The Tennessee Walking Horse Enthusiast's Association of Montana is hosting a first aid class for horses and riders.
Instructors say falls are a common cause of injury for horses, and riders need to know how to respond to the bleeding that results from those injuries. The course will cover how to safely approach a stressed horse, how to disinfect a cut and how to apply a wrap to stop the bleeding. Participants will practice wound care and wrapping techniques on each other, and will be prepared to help if another rider is injured in a fall.
Course instructor Joan Scheffer is a retired RN with over 40 years of experience, and is also a certified wilderness medicine certified instructor. She hopes practicing the techniques in a friendly class environment will help people stay calm when a real injury happens.
"Once you learn it, then you get more comfortable in using it," Scheffer said. "In the emergency setting, maybe you can recall that and not get all nervous about what's happening."
Scheffer says another goal of the class is to help riders learn what they need to carry in their packs to respond to an emergency. She recommends carrying something that can be used to wrap injuries, gauze and materials to stop a bleed. She says the class will also teach basic wilderness skills, such as how to create a makeshift splint.
The class is scheduled for Saturday, February 2 at Opportunity Resources in Missoula. The class will begin at 10 a.m., and it costs $10. A registration form for the class is available here.