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Accidents while hunting

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  • Accidents while hunting

    How do you safeguard? How do you prepare for the worst?
    Last edited by gothedistance; Feb. 20, 2008, 06:33 AM.

  • #2
    being prepared

    When I hunt, I always put $20, a credit card, drivers license and insurance card in my pants pocket. I figure it might not hurt to have them if I have to go from field to hospital. My wife finds that kind of preparation to be a bit oogy.

    This year I've been around two accidents. The first happened last spring when one horse stepped in a hole and slammed into another while crashing. Both riders came off and were injured. A stock tie was used as a temporary sling and another as a bandage.

    The second one was in the most recent copy of Horse Country. The horse that was injured during the hound performance trials happened in front of me. I dismounted and gave my horse to one of the car followers and went to help the rider with the injured horse. She removed her stock tie nad wrapped the leg. Then we took my dress tie and wrapped that around to help staunch the bleeding until the vet got there.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is sad to say. I'm hunting here in Belgium (draghunting). I rode a 'bastard' horse with quite some Arabian blood in. I was 16 at the time (2003)

      My horse couldn't cover those broad ditches, and we fell more than once. Sometimes there wasn't any way to avoid them...

      In 2003 I was about te start eventing with my more advanced horse (which had a bigger en scopier jump than the Arabian). I don't know how it came to my mind to jump that huge fence (it was about 1m30, fallen tree). She tried to jump it as I asked her (stupid girl that I am!), but she couldn't get so high, so she fell. I can remember myself trying to get up. I couldn't because my hip was sprained. Happily, my mare wasn't wounded. I almost lost all my teeth... I won't so the same mistake again, I assure you.

      I also saw some terrible accidents happening to others. Someone almost broke his neck.
      An other quite good rider, had to have his horse put down, due to an unsafe fence. The fence was destroyed by a horse running before him. The rider couldn't avoid his horse to jump anymore. The horse got stuck in the fence and got his arteria ruptured.

      Sad memories... But there are so many good ones! And compared to eventing, there are far less accidents in hunting.

      Comment


      • #4
        When we take the girls out hunting we always carry a copy of their medical release forms, just in case. I always have my cell phone with me, and generally remember to have my insurance card, but don't always remember that. I have seen several bad falls out hunting, thankfully none involving me or our girls, but enough to make me very grateful everytime we arrive back at the trailers safely.

        Comment


        • #5
          17 years so far so good -1

          in the hunt field I have had only one injury requiring medical intervention when I got home.
          I was ok enough to ride back to the trailer and get home.
          by then my foot hurt enough to see the ortho dr.
          sure enough I had a few broken bones.
          I have seen some not as lucky as I have been,
          and have had worse luck my self, but not in the hunt field.
          there but for the grace of god go we.
          and for that reason we should all be prepared to stop and help.
          more hay, less grain

          Comment


          • #6
            I've only been hunting a few years - but am amazed that I've had to render first aid twice. And I don't even go out all the time.

            What surprised me is the number of people who don't know basic first aid. We really should. Every foxhunter should be able to perform basic first aid, and be CPR trained.

            I've also noticed have a field master with a good "command voice" is really helpful. Often, people mill about or too many try to do too much - and it's helpful if a person can say - No - you ride ahead. You - hold that horse. You - take the field and continue on. You and you and you - go to the road and help guide EMS in.

            That sort of thing.

            Nice thing is - foxhunters are a pretty tough bunch of folks and tend not to fall apart. Well - figuratively speaking. We literally do fall apart quite a bit.

            A fellow hunter just returned my stock tie, along with a bottle of wine from his vineyard. Pretty cool - I help him with his injury and I get free booze! I'll have to start knocking people off their horses more often.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Quazzle View Post
              It is sad to say. I'm hunting here in Belgium (draghunting). )
              Quazzle - welcome! I lived in Belgium many years ago. In fact - the most beautiful horse in the entire world lived ride down the road from me. She was Percheron mare and I used to spend all afternoon petting her through the fence and feeding her grass. I loved that horse - but never knew her name. Wonderful childhood memory.
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad your hunt staff was not hurt worse, still it's scary waiting for help.

                Must be the week for horses to tank out in holes as a member of our staff had almost the exact same thing happen. Word on the street is final damage was a cracked rib and broken finger. Either one of those things would make me cry.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've only been hurt once in the hunt field, all my fault...we were on a really hot line and hauling butt and I was following too closely. We were going from a wide open field into the woods over a fairly narrow coop, so the entire field was trying to funnel down to single file while going full out. The horse in front of me put in a really dirty stop at the base of the coop and we slammed into his butt which he took great offense to and promptly kicked out, missing my horse and catching me on the front of my leg just above my boot. It sounded like wood cracking. We didn't even slow down, somehow we all scrambled over the fence and kept going until 20 minutes or so later when the hounds lost the line. Someone happened to look at my leg and they gasped (I hadn't looked before then) There was a lot of blood, flesh and bone was showing. It didn't hurt too bad until I saw it!

