A few weeks back, we hosted an Equine First Aid class here at SAFE, where individuals from both inside and outside our organization spent the day learning all about the basics of horse emergencies, and how to deal with them. The session was packed with loads of informational material, everything from how to spot signs that something is amiss with your horse to how to bandage wounds in difficult-to-wrap locations. But it is one thing to watch a PowerPoint or read a manual on how to do something, and quite another to get to doing it in real life. Luckily, we have some pretty excellent horse models at SAFE who were willing to demonstrate their patience and tolerance when asked to play the patient to our doctor.
Sunny and Shasta, our resident minis, were two of the horses we used in the class. We were given scenarios that, with our new knowledge we were meant to address, using the horses to model how we would treat the particular injury or situation. They were not meant to be simple, and really forced us to think about the best technique to use in the specific case. From eye donuts to making up a pair of bandage suspenders, we wrapped and wrapped and wrapped our two littles until they were more vet wrap than they were fur. And they stood, like the very good horses they are, so patient and still for all of it. They even let us parade them around to show the rest of the class. They truy were the best (and cutest!) models we could have asked for.
At the end of their section of the class, they were surely relieved to be unwrapped like little Christmas presents, and were handsomely compensated for their time with a stop to nibble on some grass on the way back to their paddocks. We are truly grateful for our little ambassadors for many reasons, but on this day for the fact that they were able to help us further our education to be able to better help horses like them down the road. Now, we will all knock on wood that we will use these newly learned skills later rather than sooner!