(Don’t take too long to make up your mind – you wouldn’t be able to hang about if the scenario was real!)
You’re out hacking with a friend and suddenly, a riderless pony you don’t recognise gallops out of the woods and past your ponies, its reins dangling, stirrups flying. What would you do?
A: Whip out your mobile and call your yard to alert them, and ask them to ring around the local stables to see look out for the pony if it goes home. If so, then your yard can tell them where it was last spotted and they can send someone to help.
B: Split up with your friend – one of you chases after the pony, the other ventures into the woods from whence it came, to try and find its rider, and discover what has happened.
C: Both of you try to find the rider. They could be hurt and need help more than the pony.
D: Both chase after the pony. It could tread on its reins, break its bridle, hurt its mouth, or even trip over its reins and hurt itself or damage its saddle.
So what did you do?
A: If you whipped out your mobile to call the yard you’re quick-thinking, can think laterally and are good at delegation. This practical approach means you’ve alerted other people to the problem, and they can help you. The question now is – what would you do next?
B: If you split up it shows you’re able to come up with an immediate plan that covers both problems – the pony and the rider. Splitting up, however, can cause its own worries, if one of you falls off for example, or is unable to help the other. But hey, it’s an emergency, right?
C: This shows you are able to prioritise – assessing the situation and deciding what is most important and who needs most help. The rider could be badly hurt, and if you both try to find them, you might be able to help. Would you know what to do if they were unconscious, or badly hurt? Maybe it’s time to take some first aid lessons!
D: This decision shows you are more worried about the pony than the rider! Chasing after the pony could scare it even more, and while you’re doing that, the rider could be suffering. But making a decision is better than dithering – at least you acted! But have you covered all eventualities?
So would you change your decision, now you’ve read our comments? The thing is, in an emergency things happen so fast, it’s not easy to do the perfect thing – the main thing is to do something!