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View Full Version : Why don't dressage riders wear helmets?



ponyjumper4
Sep. 19, 2007, 09:49 AM
Obviously, that isn't true for everyone, but more often than not, when you see ads of riders on dressage horses, or photos of the pros, etc., the dressage rider is wearing a ball cap or a visor (or nothing) and not a helmet while schooling, etc. I'm just curious as to why this seems to be so prevalent in this sport.

Donkaloosa
Sep. 19, 2007, 09:57 AM
You know, I've always wondered about that, too, and I think it's one of those "tradition" things. At least the hunter people (mostly) were used to wearing the old style hard hats, so it wasn't as much of a big deal to switch to helmets that were actually going to be useful. That or maybe dressage riders figure they'll never fall off??? :-)

I ride western now, and always wear a helmet --- I'd feel nekkid without one!

Donk

hoopoe
Sep. 19, 2007, 09:59 AM
well there is advertising and then there is the real world

Most of the mainstream magazines ( dressage today for instance) do a good job in making sure demo riders in photos for articles wear helmets

In reality, most people I know wear helmets at home at at shows.

There will always be those who refuse, just as there are in hunters and all theother disceplines.

Sometimes it takes a bad fall to "scare you straight". Age does it too. When you realize that normal aging is bad enough with memory, being able to get thru the day without an ache or pain. You discover that you best protect what few assets you have left :winkgrin:

MyReality
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:09 AM
because some people thought their riding is so dang good they will never fall off.

In my opinion, it is just stupid. If I have my way, I would like to see FEI level requires riders to wear helmet as well.

ponyjumper4
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:10 AM
I notice this at shows and clinics too though. Your lower level riders typically wear a helmet, but everyone else is without. I know beyond 4th you wear a top hat anyway, but can still wear a helmet, it's just something I've noticed over the years and always wondered about.

kittykeno
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:11 AM
I don't know about magazines but a very large number of riders wear helmets in my area. Twenty years ago it was unusual to see a helmeted rider of any discipline. Now, helmets are in the majority. Over here the WP people are slower in adopting helmet use vs. english type (dressage and HJ) or strict trail riders.

MyReality
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:18 AM
yeah I used to wear 'paper mache' style hunt cap. How stupid is that.

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 19, 2007, 11:12 AM
so when we fall off, we don't land on our heads and break our necks? :lol:

Wild Oaks Farm
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:01 PM
Because it would mess up their hair and hide their diamond earrings! :D

see u at x
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:07 PM
Personally, I feel very vulnerable without mine. If I go anywhere now, where it looks like I even have a prayer of riding, I take my helmet along. It makes me very, very nervous to have trainers get on my horse without one. I've had 3 of them do it - and my mare has been know to buck at the canter. My most recent former instructor got on her 16 y.o., out of shape, former eventer, asked him for a canter, and he bucked her off. No helmet...because she NEVER rides with one. :rolleyes: This from a woman who doesn't carry health insurance, either.:uhoh: Luckily, my current trainer refuses to get on any horse without one which puts my mind tremendously at ease should she ever need to get on my horse for any reason.

purplnurpl
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:45 PM
allow me to explain. We know the person in question does not care if they fall off and bust their head. But maybe they should wear a helmet because no one in the family wants to spoon feed them for the rest of their pathetic lives.

My friend KileyC says she HAS to wear a helmet because her family would let her starve.

SillyHorse
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:51 PM
allow me to explain. We know the person in question does not care if they fall off and bust their head. But maybe they should wear a helmet because no one in the family wants to spoon feed them for the rest of their pathetic lives. Word. :yes:


My friend KileyC says she HAS to wear a helmet because her family would let her starve. :lol:

Gracie
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:52 PM
I hate helmets.

To do their job well, a helmet needs to fit tighter than I like, giving me a headache and making me irritable. Then I'm not riding well.

I wear a helmet when it's required.

OnyxThePony
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:57 PM
I also joke about messing up the coif, but really, I think it's a bit of tradition, a bit of ignorence (I"ve been told so many times in the past that a good dressage horse will never mess up.. yeah right.. although haven't heard that one lately) and a lot of arrogance.

I've shown up around mainly dressage and western barns with my helmet on every time, and what do you know.. the focus shifts and I end up seeing more riders in helmets more times than when I arrived. I have to say (sigh hate to say), I'm not some glamorous bombshell in my helmet! Mine are traditionally big ugly and approved and I'm a tomboy.
I think it "just takes one" to alter people's perception enough for them to study the situation from outside their normal parameters and reach a wiser conclusion.

dutchmike
Sep. 19, 2007, 02:48 PM
because a helmet is to protect the brain. How many horse people do you know that are right in the head?. I don't know anyone including myself;)

PaddyUK
Sep. 19, 2007, 02:57 PM
It is a bit of a fad over here as many of the big names warm up and in articles are always pictured hatless.

Younger riders copy them thinking it's cool to do what Carl et al do. Never thinking of the consequences of a fall.

Brain damaged and spending the rest of my life dribbling in a wheelchair is not cool.

Hence, never hatless.

Paddy

Mozart
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:09 PM
Well, when you think about it, it isn't that surprising that the most tradition bound of equestrian disciplines would be slow to catch on to something so "new" as helmets. No one ever wore helmets to ride. Then we made beginners and kids wear them. Then people jumping wore them. Then dressage riders on green or rank horses would wear them. Now the safety conscious adult ammies wear them. It is only a matter of time before everyone gets accustomed to it and it will feel awkward to go without (like seat belt laws).

When you think that the jumpers would routinely school without helmets and then show in those ridiculous unsecured helmets but now every jumper rider has the titanium steel race car driver designed cost a fortune helmet....eventually the dressage riders will get on some helmet bandwagon when someone designs something ultra cool, technical and very expensive. ;)

xQHDQ
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:19 PM
I asked my trainer this question who sometimes does and sometimes does not where a helmet.

She said that on horses that she knows are quiet and steady she doesn't wear one because that would mean wearing the same helmet for just about 7 hours straight because she rides so many in a day. In the summer especially she feels that's kind of gross. I've equated it to speeding in my car. On some roads I speed (NJ Tnpk - straight, good visiability) but on others I don't (Wertzville - lots of blind curves and deer, narrow).

However, she always wears a helmet on the young ones and those she does not know and on trail rides.

Personally, I always wear my helmet but wish the liner came out so I could wash it.

SarMoniet
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:36 PM
The worst bang to the head I ever took was not because I got bucked off or because the horse did anything naughty. He tripped. It was an accident, plain and simple and he could not get his feet back under himself in time. I got a concussion WITH the helmet on -- I dare not think of how bad it could have been without it.

I admit to taking Sar out on lazy slow trail rides without a helmet when it's really hot or cool enough that I want to wear a stocking cap instead. He's as bombproof as they come, though, and I don't fancy too much happening when we're walking around the back 40. If I want to play & run, though, I wear the helmet.

My head feels naked riding any other horse without a helmet, though. And this is coming from a former western rider who used to say she'd rather die than wear one! ;) It's just what you're used to -- once you get used to a helmet you don't even notice it's there.

Eq3nStar
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:39 PM
I knew a gal who said (in a very pompous I never fall off because I'm so good voice) she only wore helmets on young horses.
This is the same woman who was out hacking her 18+ hh (you read that right) teen-aged horse in the hills and he tripped and fell down- and of course off she went. (And had to walk home because she couldn't get back on him from the ground.) So I looked at her when she made that ridiculous statement and said- oh I see- because older horses never FALL DOWN.
Freak accidents happen even if you do wear a helmet- sometimes those are the breaks.
But shame on you if you choose NOT to because they're hot, uncomfortable, mess up your hair, aren't "cool"... WHATEVER. Shame on you because the ones left behind to care for the drooling blob on life support that used to be you are the ones who suffer. I second the you are selfish sentiment.

twnkltoz
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:48 PM
Not just dressage. Go to an arab show some time...you won't see helmets on just about anyone unless they're in show clothes (well, maybe on kids). Many of them have fallen off at some point in their lives. I bet you'd find the same or similar at other breed shows.

I grew up riding western and saddleseat and never wore a helmet...and I fell off plenty of times, including breaking an arm. I didn't start wearing one until I moved to a training barn a couple of years ago with an emphasis on eventing, jumping, and dressage and the BO insisted. While there, I fell off and got a concussion WITH the helmet on so now I'm a believer! The point is, there are lots and lots of people out there who don't feel the need to wear one, and helmets don't prevent all injuries.

TropicalStorm
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:50 PM
Knowing my luck, the one time I don't wear my helmet will be the time I get a nasty fall! So I wear it. :yes: But if anyone has any suggestions for an AIRY, comfortable helmet (that doesn't make me look too much like a pumpkin) please let me know!

flshgordon
Sep. 19, 2007, 03:53 PM
allow me to explain. We know the person in question does not care if they fall off and bust their head. But maybe they should wear a helmet because no one in the family wants to spoon feed them for the rest of their pathetic lives.

My friend KileyC says she HAS to wear a helmet because her family would let her starve.


AMEN! Unless you have absolutely no family or dependents and if something happens to you, the government will be feeding you, then you should wear a helmet. It's selfish not to.

mp
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:17 PM
All the dressage riders at my barn wear helmets. All five of us. Most of the 115+ other riders there (cowboys, cowboy wannabe's and trail riders) go hatless. What's wrong with this picture? :lol:


My head feels naked riding any other horse without a helmet, though. And this is coming from a former western rider who used to say she'd rather die than wear one! It's just what you're used to -- once you get used to a helmet you don't even notice it's there.

Yup. I started out in WP, too, and didn't wear a helmet for a long time. I had a Troxel but it just sat in the tackroom. Until my mare spooked during a thunderstorm during one of our first rides in a curb. I knew how to do a one-rein stop with her, but I'd never done it in a curb bit and I was afraid she might fall over on me.

So there I was, careening around the arena, thinking about that helmet in the tackroom. After I got her stopped, I dismounted, got the helmet and put it on. It's just part of my riding gear now. Just as natural as wearing boots.

Gracie, a helmet doesn't have to be "tight" to be effective. If it's giving you a headache, it doesn't fit. Helmets come in round and oval shapes (just like cowboy hats) and you can shape them with foam inserts, too. My current schooling helmet isn't all that comfortable (last helmet I buy online). I got my show helmet at a local tack shop after trying on about 7 different models and it fits like it was made for me. I literally forget I've got it on.

chisamba
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:22 PM
I do wear my helmet unless i have a killer migraine, then the helmet feels like a vice.

However, dressage horses are supposedly progressively taught obedience and balance and always ridden on a forgiving surface, so, theoretically, you do not fall off :)

OnyxThePony
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:24 PM
Well, when you think about it, it isn't that surprising that the most tradition bound of equestrian disciplines would be slow to catch on to something so "new" as helmets. No one ever wore helmets to ride. Then we made beginners and kids wear them. Then people jumping wore them. Then dressage riders on green or rank horses would wear them. Now the safety conscious adult ammies wear them. It is only a matter of time before everyone gets accustomed to it and it will feel awkward to go without (like seat belt laws).

;)

I think you've absolutley identified the trend!!

dressagetraks
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:27 PM
I never used to except at shows, where they were required. The H/J barn I started lessons at did not require them. I shudder to think how many falls without a helmet I have had.

