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Women & Horses by Mary D. Midkiff - horseback riding fitness techniques for women

Women & Horses, knowledge for the female equestrian; female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

The Women & Horses Newsletter - May 2009

Being Prepared for Summertime Injuries and Emergencies
by Mary D. Midkiff

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Well here it is. What we have all been waiting for; Summer, the season for endless time with our horses. It is also time to be prepared for what hot weather brings to us and our horses.

Summer is the most active season for humans and their horses and uninvited accidents and injuries go along with high levels of activity. I have found three fabulous remedies for you to keep on hand at all times for you and your animals to help you through the traumatic and healing phases of injuries. You can find these products at any organic or health food store, Whole Foods or nutraceutical outlets.

Bach Flower's Rescue Remedy
I keep a bottle of Bach Flower's Rescue Remedy in my home, my purse and the barn at all times. Patricia Davis, author of Aromatherapy, An A-Z, states "The Bach remedies are made by floating the flowers on clear spring water and exposing them to sunshine until the flower's healing energies have been transferred into the water. This is then put into clean bottles, with an equal amount of brandy to act as a preservative and this forms the "Stock Bottle." Rescue Remedy is a mixture of several plants and it can be used in every kind of emergency, both physical and emotional. It is one of the best antidotes to shock ever known, and can also be used before a traumatic event, such as surgery, or a particularly important exam or interview."

Just simply put a few drops on the tongue and if someone is unconscious or unable to swallow, it is equally effective to moisten the lips with the remedy.

For horses, I put to a dropper full of Rescue Remedy on the horse's tongue before traveling, meeting with the vet or a horse show or competitive event. If I take my horse to a new place I give him Rescue Remedy to help him handle the emotional aspect of a new environment. The remedy will last about 2 hours in the horse's system.

Arnica Gel and Arnica Tablets
Arnica Gel and Arnica Tablets (Montana 30c) are a must for every horse owner to have on hand. I keep it in my grooming kit and in my bathroom vanity drawer because it comes in so handy for sprains, and quickly alleviates bruising and swelling.

Arnica is not to be used on broken skin but works best as a homeopathic massage oil for sore muscles and relief from heavy exertion, for sprains and blows to the body. The tablets are taken internally to help the healing process. For humans take 3-4 tablets under the tongue at the onset of an injury and repeat a few times daily until trauma subsides. For horses place 10 tablets on the tongue or in their water bucket twice to three times daily for a few days.

Traumeel Ointment and Tablets
Traumeel is useful for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with inflammatory processes due to acute trauma, repetitive or injury conditions. These can include sprains, bursitis, dislocations, fractures, bruises, post-operative or post-injury swelling, etc., as well as various arthritic conditions. I have used this product recently and loved the results! You can use the ointment on yourself and your horse but the tablets are designed just for human consumption.

Here are a few more important emergency steps to take for Summer activities:

  1. List of Phone Numbers inside First Aid Kits and Posted at barn Fire Department, Police Department, Poison Control, Veterinarians and clinics, Trailer contacts, Manager and horse owners, Emergency Hospital
  2. Post address of barn and driving directions next to a phone or where it is publicly visible at all times.
  3. Keep a general first aid kit in an easily accessible location
  4. Keep a cooler of bottled water at the barn and in your car at all times
  5. First Aid Kit for Horses:
    • Betadine
    • Sheets of sterilized cotton
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Arnica Gel
    • Arnica Montana 30c (tablets)
    • Bach Flower's Rescue Remedy
    • Bute paste
    • Banamine paste
    • Clear Eyes drops
    • Ocular ointment
    • Thermometer
    • Pressure bandages
    • Standing bandages
    • Sterile gauze pads

  6. Stall Card should be posted in front of every horse's stall or paddock gate listing vital information and emergency contacts. It would even help to have a photo of the horse for further identification if a stranger has to manage your horse in an emergency.
  7. You may want to invite your local fire department out to your barn to familiarize them with your set up in case of fire. Show them water sources and set up an evacuation plan.

I hope you have a very happy and healthy start to this Summer season. Remember that you and your horse need conditioning to meet the demands of the hot months ahead.

Please don't hesitate to email me with your questions.

I have room for a couple of students and their horses this Summer. If you are interested send me an email.

Happy Riding! Mary

Sincerely,
Mary D. Midkiff

New Phone Numbers: Office 502-552-1195

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