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caddym
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:27 AM
Peace

Silver~Image~Farm
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:03 AM
Unfortunately the topic of to wear or NOT wear a helmet discussion often winds up polorazing those for with those against.....much like certain training topics......

Instead of arguing right/wrong and absolutes I think that accidents and wrecks offer an opportunity for each person to rethink the unforeseen negative consequences we each confront for ourselves that impact others......

We all have choices to make and sometimes we just don't comprehend the impact our choices might have on friends/family and loved ones if our choices result in adverse outcomes.....

As I get older and (hopefully!) a bit mellower I see the wisdom in NOT trying in vain to convince folks who wind up with "preventable" tragedies (I'm NOT talkin about "accidents" that happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere!) to make "other" choices......

For example an individual chose to SPEED excessively AND wound up WRECKED on our property over the weekend.....he was veryvery lucky to walk away from an upside down TOTALED truck......however his "choice to speed" has now resulted in my horses being put at risk by the glass left embedded right outside their turnout field:mad:.....

I always wear a helmet when I ride.....I do my best to ride "safely" but recognize that "accidents" can and do happen.....

My trainer, a BNT, also rides WEARING a helmet....when he was hired that was RULE #1.....I believe in the safety experts who advocate the wearing of helmets.

I also recognize that there is NO WAY to "prevent" an accident and no real "guarantee" that a helmet will "save" me....but I also am unwilling to take the inherent risks in NOT wearing one......

I have many friends who make a different choice. I respectfully disagree with the reasons for their choice and feel completely comfortable telling them so. I speak "my truth" because I care about them and do not wish to see them at risk.....HOWEVER, I, with regrets, respect their decisions to make their own choices. And I hope and pray each of them continues to prove my opinion on this wrong for them.

I always feel terrible for each rider who experiences any riding "accident" or "tragedy" and especially for their friends and families who suffer equally through these situations.....but I also feel that constructive safety discussions should be ongoing in the hope that future "accidents"/"tragedies" can be minimized.......

ShowMeTheGlory
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:12 AM
well said!

monstrpony
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:45 AM
Was thinking about this issue just this morning. I'm riding in a cow-working clinic next weekend, and will be one of few there wearing a helmet. My horse is a teenager, a slow mover and very reliable. Should I join the ball-cap crowd? On the other hand, I'm older, too, not as strong a rider as I was once, have gained weight so I'm a bit top-heavy, and have had at least three minor concussions in my 50-year riding life. No, I think I'll stick with my helmet, thanks. Courtney's unfortunate accident is yet another reminder of why.

(besides, I look no worse with helmet-head than I do with a ball cap ... ;) )

White Pearl
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:10 AM
I am a rider and a physician, and I have seen more brain injuries than I care to remember. Pony Club trained, I will never ever get on a horse unless I am wearing a helmet. In fact, I have taken to wearing one when I handle my horses for grooming, lunging, turn out, etc. since hearing of a fatal kick to the head while a woman was turning out her horse. I am a devoted dressage rider, but I feel strongly that bowlers should be made with safety features, and that wearing of such helmets should be mandated. All the riders seen in the training/clinic videos on the sites I watch regularly should be required to wear helmets as well. Riding in ball caps is a dangerous and irresponsible fashion trend. My 12-year old daughter has been taught to wear a helmet at all times, and can't understand why the pros don't. What kind of an example are we setting for our children? A helmet is not a guarentee against injury, but there are many cases in which it has certainly prevented serious head injuries.

islgrl
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:20 AM
On the other thread, my second thought (after concerns for this young woman's well being) was if she wore a helmet. Not to say "told you so" in the helmet debate, I do wear a helemt now that I've realized its just safer (IMO), but because I was curious if she was injured even while wearing the helmet. I'm not sure what I would do with that information, but was curious.

I guess as far as the debate goes I think riders should wear helmets, but once they are adults it is a private choice with potential poor outcome....

ise@ssl
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:21 AM
Perhaps the worst assumption horse people make is that most riding accidents happen when riders are jumping or cross country or on a young or pumped up horse. Statistically they happen in those instances but also equally at times when it is just an "ACCIDENT".

I always ride with a helmet I've had my body injuries over the past 47 years of riding but as I always remind myself - I can ride without a helmet but I can't do very much at all without a brain.

I also feel with children the old saying "horses near-helmet on" should apply and we enforce that on our farm.

I also agree that wearing a helmet just handling some horses isn't a bad idea. We all know how high and far these animal scan kick - even the youngsters

I'm not sure why so many dressage riders opt to go without head protection - especially in the warmup areas which are very often complete chaos with way too many horses in the warm-up areas and a majorit of riders looking DOWN at their horses and not ahead or around the ring to avoid collisions.

A helmet isn't a guarantee but no helmet has a very high statistical probability of a head injury.

I would also point out that when any rider is taken to the hospital - the informatio on the cause of the accident and in the case of riding - whether or not they had head protection is always noted This information is passed on to actuarials who provide yearly data to insurance companies. Same for motorcycle riders and other sports. Many health and life insurance companies specifically ask about "high risk activities" why may or may not include riding and if you engage in these activities you can find yourself with a much higher premium. I know we face this because my husband mountain climbs and has motorcycles. His life insurance premium is DOUBLE. He's had no accidents - it's just based on the statistics.

So OTHER RIDERS not wearing helmets doesn't just impact them - it impacts the entire equestrian sport.

Cielo Azure
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:21 AM
I wear a helmet, my husband wears a helmet, everyone who rides on our property wears a helmet but...

Some people enjoy the danger aspect of riding. Honestly, it is the "wild and free" aspect that they enjoy. I get that. I get that they chose to take a higher risk than I. Lets face it, all horse sports are risky but we do them anyway. Some people honestly like the risk and like being on the edge of danger. They know the risks and benefits. It is their choice, just like it is our choice to be involved in horse sports and to wear a helmet.

When I see someone on a FEI WB performing amazing things, wearing a top hat and shadbelly - it is beautiful. The beauty of the horse and rider, the gleaming horse and the rider's outfit and the partnership are inspiring. Frankly, sometimes - the element of danger heightens the spectactor's enjoyment of the show (and it is a show). If it is freestyle, the music adds to the performance art aspect. A helmet does take away a little tiny bit of that grandeur and performance magic. I totally get why one would not want to wear a helmet when performing or showing.

So, in my opinion, everyone should always have the option to wear a helmet BUT , I think wearing a helmet should be optional for adults. The only person who is being endangered is the rider. But for people under 18, it should be mandatory.

meupatdoes
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:25 AM
Instead of arguing right/wrong and absolutes I think that accidents and wrecks offer an opportunity for each person to rethink the unforeseen negative consequences we each confront for ourselves that impact others......


I think this really the only productive thing that could possibly come out of this thread. Courtney's accident will either cause people to think about helmet use or it will not, but there is nothing that anybody posting stridently on an internet forum can say that will sway anyone either way.

Aside from any personal reflection that people may make about decisions in their own lives, these threads publicly always go the same way:

1. One group says it is their decision not to wear a helmet.
2. The next group says they ALWAYS wear a helmet, and lectures group 1 about "Think of your family!"
2a. Most of the people in group 2 turn out, upon closer examination, to "always" wear a helmet "except when they're at shows", since they are staunch helmet fans but not staunch enough to be the lone helmet fan in the show ring. :rolleyes: (But hey it is easy to stridently lecture from a desk chair than to actually BE the change you want to see in the world, yes?)
3. Somebody invariably chimes in that failure to use a helmet unfairly raises every other horse rider's insurance premium.
3a. Proponents of argument 3 conveniently fail to realize that horse related accidents, whether with a helmet or no, also raise EVERYONE ELSE'S insurance premium, including those people who have never touched a horse before in their lives. But this time it is ok to "inflict" (as their argument goes) their risk choice on others, insurance wise, because this time it is their risk choice, not someone else's.

Basically, the helmet debate at its best tends to involve quite a bit of lecturing, and if you really think about it, often a lot of hypocrisy. Wear a helmet always, (oh but not at shows). (But feel free to mutter that "show culture" 'forces your hand' because you are 'spending a lot of money' and don't want to get knocked by the judge.)
Think of the family and everyone else's insurance premiums when it comes to wearing the helmet (but not, of course, when it comes to wearing a helmet in the show ring), but blithely ignore those concerns when it comes to riding a 1,200 pound animal in the first place.

And so on.

Basically, everyone will make their own decision.
People will either wear a helmet or they won't.
People, ammy or pro, will either man up and bring the helmet into the show ring, or they won't (and anyone who wants to lecture anyone else in a helmet debate should SHUT UP if they puss out the second they enter the show ring, SERIOULSY).