                  The master made me hack back with a staff member and when I got home I had to go to the hospital for stitches, but fortunately no broken bones! Fortunately all my other spills and thrills have never resulted in anything more than bruises. I do think fox hunters are hardier than the average Joe.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I was unhorsed last year (with help from someone else's ill behaved kicker, but I digress) and given a shattered wrist in the hunt field, several members came to my aid. THey splinted my arm with a riding crop and some stock ties and made a sling out of a stock tie.
                    Then one of the staff called for the truck to come collect me. There is a reason why we wear the things we do.
                    Thank God this is an expensive sport and there are usually lots of doctors and such doing it
                    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is why you need to teach your horse to pony or be ponied. I had to pony a horse just the other day when a hound fell off a cliff and someone had to go on foot to rescue it. I have also ponied horses who's riders have been injured on at least two occaisions. One time it was several miles. I ponied him at the walk, trot, and even canter.
                      -Painted Wings

                      Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yikes! I just found out about poor Liz today--went trail riding at Old Rag with a couple of the staff and a few other friends and was told she got hurt.

                        Those perc holes out there have almost gotten me in trouble a couple of times, too! I *know* they're all over the place out there, but in the heat of the moment, I tend to get more focused on what hounds are doing and pay less attention than I should to the ground in front of me. Poor Zorro has sunk down to his belly in a couple of those old perc holes!

                        I'm just glad that Liz wasn't hurt any worse.
                        Jennifer Thomas Alcott
                        Culpeper, VA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Odd" nurse weighs in here!

                          GTD! Excellent write up, excellent suggestions. And one of the reasons I wear a 4 fold stock on weekends especially. They are soooo useful. Have used them as horse leg bandages for bleeding, shoulder/arm splints, wraps etc. Also I think car followers can be a BIG help in these situations also.

                          We need to always follow up with the landowners too in these situations. Thank them for allowing the vehicles onto thier fields and reassure them there's no liability. It can be alarming to look out or hear about that kind of commotion....especially when it involves helicopters! Keep them informed. Bring them flowers, a note, a bottle, something for thanks IMHO. I actually advise the injured party go visit them afterwards and thank them. Good PR. I bring flowers to my local landowners when I crash & burn on their place!

                          Since the largest # of injuries are concussions. Don't let someone get up, move around, ride back, continue hunting. Their judgement may be impaired and they don't know how bad they are injured and unless you are skilled at neurologic assessment; it's better to assume injury until the professionals arrive. Any klunk on the haid even with a helmet requires one to be kept quiet. Limit physical exertion as it drives up ones blood pressure and that increases pressure inside the brain and that's a bad thing after a concussion. Remember concussions come in degrees. Like "being fat"!= there's a little bit to a lot!! And they can "blossom" ie: an hour, many hours later the swelling occurs and they can worsen. They may not be looking impaired initially. ANY concussion is brain TISSUE damage at the cellular level. And consussions are cumulative over your lifetime. Little bits of damage make old horsepeople a little bit "odd"!!! Good rule of thumb- if they have a headache=get assessed, no riding, no exertion. IF they've lost consciousness (got knocked out) absolutely MUST go to hospital even if it was for just a few moments.

                          When calling 911; report what you know with as much detail as you can. Such as..."Middle aged woman fell off galloping horse, didn't move at first but is now saying her back & shoulder hurt." To them that means a high impact injury, probable head injury, back injury(spinal) and possible broken bones. Also that she has regained consciousness & is breathing. Most EMT companies in hunt country are used to horse related calls and know when the hunts go out. Many are volunteer companies. I also recommend the hurt individual and/or the hunt should make a contribution to the dept. afterwards. Money says thank you! A good relationship with your local life savers is always a good thing!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Painted Wings View Post
                            This is why you need to teach your horse to pony or be ponied. I had to pony a horse just the other day when a hound fell off a cliff and someone had to go on foot to rescue it. I have also ponied horses who's riders have been injured on at least two occaisions. One time it was several miles. I ponied him at the walk, trot, and even canter.
                            Oh my - is the hound ok?

                            Go the distance - I only knock certain people off their horses - unless you own a vineyard and can supply me with a fabulous Merlot - you're pretty safe.