The one that converted me, though, was with a helmet. I was at a show and otherwise wouldn't have been wearing a helmet. The horse dumped me, and he kicked me square in the head. It fractured the helmet in half. I was okay, although that is one of the two falls of my life where they would not let me get back on afterwards. I really didn't feel that bad, slight headache, wondered why everybody at the show who saw this was so white and worried. Then when I saw the helmet, I turned white myself. I have absolutely no doubt that that hoof would have killed me without the helmet. If that fall had happened at home (which it could have), I would be dead.

Point taken. I never ride without one anymore.

EdwynEdwyn
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:38 PM
I would never (ever!) get on a horse without a helmet. I do think that riding on the flat is safer than jumping, but riding a horse is inherently dangerous. Just being around a horse is inherently dangerous!

I think it was on the COTH forums that I read about a dressage trainer (Maybe Meri Straz?) dying of a head injury when her horse stumbled, fell over, and she hit her head on the ground. Ack!

My husband is nervous enough that I choose to cavort with 1000 lb hooven animals, he'd probably leave me if I didn't wear a helmet. Good thing I will always wear one.

starrunner
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:52 PM
I wear a helmet...always.

I ride too many green horses and unpredictable animals not too. I've had four bad falls (4 falls period) and involved my head making a rather powerful impact upon the ground at high speeds (aka galloping). Scratch that, one involved my horse runnig into a tree and I hit the tree before I hit the ground.

But I digress. My kids I teach wear helmets...I wear a helmet, simple as that. I've seen too many accidents on simple, bombproof horses not too.

Plus, I'm only given one head per lifetime and would rather keep it intact.

Vanity shouldn't overrule common sense IMO. Nor should judges mark down those who wear a helmet (as they have in some western shows around here). Doesn't make sense to me...punish those who are trying to protect their future.

As to the comment about wearing a helmet for 7+ hours a day and it being icky. Yes, it can be icky. This past summer (and a few other summers) I wore a helmet for 10+ hours a day in 90+ degree weather. Was it hot and sweaty? Sure, but you get used to it. I'm hot and sweaty wearing boots too, but just because I'm sweating doesn't mean I'm going to ride barefoot!

JRG
Sep. 19, 2007, 04:58 PM
I come from the H/J world, we always wore helmets...they weren't always good helmets as someone stated more the paper mache variety. That and the combination of always riding green beans and jumping still, always wore a helmet.

Now that I am older, not so much wiser I still wear a helmet, one of the reasons that just came to me recently is that as an older person (like dirt to the younguns) they watch what you do. I don't want to be the one responsible for, and hear "but so n so doesn't".

I have a derby for showing and I will get out and show this year but I am undecided on if I will wear that or the helmet. My current horse is a schoolmaster so I do have a choice.

I know that I will have to loose the helmet when I start showing my horse and require wearing a top hat. I am quite certain after all this time that it will feel odd.

ponyjumper4
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:00 PM
Well I didn't mean to start a debate on the pros or cons of wearing one, it just seems with the concern for increased safety at all levels and disciplines, dressage in general still seems to be lagging behind in a change of the rules. Football helmets are now being made to reduce impact and concussions as well (hubby just bought himself one). I don't recall seeing in the rules juniors being required to wear helmets. Did I miss that? It seems to me that for insurance purposes as well, it would be better for the show management to require helmets on everyone, although at the same time, I can also see where adults deserve the right to choose for themselves as well.

spotted mustang
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:17 PM
well, they're there to protect your brain. So let your brain tell you whether you need one or not. As for mine, it refuses to let me mount any horse without one.

dalpal
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:19 PM
I have a good story on this one.

First of all, I do wear a helmet...always. When husband started riding, he got a helmet as well.

I had a horse in training with a cowboy/reiner trainer.....when I would go down and ride her, they would all rib me about me asking for a mounting block and my helmet. Cowboy would jest me by saying.."See you girls think about this in the wrong way, you get on thinking youre going to fall off." Everyone laughed, I did too, but didn't offer to take it off. When we got in the car, husband said...Yeah, I don't understand why you use a helmet just riding on the flat (meaning both of us)...I mean, in the arena, youre just going to land in the dirt, it's not like you are jumping.

Fastforward to about a year later....Husband is on his horse (with helmet on)...horse starts a bucking fit, husband bails, lands on the ground and hits his head, he groaned when he hit. After I knew he was okay...I said...NOW YOU KNOW WHY WE WEAR HELMETS ON THE FLAT. He didn't argue that one ever again. ;)

RHdobes563
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:33 PM
I do wear my helmet unless i have a killer migraine, then the helmet feels like a vice.

If you HAVE a killer migraine, I'd be surprised that you could ride at all.


However, dressage horses are supposedly progressively taught obedience and balance and always ridden on a forgiving surface, so, theoretically, you do not fall off :)

And Anky's horse never ran away with her, either.

throwurheart
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:36 PM
I wear a helmet always. My dressage trainer did not.

One day, her normally very obedient and sweet young horse went up and fell back. She fell clear with a few cracked ribs. She shows up for our next lesson swearing she'd wear a helmet from now on.

Six weeks later, she's at a show riding solid middle-aged citizen - going around 3rd or 4th I think? - slips and falls during warmup. No helmet. So she gets a concussion.

Now, allegedly, she DOES wear a helmet. Although I hear some rumor that she bought a purple one and some students glued a sparkly crown to it? Not sure, just a rumor!

flshgordon
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:41 PM
Well I didn't mean to start a debate on the pros or cons of wearing one, it just seems with the concern for increased safety at all levels and disciplines, dressage in general still seems to be lagging behind in a change of the rules. .

OK well I'll bite then. I think it's slower to catch on in dressage because you will ALMOST never catch a really successful BNR or BNT in dressage wearing one....they're wearing tophats instead. In fact, just recently a friend who is an eventer was told by his (pretty BN trainer) that if he really wanted to be able to move into the upper echelons and run with the big dogs he needed to ditch the helmet for dressage and wear a hat. WTF?????? :confused: If I ever get to the big time in anything horsey related some day and I'm frowned upon for wearing an approved helmet, I'm going to take the big E, get off my horse and smack the judge in the head WITH my helmet! :winkgrin:

You just don't see the BNTs wearing helmets in competitions or in mags.

I do have to say though, it THRILLED me when I got my GMO newsletter this month and one of our BNTs here (Elizabeth Poulin) was pictured in an article about her qualifying for the Markel Young Horse Champs and I'll be damned....she has a helmet on in the picture! I'm pretty sure she doesn't show in one, but it was cool to see that at least sometimes she schools in one.

The only way this change will really happen IMO is if it becomes required so then everyone is on a level playing field instead of trying to "look good" by wearing a hat.

Renae
Sep. 19, 2007, 05:47 PM
Why do some people give a toot wether other, unrelated people wear helmets? Its none of your business.

flshgordon
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:02 PM
Why do some people give a toot wether other, unrelated people wear helmets? Its none of your business.

In spite of your snide attitude :rolleyes:, I'll answer...

Because when people are judged more harshly in part because they choose to wear approved safety equipment, that's BS!!! And it happens. So THAT is why it is my business.

claire
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:10 PM
The only way this change will really happen IMO is if it becomes required so then everyone is on a level playing field instead of trying to "look good" by wearing a hat.

They don't wear them because all the trainers wear BB caps to school and Top Hats to show: tres chic! :winkgrin:

And please, the I don't need to wear them with my "obedient" dressage horse/for flat work. The fatal accidents seem to happen walking the old faithful horse on a loose rein back to barn.

I will say the saddest thing I ever read was on this BB when a mother posted after her daughter's fatal accident walking a horse back to the barn w/o a helmet.

The other wake-up call was watching my VERY experienced trainer in a BB cap and down jacket longing a horse.
Horse kicked out and just missed her head, instead her arm was sliced to bone THROUGH the jacket! :eek:

So yes, yahdah, yahdah about personal rights. But is your desire to be chic ala the BNT's realy worth taking that chance?

As a previous poster noted: we wear the deerskin F/S breeches and expensive leather boots to protect our legs from rubs,
why not wear an approved helmet to protect our life? :confused:

The H/J people did not start to wear approved "mushroom" helmets
till the governing bodies saw fit to require them at shows. The governing bodies of Dressage should get with the program.

Sandy M
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:18 PM
While I generally wear a helmet, I must admit that riding my recently retired horse, I rarely wore one while schooling in the arena. Most times I did wear one when trail riding him, but occasionally did just get on and go - not intentionally going helmetless, just a senior moment. Indeed, the most likely "worse case scenario" would not have been misbehavior on his part, but simply falling down.

Still, while I admit the validity of "at all times" helmet wearing, I STILL have not seen any stats regarding relative frequency/seriousness of injuries to WESTERN riders as compared to ENGLISH riders, and it is a rare thing indeed to see a western rider wearing a helmet. It certainly is as hard to stick a cutter as a jumper. I can only recall the ONE barrel racer at the NFR wearing a helmet, and they sure made a BIG DEAL about that (and good for her - wanted to set an example for her grandchildren.)

Now that I'm riding a 3 year old however, I do not get on without that helmet!!! LOL

yellowbritches
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:23 PM
re: helmet messing up the hair. I've discovered that it is just as easy to look great when you take your helmet off after a ride, as it does to not wear one at all. I take my helmet off, pull my hair down, shake it out, then, usually, pull it back up in a neat pony tail. Being a girl who likes attention from the opposite sex, I have found that this little action DOES get attention...it was driven home today when I was hit on outrageously by the farrier's assistant, AFTER I rode my first horse :lol::lol:

I do wear a helmet...most of the time. It is a very, very rare thing for me not wear a helmet at home. I never jump without it, and can count on one hand the number of times I have ridden on the flat without over the past couple of years. I do have a useless hunt cap that I wear in dressage at events on trusted horses, but will wear my nice helmet for youngsters or unpredicatable horses. Funnily enough, I was bucked off of my "trusted" horse in dressage warm up one day a few years ago. I actually had a helmet on (normally, I wouldn't wear it with him) because I had ridden a very green, often very naughty horse before him (who had been a saint) and literally had to get off of one and on the other.

Sonesta
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:28 PM
I started wearing one EVERY ride when I got shamed into it by my students. They held an "intervention." I insist that my students ALWAYS wear a helmet, no matter what. But, like many other trainers, didn't always follow my own rules.

My students pointed out to me the inconsistency of "Do what I say, not what I do." and said plainly that they didn't want to see me get hurt. I was touched. And I now can't imagine riding without a helmet.

Oh, and it was only a couple of months after this "intervention" that I got on a student's horse that was acting up. He dumped me HARD and I landed right on the back of my head. I'm absolutely convinced that if I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I wouldn't be sitting here on the computer today.

So, thanks again, Girls!

Renae
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:29 PM
In spite of your snide attitude :rolleyes:, I'll answer...

Because when people are judged more harshly in part because they choose to wear approved safety equipment, that's BS!!! And it happens. So THAT is why it is my business.

If you want to wear a helmet wear it, but don't whine about it because thats not what the cool kids are wearing. And if you perceive you are judged more harshly for wearing a helmet I guess you'll just have to work harder. But saying everyone must wear a helmet because you want to is ludicrous! I could slip walking up the stone steps from my barn to my house and crack my head open and lie there and die because I live alone and have not taught my dog to dial 911- should I wear a helmet 24 hours a day to make y'all feel better? I don't think so.

