Trainer Katja Elk
June was National Safety/CPR month and several Southern California equestrians celebrated it by attending an Equine First Aid/CPR clinic. A number of riders from all disciplines took part in the all day seminar the covered equine safety in the morning and CPR/First Aid certification in the afternoon.
The morning session, given by dressage trainer Katja Elk, went over safety issues when dealing with horses and basic first aid in case a rider is injured. Elk noted that even seasoned horse people need to be reminded that horses’ natural flight or fight instincts can cause unpredictable reactions that can easily lead to dangerous situations if we aren’t careful. She demonstrated some techniques for riders to deal safely with their equine partners. The class also went over what to do if things do go wrong. In many cases, the correct assessment and initial treatment of injuries can be potentially life-saving.
“In my eyes, this is a must for all people who are around horses,” says Elk, “Riders, handlers, instructors, trainers, parents, and everyone who is concerned about the well-being of their horse-crazy loved-ones can benefit.”
After a luncheon provided as part of the clinic, attendees took a CPR/First Aid class. The instructors, Suz Roehl and Janet Nelson, are two seasoned medical professionals as well as avid horsewomen. In addition to riding and showing, they often provide medical coverage for schooling and official USEA sanctioned competitions.
This is the first clinic Elk has given that combines both CPR/First Aid and safety for horse people. Based on the success of this event, Elk looks forward to scheduling more throughout the year. If you’re interested in attending or hosting a clinic, please contact Katja Elk at her website, Gentle Solutions for Horse & People.