Having some hypocritically lecturing-back-and-forth thread is really not going to make a difference. It has been done before and it always goes the same way anyway.

egontoast
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:51 AM
Adults can make their own choices about this. I wear one but don't get all self righteous about adults who don't wear them.

All the accidents I've had from being turfed off horses injured everything other than my head. Never my bone head. So I guess someone will get all tsktsk I told you so -she should have worn a safety vest- when I die from a blow to the chest .

Perspective is missing in these discussions.

When I broke my hand in a riding accident and was taken to emergency one of the questions in triage was - were you wearing a helmet? So I just knew from that question my stats were going into some data bank about horse related injuries and helmets even though it was not relevant to the injury.

Riding is risky. Some people, including most people who ride western do not wear helmets. Many people don't wear safety vests either.

When a support thread is started after a tragic accident that is not the time or place to BLAME the person who is injured . Save that for texting to your like minded told you so friends.

nhwr
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:02 AM
I understand the implications to my loved ones and myself of not wearing a helmet. Most people (adults) are capable of reaching this same understanding. Children on my property or riding my horses have to wear helmets.

I wear one. I would never get in someone's face for not wearing one.
Those types of interactions are usually counter productive (and rude).

rothmpp
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:03 AM
Basically, the helmet debate at its best tends to involve quite a bit of lecturing, and if you really think about it, often a lot of hypocrisy. Wear a helmet always, (oh but not at shows). (But feel free to mutter that "show culture" 'forces your hand' because you are 'spending a lot of money' and don't want to get knocked by the judge.)



Totally agree. Every time I hear this argument it makes me nuts. I've managed dozens of shows. Scribed probably thousands of rides. With judges from lowly Ls to to Os. Judges that I know well enough that they would make an aside to me about whether they thought differently about a horse because a rider was wearing a helmet rather than a derby, bowler or top hat. Never once did I hear a single comment. Never once did I think as I was recording scores, "The rider's getting dinged for wearing a helmet.". Including a local FEI rider riding I2 in a helmet. In fact that judge said she likes seeing the upper level riders in helmets because it sets a good example. The only ones making negative comments about it are the railbirds, and they are not scoring you.

I would be the last to lecture about not wearing a helmet. I'm as guilty as many for not always wearing a helmet. But what I am is a "every ride, every time" while at a show. Shows are so much more unpredictable, particularly with a young, unseasoned horse. If I lose a couple of points (which I won't), so be it.

NoDQhere
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:06 AM
Helmets are mandatory on this farm, period. We are in Cowboy country and yes, we get a lot of flack about the helmets but this is a "dangerous" lifestyle and doing what you can to prevent the "preventable" accident is just common sense.

When a rider chooses to ride without a helmet and gets injured, it affects more than just the rider! Of course the rider is the one who really suffers but so do all the people around the rider.

Coreene
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:15 AM
The people who always wear helmets will say that they always do, a few people who don't will say maybe they will, and in the end zippo zilch nada. A friend came off a few years ago sans helmet, her skull was totally crushed in on one side, her daughter wore one for two weeks after her mom died (as did a few fellow boarders), and then they went back to bareheaded.

Ridge Runner
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:16 AM
I wear a helmet...every single ride. When and if I make it to FEI levels, I will wear a helmet to show in. I don't care about tradition but I do care about my head and what few brains I have left after menopause finishes with me! ;-) I ride a lot of young horses but my worst wreck to date was doing flat work on an older horse. Crap happens and you never know when. It's such a simple precaution to take that I will never "get" why people refuse to wear a helmet. I try not to judge anyone for their choices but when I hear of an accident where someone chose not to use safety equipment and got a head injury, I can't help but wonder if they had it to do over, what would their choice be?

Dressage_Julie
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:02 PM
The whole do I or don't I wear a helmet I think goes back to what is required out of different sports. Hunters/Jumper/Eventers are required to show with helmets. In Dressage, you wear a helmet or a derby and then you earn your tophat. In dressage about 15 years ago, it used to be very few people wore a helmet once they earned a tophat. I think the trend is changing. I did FEI young riders with Courtney in the 90's- we didn't wear helmets. I think the times are certainly changing. But the debate as to should I or shouldn't I is silly. I think there is a direct correlation between the equine disiplines that require helmets at shows and those that wear something else in a show- ie dressage, western, barrel racing.

Pony Fixer
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:16 PM
My worst injury was a severe concussion I got when my horse slipped and fell AT A WALK in wet grass. This was after schooling an entire cross country course without incident. I was wearing a helmet, but my friend who saw it mentioned that I was "sling-shotted" down--my hips hit, then shoulder, then head like cracking a whip.

My helmet was not damaged, my head not "cracked". I was shaken, but untacked, drove home.

Then I had no idea how I got home or what happened to my horse. A trip to the ER showed significant concussion.

I ride dressage, and am at the brink of FEI. Many of my peers are wearing toppers at 3rd and 4th, but I still wear my helmet. I have purchased my shadbelly, but not a topper yet, because I really WANT the look of the topper, but really want to keep my head.

I don't know what I'll do, luckily I don't have to make that decision today!

Coreene
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:17 PM
I know two German men named Helmut.

Pony Fixer
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:18 PM
LOL--where is the "like" button!

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:32 PM
I know two German men named Helmut.

Genau!

I'm going to be glib because I'm at work right now, but I wanted to add two things to this discussion.

1. Ricardo
2. Amaya

Painted Wings
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:33 PM
On the Courtney Dye thread I noticed that no one ever answered the question as to whether she was wearing a helmet. I do think this is as important as when the news always notes in a serious car accident when people are injured whether they were wearing their seatbelts or not.

I'm assuming since no one answered the question, that she was NOT wearing a helmet.

I do hope that Courtney recovers. It was her choice not to wear a helmet. But hopefully it can set an example and a lesson for others that Every ride, every time means exactly what it says. When we are working with horses, there is no safe time.

I even choose to wear my helmet sometimes when getting youngsters out of the pasture. You never know when they might strike or kick and at least my head is protected.

Dressage_Julie
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:40 PM
I know two German men named Helmut.

Can I use the excuse that I typed pre-coffee??? :)
Thanks for pointing out, now I feel silly, but I did correct :D

Tamsin
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:42 PM
Adults can make their own choices about this. I wear one but don't get all self righteous about adults who don't wear them.

All the accidents I've had from being turfed off horses injured everything other than my head. Never my bone head. So I guess someone will get all tsktsk I told you so -she should have worn a safety vest- when I die from a blow to the chest .

Perspective is missing in these discussions.

When I broke my hand in a riding accident and was taken to emergency one of the questions in triage was - were you wearing a helmet? So I just knew from that question my stats were going into some data bank about horse related injuries and helmets even though it was not relevant to the injury.

Riding is risky. Some people, including most people who ride western do not wear helmets. Many people don't wear safety vests either.

When a support thread is started after a tragic accident that is not the time or place to BLAME the person who is injured . Save that for texting to your like minded told you so friends.


I don't think that people who comment on helmets are trying to blame the injured person or say I told you so. I'm sure that everyone reading the thread about Courtney K-D's accident, even those who mentioned helmets, are very, very sympathetic and hoping for the best possible outcome for this wonderful rider.

However, when a high profile rider suffers a serious head injury it is extremely relevant to ask if they were wearing a helmet. If they were not, it's an important teachable moment. It hurts to sit here and think of what might have been--Courtney wearing a helmet and walking away from that fall, head intact. It is yet another reminder to young people to wear helmets always since even the best riders in the world have accidents.

quietann
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:59 PM
I ride dressage, and am at the brink of FEI. Many of my peers are wearing toppers at 3rd and 4th, but I still wear my helmet. I have purchased my shadbelly, but not a topper yet, because I really WANT the look of the topper, but really want to keep my head.

I don't know what I'll do, luckily I don't have to make that decision today!

Be the person who breaks with tradition and wears a helmet with their shad!

(100% helmet supporter here.)

nhwr
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:59 PM
Adult riders have freedom to make their own choices (even if they are bad ones).

Children have parents.

To anyone who thinks a sports hero is really a role model for young people, may I refer you to Tiger Woods ... just the latest in a long line of "role models" :uhoh:

HenryisBlaisin'
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:13 PM
I do not get on any horse, any time, without a helmet. Nobody gets on my horse without a helmet, ever.

I have been the only rider in the ring wearing a helmet, especialyl when I compete Western. It doesn't bother me in the least, because, well, I value my brain.

For those who don't value theirs, as adults, it is their choice to not wear a helmet.

But I wonder how many making that choice really, and I mean really think about the consequences. Do they think about the cost of catastrophic injury and rehabilitaion? Do they think about the loss of income if they cannot work after an accicdent? Do they think about how their house could be made wheelchair accessible? Do they think about their family sitting at their side in a hospital having to make the choice to unplug life support for a brain-dead spouse, parent, or child?