The rulebook says you may wear a helmet wihtout penalty, so if there are judges penalizing you for wearing one your beef should be with those bad judges who can not adhere to the rulebook, not with other riders who choose to wear hats that they like to wear.

snoopy
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:33 PM
I always wear one...always have. I wear one in warm up as well and change to a topper when required. Accidents happen and I am not about to end up dribbling into my cup because I was making a fashion statment or did not want to mess my rather fabulous hair (if I don't say so myself) but then again I am male and a quick rinse under the hose is all that is needed to "face the world" again.

LarkspurCO
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:34 PM
The helmet is designed not only to absorb the shock when you whack your head, but also to protect you from the four flashing hooves that can smash your skull like a pumpkin. This is a risk regardless of whether you're jumping or riding on the flat.

bird4416
Sep. 19, 2007, 06:34 PM
Why don't dressage riders wear helmets?

They are too hard headed.:lol:

atr
Sep. 19, 2007, 07:02 PM
I am seeing more and more wearing helmets today.

I've always worn one, just as I've always worn a seat belt (I'm 46). I feel nekkid without one. Never even crosses my mind whether it's cool or not.

And besides, my mother would come back and haunt me if I didn't.

My attitude towards others is that you can do what you like as long as you follow my rules on my property or riding my horses.

EasyStreet
Sep. 19, 2007, 07:28 PM
You know, I've always wondered about that, too, and I think it's one of those "tradition" things. At least the hunter people (mostly) were used to wearing the old style hard hats, so it wasn't as much of a big deal to switch to helmets that were actually going to be useful. That or maybe dressage riders figure they'll never fall off??? :-)

I ride western now, and always wear a helmet --- I'd feel nekkid without one!

Donk

What I have always wondered is why western riders are not required to wear helmets at shows??? :confused::confused::confused:

ponyjumper4
Sep. 19, 2007, 07:30 PM
I'll be at Devon next week so maybe I'll just take a tally in the warm up areas and see where the trend is.

tpup
Sep. 19, 2007, 08:17 PM
I would never (ever!) get on a horse without a helmet. I do think that riding on the flat is safer than jumping, but riding a horse is inherently dangerous. Just being around a horse is inherently dangerous!

I think it was on the COTH forums that I read about a dressage trainer (Maybe Meri Straz?) dying of a head injury when her horse stumbled, fell over, and she hit her head on the ground. Ack!

My husband is nervous enough that I choose to cavort with 1000 lb hooven animals, he'd probably leave me if I didn't wear a helmet. Good thing I will always wear one.

Agree, agree, agree :) I do it for my husband and my kids, and then me. I feel naked without it and even wear it to catch my lesson horse or going into a field of horses.

Here's a thought...a few years ago I was riding my bike in a park with my 2 year old on the back in a baby seat. He had a helmet on. I didn't. A man passed me as I was adjusting my son's seat and asked me, "Where is your helmet?"

I explained I didn't have one, but proudly pointed out that my son did. He then shared with me that he was an emergency room physician, and how sadly common it was to have adults come in with serious head injuries from bike falls and accidents....and that I should absolutely wear one.

So, if that's the case with a bike, you bet for darn sure I am wearing one on a 1000 pound animal, bombproof or not...you can never be too safe.

Jasper'sMom
Sep. 19, 2007, 08:31 PM
I think it's just a question of what the "norm" is in a particular discipline or barn. If no one else around is wearing a helmet, then it seems weird to be the one who is. I do think there is a wee bit of "I'm a great rider, I don't need a helmet" but that's only part of the story.

Personally, I NEVER get on a horse, any horse, for any reason, without a helmet. I haven't fall off for quite some time, but I feel totally naked and vulnerable without the helmet. Stuff happens when you are around horses and it's a long way down (at least on some of them).

I know of one rider at my barn (dressage) who has fallen off of her horse 3-4 times in the last 2 years. She's been to the ER at least 3 times and STILL doesn't wear a helmet on this horse. Why? I have no idea.

I also ride with some Western folks and I am AMAZED that they will let their little kids ride without helmets. I mean these are very safety-focused people, but they let the kid canter around on a silly horse that has bolted with said kid in the past with kid wearing an absolutely darling, and utterly useless in case of a fall, Western-style hat.

I just don't get it. I care about my brains. Alot. So I always wear my helmet. :winkgrin:

hb
Sep. 19, 2007, 08:43 PM
Why do some people give a toot wether other, unrelated people wear helmets? Its none of your business.


Because head injuries can be very expensive, are very easily prevented or lessened by wearing a helmet, and are seldom paid for by the person who decided not to wear a helmet.

Renae
Sep. 19, 2007, 08:57 PM
Because head injuries can be very expensive, are very easily prevented or lessened by wearing a helmet, and are seldom paid for by the person who decided not to wear a helmet.

If you are going down that path then smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine, eating anything other than a perfectly balanced diet for your age and amount of daily activity, driving cars (should I go on?) should all be banned :uhoh: You do far, far more statistically dangerous things every single day than riding without a helmet, and even with a helmet you are still at risk of a major heart. lung or spine injury when riding. It is a choice to wear a helmet and if you choose to wear one goodie goodie for you, but you have no right to harp on people who choose not to wear one, unless you would like them harping on you for all your behavior that they deem to be risky.

claire
Sep. 19, 2007, 09:29 PM
From the COTH Favorites Forum

Coreene [quote]

The doctor calls it "recovering" because it's much easier to splain.

In my case ... I remember going back to the office two or three weeks after my Unplanned Dismount. This was after intensive care, etc. Spent about 20 minutes sitting in front of my computer, trying to get my finger to push the ON button. Knew that was what had to happen, but it didn't work.

Or if you asked me what color the sky was, in my head I would say blue but when I answered, I would say "yellow," because I could not make the correct answer come out.

I could not walk a straight line for years. To this day, when I am very tired or mentally on overload, I cannot walk a straight line. And many, many, many more things, but I don't want to belabor it.

And on top of that, which is something that Francesca and I discussed in email last week (MAD "introduced" us), each and every brain injury reacts totally differently from each and every brain injury, even if it was identical.

The ONLY thing which did "recover" had nothing to do with recovery, it had to do with movement. I fell on the back of my head, no helmet (that ONLY time, no joke), on hardpack. Broke my skull in seven places, fractured my jaw (still have awful TMJ), ripped all the cartilage up one side of my nose on the inside, and my right eardrum burst out. But before it did, the CSF and blood built up behind it, and that caused a big pocket. The pocked would fill with fluid and I had debilitating vertigo.

Last month, after nearly seven years, I got off ativan, which I was taking for the reverse effect - if you take ativan, it makes you dizzy, if you are already dizzy, it makes you normal. So I could finally get off it and when I told my dr, he said "Oh, good, then that part healed by going back to the normal way it was before your accident." I still have to take a strong diuretic every day and restrict salt intake, otherwise I do spin and spin, and becuase of this I have to take a potassium replacement as well. But least I am off of one.

My accident happened on November 24, 1995. The rest of that year and all of 1996 are just tiny snippets, since most of that time is completely gone from my life. No recollection.

My poor mother, she had just gone through my dad having a benign brain tumor removed when I took my header.

Richard Spooner's mother Ginny, the first day I went back to the stable (for a half hour, that was all I could manage), ripped me an new asshole the likes of nothing you could imagine. We still talk about it. I, of all people, always the poster child for approved helmets, without one. I, the poster child for not going out in ratty knickers, wearing the rattiest ones AND shredded pantihose under the breeches.

My doctor said if I had worn an unapproved, I would have had just as much shit happen. With an approved, it would have been one hell of a headache and minor concussion, but nothing at all like what I had.

And God bless my best friend, aka Pinkerdo on the BB, for every bit of support she gave me through that ordeal. I could kiss her ass every single day for the rest of my life and I could still never thank her enough for the help and support and friendship and such she gave me then.

Friends, I am not joking. I could barely even get up out of bed to shuffle to the john, and I could not move my arms enough to pull down my knickers to pee. I could not raise my arms higher than boob level or I would pass out. Lost my sense of smell and taste for about 1 1/2 years. My hearing on the right is still shot.

AND ALL BECAUSE I WAS TO VAIN TO PUT ON A HELMET. JUST ONE TIME. THAT'S ALL IT TAKES TO @#$% UP YOUR ENTIRE LIFE, OFTEN FOREVER.

Shiaway
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:10 PM
How can we fit our tiarra's on if we're wearing a helmet? ;)

slc2
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:37 PM
yes a girl my friend rode with was killed when she fell on a road without a helmet. it was horrible.

alot of times the damage to a person's brain isn't very dramatic or obvious. it could be some very mild forgetfulness or areas of skill that are affected. this can actually be an even bigger disaster to a person, as they may no longer be able to work in a demanding job, but aren't disabled enough to collect disability payments. this happened to a friend of mine, not from a riding injury but from a small tumor. it meant he could no longer work at the job he'd had, but couldn't collect disability. he wound up having to work long hours at a menial job.

another result of a brain injury can also be a chronic depression. the brain can be affected in other ways too - the person can have a personality change from a head injury, or wind up unable to plan and organize, or unable to control impulses to do things. this sort of thing can have an unbelievably devastating effect on a person's life. a friend's son had a brain injury which caused him to be unable to plan, control impulses or understand cause and effect. he could not plan spending of money, couldn't control his impulses to do things...it was unbelievably awful.

to have some or any part of one's thinking removed, for not wearing a helmet, it is sad.

but no one lives in a vacuum. it isn't just the victem of the injury, but the entire family, that gets affected. such injuries have droven other family members to drinking, suicide....in the case of an acquaintance of mine, it destroyed also the life of her employer, because he blamed himself. he developed drinking problems and because very self destructive. injuries affect many people.

slp2
Sep. 19, 2007, 11:08 PM
A tip for those who don't like helmets--go out and try a bunch on until you find one you like and it fits well. I went to the tack store planning to spend about $50 or so, and ended up trying on all their helmets. Turns out that the one helmet that was comfortable, and looked good--cost close to $300. I hemed and hawed about spending the money but realized that's it's less than one months board! BTW--it's a Charles Owen--designed to fit more "oval" heads I guess. It really doesn't look like the old "mushroom" style helmets.

Anyway--I event--which isn't the safest of horse sports. However, like others, my worst fall in the last year was on a friends horse walking around a field. She spooked, spun, and took off at a gallop. My head hit hard--but I walked away from it and never even had a headache (I was wearing my helmet).

And for the "my horse is always well-mannered" folks, I had a friend who's nice 9 yr. old horse dropped dead while at a trot when she was in a competitive orienteering ride. She went headlong into a tree. She was wearing a helmet, spent some time in the hospital, had to have some operations to correct her vision--but is now fine. Without the helmet, she would have had the same fate as her poor horse. :(

Jealoushe
Sep. 19, 2007, 11:17 PM
Why do some people give a toot wether other, unrelated people wear helmets? Its none of your business.

It would be my business if you were in Canada, because my tax dollars whould be paying for your health care over something that could have been prevented if you were to have a fall causing a serious injury!

Im certain that those who dont wear helmets have never studied the brain and how fragile it is, and must not have kids to worry about taking care of.

