SASHA Sponsored CPR/AED/First Aid

San Antonio Saddle Horse Association Hosts Emergency Responder Course


At the barn, in the show ring, on the road – unfortunately accidents happen and people can be in distress.

Professional horsemen, ranchers, lesson instructors and weekend equestrians – we have all witnessed or known someone who was in a situation where help was desperately needed. With this in mind, the San Antonio Saddle Horse Association sponsored a Certified First Responder Training course on October 13, 2012, to prepare participants to be able to respond and perform aid until EMS medical help arrives.

The course was open to the public but also nearly all the attendees came from the horse world where everyone could relate to the need to have basic training for accidents or illness.

The course was taught by Ardy Feike, a certified EMT, and certified First Responder trainer. Course venue was the Courtyard by Marriott at The Rim, the SASHA show hotel. It covered CPR for adults, children and infants, obstructed airway clearing techniques, first aid and Automated External Defibrillator. The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses for you the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is then able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. This little machine is fully self contained and gives you oral directions.

Ardy pointed out that these amazing life saving machines are easily obtained through many available grants to charitable groups such as SASHA, and should be at all events, as they are now in most public places- just look for them on the walls at the Mall. They are really small, about the size of a small lunch box. It makes lots of sense to acquire a club AED, as many horse events are held away from public buildings & are often held out in the open.

Do you know that old cell phones can still be used to dial 911? No need to have a phone contract, all 911 emergency calls will have a response. So, save those old phones, have them in easily accessible places, and know that they can bring help.

Your first aid kit is best one that you have created yourself- use any bag or case to hold enough of all that you may need: your plastic gloves that you know will fit you, sufficient bandages, scissors, Benydryl Ointment, flashlight, eye irrigation fluid and so on. Pre-make first aid kits are woefully short of useful things, either in size or number. You can find Ardy’s suggested list here.

The group of students, whose ages ranged from their 30′s to 70′s, trained intensely for 4 hours to achieve their certification. Cathy Hof, who is the warm up ring monitor for the SASHA Charity Horse Show, commented that she would feel more confident working in the arena with the skills she picked up that day.

Terry Carter commented “Another really valuable lesson was giving me the tools to take charge of an emergency immediately and firmly. Hearing what to say and what to ask others to do is very reassuring.” Many times there is only a short time to act, yet quick action by a Certified First Responder will make the difference between full recovery or a deteriorated condition, or worse, she observed.

SASHA is fortunate that Ardy Feike has been a key member of our horse show team. He has been present every day of the competition for the past 6 years. We are assured of talented emergency medical aid, and Ardy has become a treasured friend who cares about our exhibitors.

The SASHA board and association members are now setting their sights on the 2013 SASHA Charity Horse Show, which will be Mar. 1-3, 2013, at the San Antonio Rose Palace. Preparations are underway to make the fast growing and popular show an even bigger success. New open classes will be added and a new charity will soon be announced.

For more information about SASHA, browse our website or check out the club’s Facebook page.