If being "wild and free" or looking like everyone else in the show ring is really that important as the above considerations, then go for it. To me, one ride of "wild and free" isn't worth the possibility of never riding again.

Cielo Azure
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:20 PM
You know...a productive outcome might be to ask USEF to consider a mandatory helmet rule for all children under 18 (or 16). Whether it be western, hunter or dressage, it just makes sense. It also sets up kids to get used to the idea.

When showing at a recognized show, it shouldn't be up to the parents to set the rules for the show, it should be the show/regulatory group itself. To take it one step further, recognized shows I think would be glad to have a universal rule about helmets for children.

It just makes sense for safety and for liability insurance.

Marieke
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:21 PM
My worst injury was a severe concussion I got when my horse slipped and fell AT A WALK in wet grass. This was after schooling an entire cross country course without incident. I was wearing a helmet, but my friend who saw it mentioned that I was "sling-shotted" down--my hips hit, then shoulder, then head like cracking a whip.



That is what happened to me, but on hard surface, my helmet

CRACKED AND SPLIT IN 3'S

I suffered a brain bleed, but not skull fractures.

It is the aftermath, when you are conscious again that is the problem. I had been a member of Mensa previously, and 6 months after the accident my IQ was still barely above average. I had to live by lists to not forget to brush my teeth, or I may be doing it several times, because I couldn't remember whether I did or not. I had many psychological tests, and had to relearn certain things. Total recovery costs and therapy was quite a few 1000s of $$$$, and the emotional cost was enormous. It was at least 1-1.5 years before I was functioning 'normally'.

Brain injuries are nothing ot mess with, they are no fun. It is totally nerve wrecking when a stranger comes up to you to ask who you are in a concerned and well meaning manner, and you have no clue who it is. It is emotionally heart breaking when you realize that this unknown person is your family. You'll regret your decision not to wear a helmet.

Not that telling my story would change anybody, but........

ponyjumper4
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:50 PM
I'm sort of surprised no one has developed a hard top hat. They have them for the western riders that are cowboy hats.

Bogey2
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:51 PM
When I see someone on a FEI WB performing amazing things, wearing a top hat and shadbelly - it is beautiful. The beauty of the horse and rider, the gleaming horse and the rider's outfit and the partnership are inspiring. Frankly, sometimes - the element of danger heightens the spectactor's enjoyment of the show

this is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Please, find me a spectator who thinks such a thing about watching a dressage rider in a shad.

Zevida
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:00 PM
To anyone who thinks a sports hero is really a role model for young people, may I refer you to Tiger Woods ... just the latest in a long line of "role models" :uhoh:

We aren't talking private lives here. Like it or not, the upper echelon of the sport is what we all try to emulate, consciously or subconsciously. If Tiger Woods, the world's greatest golfer, golfs without gloves or with gloves, millions of people across the country are going to experiment.

I read time and again on these threads that so many people never wore helmets because that was the "cool" thing to do. They rode in barns where the trainers and best riders did not wear helmets and thus they are mimicked. That is frankly human nature and it is silly to suggest we can just turn that off. We all want to be like our idols.

The upper echelon should set a good example and it is a shame that they do not. I have been happy to see in the pages of Dressage Today more often their articles show riders with helmets - they should make it mandatory for any photograph of any kind that appears in their magazine. I was also glad to hear the same thing about the USDF Symposium, that helmets were required.

Like it or not, the young riders of today are looking up to and following the stars of today in all ways - training, horse care, feeding, management, style of dress AND helmet use. Why so many professionals insist on the best of everything except safety, I'll never understand.

Vesper Sparrow
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:01 PM
Always, even when I rode Western. There are so many dangerous things about riding and horses, why not do everything you can to make it safer?

I believe there is an article in this month's Dressage Today about a woman who had a helmet designed specially to be worn underneath a top hat (or was it a bowler?), much like the model made to be worn underneath a cowboy hat.

FancyFree
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:07 PM
I read time and again on these threads that so many people never wore helmets because that was the "cool" thing to do. They rode in barns where the trainers and best riders did not wear helmets and thus they are mimicked. That is frankly human nature and it is silly to suggest we can just turn that off. We all want to be like our idols.

That's exactly right. When I was at a big facility, none of the dressage trainers, including mine, wore helmets. Even after my trainer had a bad fall, she didn't put a helmet on. I now board across the street from an Olympic rider's facility. I've seen one person wear a helmet. The majority wear ball caps. I wonder why there is such an aversion to helmets with some dressage riders?

BunithGrace
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:11 PM
I even choose to wear my helmet sometimes when getting youngsters out of the pasture. You never know when they might strike or kick and at least my head is protected.

I almost ALWAYS wear my helmet and gloves while lunging my two steady eddies, because even they have their "days" and one swift kick could get me....

Dramapony_misty
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:13 PM
That is a very good question, Vesper...IF there was a decent-looking ASTM apporved top hat, would people wear them? By decent I mean that while I know they would have to be slightly larger than regular top hats, but not bulbus like those awful first-round of helmet Cowboy hats that came out years ago.

Maybe if there was enough interest, one of the many helmet makers would come out with one.


As for the overall topic, I do always ride with my helmet. To each his/her own, but I hope that it will become the trend like it has for skiing and snowboarding (there are a TON of helmet wearers out there! I guess it's considered stylish now).

dalpal
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:13 PM
Perhaps the worst assumption horse people make is that most riding accidents happen when riders are jumping or cross country or on a young or pumped up horse. Statistically they happen in those instances but also equally at times when it is just an "ACCIDENT".

I always ride with a helmet I've had my body injuries over the past 47 years of riding but as I always remind myself - I can ride without a helmet but I can't do very much at all without a brain.

I also feel with children the old saying "horses near-helmet on" should apply and we enforce that on our farm.

I also agree that wearing a helmet just handling some horses isn't a bad idea. We all know how high and far these animal scan kick - even the youngsters

I'm not sure why so many dressage riders opt to go without head protection - especially in the warmup areas which are very often complete chaos with way too many horses in the warm-up areas and a majorit of riders looking DOWN at their horses and not ahead or around the ring to avoid collisions.

A helmet isn't a guarantee but no helmet has a very high statistical probability of a head injury.

I would also point out that when any rider is taken to the hospital - the informatio on the cause of the accident and in the case of riding - whether or not they had head protection is always noted This information is passed on to actuarials who provide yearly data to insurance companies. Same for motorcycle riders and other sports. Many health and life insurance companies specifically ask about "high risk activities" why may or may not include riding and if you engage in these activities you can find yourself with a much higher premium. I know we face this because my husband mountain climbs and has motorcycles. His life insurance premium is DOUBLE. He's had no accidents - it's just based on the statistics.

So OTHER RIDERS not wearing helmets doesn't just impact them - it impacts the entire equestrian sport.

I had the same thought yesterday when my 21 year old gelding had a come apart in the crossties/wash rack....The door scared him and he was out of there....I made a mad dash out of the washpit as he started levading back and forth in the crossties. I am very fortuante that I was able to get out of his way. Doesn't necessarily have to be a greenie to do unexpected/dangerous things.

As for helmets/riding...I don't get on my horse without one. However, I don't feel it is my place to tell another adult what they can or should do concerning their saftey. We've all read many stories about head injuries due to riding....the fact is, people do know what can happen....if you chose to ride without one, that is your choice.

I remember going to see one of my horses at the cowboy trainer's house. As soon as I put my helmet on, the ribbing started..."You girls get on thinking you are going to fall off"....I laughed right along with them, but never took it off. My husband said he agreed with the cowboy/why ride with a helmet on the flat?...needless to say when his horse bucked him off about three months later (he did have a helmet on) and he hit his head. My first question was...Are you okay. After I got a yes...then my next comment was.."NOW you know why I wear a helmet on the flat."

poltroon
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:13 PM
On the other thread, my second thought (after concerns for this young woman's well being) was if she wore a helmet. Not to say "told you so" in the helmet debate, I do wear a helemt now that I've realized its just safer (IMO), but because I was curious if she was injured even while wearing the helmet. I'm not sure what I would do with that information, but was curious.

I guess as far as the debate goes I think riders should wear helmets, but once they are adults it is a private choice with potential poor outcome....

I know of someone who had (and alas still has) a serious brain injury from a serious fall when the horse fell just cantering around, and in that case the rider was wearing a helmet.

I think people want to know - not so much because of the i-told-you-so, but because they want a gauge of the severity of the accident, because the human mind likes to categorize accidents. It's for the same reason people want to know if it was a young horse or her GP partner, or if she was at home or at a show. Not to cast blame.