Not comfortable? I forget my helmet is on my head. I cant grasp how its that hard to buckle up before a ride. AND trust me I have had bad accidents BECAUSE of my helmet, a smashes eyebrow bone and broken nose complete with stiches, but without that injury....I'd be dead. YAY for my CO

EssentialEQST
Sep. 20, 2007, 01:08 AM
I do have to say though, it THRILLED me when I got my GMO newsletter this month and one of our BNTs here (Elizabeth Poulin) was pictured in an article about her qualifying for the Markel Young Horse Champs and I'll be damned....she has a helmet on in the picture! I'm pretty sure she doesn't show in one, but it was cool to see that at least sometimes she schools in one.

The only way this change will really happen IMO is if it becomes required so then everyone is on a level playing field instead of trying to "look good" by wearing a hat.

Elizabeth always wear's a helmet, except when she's showing certain horses. Last summer when I had one of my horses down at the ranch helmets were kind of a personal if you wanted to wear it, then the rule was enforced everyone needed to have a helmet on when mounted. No problems there... I always bring my helmet along w/ me because some places strictly enforce helmets. I have no problems following someone's rules at their place. At home I sometimes wear mine and sometimes don't... more times than not, but lately I've taken to wearing mine more.

Kementari
Sep. 20, 2007, 03:00 AM
Why do some people give a toot wether other, unrelated people wear helmets? Its none of your business.

First, because the rest of us are paying, in our taxes and insurance premiums, for those people who end up in the hospital because they didn't have the brains to protect their brains.

Second, because some of us actually care about our fellow human beings, and find it tragic when someone is killed or incapacitated in an accident where the injury could have been lessened or prevented by wearing a simple, easily procured piece of safety equipment.


If you are going down that path then smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine, eating anything other than a perfectly balanced diet for your age and amount of daily activity, driving cars (should I go on?) should all be banned :uhoh: You do far, far more statistically dangerous things every single day than riding without a helmet, and even with a helmet you are still at risk of a major heart. lung or spine injury when riding. It is a choice to wear a helmet and if you choose to wear one goodie goodie for you, but you have no right to harp on people who choose not to wear one, unless you would like them harping on you for all your behavior that they deem to be risky.

Well, I also happen to be against smoking altogether, would caution anyone who asked to drink both alcohol and caffeine in moderation, firmly believe in the benefits of eating a good diet and exercise, and sincerely wish the police would give out FAR more tickets than they do to at least REDUCE the risk we run when we get in a car. I frequently ride in a body protector (though not always, partially due to the fact that it doesn't fit properly in every saddle, and so is more dangerous - being pushed up and pushing me forward - to ride without than with in those deeper seats) to reduce my risk of other injuries. Do I pass the test? :rolleyes:

I'm an eventer, and the last time I rode a horse without a helmet was as a teen many years ago. My riding instructor yelled at me, and I said, "But I'm riding western!" She told me that she had a friend who was a great rider, and was riding his horse western when said horse tripped and fell. He landed on his head, and was DOA. I know now that that story is only one of hundreds like it, and I've literally never gotten on a horse without an approved helmet since then, and I replace them faithfully when they are old or I fall on my head (usually the falling happens before the old.. :D).

merrygoround
Sep. 20, 2007, 07:30 AM
Having trashed one helmet, when riding at the walk, and having seen a YR bucked off at X while trotting, I'd rather ride w/o breeches than my helmet. :yes:

f4leggin
Sep. 20, 2007, 09:06 AM
I've had a few cases where a helmet has save my head in a fall (I tend to slam my head into the dirt, fence, etc.. when falling), but the funniest was very recently. I was showing at a show at the barn where I board. So, I mounted up in the barn, and carefully walked down the hall, ducked so I wouldn't hit my head on the door jam as we exited the barn, and sat up too soon. Smaked the top of my helmet right on the door jam, and took off the little black button on the top of my helmet. Would have been a heck of a bruise, head ache... Once again it saved me from myself.

Jill

jeano
Sep. 20, 2007, 10:01 AM
Someone asked pages back about lighter and cooler headgear:
Tipperary Sportage works for me, lighter, cooler, better fitting for my BIG OVAL head than any of the Troxels--cant wear Stetsons cause of my head shape, gotta have a Resistol. Mind you, I dont wear any hat while riding except my helmet.

Some of the low-end International helmets fit too, but in general I am happier with the pad insert fit adjusting in the Tip than with anybody's wretched dial system. I ride in midsummer in the DEEPEST part of the Deep South, and its sometimes kinda humid as well as being over 100. Yeah, my hair is sometimes soaked after a ride, but its gonna get sweaty as soon as I step outside, anyway.

I do think that a lot of horse magazines and horse people are irresponsible in how they treat the whole issue of the risks involved in horse activities. I will add that, as a RN who has spent a little time working on a neurology unit: You Dont Want to Go There. To all the people who say they have freedom of choice as regards putting themselves at risk, I say, fine, sign a waiver that you dont want to burden your family or the government with the expense of your upkeep. Or just have this tattooed on your chest--in case of head trauma while riding/cycling/skiiing/motorcycling/ski-dooing ad snowmobiling, just let me lay here until I can get up on my own. That'll help deepen the gene pool somewhat.

purplnurpl
Sep. 20, 2007, 10:04 AM
I hate helmets.

To do their job well, a helmet needs to fit tighter than I like, giving me a headache and making me irritable. Then I'm not riding well.

I wear a helmet when it's required.


I believe that being stuck in a wheel chair and drooling for the rest of your life is more uncomfortable.

Dressage riders that hate helmets. Try an eventing skull cap for schooling. OMG. so comfortable!
And for the summer heat (100 degrees with humidity)...I just bought one of those 25 dollar troxels. Light, cool, very soft. I was unable to ride in anything elese without feeling like I was going to pass out.

flshgordon
Sep. 20, 2007, 11:30 AM
If you want to wear a helmet wear it, but don't whine about it because thats not what the cool kids are wearing. And if you perceive you are judged more harshly for wearing a helmet I guess you'll just have to work harder. But saying everyone must wear a helmet because you want to is ludicrous! I could slip walking up the stone steps from my barn to my house and crack my head open and lie there and die because I live alone and have not taught my dog to dial 911- should I wear a helmet 24 hours a day to make y'all feel better? I don't think so.

The rulebook says you may wear a helmet wihtout penalty, so if there are judges penalizing you for wearing one your beef should be with those bad judges who can not adhere to the rulebook, not with other riders who choose to wear hats that they like to wear.

I couldn't give a crap less what the cool kids are wearing, so obviously you totally missed the point. :rolleyes: I do just fine showing with my helmet and don't feel it effects ME in ANY way. But my friend who is an upper level rider has been told by MORE THAN ONE BNT that like it or not, it makes a difference... so you can pout, whine yourself or get holier than thou all you want---it's a PROBLEM at upper levels and it shouldn't be. I don't give a damn what the rulebook says, things aren't always what they seem!

WW_Queen
Sep. 20, 2007, 12:08 PM
"I'd rather ride w/o breeches than my helmet."

Ha ha ha!! I love that!

If any of you have seen the new Alicia Silverstone ad's that say she'd rather go naked than eat meat....perhaps we can get some guys to pose wearing jacket, show shirt, helmet and BOXERS! :lol: Perhaps ones with little horsey faces on them?

As for the helmet debate, there's not much you can do. Let stupid people say and do stupid things. (If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.....)

I think the effort should go into changing laws. Maybe we can get some kind of rule where we stick all the hatless people at select barns. Of course, the boarding would be at a premium and mortality rate may be higher, but at least it prevents that whole icky skull-cracking/brain splatter all over the letter markers. Perhaps they can time their tempi changes to the wail of the ambulance sirens?

Until then, you just let those silly old ducks to their quacking.

Ilex
Sep. 20, 2007, 12:34 PM
Some horse people wear helmets some don't.

The majority of the Western people I know .... Do not wear helmets .... actually it would not even cross there mind to put a helmet on!

The majority of the people I know in the English disciplines ... DO wear helmets.

I had a brain injury from LEADING a horse on stall rest. No helmet. I know people who have had brain stem injuries that had helmets on.

A helmet won't save you from a broken neck.

Should we all wear body protectors? I would imagine that 10-15 years from now that will be a hot topic. The two most serious injuries I've had while riding would have been less serious w/a body protector.....and yet I don't wear one. Go figure!

Horses are dangerous! You are going to get hurt eventually...it's a fact! I wear a helmet every ride. If you ride on my property YOU will wear a helmet every ride ... if you don't well you can load up and go home. I could care less if you don't wear a helmet off of my property...it's your head! My friends both English & Western riders respect this. I don't harp on them. And I've never had to ask more than once!

Sandy M
Sep. 20, 2007, 12:34 PM
Well I didn't mean to start a debate on the pros or cons of wearing one, it just seems with the concern for increased safety at all levels and disciplines, dressage in general still seems to be lagging behind in a change of the rules. Football helmets are now being made to reduce impact and concussions as well (hubby just bought himself one). I don't recall seeing in the rules juniors being required to wear helmets. Did I miss that? It seems to me that for insurance purposes as well, it would be better for the show management to require helmets on everyone, although at the same time, I can also see where adults deserve the right to choose for themselves as well.

There was a discussion on the PBR broadcast last weekend about the fact that more and more bullriders are wearing helmets. Most of the ones who do at this point have had a previously injury that impels them to wear it. A lot of the big names have excuses why they don't, which mostly boil down to some "macho" image (but they do wear the protective vests!). Interestingly, many of the YOUNGER, new to the circuit guys DO wear helmets - J. B. Mauney said that when he competed as a kid (he's all of about 20 now!) his mom said "No helmet, no ride," so he wears one because it is a habit he has developed. Ty Murray opined that as the older generation retires, more and more newcomers will wear helmets because it's what they've always done, and eventually most bull riders WILL wear them.

Reiter
Sep. 20, 2007, 01:26 PM
I'm a reformed helmet wearer and I have my husband and kids (and maybe advancing age) to thank for it. I flipped pretty much 180 degrees. Before, I only wore helmets when I had to. Jumped on bareback (and barehead) to go trail-riding and those weren't walk-only rides, but galopping as fast as the horse would go and jumping any log I could find. I was one of those adrenaline junkies that think they are invincible, something common in teenagers but for me it lasted into my mid 30's when I had my first child. I now wear a helmet every time I get on a horse, doesn't matter how well trained the horse or what I am doing. I've been to dressage clinics where I'm the only one wearing a helmet and have felt the unspoken "Oh, she wears a helmet, she must be a bad rider!" stigma and because I am a sort of macho chick, the thought has briefly crossed my mind to quit wearing the helmet at those things, but then I think "Hey, I don't have anything to prove to these people!" But yes, it is hard sometimes to go against the grain and since I am hoping to make it to FEI in this lifetime I will just have to hope that things will have changed favorably towards wearing helmets by then! :)

FrittSkritt
Sep. 20, 2007, 01:39 PM
Because they're vain. Seriously.

And it's not just dressage riders... it's h/j and eventers, too. It continues to astound me how eventers need 3 helmets to get through one horse trial - hunt cap/brain bucket for dressage, skull cap with matching cover for XC, and velvet approved helmet for SJ. :rolleyes: I'm guessing they think they're risking enough on XC since that's where most accidents happen, so dressage carries a low risk of injury in comparison. Oh yeah, and to purposely take the time to switch helmets for awards/victory lap to a hunt cap? God forbid you keep what you were wearing for SJ on your head. Stupid and pointless.

