Wednesday, September 3, 2014

31x31: Challenge 1

I successfully completed my first task by administering IM injections of progesterone to 2.5 horses with a passing grade from my awesome instructor, Kelly!

While I didn't give any IV injections (I think there was some fear I might kill a horse) I did observe several and after my experience I'm happy to leave those more tricky injections up to the trainers.

We started by filling our syringes, tapping out the bubbles, and reviewing the list of horses. Kelly demonstrated the first IM injection on Polly and then I was tasked with giving it a shot (haha) on Ellie.
I have never stuck a needle in anything other than a pin cushion and perhaps jabbed a bit too aggressively- I blame my shaking hands. As Ells was already giving us the hairy eyeball,  Kelly took over for the second demo. Still count that as half a horse.

By Honey (pictured below) I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable and was able to finish the injection with minimal (meaning still a fair amount) of coaching.

Oddly I found the most challenging part to be twisting the top off the needle without pulling the whole damn thing off entirely.

The learning process felt a bit clumsy and awkward, as expected when mastering something new, but I was excited to cross a task off my list on the very first day of the challenge!
Looking forward to a few more practice rounds to fine tune my new skill!

The 31x31 List
1. Body Clip
2. Give IM & IV Shots
3. Pull a Mane
4. Polo Wrap
5. Set a course (including gymnastic differences to trot poles, bounce, 1 stride)
6. Clean a stall
7. Sweat Wrap
8. Poultice
9. Braid- Mane and Tail
10. Name and find all tendons, ligaments, bones in the lower leg
11. Emergency response: choking, colic, etc- signs and treatment
12. Administer Bute, Banamine, Ace- circumstance and dosage
13. Hook up, drive, and back up a trailer
14. Pull a sprung shoe
15. Check vital signs- temperature, respiratory, pulse
16. Palpate major soft tissue structures in the leg
17. Clean a water trough
18. Tie a quick release knot and learn to ground tie
19. Pack and wrap feet
20. Learn identifiers of body condition scoring
21. Clean sheath/ teats
22. Basics of saddle fitting
23. Nutrition- what Ellie eats and why along with setting up grain for the barn
24. Properly fit a bridle
25. Groom at a show
26. Make up a basic first aid kit and understand basic shoeing tools
27. Learn anatomy of a horse and basic conformation
28. How to twitch- when to use and basic methods
29. Rasp a hoof
30. De-worm
31. Learn basic massage and stretch techniques


  1. Sticking a needle into anything makes me cringe, I hate them so much. Way to go! It's a good skill to have.

  2. Yeah, congrats! Very useful skill to have.

  3. I feel the same way about IV injections -- they scare me, haha

  4. I feel like you started with the hardest one!! go you!