That said, I hope to see Courtney on a horse soon, and I hope that she never rides without a helmet again - because, selfishly, I'd like her to be around to a ripe old age, and because once you've had a brain injury, you're so much more vulnerable to another.

dalpal
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:17 PM
That is what happened to me, but on hard surface, my helmet

CRACKED AND SPLIT IN 3'S

I suffered a brain bleed, but not skull fractures.

It is the aftermath, when you are conscious again that is the problem. I had been a member of Mensa previously, and 6 months after the accident my IQ was still barely above average. I had to live by lists to not forget to brush my teeth, or I may be doing it several times, because I couldn't remember whether I did or not. I had many psychological tests, and had to relearn certain things. Total recovery costs and therapy was quite a few 1000s of $$$$, and the emotional cost was enormous. It was at least 1-1.5 years before I was functioning 'normally'.

Brain injuries are nothing ot mess with, they are no fun. It is totally nerve wrecking when a stranger comes up to you to ask who you are in a concerned and well meaning manner, and you have no clue who it is. It is emotionally heart breaking when you realize that this unknown person is your family. You'll regret your decision not to wear a helmet.

Not that telling my story would change anybody, but........

Similar thing happened to a trainer in this area...she did have a helmet on.....she came off her four year old and had brain injury.....has a very hard time now remembering things.

Regal Grace
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:20 PM
Always, even when I rode Western. There are so many dangerous things about riding and horses, why not do everything you can to make it safer?

I believe there is an article in this month's Dressage Today about a woman who had a helmet designed specially to be worn underneath a top hat (or was it a bowler?), much like the model made to be worn underneath a cowboy hat.

I think this might be the article you were referencing:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses%5Friding%5Ftraining/english/dressage/top%5Fhat%5Fhelmet%5F022210/

poltroon
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:21 PM
That is a very good question, Vesper...IF there was a decent-looking ASTM apporved top hat, would people wear them? By decent I mean that while I know they would have to be slightly larger than regular top hats, but not bulbus like those awful first-round of helmet Cowboy hats that came out years ago.

Maybe if there was enough interest, one of the many helmet makers would come out with one.

The state of the art in materials doesn't allow for it to be anything other than bulky and "strange" to the eye, if your eye is comparing it to a standard top hat.

That said, it has been fascinating to me to see the conversion from item of apparel hunt caps among professional jumpers to GPAs in an eyeblink. Aside from GPA paying some riders to wear them, it seems that the secondary issue was that they looked quite different from standard velvet hats, and so people's eyes were more able to accept a totally new look than an imitation look.

Eventually, a successful dressage rider will go out there for the FEI classes with protective headgear, do a lot of winning, and the other riders will change over to try to catch some of the magic that is obviously eminating from the helmet. ;)

Watching the Winter Olympics, nearly every sport is using helmets now. It wasn't so long ago that skiers went without. The helmets not only protect one's head but also keep it warm and aerodynamic. I saw a lot of mouthpieces, too.

ridgeback
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:31 PM
I personally think everyone should be required to wear an approved helmet while riding a horse while at horse shows. Although I do know someone that was wearing an approved helmet and still suffered a head injury.

Cielo Azure
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:34 PM
this is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Please, find me a spectator who thinks such a thing about watching a dressage rider in a shad.

http://www.rtl.nl/components/actueel/rtlboulevard/miMedia/2007/week42/ma_ankie.avi_plain.xml
How many times do you think this has been viewed? Of course, no shad -so that makes it different?

For years after the above, every announcer would begin their introduction of Anky with "Well you know, she suffered a serious injury recently..." Why? Do you think it is because the announcer really thinks that the audience cares about Anky? It is they know that some of the audience gets off on that kind of stuff. Danger is part of horses. Being a spectator is about voyeurism, it is about wishing that you had the guts. The biggest, baddest WBs are the ones that everyone wishes they owned and could (actually) ride.

But you are right that some spectators would be shocked at such a thought.

For lots of people, part of the thrill of watching any horse event is the "taming of the wild beast." With that, comes danger. No one wants to see someone get killed or injured but the element of danger is there and should be acknowledged as part of the show. The ohhs and ahhs of the crowd at Sea World every day attest to the fact that everyone knows that animals are unpredictable. People like that stuff.

It is part of gestalt of horse sports also, even dressage.

Tiger Horse
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:43 PM
Here ya go!

http://equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/top_hat_helmet_022210/

If I ever attain this level, I will look into this. Pricey, but there's no replacing a brain.

Bogey2
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:46 PM
The biggest, baddest WBs are the ones that everyone wishes they owned and could (actually) ride.

:lol: where do you get this stuff from? You make some really big assumptions if you ask me.


The ohhs and ahhs of the crowd at Sea World every day attest to the fact that everyone knows that animals are unpredictable.

Dressage is not like jumpers or cross country...if it were we would have more spectators:winkgrin:

monstrpony
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:53 PM
... Although I do know someone that was wearing an approved helmet and still suffered a head injury.

I think almost anyone who's been around horses for a number of years knows someone who fell with a helmet and still had a head injury. Helmets don't prevent accidents any more than they prevent horses from coming unglued. What's relevant to the discussion is that many of those injured while wearing a helmet would be dead if they hadn't been wearing the helmet.

Many of the hunter classic and derby riders wear tailcoats and approved helmets. Yeah, the tradition is to wear a top hat with a tailcoat, but they're riding over fences, and it's so acceptable to wear an approved helmet when jumping. But, somehow, everyone has gotten used to the look and it isn't a big deal. In fact, the average top-level dressage horse is a much greater risk for a meltdown than the top hunters, jumping notwithstanding. I just wish someone would go ahead and break the ice, wear a helmet with a tailcoat in dressage, and get it over with.

Schwab62
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:54 PM
Whether a rider wears a helmet or not is their own business. Just about all boarding facilities require their boarders to wear a helmet because their insurance requires it. Granted, there are always exceptions. People are free to decide whether they want to wear a helmet or not. This is a free country the last time I checked.

Me, I always wear a helmet. I sustained a severe concussion five years ago when my horse, while cantering a 20 meter circle, slipped and fell. From what I was told, he fell so fast on his right side there was no time for me to react. I was knocked out cold. I finally woke up five hours later in the hospital. I was exteremly fortunate. Threw that helmet away and bought a new one. Yup, it saved my life. I've had many falls and broken bones throughout my years of riding, but this was the most dangerous injury I have every sustained to date. I still have some veritgo issues as a result.

shawneeAcres
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:59 PM
Do I wear a helmet when riding? Yes
Do I require one on my property? Yes for minors
Do I require a helmet for my students? yes
Do I care diddlysqaut if you do or do not choose to wear a helmet? no

end of discussion

The Centaurian
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:04 PM
I don't see what the big deal is about the helmet w/ shadbelly; hunters wear this combo all the time!

Cielo Azure
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:04 PM
:lol: where do you get this stuff from? You make some really big assumptions if you ask me.



Dressage is not like jumpers or cross country...if it were we would have more spectators:winkgrin:

Ever sit in an audience and see which horses the people around you like? Ever see which youtube dressage videos are the most popular? I guess for me, it seems pretty obvious.

The spectators are there in Europe. But even if you go to the SRS (I know, you probably don't consider that dressage), there is that element of horses being unpredictable. It is humans training big animals and the element of danger is always present. Of course, it is only one part of the draw but it is most definitely a part of it. I don't think that all those spectators watching dressage are more educated, or different than spectators the world over who watch horse sports.

Do not think that I believe that the whole audience is like that but...

Having spent many years as a behaviorist in zoos and watching what many people enjoy in shows and then being a spectator at many dressage shows, I don't see a big difference a lot of times in what people enjoy and the thrill they get from watching big, powerful animals and their human partners.

But, clearly you wish to take one extremely small portion of what I initially wrote and blow it all up -have at it.

Foxhound
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:04 PM
I was struck by this comment in the top hat helmet article:


With shows on the horizon, Rust knew she had to figure out a way to protect her head without sacrificing traditional dressage attire. Safety helmets are acceptable at any level, but “I didn’t want to handicap my horse by wearing a helmet,” says Rust, fearing a judge would think her horse was unruly.

I've scribed a lot, and like the above posters, I have NEVER heard a judge comment on a rider wearing a helmet. I think we need to do more to get rid of this misconception. The judge isn't going to think your horse is unruly just because you choose to wear a helmet, the judge is going to think your horse is unruly if it is acting unruly.

Additionally, if you think wearing a helmet makes your horse look bad, the top hat helmet isn't fooling anyone. It's clearly not a regular top hat, and would probably attract more attention since it's not something you see very often.