Not to mention most of these BNTs wear a hunt cap for schooling... but I believe it's been proven that they provide no more protection than a baseball cap or nothing at all, so why even bother? Methinks it's still that vanity, "I'm a BNT and a good enough rider that I don't need a helmet, but I wear this hunt cap to look professional."

The one time my trainer got on my old horse without a helmet, I was truly nervous. She goes, "Oh, I'll put yours on if he threatens to go up" (horse would rear if frustrated enough), and I'm thinking, "Why wait? I'm liable if my horse dumps her and she gets hurt... and even if I'm not, it's still on my conscience."

So yeah... every time, every ride.

Coreene
Sep. 20, 2007, 01:51 PM
From the COTH Favorites Forum

Coreene [quote]

The doctor calls it "recovering" because it's much easier to splain.

In my case ... I remember going back to the office two or three weeks after my Unplanned Dismount. This was after intensive care, etc. Spent about 20 minutes sitting in front of my computer, trying to get my finger to push the ON button. Knew that was what had to happen, but it didn't work.

Or if you asked me what color the sky was, in my head I would say blue but when I answered, I would say "yellow," because I could not make the correct answer come out.

I could not walk a straight line for years. To this day, when I am very tired or mentally on overload, I cannot walk a straight line. And many, many, many more things, but I don't want to belabor it.

And on top of that, which is something that Francesca and I discussed in email last week (MAD "introduced" us), each and every brain injury reacts totally differently from each and every brain injury, even if it was identical.

The ONLY thing which did "recover" had nothing to do with recovery, it had to do with movement. I fell on the back of my head, no helmet (that ONLY time, no joke), on hardpack. Broke my skull in seven places, fractured my jaw (still have awful TMJ), ripped all the cartilage up one side of my nose on the inside, and my right eardrum burst out. But before it did, the CSF and blood built up behind it, and that caused a big pocket. The pocked would fill with fluid and I had debilitating vertigo.

Last month, after nearly seven years, I got off ativan, which I was taking for the reverse effect - if you take ativan, it makes you dizzy, if you are already dizzy, it makes you normal. So I could finally get off it and when I told my dr, he said "Oh, good, then that part healed by going back to the normal way it was before your accident." I still have to take a strong diuretic every day and restrict salt intake, otherwise I do spin and spin, and becuase of this I have to take a potassium replacement as well. But least I am off of one.

My accident happened on November 24, 1995. The rest of that year and all of 1996 are just tiny snippets, since most of that time is completely gone from my life. No recollection.

My poor mother, she had just gone through my dad having a benign brain tumor removed when I took my header.

Richard Spooner's mother Ginny, the first day I went back to the stable (for a half hour, that was all I could manage), ripped me an new asshole the likes of nothing you could imagine. We still talk about it. I, of all people, always the poster child for approved helmets, without one. I, the poster child for not going out in ratty knickers, wearing the rattiest ones AND shredded pantihose under the breeches.

My doctor said if I had worn an unapproved, I would have had just as much shit happen. With an approved, it would have been one hell of a headache and minor concussion, but nothing at all like what I had.

And God bless my best friend, aka Pinkerdo on the BB, for every bit of support she gave me through that ordeal. I could kiss her ass every single day for the rest of my life and I could still never thank her enough for the help and support and friendship and such she gave me then.

Friends, I am not joking. I could barely even get up out of bed to shuffle to the john, and I could not move my arms enough to pull down my knickers to pee. I could not raise my arms higher than boob level or I would pass out. Lost my sense of smell and taste for about 1 1/2 years. My hearing on the right is still shot.Ya know, I posted this over five years ago.

It will be 12 years in November since my accident, and I still have to take diuretics for the vertigo. I am also pretty dyslexic with numbers, which I was not before. If I ever have to fax anything, I usually have an assistant do it so that I know the fax will actually get there. Have no sense of smell in my left nostril, and the hearing in my right ear gets worse each year. The TMJ has never gone away either.

Food for thought.

philosoraptor
Sep. 20, 2007, 01:57 PM
I always wore a helmet, though a FEI rider I am not. My dressage instructor did make it to the upper levels. I didn't see her when she rode at those levels but in the years I have known her, I have never seen her ride without a helmet. Every local dressage show I've been to had ever rider wearing one. Every local lesson barn in my area requires them (for insurance reasons if nothing else).

I can't speak for everyone, and I am sure there are exceptions. But from my point of view it's just plain dumb not to wear one. They're cheap and I'd rather get bad hat-hair then get permanent brain damage.

Why not write a letter to that magazine and explain you concerns.

ToN Farm
Sep. 20, 2007, 02:58 PM
Maybe we can get some kind of rule where we stick all the hatless people at select barns.
You don't need a rule. Go to any dressage-only barn where everyone trains with the top trainer and see how many people are riding with helmets.

Heart River
Sep. 20, 2007, 03:12 PM
And BTW, Renae, those other activities aren't anything like as dangerous as riding - you can look it up. Riding, like skiing and some other activities, is much riskier than riding in a car or walking up your sidewalk. It just is. And your brain injury, as others have pointed out, costs far more to treat than you will ever pay in insurance premiums (assuming that you have insurance), meaning that everyone else gets to chip in to pay for the cost of care that could have been avoided had you been willing to reduce the risk. This is the same argument people have about motorcycles - I'm an adult, I shouldn't be forced by the government to wear a helmet - but most states have realized by now that you don't have the right to impose the cost of your stupidity/carelessness on the rest of society.

I'd guess that H/J riders and eventers have been more willing to use safety equipment in general because it adds to the "this is really, really scary and dangerous, but I'm brave and bold" aura. Dressage artistes, on the other hand, tend to be going for the "my horse, saddle, trainer, trailer, shadbelly and ridiculous little hat all cost tons and tons and tons of money" effect.

JSwan
Sep. 20, 2007, 03:48 PM
I overheard a rider telling someone that helmets were only for beginners.

I don't know where to start with that one.

MagicRoseFarm
Sep. 20, 2007, 04:27 PM
I NEVER get on a horse without a helmet, I knew of someone once who was schooling her wonderful high level trustworthy horse with no helmet.

He tripped, she fell, he stepped on her, crushing her skull and killing her...

need anymore be said?

TexasTulip
Sep. 20, 2007, 04:28 PM
Question:

So are helmets required in lower level dressage shows?

Mali
Sep. 20, 2007, 09:27 PM
I personally always ride with a helmet due to something that one person wrote in a magazine years ago. I have saved it all these years as a reminder...so I'll share it now in case it prompts somebody else to take up the helmet wearing habit:

A Plea
My horse is being advertised "for sale" today- the dressage horse I waited what seemed to be a lifetime to find. My saddle is for sale, too; it came from Germany and was perfect for me. My bridle is for sale, the one with brass buckles. And my boots: Konigs, never worn. I'd found a coach who produces champions. I'd gotten a job in the city. All my dreams were coming true, and all the work was paying off. I was even going to buy a good helmet with a safety harness next, to replace the one I'd ridden in for twenty years. But I had an accident while riding, wearing my old helmet. Everything's for sale now, and I don't need a helmet any more. PLEASE buy yourself a good helmet, with a properly fitting harness, and wear it EVERY time you ride. Don't let my brain injury be for nothing. There's too much pain to let it be for nothing.

Liz Davis
North Little Rock AR


Even though I've never met Liz, and it's been more years than I can remember- I still shed a tear everytime I read this. I made a quiet promise to her that I would wear my helmet EVERY ride, as a way to honor her spirit. Thank you Liz, you made a difference.

AKB
Sep. 20, 2007, 09:49 PM
I went with an older pony clubber to watch an upper level rider school a horse. The upper level rider did not wear a helmet. The pony clubber commented that it bothered her that the upper level rider did not wear a helmet. She finally concluded essentially that the upper level rider must be really, really old and from the era before helmets were popular. I am sure the upper level rider did not know that young adults perceive herself as looking like an ancient geriatric because of the lack of a helmet!

LD1129
Sep. 21, 2007, 09:18 AM
Question:

So are helmets required in lower level dressage shows?

Usually at schooling shows they are. All recognized shows only Juniors must wear a helmet with harness.

For the most part I do wear one. If its extremely hot I dont when just working in the indoor. I feel that its like motorcycles some people wear a helmet some dont. I do wear one if there are young ones taking lessons. My trainer does not want the kids to ask why some of the adults are not wearing a helmet. I dont mind that rule. When going off the farm to do hill work I always wear one. Also if my horse has been in or not worked in a few days I wear it.

I am also from the time when there were no approved helmets and they were all mostly for dress.

horsegirltv
Sep. 21, 2007, 09:31 AM
I'd agree with probably all of you guys! Ha! I grew up in Texas on Quarter Horses and we wore cowboy hats and drank straight from the water hose. I can see both sides of this argument as there is the safety issue but likewise when you're dealing with a 1000+ pound animal we might want to wear a full armored body suit no?

I haven't ridden my GP horse with a helmet and it's not to hide my diamond ear rings or mess up my hair but rather to try and practice how I play and it would be silly to wear a top hat everyday. :)

What is safe and what is not and logic are actually rather subject. So again. I can see situations for helmets and those without. I do use one just not with my current horse.

I love some of your guys responses though! So awesome and all so true!

My horse absolutely refuses. I've watched other people with difficult horse twitch, kick them in the belly, pop on the head with a whip and all it seems to do is escalate the situation.

To help make it better I try to handle my horses ears everytime I put on his bridle. At first he hated it but now he's getting used to it and I'm at the point where I can trim his muzzle and up to his chin and his bridle path without him freaking out! It's been a year so no small task. I simply did not clip his ear over this winter and when body clipping when all the way up to his face and jawline.

Another option that some might not want to try is to tran them but if they are real freaks about ear clipping then they could plop themselves over and cause more damage. Look close at some of the European International horses, like Salinero, and you'll notice their ears are not clipped down 100% and baby oiled to shin. There's a reason for that. Some horses just don't like it and you have to pick you battles.

Hope that helps! :)

Angelea Kelly
CEO (Chief Equine Officer)

http://www.horsegirltv.com

mbarrett
Sep. 21, 2007, 09:35 AM
I know a person who always says, "When I see Rober Dover [or insert your favorite dressage rider], trotting down the center line in a approved helmet with a harness, then I'll wear a helmet."

Interesting comment.

Personally, I always wear a helmet. I'm not the helmet police, so I don't tell people what they should do. I belive that helmets should be mandatory when riding, a lot of people don't see it that way. Adults make their own decisions, whether I agree with them or not. Not my place to police them.

hundredacres
Sep. 21, 2007, 10:13 AM
I"ve been told so many times in the past that a good dressage horse will never mess up.. yeah right..

huh...didn't an upper level, well respected trainer recently die instantly when her head hit the soft footing after her upper level horse tripped? It was one of the first times she'd even fallen from what I remember.

Forgive me for not recalling her name - no disrespect to her, I just have a poor memory. The story is strong in my mind though and the feeling of sadness still reminds me to put on my "hat".

FrittSkritt
Sep. 21, 2007, 10:31 AM
Anyone know what the trainer's name was? I'd like to use it the next time I see my trainer get on without a helmet. :)

LD1129
Sep. 21, 2007, 01:11 PM
:sigh: This is my problem, its no ones business who rides with or without a helmet. Its like smoking, drinking, not wearing a seatbelt its up to the rider. If some rider out there gets hurt its no ones concern.

