I met my friend Sandy last summer when my boyfriend Alan and I spent a week riding and camping at Grand Lake, Colorado. She’s a California gal, quite an accomplished rider. She fox hunts and rides dressage. She and her friend Sandra leased the campground trailer which provided access to more distant trailheads. They invited Alan and me to join them. I wrote about that ride here, and it is quite the tale of surviving the Rockies on the Finnster!
A week ago, Sandy posted a photo on Facebook. Clearly, it was not a photo any of her friends wanted to see. The photo depicted Sandy in a hospital bed. The caption read: When horsing around goes sideways…
Sandy had been walking a 17 year old Quarter horse, just to give him some easy exercise. The week prior to her major accident, they had encountered a barking dog that rushed at them. In response, the horse reared up, and she went off. She suffered road rash and bruising; however, she had no major injuries. Fast forward to the next week. She had barely left the barn when they encountered some men working. The gelding reared again, only this time he went over backwards. Unfortunately, this time he came down on top of Sandy. She believes his right hip landed on her left pelvic region. She heard a “crack!”. Immediately, she did a “body check” and noted she could feel and move all of her limbs. Next, she got into “all fours” position and subsequently decided she didn’t want to lie back down.
The men immediately responded and called 911. At the hospital, she endured a battery of tests. The results indicated a broken pelvis, two cracked vertebrae, and a hematoma in her pelvic region. She will return to riding, but not for about 6 months. There will be no fox hunting for her this fall. She is incredibly fortunate that she will not have long term consequences.
Sandy had seen the Emergency tags that Alan and I were wearing last summer. She commented on what a great idea they were. But as she told me recently, she just never got around to ordering one and really wished she had. A woman witnessed the first incident, but Sandy said if it had been more serious, she realized the woman would have had no idea who Sandy was or what to do. The second accident resulted in an ambulance ride. The EMT’s were able to get some information from Sandy, but what if she were unconscious or unresponsive?
Garry Bass is a Kansas EMT, and also the official photographer for Best of America by Horseback. It was his feedback that resulted in the addition of the Red Cross logo to the second generation Emergency Medical Tags. He states that when an EMT is initially assessing a patient, there are 3 possibilities. Is the patient alert, responsive and talking? Are they awake and talking but delirious and not making sense? Or, are they unconscious?
Garry says that in 2 out of 3 of those scenarios, having access to medical history and information could be critical. First responders are trained to look for a medical ID bracelet or other medical information as part of their initial assessment. Does the patient have a heart condition and take blood thinners? Are they allergic to morphine or certain antibiotics? What is their blood type? Garry states, “From the perspective of an EMT, it is extremely valuable to have medical information available. It can make a significant difference in our course of medical action.” Tom Seay of Best of America by Horseback is so committed to the concept that riders should have medical information available, that BOABH has partnered with ID MyHorse to encourage the use of the tags.
Yes, I have a vested interest in these tags. However, I also have a vested interest in my friends, my horse and my health. I created them for my demographic! I noted that one of my friends had a copy of her driver’s license attached to her saddle. That would certainly provide her name if she were in an accident and unresponsive, but little else. I intend to ride as long as I can. If I have a horse wreck, I want prompt, efficient and appropriate treatment. I want to be able to get back on my horse as soon as possible! Pray you never need one of these, but be ready if you do. Sandy has ordered hers already!