I do hope that helmet manufacturers will continue to improve the technology to make a safety helmet that looks like a top hat (without looking like something that the Mad Hatter would wear).

avante
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:11 PM
I wish my trainer would wear a helmet, especially on my young horse, good as he is. Mostly, because even a well-trained trusted mount is still a horse.

How many of the big name "classical" trainers do you see in a helmet? I wish we could help change their minds because they influence a host of others following in their footsteps.

When I flew to one BN Classical's farm to take lessons, I left my helmet behind after some personal debate. "They" don't ride their highly trained wonderful classical dressage horses wearing helmets. I didn't know them yet and felt intimidated. It was like I would be insulting the stallion I was to ride. Yes, it was wonderful to have my hair flying in the wind. Yes, when I took one out on a hack, it was like being a kid again.

However, now that I've had an injury and understand just how mortal I am I will take my helmet if I fly to their farm again. Those lovely stallions could care less what is on my head, but my husband does :yes:

avante
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:17 PM
I don't see what the big deal is about the helmet w/ shadbelly; hunters wear this combo all the time!

I love top hats because they are so elegant, but thumbs up! Maybe by the time my boy and I finally get there-if ever, it will not be uncommon.

suzier444
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:23 PM
I always wear a helmet. Truthfully, I have noticed that the more serious and skilled riders never seem to wear them, so in my mind I associate the most beautifully performed dressage as helmetless. And truthfully, a lot of the people I see who do wear helmets seem to be kids, less-skilled (but still plenty good) riders, chickens (such as myself) or people on really scary horses. Consequently, the honest truth is I feel a little bit second-rate (that's probably not the right word...maybe less elegant?) in my helmet -- but that won't stop me from wearing one. My brain is the biggest thing I've got going for me, and I'll do everything I can to protect it, no matter what it looks like. Also, I'm in the "chicken" and "less-skilled" categories, but I'd wear my helmet even if I weren't.

I didn't even consider that judges might frown on helmet-wearers. I hope that isn't true, but that wouldn't stop me from wearing one. It's not like I'm on the verge of winning the olympics or something. My dressage score really doesn't rank up there with the physical integrity of my skull on my list of priorities.

eta: other people can wear or not wear helmets as they choose to do so. my mother better wear her helmet and if I ever have kids, they will wear helmets if I have to have them surgically implanted. But other than my relatives, I don't feel any judgment toward other people's choices.

Bogey2
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:39 PM
But, clearly you wish to take one extremely small portion of what I initially wrote and blow it all up -have at it.
no, clearly you are making really big assumptions about spectators at dressage shows.

PixelGraphixDesign
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:46 PM
I consider myself very very lucky. I did something incredibly stupid with my young horse, got knocked out, and woke up with blood pouring out of my scalp. I had to get twenty stitches and had a mild concussion. I can't even believe nothing more serious happened as it was somewhat rocky terrain.

Since that day, I've never been without a hard hat. Sure they are not infallible, but they are better than nothing.

egontoast
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:48 PM
Bogey, don't you know that for spectator thrills and chills FEI dressage is right up there with golf and curling?

WHAHOOO

:eek::eek::eek:

mypaintwattie
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:14 PM
I grew up always having to wear one, and always made the choice to do so. Now that I am an adult I know no fewer than 3 people who have had serious skull fractures. One of them is one of my closest friends. I make the choice to wear one when I ride, sometimes I debate about staying in my ball cap or feeling the breeze through my hair, but that nagging in the back of my mind tells me it only takes one split second. I am even going to wear one when showing western this year at the smaller shows- larger shows I will have to wear my hat. But if you don't want to wear one, fine, that is your decision and I will not look down on you for that.

ridgeback
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:23 PM
Whether a rider wears a helmet or not is their own business. Just about all boarding facilities require their boarders to wear a helmet because their insurance requires it. Granted, there are always exceptions. People are free to decide whether they want to wear a helmet or not. This is a free country the last time I checked.

Me, I always wear a helmet. I sustained a severe concussion five years ago when my horse, while cantering a 20 meter circle, slipped and fell. From what I was told, he fell so fast on his right side there was no time for me to react. I was knocked out cold. I finally woke up five hours later in the hospital. I was exteremly fortunate. Threw that helmet away and bought a new one. Yup, it saved my life. I've had many falls and broken bones throughout my years of riding, but this was the most dangerous injury I have every sustained to date. I still have some veritgo issues as a result.

Of course what they do at their own farm is their own business but while on show grounds it should be mandatory.

DownYonder
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:32 PM
My motto:

“It may not be much of a brain, but it's the only one I’ve got”. :lol:

So Yep, I always wear a helmet.

There is a gal in my area that got dumped off her horse a year or so back - no helmet, bad brain injury. She had so much swelling in the brain that they had to remove a portion of her skull, then ended up fashioning a "patch" for the opening from a big chunk of bone they took out of her pelvis. Not sure what her status is these days, but for awhile, they were looking for an in-home aide for her as she couldn't take care of herself.

Silver~Image~Farm
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:33 PM
The facility where I take my lessons has a RULE about everyone wearing helmets.

BNT DOES wear a helmet.

Mrsmph
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:47 PM
I know two German men named Helmut.

"LIKE" (thumbs up)

:D

raff
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:56 PM
A good friend of mine who lived and kept her horses at my place suffered a severe brain injury. She was riding track work without a helmet. This meant she wasn't covered by insurance either. She had a hole cut in her skull to relieve the pressure, and was a changed person afterwards.
The day she tried to get on a 4 yo she didn't know, again without a helmet, was the day I gave her a months notice to leave.
Such a waste, so unnecessary, what a shame.

judybigredpony
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:56 PM
Having lost someone important in my life because of not wearing a helmet its a BIG issue with me.

Hey I would love to look cool in my BBall cap w/ a nice logo but instead wear a Big ole CO and chin strap.

Even then I suffered a nasty concussion when a horse that was being lead while I adjusted my stirrups got a bit unrully and ended up flat on my back.
Better than a fractured skull.

When warming up I have been know to put on the CO until time to go into the arena and switch then to a top hat.

I don't care how if I look so uncool in warmup.

It was comforting to watch 1...ONE male rider warming up at DAD last fall in a GPA who swapped head gear before entering the arena.

Then a nervous glance over to warm-up arena and see the "cool" riders in their BBall caps.

Not every persons life style or choices are perfect and not every aspect of their day to day interactions will be perfect. But the one thing a Rider who is held in esteem can do is put on a saftey helmet before riding. That one act of responsibilty will speak volumes to young peoiple wishing to emulate them.

PixelGraphixDesign
Mar. 4, 2010, 05:19 PM
A good friend of mine who lived and kept her horses at my place suffered a severe brain injury. She was riding track work without a helmet. This meant she wasn't covered by insurance either. She had a hole cut in her skull to relieve the pressure, and was a changed person afterwards.
The day she tried to get on a 4 yo she didn't know, again without a helmet, was the day I gave her a months notice to leave.
Such a waste, so unnecessary, what a shame.
That's crazy (no pun intended)!

Hearing these horrible stories makes me realize even more how lucky I was.

DinkDunk
Mar. 4, 2010, 05:58 PM
When warming up I have been know to put on the CO until time to go into the arena and switch then to a top hat.

I don't care how if I look so uncool in warmup.

Then why oh why don't you just wear the CO into the arena?


I just wish someone would go ahead and break the ice, wear a helmet with a tailcoat in dressage, and get it over with.
:yes:

If I ever made it that far, I'd do it. No problem.

eventing-n-SD
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:00 PM
I had a serious riding accident 3 years ago this month. Foolishly, I was not wearing a helmet. Long story short, I ended up in the dirt head first. I hit so hard that the impact ripped out all my hair in a 2" patch right smack dab on the top of my head. A concussion turned out to be the minor injury, but it sure would have been nice if I could have skipped the brain injury.

I've had 4 previous concussions in my lifetime - this was the only horse related one. I cannot afford another one. My helmet's on each and every single ride no matter what.

Life is full of unpredictable moments. Knowing that the percentage of unpredictable moments increases exponentially when we throw a leg over a 1,200 pound animal with its own opinion, how foolish must we be to not take proper precautions to prevent a devastating injury?

I was a member of the foolish club until that accident. Now I'm just thankful that I didn't pay for my foolishness with my life. It's much more inconvenient to be dead than to wear a helmet.

PixelGraphixDesign
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:05 PM
Has anyone seen this?

The Top-Hat Dressage Helmet:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/top_hat_helmet_022210/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=sn&utm_campaign=eph

monicabee
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:18 PM
I was conditioned at an early age to ride in a helmet, thanks to my chosen discipline. Once I had my chosen horse, I never fell off and tested it, and even the time he slipped in an arena at the canter and went over sideways, I swent right with him and got a twisted foot when he rolled to get up... I don't remember hitting my head but my helmet was covered in mud.