I understand if a BO/BM requires one, or at my farm, since I am an adult they like me to wear one around the kids. I am fine with that. Rules already put into place is one thing.

I think that most people have to get over the fact that its non of their business who wears a helmet!!!! If its your child or horse fine other then that just keep it to yourself. :rolleyes:

hundredacres
Sep. 21, 2007, 03:20 PM
Yes, don't you hate it when people actually care about the safety of others?

*rolling eyes icon should go here but i don't know how to do it!*

Jealoushe
Sep. 22, 2007, 10:28 PM
dont come crying to coth when you cant ride anymore because you fell off and bumped' your head and no one will put you back together again.

~Freedom~
Sep. 23, 2007, 12:43 AM
We have handsome doctors.:yes:

Sabine
Sep. 23, 2007, 01:29 AM
:sigh: This is my problem, its no ones business who rides with or without a helmet. Its like smoking, drinking, not wearing a seatbelt its up to the rider. If some rider out there gets hurt its no ones concern.

I understand if a BO/BM requires one, or at my farm, since I am an adult they like me to wear one around the kids. I am fine with that. Rules already put into place is one thing.

I think that most people have to get over the fact that its non of their business who wears a helmet!!!! If its your child or horse fine other then that just keep it to yourself. :rolleyes:

I am kind of there...with my 3 yr old I wear a helmet religiously - with the other one- not.
I need the cool head to think- and I know he will not get me off...(at least that's my thought).
The feel of a helmet is really weird to me and I guess I could wear my show gear- but that is not protective either.
Doesn't help that I lost 2 good friends- riding WITH helmets...:(((

YankeeLawyer
Sep. 23, 2007, 01:10 PM
I know a person who always says, "When I see Rober Dover [or insert your favorite dressage rider], trotting down the center line in a approved helmet with a harness, then I'll wear a helmet."

Interesting comment.


That is fairly pathetic. People should decide for themselves what is right. Or how about being a leader instead of a follower.

2ndyrgal
Sep. 23, 2007, 09:32 PM
Because they don't HAVE to. When the FEI says "thou shalt wear an approved helmet even with a shadbellie doing airs above the ground" Like they did to us poor dangerous hunter/jumper kamakazi's, then Virginia dear, you'll all wear helmets.

arena run
Sep. 23, 2007, 09:40 PM
I am kind of there...with my 3 yr old I wear a helmet religiously - with the other one- not.
I need the cool head to think- and I know he will not get me off...(at least that's my thought).
The feel of a helmet is really weird to me and I guess I could wear my show gear- but that is not protective either.
Doesn't help that I lost 2 good friends- riding WITH helmets...:(((


Not to be morbid but... how did they die? sylvia

Sabine
Sep. 23, 2007, 11:38 PM
Not to be morbid but... how did they die? sylvia

you're not morbid- they died the Christopher Reeves way- broke their necks- wearing helmets...doing eventing - on the course. :(

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 24, 2007, 10:49 AM
Unfortunately, when people wear helmets in an accident they seem even more vulnerable to injuries to the cervical spine. That is why they invented the "full face" helmet for motorcyclists, which helps to protect against telescoping neck injuries.

Studies of helmet safety are generally conducted by helmet manufacturers or related entities and are not unbiased. No studies have ever been done that measure whether a rider is more or less likely to fall off a horse when wearing a helmet, and if he does come off, whether he is more likely to come off on his head (thus causing spinal cord or brainstem injury.)

It is easy to overinflate the value of a helmet because it helps people to repress the anxiety of engaging in an inherently dangerous activity. Riding is not "safe." If it makes you feel better, then wear a helmet, but stop pushing your beliefs on everyone else.

And to address the fallacious argument about "insurance costs" and social security disability costs rising due to riders' injuries because of not wearing a helmet---I suggest that you go after the real reasons for such inflated costs--smokers and fat people.
Sheesh!

EdwynEdwyn
Sep. 24, 2007, 11:31 AM
huh...didn't an upper level, well respected trainer recently die instantly when her head hit the soft footing after her upper level horse tripped? It was one of the first times she'd even fallen from what I remember.

Forgive me for not recalling her name - no disrespect to her, I just have a poor memory. The story is strong in my mind though and the feeling of sadness still reminds me to put on my "hat".

HundredAcres -- I do believe that this is the trainer that I read about as well: Meri Straz?

hundredacres
Sep. 24, 2007, 06:52 PM
Yes, it was. Coincidentally I found the article....I was a year off....

08/07/2005
Fall from horse kills acclaimed rider
By Mary Fairchild , Freeman staff

ESOPUS NY - An acclaimed equestrian died Saturday after she was thrown from the horse she was riding at Frog Hollow Farm and struck her head, according to police and a farm spokeswoman.

Meri Straz, 50, who had homes at the Esopus farm as well as in Woodstock, Vt., and Wellington, Fla., was riding a horse she owned named Omen about 8:45 a.m. Saturday when the animal stumbled and fell sideways, throwing Straz to the ground, according to Ann Jones, a spokeswoman for the Old Post Road farm.

Jones said Straz, who was not wearing a helmet, struck her head on the ground.

Straz was pronounced dead a short time later at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, though Jones surmised she "was killed instantly." Police said the cause of death was head trauma.

"They were just out for their morning warmup in the ring, and the horse stumbled and went down on its side," Jones said by telephone Saturday afternoon. "Meri hit her head on the ground."

Jones said the rule at Frog Hollow Farm is "everyone must always wear a helmet - everyone except Meri."

"Meri was trained in the old European school of riding, a
classical training," Jones said. "They wore top hats or straw hats in the ring. Meri never changed that habit, and no one ever told her she should be wearing a helmet."

Straz was a dressage instructor at Frog Hollow and the Florida Winter Equestrian Center in Wellington. She was born and raised in Vermont, where she was trained in classical riding techniques, Jones said.

As far as Jones knew, Straz had never fallen in all her years of daily riding.

"She was a superb rider," Jones said, "and an extraordinary teacher."

Jones said Straz was in constant demand and had an international reputation and a loyal following of students up and down the East Coast.

"She could bring along the most difficult horse - a horse other people had given up on - because she was so patient and kind," Jones said. "She was a slim, elegant, quiet rider; a brilliant trainer."

Even students whom other teachers had given up on came to Straz and, under her tutelage, would ride at a level no one ever thought possible, Jones said.

Besides riding and teaching, Straz founded, owned and operated a company called Horse Ambulance; worked at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta; and was on call for equestrian events throughout the Hudson
Valley and Florida.

"This is a great loss to us personally, and to the horse
community as a whole," Jones said. "I don't know who will take her place. Maybe nobody."

Straz was experienced in all phases of equestrian expertise and instruction, including pony club, 4-H, hunter-jumpers, barrel racing, endurance riding and eventing, Jones said. She taught dressage at Mount Holyoke College in Northampton, Mass., for eight years and was the riding coach and instructor for the Dream Team at Smith College in South Hadley, Mass.

Dressage is an ancient form of precision horse training and riding that has its roots in classical Greek horsemanship. It was refined and codified during the Renaissance in Europe, particularly
France, and present-day dressage, which is an Olympic sport, still follows those precepts.

"It may sound like a cliche, but ... Meri died with her boots on," Jones said. "I think it's how she would have wanted to go."

Straz is survived by her mother, Joy Bonelli of Spring Hill,
Fla., and a sister, Terry Wall of Plymouth, Mass., Jones said.

ponyjumper4
Sep. 24, 2007, 07:04 PM
Day one at DAD and I saw two with, and two without helmets warming up while I was unloading.

Carol Ames
Sep. 24, 2007, 07:11 PM
This is my problem, its no ones business who rides with or without a helmet. Its like smoking, drinking, not wearing a seatbelt its up to the rider. If some rider out there gets hurt its no ones concern.

BUT, if someone falls and is killed/ severely :eek:injured , the entire horse industry gets a bbad rep :yes:
It effects us all!

ponyjumper4
Sep. 24, 2007, 07:15 PM
When I started this thread, it was just a general question as to why it appears that dressage riders, for the most part in general, do not wear helmets while schooling. I could care less if they do or don't, it was an observation over the years and I was curious.

lizathenag
Sep. 24, 2007, 09:04 PM
this one does

WW_Queen
Sep. 24, 2007, 09:08 PM
I understand what people are saying about not pushing beliefs on other people. It kinda isn't anyone's business what one person does over another. Whether it be what religion you practice, how you spend your money, whether you choose to wear a seatbelt....those are all personal decisions.

I guess what *does* make a difference is how much you care. Do you care about strapping your baby into a carseat? Yes? How about the other mother at daycare, who chooses not to? Sure, she's breaking the law...but in the event of an accident, if you read the news the next day and some newborn was plastered all over the highway because you choose to think "Who cares? It wasn't my baby" then where does that attitude end? I guess you just wouldn't care.

Social responsibility is (IMO) everybody caring about the safety and well-being of others, whether it affects them or not. It means speaking up when someone doesn't know better, or may does know but chooses not to care.

If I saw someone getting into their car drunk, I would call the police. Sure, it's none of my business, but they (or someone else) could get killed. If I saw someone putting their child on a horse without a helmet. I would say something. Sure, they might not listen and say "Oh no, XYZ horse is dead safe, my child is fine" then at least I could sleep at night if that child's head was split open due to a trip or stumble. I can't force someone to care (about themselves, or the safety of their children) but I can still speak up.

The world is a sh*tty place, there's no doubt about that. From cancer, to rapists, pedophiles, incest, murder, war, crime, injustice and disease....if you can't prevent your own death, why would you try to prevent someone elses?

My answer is that I care. I care to speak up, in the hopes that one other person learns something, and maybe speaks up for someone else who doesn't care. It's your choice not to wear a helmet, but I will still be sad for your loss if something happens.

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 25, 2007, 08:47 AM
I understand what people are saying about not pushing beliefs on other people. It kinda isn't anyone's business what one person does over another. Whether it be what religion you practice, how you spend your money, whether you choose to wear a seatbelt....those are all personal decisions.

I guess what *does* make a difference is how much you care. Do you care about strapping your baby into a carseat? Yes? How about the other mother at daycare, who chooses not to? Sure, she's breaking the law...but in the event of an accident, if you read the news the next day and some newborn was plastered all over the highway because you choose to think "Who cares? It wasn't my baby" then where does that attitude end? I guess you just wouldn't care.

Social responsibility is (IMO) everybody caring about the safety and well-being of others, whether it affects them or not. It means speaking up when someone doesn't know better, or may does know but chooses not to care.

If I saw someone getting into their car drunk, I would call the police. Sure, it's none of my business, but they (or someone else) could get killed. If I saw someone putting their child on a horse without a helmet. I would say something. Sure, they might not listen and say "Oh no, XYZ horse is dead safe, my child is fine" then at least I could sleep at night if that child's head was split open due to a trip or stumble. I can't force someone to care (about themselves, or the safety of their children) but I can still speak up.

The world is a sh*tty place, there's no doubt about that. From cancer, to rapists, pedophiles, incest, murder, war, crime, injustice and disease....if you can't prevent your own death, why would you try to prevent someone elses?

My answer is that I care. I care to speak up, in the hopes that one other person learns something, and maybe speaks up for someone else who doesn't care. It's your choice not to wear a helmet, but I will still be sad for your loss if something happens.