                            Yesterday we were out for hours and it was nothing but braces. It was crazy. Fox everywhere. At one point we saw the hunted fox calmly walk along the edge of a field next to woods, sit down, and actually watch the hounds - must have been for about two minutes. Then the fox got up - and I swear he flipped the hounds the bird - and vanished into the woods. Hounds were still in the middle of the field - just could not pick up the scent. Smart fox.

                            But Lord have mercy - that footing was greasy. We took it pretty slow. That has got to be the most dangerous footing, don't y'all think? I hate being out when it's like that - some areas were ok - and then WHAM - you hit a bad spot. When I got home I gave my horse a great big huge hug for taking such good care of us. He also got extra peppermints.

                            Glad your person didn't suffer any lasting damage.

                            I was thinking I needed to brush up on my first aid skills - it's been a long time since I attended classes.


                            ETA - I've noticed that if a person is yelling at the EMT's to not cut their boots off, or if they keep reminding you where their tailgate contribution is located - they're going to be ok.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                              Since the largest # of injuries are concussions. Don't let someone get up, move around, ride back, continue hunting. Their judgement may be impaired and they don't know how bad they are injured and unless you are skilled at neurologic assessment; it's better to assume injury until the professionals arrive. Any klunk on the haid even with a helmet requires one to be kept quiet. Limit physical exertion as it drives up ones blood pressure and that increases pressure inside the brain and that's a bad thing after a concussion. Remember concussions come in degrees. Like "being fat"!= there's a little bit to a lot!! And they can "blossom" ie: an hour, many hours later the swelling occurs and they can worsen. They may not be looking impaired initially. ANY concussion is brain TISSUE damage at the cellular level. And consussions are cumulative over your lifetime. Little bits of damage make old horsepeople a little bit "odd"!!! Good rule of thumb- if they have a headache=get assessed, no riding, no exertion. IF they've lost consciousness (got knocked out) absolutely MUST go to hospital even if it was for just a few moments.
                              So true! My only fall to date in the hunt field was over an in and out that was 1 1/2 strides rather than the two I was expecting. I didn't think I'd been concussed and of course, I remounted and finished the hunt. It wasn't until I got home and started seeing pinpricks of light dancing in front of my eyes that I realized I probably had hit my head harder than I thought.
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                                GTD! Any klunk on the haid even with a helmet requires one to be kept quiet. .. They may not be looking impaired initially. .. IF they've lost consciousness (got knocked out) absolutely MUST go to hospital even if it was for just a few moments.
                                Headache OR nausea. Or not remembering what happened or not being able to identify familiar people. Won my ambulance ride with that one Luckily, not too bad as concussions go, but I still have no memory of that ENTIRE day. gone. vanished.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The Eventing Association has a good brochure on how to recognize and respond to concussions:

                                  http://www.useventing.com/resources/...n-Brochure.pdf

                                  Also, a few yers ago, Karen McKay, a member of Fairfax Hunt and an EMT, wrote an article called "Rider Down, An Emergency Medicine Guide for First Repsonders in the Hunt Field"

                                  I can not find that it is posted on the web, but if you send me a PM with your e-mail address I will send you a scan of the article. (Thank you Karen)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    First Aid Kits

                                    Because Mr. Earthto takes Plavix, I keep a very well stocked first aid kit in my truck. Needless to say it would be offered up for any injuries while I am out truck hunting. That is if my guide comes back to take me out. Hint. Hint.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Mudroom! Thank you! That eventing brochure is spot on! Excellent! Outstanding! Should be mandatory reading for all riders/foxhunters etc. Folks don't take concussions seriously because you can't see/feel it I think.

                                      When returning to any exercise after one; if you feel any throbbing in your head, dizziness, anything abnormal = stop the excercise. I had one once where symptoms kept showing up when I walked fast, up stairs, up a hill, got up from a chair too quickly, bent over where my head was lower, grunted, lifted heavy things. The head throbbing lasted for almost 2 months after the concussion which was a typical bell ringer kind! ANY kind of headache? Forget about exercise of any kind; nevermind riding. Wait, wait , wait to heal. It's the only brain you have ya know!!!

                                      And these repeated small head injuries are why so many horsepeople are just plain "odd" IMHO!!! well that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I agree with all the advice given. One thing that I did think of during a hunt when a rider was down, stable, talking but clearly in trouble, was to tell the ambulances that there were horses and other riders in the immediate area. I was concerned that the ambulances, usually accompianied by fire personnel would cause another accident to occur.

                                        It went smoothly. They were professional and shut off the sirens just before arrival to the scene and turned them on just after they left. The rider was ok in the end-as were those who were with her.

                                        If in doubt-do not move. It can't be said enough. This particular rider suffered a fractured vertebra in her lumbar spine. She is now back to riding but inappropriate handling could have been devastating.
                                        Live life to the fullest-ride a standardbred!!!

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