Whether you’re a professional jumper or not, riding injuries are bound to happen at some point throughout any horse lovers career. Luckily, today’s market boasts plenty of natural treatment options to get you back on your horse in no time!
First aid relief
For falls, sprains, and strains, the first thing to reach for is Arnica Montana. You’ll want to have it in both ointment form and in a homeopathic tube of pellets. It’s amazing when used for bruises or over-exerted and sore muscles. It’s also helpful for falls and sprains – any time there is a bruised and/or sore feeling.
Take it as soon as possible after riding injuries occur; it is especially important after a big fall or obvious injury. Homeopathic Arnica is available in many stores in 30C or 200C potencies. I carry 200C for emergency use.
On the day after an injury, you’ll need to decide between homeopathic Bryonia or Rhus tox. Bryonia is for when you are in enough pain that you can only find one comfortable way to sit or lie, and when any movement hurts. Rhus tox is for that “rusty gate feeling”, when you first get going after sitting for awhile. For a serious injury, you will usually need one or the other on the day after the Arnica has done its work. I would recommend 30C potency as needed for the pain.
You’ll also want to have some standard equipment, such as an ace bandage and ice pack, in your kit in case riding injuries occur.
Rather than “getting right back on the horse”, rest is a crucial element in healing so do remember to take it easy after an injury. Many people understand the use of ice – it just feels good. The compression of an ace bandage wrap, together with elevation by raising the limb above your heart, are also important for the extremities. This helps contain the swelling so it doesn’t become excessive and slow down the healing process.
If there is a spot that is especially tender and shows a lot of purpling under the skin, consider evaluation for a broken bone. Breaks require the attention of a physician to ensure they are set properly. You can help them heal in record time by taking two pellets of homeopathic Symphytum 30C every evening, and Calcarea Phosphoricum 30C every morning. The bones can heal so quickly that the cast may need to come off earlier than anticipated.
Cuts and scrapes
Any cuts and scrapes are usually easily resolved with herbal Calendula and Hypericum. Calendula, the pot marigold flower, is exceptional in its ability to stimulate skin regeneration, in addition to being antimicrobial. Hypericum is also known as St. John’s Wort. I always carry Hypericum oil in my bag when I am traveling. It is not only antimicrobial, but also stops the pain of a scrape, cut or smashed nerve on contact. I was once with a group of children on a bike ride, when one of them fell off and was scraped up badly on the gravel road. I put Hypericum oil on her scrapes and she completely calmed down. Even washing the scrapes with water didn’t bother her until we reached one that I had not put any oil on – it sent her through the roof. I then fully appreciated the pain relief Hypericum can provide.
If you have a scrape or small cut, place 20 drops of Calendula tincture in a quarter cup of water and apply it to clean the wound. This will speed up the healing process. You can also apply Calendula with Hypericum oil, as they make a great team! A bad cut to the head or other area that will not stop bleeding will respond well to one drop of Calendula tincture and a dry bandage, applied firmly. You will be pleasantly surprised at your success in stopping even severe bleeding.
Begin carrying Arnica ointment and homeopathic pellets, Hypericum oil and Calendula tincture, along with a few bandages and an ace bandage, and you’ll have the start of a great field kit for riding injuries.
Dr. Valeria Wyckoff is a naturopathic physician and registered dietitian with a practice in Chandler, Arizona. She is also a Radio Doctor with a weekly talk show (www.Radiodoctors.net) broadcast in the Phoenix area and on the internet. www.DrValeria.net