Yah, well, I feel real sad about Darfur, too.

Have a liittle perspective.

Next time you see an obese person going into Mickey Dee's maybe you should attempt an intervention. :lol:

ToN Farm
Sep. 25, 2007, 09:03 AM
And to address the fallacious argument about "insurance costs" and social security disability costs rising due to riders' injuries because of not wearing a helmet---I suggest that you go after the real reasons for such inflated costs--smokers and fat people.
Sheesh!
Don't forget the health costs of illegal immigrants that have children born here. Don't forget all the welfare people. It IS a fallacious argument about insurance costs. People just want to bitch about helmetless riders and push their values on everyone else.......same as with RK.

Janet
Sep. 25, 2007, 10:09 AM
Unfortunately, when people wear helmets in an accident they seem even more vulnerable to injuries to the cervical spine. That is why they invented the "full face" helmet for motorcyclists, which helps to protect against telescoping neck injuries.
I would be curious for a source that says the full face helmets protect against neck injuries. I do not see how they could.

I was "intimately" involved in the middle-or-the-year rule change to require full face helmets in motorcyle roadracing at the club level (WERA), as opposed to open helmets. The reason then was to protect aganist FACE and JAW injuries, not neck injuries.

When I say "intimately", I mean it. Two weeks earlier, Dave Roper's sister had crashed at Bridgehampton with an open face helmet. She landed on her face, and bled to death before they could get her to the hospital. They went around the pits effectively bullying people with open helmets into borrowing full face helmets. I did, and hated it. It amplfiied the engine noise, and my ears were ringing for more than 24 hours after the race.

So at the next race, at Pocono, I wore my open face helmet. I fell off on the slowest corner of the track, knocked out one tooth, broke off 3 others, and had a bad case of road rash on my lip and chin. Though the injuries were not serious, there was quite a lot of blood.

There and then they made an emergency rule change requiring full face helmets. Luckily I was able to find one that had better acoustic qualities than the one I had borrowed at Bridgehampton.

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 25, 2007, 01:55 PM
I would be curious for a source that says the full face helmets protect against neck injuries. I do not see how they could.


Well, now you might be right. When I used to drive a motorcycle, I was sold a full face helmet on the grounds that it protected from "telescoping neck injuries." That is when you hit the top of your head and your head jams down into your neck, causing a brain stem injury or cervical spine fracture. The theory was that the bottom of the helmet would halt the telescoping downward when it hit the collarbone. But maybe that claim has been discredited--I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the manufacturers were lying about that too.... :(

WW_Queen
Sep. 25, 2007, 04:49 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/09/24/horseriding-study.html

Kementari
Sep. 25, 2007, 09:27 PM
Don't forget the health costs of illegal immigrants that have children born here. Don't forget all the welfare people. It IS a fallacious argument about insurance costs. People just want to bitch about helmetless riders and push their values on everyone else.......same as with RK.

The fact OTHER things also increase your insurance cost and taxes does not make the argument that people who fail to wear safety equipment ALSO increase costs fallacious.

By your argument I could say that illegal immigrants don't matter because uninsured college students cost the system, too.

And, honestly people, I do wish that people would eat better and not open themselves up to so many health problems from obesity. But it's a HELL of a lot easier to put on a damn helmet than it is to lose weight - and VERY few people have medical conditions that make it difficult to keep the helmet on.

mp
Sep. 26, 2007, 11:35 AM
Well, now you might be right. When I used to drive a motorcycle, I was sold a full face helmet on the grounds that it protected from "telescoping neck injuries." That is when you hit the top of your head and your head jams down into your neck, causing a brain stem injury or cervical spine fracture. The theory was that the bottom of the helmet would halt the telescoping downward when it hit the collarbone. But maybe that claim has been discredited--I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the manufacturers were lying about that too.... :(

Good lord, that's quite a theory. I'd think with an impact of that force, the sides of your helmet would hit your shoulders ab out the same time the face shield hit your collar bone. So no net effect. Either way, you'd be SOL.

I'm curious ... Why would manufacturers lie about their helmets? I thought the ASTM tested them for performance and to be sure they're up to standards, not the manufacturers themselves.

LE
Sep. 26, 2007, 12:06 PM
I DO wish dressage riders would wear helmets, but it's up to the individual. I wear a helmet no matter what discipline I ride. That's my choice, and I choose a helmet.

Once you are a legal adult, you can do anything. Some top level jumpers school sans helmet and even JUMP over 4 feet no helmet.

Their choice, their risk of accident. Same goes for any rider--whether it be dressage, jumper, hunters or eventers.

slc2
Sep. 26, 2007, 12:51 PM
when a person wears a helmet and lives, he 'has a tendency to get cervical spine injuries'.

welcome to statistics. he 'gets' that injury only because he survived all the HEAD enjuries, and in such an accident, is very likely to injure the cervical spine too. the helmet keeps him alive as it prevents the head trauma. in other words, the person who survives due to the helmet preventing the head injury, skews the statistics for the cervical spine injuries.

it's a little bit like saying, 'i fell off a building, and broke all 4 limbs, 10 ribs and my pelvis, but i survived because i was wearing a helmet which prevented my head from being injured', and someone says, 'oh my god, wearing that helmet broke your arms, legs, ribs and pelvis'.

reality: there will always be people who don't want to wear a helmet while riding, and there will always be people who feel they must.

this is a social issue, there are always people out there claiming that people shouldn't have the right to choose or not choose to do certain things that are currently legal, like smoking, wearing a helmet while riding a horse or bike or motorcycle (in the states where that's legal), because it affects others. it is a very old debate and always goes the same way. the ones who don't want to argue that it's free choice, and the ones who want them to argue that they should heed the call.

ToN Farm
Sep. 26, 2007, 01:16 PM
The fact OTHER things also increase your insurance cost and taxes does not make the argument that people who fail to wear safety equipment ALSO increase costs fallacious.
The fact is that those OTHER things raise the cost of insurance far more than injuries resulingt from not wearing a helmet. Before people complain about insurance costs for supporting handicapped non-helmet wearers, I think you should have some idea of how much your insurance is affected by this. Are there really that many people out there with riding head injuries that are getting supported on your tax dollars? How much do you think that costs you? The point is, imo, that there is way too much emphasis placed on helmet wearing when you could find much better causes to support.

Janet
Sep. 26, 2007, 01:44 PM
I think there may have been an increase in "broken collar bones" with the full coverage helmets, but I don't think you can assign cause and effect.

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 26, 2007, 01:52 PM
when a person wears a helmet and lives, he 'has a tendency to get cervical spine injuries'.

welcome to statistics. he 'gets' that injury only because he survived all the HEAD enjuries, and in such an accident, is very likely to injure the cervical spine too. the helmet keeps him alive as it prevents the head trauma. in other words, the person who survives due to the helmet preventing the head injury, skews the statistics for the cervical spine injuries.

it's a little bit like saying, 'i fell off a building, and broke all 4 limbs, 10 ribs and my pelvis, but i survived because i was wearing a helmet which prevented my head from being injured', and someone says, 'oh my god, wearing that helmet broke your arms, legs, ribs and pelvis'.

reality: there will always be people who don't want to wear a helmet while riding, and there will always be people who feel they must.

this is a social issue, there are always people out there claiming that people shouldn't have the right to choose or not choose to do certain things that are currently legal, like smoking, wearing a helmet while riding a horse or bike or motorcycle (in the states where that's legal), because it affects others. it is a very old debate and always goes the same way. the ones who don't want to argue that it's free choice, and the ones who want them to argue that they should heed the call.

Not necessarily true. No studies have been done in this regard. The studies that ARE done are in the nature of hitting the helmet with a hammer. Well, no surprise, a helmet hit with blunt force will protect the head better than a head with no helmet being hit with blunt force. Duh.

NO studies have been done to test whether due to the weight and bulk of the helmet a person in motion may be less likely to remain balanced and may fall off more easily, may fall off on his head rather than his arse, or may injure his neck. Centrifigal forces can cause whiplash type injuries even without a helmet--these forces are increased when weight and bulk are added.

Manufacturers lie to sell more of their products, obviously. They conduct or fund safety studies of their own products. This has been true of seat belts, air bags and probably many other safety products. (prescription Drugs, too.) Safety products can cause other hazards for which they are not tested, even though they may solve one problem for which they have been designed.

mp
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:17 PM
The fact is that those OTHER things raise the cost of insurance far more than injuries resulingt from not wearing a helmet. Before people complain about insurance costs for supporting handicapped non-helmet wearers, I think you should have some idea of how much your insurance is affected by this. Are there really that many people out there with riding head injuries that are getting supported on your tax dollars? How much do you think that costs you? The point is, imo, that there is way too much emphasis placed on helmet wearing when you could find much better causes to support.

Whoa ... that's some logic.

I wear a helmet when I ride, but I don't get on a soapbox and tell anyone else they should. If someone doesn't see the wisdom in taking a simple precaution, it's her problem, not mine.

However, I think it's good that others preach "every ride, every time" and tell horror stories about their concussions and head injuries. I started wearing a helmet because of threads like this. I'd fallen off three times previously and never hit my head. Less than a year after I became a helmet wearer, my horse began to buck at the walk and I bailed. Very minor fall -- I had a relatively soft landing on my butt then hit my head on the arena wall hard to enough to loosen all my teeth.

So perhaps you might think about finding a better cause to support. Because I highly doubt that non-helmet wearer logic is ever going to convince me and people like me to stop wearing one. But one of the helmevangelists just might convince someone else to start and then they'll have a better chance to avoid the suffering that Coreene and others have gone through.

Just a thought ... :cool:

PS -- EH, I thought the other post had some odd logic. But you're really full of it. :lol:

Renae
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:24 PM
The fact is that those OTHER things raise the cost of insurance far more than injuries resulingt from not wearing a helmet. Before people complain about insurance costs for supporting handicapped non-helmet wearers, I think you should have some idea of how much your insurance is affected by this. Are there really that many people out there with riding head injuries that are getting supported on your tax dollars? How much do you think that costs you? The point is, imo, that there is way too much emphasis placed on helmet wearing when you could find much better causes to support.

Yep! I htink there are probably far more people that injure thier heads and necks jumping on trampolines annually than there are people who do so while riding. I personally know 3 people who have sustained severe head/neck injuries (as in broken bones or brain injuries, needing surgery and/or months/years of physical therapy, one spent a summer in an angel's halo) while jumping on trampolines and NO people who have sustained such types of injuries while riding, wtih or without a helmet. So I choose not to jump on trampolines and would never allow my child if I had one to jump on a trampoline, but I don't go and knock on the door of every house that has a trampoline and lecture them about trampoline safety. I would bet that there are also annually more deaths and injuries in home swimming pools than horseback riding, but again I don't walk around lecturing strangers on swimming pool safety or telling people that everyone who gets into a swimming pool, no matter their age or ability, must at all times wear a coast gurad approved flotation device!

