Thursday, Feb. 13, proved to be a beautiful day for a horseback ride in the Putney and Metcalf preserve. My friend and I were remarking on how easy the horses were moving and how nice the trails were. Forty minutes into the ride, her horse stumbled and in a second she was face down on the trail, unconscious and bleeding.
After a trip to Whidbey General Hospital and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, she is now home and recovering.
Thank you to all the first responders for what could have resulted in a worse fate for my dear friend. Whidbey has the most amazing team of emergency response heroes I’ve had the honor to see in action.
To the dispatcher who kept me grounded as we assessed my friend’s situation as she lay unconscious and not breathing.
To the cell reception and the ability for 911 to triangulate our position deep in the woods.
To the emergency medical technicians and paramedics who arrived sooner than later.
To the jogger, Jim, who happened by and as irony would have it, was an EMT. He took over so I could manage the horses.
To Ann, a first responder who kindly walked with me with my friend’s horse in hand, out of the woods, to her barn an hour away.
Thank you for your time, your knowledge, your abilities and your concern. I am humbled at the work that you have chosen to do.
Lessons learned: Continue to wear helmets, or start the habit if you don’t. Carry extra halters and lead lines, take your cell phone and perhaps reconsider riding alone, even if you are seasoned and confident rider.