Helmets are a lot better than when the Colorado cowboy riders used to laugh at us sweating away under black velvet hunt caps in the seventies - the ventilated schooling helmet I ride in at home is so light that it took ten minutes for me to realize that I was riding in my baseball cap a couple of weeks ago. I remedied that fast - not because I expected to fall off, but because I felt foolish for having forgotten my training.

I guess we are all conditioned by our history and our environment. Admittedly the mockery of cowboys is nothing compared to withstanding the raised eyebrows of your peers... fortunately my friends all wear helmets, on the trail, at shows or at home in the arena, and reinforce my belief system.

blackhorse6
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:29 PM
I had a fall yrs ago riding a line of 2 foot in and out's. Dog came right at us from no where and I hit "hard".. If I did not have my helmet on, I know I would have suffered a head injury or even death.. Have always worn a helmet since. That said, I have been training dressage for 10 or more yrs now.. I have a young horse and have the pleasure of working with an "extremely" talented eventer who has placed "high" at Rolex on several occassions...we are talking 2nd places. This person rides like non other...She amazes me with her 6th sense about horses...And "never" will you catch her riding with out a helmet.. She lunges with a helmet.. Seriously, she would put most top level dressage riders to shame as far as sticking to a horse(most eventers would though:).. For me this says one thing..,. WEAR A HELMET.

Now another issue I have is...if you don't have health insurance or can't afford it, why for GAWD's sake take any risk period.. Includes any high risk sports/activities.. Even talking and texting on the phone when driving!!!!:mad:

Please...you only go around once.. Life isn't a dress rehersal.. Remember, there are people who love you and count on you.. Don't be selfish.;)

Reynard Ridge
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:51 PM
Has anyone seen this?

The Top-Hat Dressage Helmet:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/top_hat_helmet_022210/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=sn&utm_campaign=eph

What an odd, expensive and ultimately unsatisfying (IMHO) solution. Call me crazy, but I think it would be easier as a rider to accept that a crash helmet does not look like a tophat.

As it did in the hunter classics, if the dressage world is going to move from tophats to approved helmets, the change would seem to require a paradigm shift; from tophat profile to approved helmet profile.

This thing strikes me (and my apologies to the designer who clearly spent a lot of time and money on the project) as a freaky mutant thing.

a_quick_one
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:53 PM
I just saw a copy of an email from the FHTA email list on another site. Apparently she was not wearing a helmet. I certainly hope she recovers and is able to learn from that mistake! I'll copy and paste:

[Copy of email removed as per original author of the email's request]

poltroon
Mar. 4, 2010, 07:07 PM
By the way, I have had the most unfortunate experience of tending to a friend with a head injury, with blood coming out of her ear, with her stopping breathing right there in the aisle, my buddy on the phone with 911, the very very long minutes waiting for the paramedics to arrive...

It wasn't a riding injury, so there was no helmet; she survived and thrives despite the original assessment of the emergency team.

Wear your helmet because you love your friends.

rebeginner
Mar. 4, 2010, 07:30 PM
Is there actually someone out there who thinks that traumatic brain injury is a good thing?

Coreene
Mar. 4, 2010, 07:45 PM
I grew up always having to wear one, and always made the choice to do so. Now that I am an adult I know no fewer than 3 people who have had serious skull fractures. One of them is one of my closest friends. I make the choice to wear one when I ride, sometimes I debate about staying in my ball cap or feeling the breeze through my hair, but that nagging in the back of my mind tells me it only takes one split second. I am even going to wear one when showing western this year at the smaller shows- larger shows I will have to wear my hat. But if you don't want to wear one, fine, that is your decision and I will not look down on you for that.Well, that and we would beat you until you were black and blue if you rode without. :lol:

I had a TBI from a fall without a helmet in November 1995. Fractured my skull in seven places, fractured my jaw, blew out my right eardrum and had blood and CSF pouring out of that ear and my right nostril.

Lost my sense of smell for two years; it has only come back on the right side. Can no longer do math. At all. And have been on medication for vertigo since day one.

Wattie can attest to the fact that there are days when I have not gone to the barn (or office or anywhere else) because the vertigo is so debilitating that I cannot get out of bed. She had kindly stepped in and taken care of Oliver for me on those days.

And then I had the now-dead friend on page one. And actually a few other dead friends over the years.

I've lived through it - I was blessed to live through it. Each and every day still has an issue someplace. Wattie can also attest to the fact that there are times I cannot pick my horse's feet because I can't bend over becaues then I will black out.

happyhorsegirl
Mar. 4, 2010, 07:45 PM
people say that wearing a helmet is a personal decision. I think it is a personal responsibility. The decision to not wear a helmet can have very wide reaching implications....particularly to one's family and loved ones. The devastation of a head injury is not suffered alone. It is suffered by those who love you. I cannot fathom putting my family through the emotional and financial devastation of having to assist me through a severe head injury just because I wanted to "look cool" or save my head/hair from getting sweaty.

Wearing a helmet is such an easy way to protect your most valuable organ. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for the people who love you.

Equa
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:06 PM
The wearing of a safety helmet with a tailcoat was the ONLY option for upper level riders in Australia a few years ago. The EFA was having problems with its insurer, and the rule was (for about a year?) that we had to wear a safety helmet at all levels. It did look really strange at first, but we all got used to it.

The current rule is that we have to wear one at all times, but can change into a top hat before going into the arena....some showgrounds are tougher on this rule than others, and some riders don;t want to have to stop and fiddle about with headwear while on a roll...

See this link for some images of what tails and safety helmet can look like:
http://www.cyberhorse.net.au/cgi-bin/tve/displaynewsitem.pl?20090811vdcinterclubschallengep ictorial2.txt

(Mind you, I am an advocate of getting rid of top hat and tails for any level of equestrian sport - yes they give a false air of conservatism and "tradition, yes they are "unisex", yes, they can be considered elegant. BUT, a top hat gives no protection, makes riders look like chimney sweeps from 18th centruy London, and tails are just silly and un-athletic.)

Oh, and plenty of dressage riders just don;t wear a helmet at any time when at home, and have taken to wearing hunt caps instead of safety helmets for competitions at lower levels. This is despite everyone here being aware of an accident a few years ago, where an upper level rider had a simple fall from a young horse at a local competition, resulting in a TBI and lots and lots of rehab/therapy. He was supposedly wearing a hunt cap, and had TBIs in the past from football/eventing injuries. Haven't seen him on a horse since.

It is all very well to say that wearing a helmet is personal choice, but when MY taxes are going towards the costs of someone else's medical expenses and rehab, that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet, I think MY opinion counts too.

jody jaffe
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:10 PM
Getting on a horse without a helmet is as stupid as getting on a motorcycle without a helmet.

Given what's known about traumatic brain injury -- and its costs both physically and financially -- it's appalling that approved protective head gear isn't required in all recognized equine activities.

A fender bender at 5 mph can cause permanent brain damage, imagine what a fall from a horse can do.

If there's any good to come from this horrible accident, maybe it will be to change the rules to require protective headgear -- and change people's minds about riding without helmets.

mademoiselle
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:29 PM
I just don't get it ... I don't get the whole 'I'm so cool, I don't need to wear a helmet'.
I mean what is so bad a about wearing a helmet, you wear shoes or boots, you wear a wool coat when you show, what's the big deal about putting a helmet on your head.

I don't see what is so much better without a helmet that would justify to not wear one. It's a no brainer.

I had a bad crash with a helmet and I still ended up in ICU, lost my short term memory for while, scared the crap out of my hubby, traumatized my 5 YO daughter for the rest of her life (she still talks about how weird I was after the fall).

I always, always wear my helmet. Even to ride my 12H pony at the walk. I feel naked without it.

I'm about a year away from my debuts at FEI level and I already made the decision to show with my helmet. I don't care what other people are thinking. I don't. I care about my family and myself.:yes:

And as I stated before, if the only thing the judge can critisize is that I'm wearing a helmet, I'm in good shape.:winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin: But I'm pretty sure the judge will find plenty of other things to pick appart;)

I already told my trainer that I would never, never, never show in a top hat. And she respects my decision and she also wears a helmet when she rides. I love my trainer, she is a good example.

And if we want to be treated like sportmen, then it's time to act like sportmen. Bye, bye formal attire, bye, bye top hats, hello protective head gears.

BTW you will never catch me alive with that Fugly hat/helmet thing. Yuck. I would rather go for the regular helmet look, thank you.

sporthorsept
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:29 PM
Our facility is an Every Time, Every Ride helmet facility - that goes for the judges, L faculty members, trainers, beginners and everyone and its not an issue. We have a group of FEI riders who wear them at shows, myself included, and into the arena. We are the minority at shows but don't feel any concern about wearing them.

