In Case of Emergency: Do you have a plan?

Bernadette Kilcer contemplates the dilemma of the adult single rider who doesn’t have an automatic “go-to” person in the event of an accident.

From Bernadette:

Here’s the dilemma: You are an adult single rider.  How is that a dilemma?  It’s not like you are mediating the Middle East Peace Talks.  No, actually this is more crucial.  It’s the “In Case of Emergency” line that is on every rider release form for every schooling, competition, and even vacation trail ride.  What is a single rider to do?

I myself faced this very dilemma a couple of weeks back when schooling.  Luckily, nothing happened, but it opened up a dialogue between myself and my trainer.  “Who do you want me to call in case of an emergency.”   Wow.  This is not something we walk around thinking about on a daily basis, but it truly is an important question to answer, especially if you are a single rider.  Why?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been out of the house for a long time and my parents are several states away.  Not to mention my father, bless his heart, is from the medical community which means that I’d better be bleeding from my eyeballs before I go seek medical treatment.  So I don’t know how much help he’d be.  Without a spouse or significant other to list on the “in case of emergency” line what is a single rider to do?

In eventing there are medical arm bands; great, but at the end of the day where does it get you?  With the exception of name, DOB, and allergies it doesn’t solve some of the underlying dilemmas–you know, important things like how is your horse getting home, or who will bring you clean/dry clothes.

I have devised a system that seems to work out rather well.

First, both of my trainers (I have two) have each other’s phone numbers.  This way if something happens and I am out with one, but board with another, they can be in contact with each other.

Two, someone always knows where I am, where I will be, and when I will be coming back.  (I am not about to cut my arm off with a dull blade….)  This includes if I am at the barn alone.  Sometimes some of the stupidest accidents happen at home.

Three, where I board we have a simple rule that if it is important you tell everyone.  We have someone who is exceptionally allergic to iodine.  Therefore, everyone knows where their epi-pen is and how to use it.  This goes for major drug allergies.  You never know when someone will need to know that information.   It’s best to have a drug bracelet (or necklace), but this is a sturdy backup plan.

However, most importantly, I have learned that there are friends who are willing to help when you do get hurt.  This means that more than one friend has a key to my house and knows how to drive a stick shift car.  I know who I can (and can’t call) at 4 in the morning to drive me to the ER, or who I can call when my back goes out and I can’t pull off my boots.  I don’t have to do it on my own and neither do you, but you have to devise a plan!  So go out and devise yours today!

2010: When I drove myself to the ER at 4 a.m. with a suspected broken knee. Did I mention the stick shift?

Top Photo: Equestrian Problems

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