on a sponsored ride or for a day’s hunting and may miss out a meal – or two – because of nerves or not having access to food. This can result in blood sugar levels dropping, leaving them feeling dizzy or faint. On a hot day it could lead to the rider feeling disoriented, which is particularly dangerous if they are planning to drive the lorry home. It’s something that can affect diabetics in particular, but could happen to anyone.
Restore blood sugar levels with a sugary drink, biscuit or dextrose tablets. But this is a short-term fix and you must have a proper, balanced meal as soon as possible.
Try and be disciplined to eat some breakfast or a healthy snack, such as a banana, if you can’t face a lot of food. And always remember to take in plenty of fluids.