We have several "survivors" of significant head whacks courtesy of youngsters falling (sounds very like the Dye incident), lunging incidents, and more serious equine-ejection moments. I call mine the Brain Bucket to remind me what I'm protecting - a fall from the stand-still from a horse is enough of a g-force to sustain serious head injury. Its not about talent, its about protection.

I encourage folks to see the "Every Time, Every Ride" video that Washington State put out - very effective demonstration to show the degree of protection that an ASTM helmet provides:
http://4h.wsu.edu/foundation/everytime.htm

Hope this might help someone - I'm grateful to have had a helmet on during my big wazoo - not sure I'd be here without it.

Anne

Equa
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:36 PM
Mademoiselle - have a look at the link I posted above. You'll see pics of some very elegant riders. Maree Tomkinson on her stunning import Diamantina, who is world class, ad competing very successfully at FEI small tour. Maree is always impeccably turned out, elegant, immaculate. If SHE can wear a crash helmet with her (perfectly tailored) tails and model figure, then anyone can.

ToN Farm
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:03 PM
I don't see what is so much better without a helmet that would justify to not wear one. I think if you rode 7+ athletic moving horses everyday in hot and humid weather, you might understand. I don't think it has anything to do with being 'cool' or having an ego and certainly nothing to do with hair or looks. It has to do with comfort.

Please, don't come back with the standard reasons I've heard over and over again for the last 10 years on these boards. These helmet threads are always the same. People like to tell stories about how the helmet saved a life.

I really hope this tragedy Courtney suffered does not end up with a mandatory helmet rule in the show ring.

riderboy
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:16 PM
By the way, I have had the most unfortunate experience of tending to a friend with a head injury, with blood coming out of her ear, with her stopping breathing right there in the aisle, my buddy on the phone with 911, the very very long minutes waiting for the paramedics to arrive...

It wasn't a riding injury, so there was no helmet; she survived and thrives despite the original assessment of the emergency team.

Wear your helmet because you love your friends.
Exactly right. I have posted this so many times I just want to literally cry in frustration. Wear your damn helmet. I will never understand why people wear baseball hats, top hats, hunt caps or nothing when mounted. I will try to be respectful of this most recent tragedy but if nothing is learned from it, if discussion about it is stifled or attacked then what is the point? If nothing else, this proves that faling off and sustaining a bad head injury has absolutely NOTHING to do with your riding ability. As a physician I can assure you that just because you don't read about terrible tragic accidents in the newspaper or hear about them on the 5 o'clock news does not mean that they don't happen every single day. There seems to be this insane denial that they really don't. They really do.

mademoiselle
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:17 PM
I think if you rode 7+ athletic moving horses everyday in hot and humid weather, you might understand. I don't think it has anything to do with being 'cool' or having an ego and certainly nothing to do with hair or looks. It has to do with comfort.


Really, is there anywhere where it gets much hotter and humid than Florida ?
And as far as riding athletic horses, I'm all set with my 17h, WB, stallion :lol::lol::lol:
I rode up to 12 horses a day when I was still a pro and I managed to wear a helmet every ride without any issues.

I mean there are days in the summer where I would dream to wear some shorts, flip flops and a baseball cap, but if I want to dress like that I picked the wrong sport. Time to switch to swimming.

I mean how comfy is it to wear a pair a dress boots ? It is not but you do.
Between you and me, I value my head as much as my toes. So helmet and boots, even in the middle of the summer in Florida:cool:

riderboy
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:19 PM
I think if you rode 7+ athletic moving horses everyday in hot and humid weather, you might understand. I don't think it has anything to do with being 'cool' or having an ego and certainly nothing to do with hair or looks. It has to do with comfort.

Please, don't come back with the standard reasons I've heard over and over again for the last 10 years on these boards. These helmet threads are always the same. People like to tell stories about how the helmet saved a life.

I really hope this tragedy Courtney suffered does not end up with a mandatory helmet rule in the show ring.

That has to be, the most ignorant post I have ever seen. Period.

caddym
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:20 PM
Has anyone seen this?

The Top-Hat Dressage Helmet:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/top_hat_helmet_022210/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=sn&utm_campaign=eph

I think that hat is just ugly - if thats the alternative I'm wearing my standard top hat.

I have ridden PSG in a GPA (I have the blue one with the silver stripe and a navy shadbelly) the video and photos actually looked really great.

To be honest, the REASON I had on the GPA is that it was pouring down rain and I didn't want to trash my top hat:sadsmile:

The helmets are soooo hot. But today I just order the new GPA evolution - (on back order) Ugly and outrageously priced, but at least I'll wear it.

mademoiselle
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:20 PM
riderboy,

Still on board to try to convert a couple of people :lol::lol::lol: ?

nature
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:25 PM
http://www.troxelhelmets.com/products/features.php?ProductID=32


Think of a helmet as a type of insurance. You hope you never need it but it is there just in case!!

nature
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:28 PM
I think if you rode 7+ athletic moving horses everyday in hot and humid weather, you might understand. I don't think it has anything to do with being 'cool' or having an ego and certainly nothing to do with hair or looks. It has to do with comfort.

Please, don't come back with the standard reasons I've heard over and over again for the last 10 years on these boards. These helmet threads are always the same. People like to tell stories about how the helmet saved a life.

I really hope this tragedy Courtney suffered does not end up with a mandatory helmet rule in the show ring.

If there is a mandatory helmet rule, and you quit riding. then you can thank us for at least your brain will be intact!!!

riderboy
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:32 PM
riderboy,

Still on board to try to convert a couple of people :lol::lol::lol: ?

I know,I know! I just can't help myself.

Mary in Area 1
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:36 PM
I really hope this tragedy Courtney suffered does not end up with a mandatory helmet rule in the show ring.

Thank you, ToN, for that idea. I will email Lendon with that exact suggestion. Nothing would be more meaningful and productive than that rule.

Poor Courtney, I sincerely hope she is perfectly well soon. But I must admit, I hope that SOME good comes of this, and at least ONE MORE RIDER uses a helmet.

It is NOT just a personal choice. My husband had a brain injury 2 summers ago and he WAS wearing a helmet. He'd be dead if he hadn't had it on. AND it was brand new. As it was, he sat in an easy chair all summer while I took care of him. He couldn't help us hay or do any of the farm work. It was horrible, for both of us. He felt so guilty and I was angry he couldn't help and then regretted being mad at him. It changed EVERYTHING for EVERYONE at the farm. If he had died, the farm would be no more.

I can't understand how people say it's a personal choice. No matter what, we end of paying for some of their health care.

Bogey2
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:41 PM
We don't need more rules, everytime there is an issue someone wants a rule. Just look at the push to change the shape of a hot dog. Kids eat a lot of hot dogs, if they ate a lot of caviar they would choke on that as well....we would be calling for a change in the shape/texture of that.
If we continue in this direction we will have too many rules.



Hot dogs need to be redesigned so they aren’t potentially lethal to small children, American pediatricians said Monday in a new policy statement.

“We have laws and regulations that require warning labels on toys that pose choking hazards,” said Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the lead author of the policy published in the current issue of Pediatrics.

“There are no such regulations on high risk foods, and children are much more likely to put food in their mouths than a toy.”

The highest risk food is the hot dog, Smith said. Its size and shape means it can wedge itself tightly into a child’s throat, entirely blocking air passages

ToN Farm
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:47 PM
Yeah, you guys can ride in the heat with a helmet, but you bitch about having to wear a jacket for 5 minutes in the ring.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:48 PM
I think if you rode 7+ athletic moving horses everyday in hot and humid weather, you might understand. I don't think it has anything to do with being 'cool' or having an ego and certainly nothing to do with hair or looks. It has to do with comfort.

My trainer rides 4 - 8 horses per day, blazing sun, no indoor here, July and August, and she is always riding 1, 2 3 PM when it is 95 degrees and lots of humidity. She always wears a helmet.


I mean how comfy is it to wear a pair a dress boots ? It is not but you do.
Between you and me, I value my head as much as my toes. So helmet and boots, even in the middle of the summer in Florida:cool:

I agree, it is not about comfort. At least with helmets, you can actually buy inserts that help to keep you cool. Not so with breeches and boots.


I don't see what the big deal is about the helmet w/ shadbelly; hunters wear this combo all the time!

I agree. These are from Hunter showing. I think they look nice.

It is actually surprising to me that the USEF allows riders to ride on the grounds with no helmet.

egontoast
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:52 PM
what's a helemt?