I also think that there is more money wasted annually on UNNESCARY doctor's visits, medical tests and pharmaceuticals, after all the United States has the highest cost per capita for health expenses in the world. I don't think our liefstyles are that so much more incredibly unhealthy as Canadians or Europeans that all of it is warranted, I think too many Americans are addicted to the latest fad drugs and new diagnoses they come up with, its almost fashionable to have restless leg syndrome or whatever they come up with next, and it is easier to take a child who does not get a proper diet or enough exercise and dope him up so he can sit through class quietly. Article on the cost of American health care http://dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf

eqsiu
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:31 PM
I'm still waiting to see someone smart enough to wear one at an FEI competion. They make ones that look like hunt caps, they can make ones that look like top hats, imo. There just has to be a demand.

Edited to add: I have had three serious concussions as a result of a horse fall. One of them broke my helmet in two and resulted in a six day blackout. No lasting effects (well, I may have lost a few iq points, but no loss of function or anything). I still purchase new helmets regularly and throw them away after falls. Yes, I was jumpingin two of the falls, but I recall getting on my instructors grand prix horse and falling off when I tried to sit his trot. What happens when an arena letter tries to eat your horse?

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:33 PM
Whoa ... that's some logic.

I wear a helmet when I ride, but I don't get on a soapbox and tell anyone else they should. If someone doesn't see the wisdom in taking a simple precaution, it's her problem, not mine.

However, I think it's good that others preach "every ride, every time" and tell horror stories about their concussions and head injuries. I started wearing a helmet because of threads like this. I'd fallen off three times previously and never hit my head. Less than a year after I became a helmet wearer, my horse began to buck at the walk and I bailed. Very minor fall -- I had a relatively soft landing on my butt then hit my head on the arena wall hard to enough to loosen all my teeth.

So perhaps you might think about finding a better cause to support. Because I highly doubt that non-helmet wearer logic is ever going to convince me and people like me to stop wearing one. But one of the helmevangelists just might convince someone else to start and then they'll have a better chance to avoid the suffering that Coreene and others have gone through.

Just a thought ... :cool:

PS -- EH, I thought the other post had some odd logic. But you're really full of it. :lol:

Ummm, you fell off several times without a helmet and never hit your head. You fell off with a helmet and you did hit your head.

Honey, I don't think that it was I who missed the logic train.... :lol:

never2late
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:51 PM
This news item was just released yesterday and has been widely reported, the headline read: what's 3x more dangerous.... horses or 'hogs'.... guess we know the answer! Turns out horses are 3x more dangerous than any other activity, motorcycles, skiing, rugby..... here is the link:

http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=22811&news_channel_id=131&channel_id=131

Eclectic Horseman
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:59 PM
This news item was just released yesterday and has been widely reported, the headline read: what's 3x more dangerous.... horses or 'hogs'.... guess we know the answer! Turns out horses are 3x more dangerous than any other activity, motorcycles, skiing, rugby..... here is the link:

http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=22811&news_channel_id=131&channel_id=131


Motorcycles and sports equipment do not bite, kick or step on you. :winkgrin:

Phaxxton
Sep. 26, 2007, 03:33 PM
The problem with debating this issue is that MOST people, on either side, won't change their mind. I can only speak for myself, not for what others do.

I made a promise to a woman who posted on here -- Her daughter died in a freak accident. She was the kind of kid who always wore a helmet and for some reason, hopped on without one that day. Walking away from the mounting block, she slipped off and hit her head, fatally injurying herself. I believe she was only 16 or 17 when it happened.

The mother posted her story as a PSA and I started talking to her via email. I promised her I'd never, ever mount without a helmet again - and I've kept that promise ever since. (I'd been an avid helmet wearer, but there were rare occasions I'd let my rule slide, like my idiot move in my younger days of hopping on my wet horse bareback, with a halter and leadrope, while he grazed and dried... No one said I was smart about my helmet rule then!)

Personally, FOR ME, I care far too much about myself and my family to ever get on a horse without a helmet. I care way too much about other people to ever let them get on one of my horses without a helmet, too. When I have my own farm, no one will be allowed to ride on my property without one (Don't care if you're a kid beginner or a famous GP trainer). However, I can't tell people what to do outside of my property - so I don't.

(And I'm SURE I'll be getting tons of PMs and posts here saying that I am accusing others of not caring about their families. I'm NOT. I'm saying where MY motivation and decision to wear one comes from. If you choose to take it as an attack on you, well, all I can say is that it's not. You can care just as much about yourself and your family as I do, but disagree about the usefulness of helmets.)

You can debate the freedom of choice issues, the insurance issues, and the sheer stupidity issues all you want, but we'll never all agree. Take care of yourself, help others when you CAN and when they want it, and then you have to just let it go.

Just be sure you have a good reason for your decision - whatever it is.

Sithly
Sep. 26, 2007, 03:34 PM
NO studies have been done to test whether due to the weight and bulk of the helmet a person in motion may be less likely to remain balanced and may fall off more easily, may fall off on his head rather than his arse, or may injure his neck.


I've heard this argument before, and I find it rather ridiculous. I just looked up the weight of my helmet: 12.4 ounces. I'll take comfort in the fact that the weight of my clothing and boots greatly exceeds the weight of my helmet (and probably has about the same effect on my chances of falling off).

throwurheart
Sep. 26, 2007, 03:38 PM
Ummm, you fell off several times without a helmet and never hit your head. You fell off with a helmet and you did hit your head.

Honey, I don't think that it was I who missed the logic train.... :lol:

Oh puuuleeeeze.

She said she hit her butt first. IMO, the assertion that the helmet weighs your head down so you become a lawn dart is ridiculous, although, I freely admit, I might be completely wrong. I'm not a physicist, and haven't tested this theory. In other words, I'm open to eating my words.

BUT the BUTT hit first in this story, so you're not choosing a good argument for your position.

My personal experience is that I used to be a major kamikaze without a helmet, and never had a serious head injury. For the last 15 years I have been a minor kamikaze with a helmet. I still hit feet or arse first, regardless of helmet or no helmet.

Probably because both body parts are overly large...:lol:

SarMoniet
Sep. 26, 2007, 03:43 PM
I never hit my head in a fall until the first time I fell wearing a helmet. And most falls since I started wearing a helmet, I have bonked my noggin. There is probably valid arguement that the helmet does cause you to be a bit top heavy and may make it more likely that your head makes contact with the ground. But hey, at least the helmet is there to protect you, then.

When I tried on my mom's new motorcycle helmet I definitely thought it was cumbersome and made me feel very top-heavy. But would I ever get on a motorcycle without one? No. Well, I'm terrified of motorcycles, but that's beside the point. ;)

Fact is, I will wear a helmet when riding my horses (and pretty much any other time I'm on a horse). I can say that anyone who rides my horses must wear a helmet. Aside from that, everyone is free to do what they want. I'm not the helmet police.

Bogie
Sep. 26, 2007, 03:52 PM
Just because you don't hit head first doesn't mean that you won't hit your head secondarily hard enough to get a concussion.

Luckily, I haven't had many falls lately, but the one time I did in the past two years, I did bang my head, after tucking and rolling, and did have a concussion. I was glad to be wearing my helmet.

Personally, I do not believe that wearing a helmet has made me top heavy; my bottom half more than balances out the weight of the helmet :winkgrin:.

That said, I haven't ridden a horse without a helmet on for probably 30 years now and over that period of time, I can't honestly say that I hit my head more than I would have without the helmet. Most of the time, I land on parts with more padding.

mp
Sep. 26, 2007, 04:25 PM
Ummm, you fell off several times without a helmet and never hit your head. You fell off with a helmet and you did hit your head.

Honey, I don't think that it was I who missed the logic train.... :lol:

My post drew no connection between how many times I fell off (with or without helmet) or what body part hit first.

I pointed out to another poster who said helmet advocates should pick a more important cause that I started wearing a helmet because of a thread like this one. And not long after, said helmet prevented a head injury from a minor fall (in which, as another poster pointed out, I landed butt first ;)). Thus, helmet preachers (and I am NOT one) on BBs can have a positive effect ...

... unlike whacked theories about lying manufacturers who rig research on their nasty, evil safety products and special laws of physics that make people wearing helmets lose their balance and fall off their horses more easily.

Wait ... your post did have a positive effect -- it gave me a good laugh. Post more. Please. :lol:

Kementari
Sep. 26, 2007, 07:11 PM
The fact is that those OTHER things raise the cost of insurance far more than injuries resulingt from not wearing a helmet. Before people complain about insurance costs for supporting handicapped non-helmet wearers, I think you should have some idea of how much your insurance is affected by this. Are there really that many people out there with riding head injuries that are getting supported on your tax dollars? How much do you think that costs you? The point is, imo, that there is way too much emphasis placed on helmet wearing when you could find much better causes to support.

And how, precisely, do you know that helmet-wearing is the only "cause" I - or anyone else - happens to have an opinion about? :rolleyes:

Not to mention that for someone who claimed that someone else's argument was fallacious, you don't seem too opposed to bringing up red herrings yourself: whether or not welfare mothers cost the system, and how much they cost it, has absolutely no bearing on the fact that someone with a severe closed-head injury ALSO costs the system.


So I choose not to jump on trampolines and would never allow my child if I had one to jump on a trampoline, but I don't go and knock on the door of every house that has a trampoline and lecture them about trampoline safety. I would bet that there are also annually more deaths and injuries in home swimming pools than horseback riding, but again I don't walk around lecturing strangers on swimming pool safety or telling people that everyone who gets into a swimming pool, no matter their age or ability, must at all times wear a coast gurad approved flotation device!

Um, could anyone here who is going door-to-door telling people to wear helmets speak up? Because I'm pretty sure none of us are doing that. Actually, I rarely talk to anyone about wearing a helmet unless they a) ask (which would be the point of THIS thread, which you could CHOOSE whether to read or not); b) are riding MY horse; or c) are riding in a place where I am in charge of enforcing the rules (ie, if I'm running a show or ride that has a helmet rule). But I fail to see why YOU are allowed to have and express an opinion on the subject of helmet wearing, but those who disagree are not.

Bugsey_2007
Sep. 28, 2007, 08:39 PM
when a person wears a helmet and lives, he 'has a tendency to get cervical spine injuries'. Blimey how dreadful, alive with a sore back as opposed to being brain damaged or dead

And by the way, your "facts" are absolute rubbish too


welcome to statistics. he 'gets' that injury only because he survived all the HEAD enjuries, and in such an accident, is very likely to injure the cervical spine too. the helmet keeps him alive as it prevents the head trauma. in other words, the person who survives due to the helmet preventing the head injury, skews the statistics for the cervical spine injuries.

it's a little bit like saying, 'i fell off a building, and broke all 4 limbs, 10 ribs and my pelvis, but i survived because i was wearing a helmet which prevented my head from being injured', and someone says, 'oh my god, wearing that helmet broke your arms, legs, ribs and pelvis'.


reality: there will always be people who don't want to wear a helmet while riding, and there will always be people who feel they must. how absolutely profound :lol: :lol: :lol:


this is a social issue, there are always people out there claiming that people shouldn't have the right to choose or not choose to do certain things that are currently legal, like smoking, wearing a helmet while riding a horse or bike or motorcycle (in the states where that's legal), because it affects others. it is a very old debate and always goes the same way. the ones who don't want to argue that it's free choice, and the ones who want them to argue that they should heed the call.

I think some people choose not to wear a helmet because they're not particularly concerned or aware of the risks and they have a notion that its traditional not to wear one or just plain not necessary.

Gallop On
Sep. 30, 2007, 03:48 PM
Helmet count for Thursday warm-up, with wild young horses leaping everywhere: ONE.