Lori B
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:57 PM
ToN, a jacket is the third layer of clothing on my torso. THREE. In July, I just faint thinking about it.

A helmet, with vents, is not so bad at all, as long as my hair is out of my face.

A rule is the only way to remove (bad) judgment and the fear of losing cool points from the equation.

The ONLY barn I've seen in 7 or 8 years of riding where the majority of riders didn't wear a helmet was a dressage barn. I thought they were nuts then, and I still think they are nuts now.

When people say, 'think of your family', they don't mean, you will break their hearts when you die falling off a horse onto your unhelmeted head, they mean, "Think of which poor bastard of a family member is going to be stuck wiping your backside and helping you relearn how to use a spoon when you are a semi-vegetable after said fall".

Not wearing a helmet is profoundly selfish, because every easily preventable injury has a great potential to bankrupt your family and place unwarranted limitations on others in your sport. Also, if you're like me, and have a non-horsey family, who's going to take care of my spoiled horse if I'm drooling into a cup full time? It's a choice that others inevitably end up paying for, which is the height of irresponsibility. I care A LOT if riders don't wear helmets, because it is always others who end up paying for their cavalier attitudes. Preventable injuries are NOT victimless crimes. I think people should stop trying to make that argument this second, because it's crap.

twofatponies
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:00 PM
Of the more than a dozen serious injuries I know of among friends and close acquaintances, 95% of them happened not on course, but during a warmup, on the way back to the barn, in the driveway or other times uneventful times. I can think of one or two maybe where the rider was injured while going over a jump, for example.

My husband had a near miss in November. A moment of inattention and a small buck he normally would sit through without effort dislodged him and by a freak of positioning he managed to land straight on the crown of his head and flip over. He fractured five vertebrae, thankfully none of the fractures coming anywhere near the spinal column. If he had not had a helmet on he very well could have sustained a life-threatening fracture or head injury in addition. He spent three weeks in bed and three months in a neck brace.

The radiologist (who sees all the jockeys and riders from the accidents that happen in Saratoga), said you couldn't pay him to ride a horse, after the fractures and injuries he's seen in his years behind the xray machine.

A helmet won't save you in every situation, but it will prevent a huge number of otherwise very serious head injuries.

Riding is risky enough. There's no reason to risk the head, too. No hoof, no horse. No head, no rider.

back in the saddle
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:02 PM
Does anyone know how are helmets tested and what kind of force are they required to withstand?

A fall from a horse on concrete and a fall onto sand are two different forces.

I'm curious if all helmets are created equal. Do helmet companies publish their numbers?

twofatponies
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:06 PM
And honestly, I don't get the comfort/heat thing. You get used to it. Put on some deodorant and drink more water. If you show, you're already used to competing in layers of wool jackets, tall boots (talk about uncomfortable!) neckties and gloves. If you've ever worked in an office you've gotten used to the hideous discomfort of stockings, pumps, tight skirt and blazer. If you've worked fast food you've dealt with the itchy polyester uniform. If you've been in the military you've run around with blisters, sand in your undies and 100 lbs of gear. There are more important things to worry about than being a little sweaty!!

fancy456
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:07 PM
I think it is not totally accurate to say that wearing or not wearing a helmet only affects the person riding. I would imagine the person who has find the other person, bleeding, unconscious, or possibly dead probably feels somewhat affected. Especially since it is probably someone who knows, likes and possibly loves the person. I think people should be able to make their own decisons, I just wish more people would REALLY think about things when making them.

That being said I am also the nut job who thinks we should wear helmets in cars. I mean think how many people would still be alive if they had been wearing a helmet in a crash. Driving in a car is dangerous. :o

mademoiselle
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:22 PM
Yeah, you guys can ride in the heat with a helmet, but you bitch about having to wear a jacket for 5 minutes in the ring.

No I don't bitch about wearing a coat, because the minute they are waived, I usually ditch mine.:lol::lol::lol:
And in summer, here it's so hot that they usually waive them at 8 am :eek:.

I'm not riding to make some fashion statements, I love to look elegant, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is for me to become a good rider and to be safe!

I don't have dreams about earning my tails, I don't care for top hats. I want to be a dressage rider, not a model.
I lost my first trainers from a brain injury (I was 15 and I had to call 911 after her GP mare tripped and flipped while we were cooling out the horses at the walk). It was the last time I saw her alive. Traumatic enough for me to never get on a horse without a helmet.

EqTrainer
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:40 PM
It really is not at all about being a better rider and therefore not needing a helmet, as someone said earlier. Bizarre things happen, more around horses than around other animals or things. The last time I almost came off a horse it was from a dead standstill - horse spooked at something behind it, bolted forward and into the golf cart which was parked next to the barn.

I have landed on my head after being ejected more than once. One of those times resulted in damage to my lower back, it was so traumatic that I don't even remember *anything* about it, I was 10. I am sure my mom focused on the back injury and not the brain injury I surely must have had to not remember anything at all. It is so damaged I cannot have epidurals. One time resulted in a broken collar bone and a broken helmet.. another time in broken ribs, a separated shoulder and again, a broken helmet. So I can count on three times that if I hadn't had a helmet on I might be dead.. or worse, a paraplegic - what could be worse for a horse person then to be able to know what they are missing?!!

I have ridden 8+ horses a day in brutal NC summers and wore my helmet every ride. Besides the risk involved in not wearing one.. I feel absolutely naked without one. I don't think I would be as aggressive a rider as I am without a helmet on, I think I would always know in the back of my mind that I didn't have one on and ride accordingly.

It is a personal choice, that is for sure and I would hate to see laws made that forced adults to wear helmets when riding.. they can and should be able to do as they please. Personally tho'... I don't see it as anything other than foolishness when anyone gets on a horse without one. If nothing else, DAMN it hurts when you hit the ground. Must really hurt to land on your head without a helmet on.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:41 PM
And honestly, I don't get the comfort/heat thing. ... and gloves.

Boy, I have never been able to get used to wearing gloves for riding. I'll take the helmet any day.

asterix
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:51 PM
Where it can be mandated (such as on show grounds) it should be.
There is no excuse.
If you are hot, take off the stupid wool jacket. Put water on your head.

I hope this awful tragedy does result in a change of attitude.

I've been riding since I was tiny, no stranger to getting bucked off, having freak random tripping/spooking/flipping over. It's a small thing, to wear a helmet. Saying "I choose not to" is not some kind of proud statement of freedom. It's just ill-informed.

I know more than one person I respect in every other way who does not ride in a helmet on the flat.
It's just wrong.
Sorry, but it is.

Carol Ames
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:47 PM
Maybe this fall will do for dressage what the fall of Caroline trveranis:eek: at Lexington '78, did in the eventing, and jumper communities:yes:

Coreene
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:52 AM
And I am speaking from personal experience.

esdressage
Mar. 5, 2010, 01:21 AM
I am somewhat saddened to see where this post has gone with some of the comments, especially given the "inspiration" for the post. The bottom line is, it's anybody's choice what they do with their day to day lives, wearing helmets or not, wearing seat belts or not. The debate is somewhat pointless, as we all know the risks and reprecussions involved. When accidents happen, blame is the last thing on most peoples' minds. Like my trainer and I sadly discussed as we both sent prayers to Courtney today, there are many ways to get injured on a horse. We all share the passion, so let's not pass blame.

Live and let live is a good philosophy in my book. My daughter will wear a helmet. I will wear a helmet. For the rest of the adults at my barn, or anywhere, what debate is there in my book? None.

Lori B
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:39 AM
esdressage, are you having trouble reading?

Live and let live presumes that the only party who bears the cost of choosing to wear a helmet is the party that chooses not to wear it. This is demonstrably false. THAT is one of the more important points made in this thread.

Think of this as scared straight for the helmetless.

We aren't talking blame, we are talking 'prevention', and 'wake up call'. If a rider as talented as Ms. King-Dye can tumble off unexpectedly and sustain such a serious injury, who really thinks that they are somehow not subject to this risk?

J. Turner
Mar. 5, 2010, 03:09 AM
Wiping someone's butt when he's a small five year old is no fun. I can't imagine having to change adult diapers. Malcolm had brain trauma after he was born. He had grade 2 intraventricular hemmorages. He still can't talk. He has apraxia of speech. He is going to have an MRI soon to see if the brain damage has affected directly the language center. Luckily for him, he doesn't know differently and is pretty happy child despite his disabilities. However, I can't imagine losing speech or balance after having lived an independent life. My grandmother had a stroke which affected the language center. She couldn't talk, write, or read; we were never sure how much she understood because her expressive language was nil. Think about a person with autism or Asperger's ... it's all neurological. And depending on where your injury happens you could end up with any of the symptoms these brave people cope with everyday. Reading Temple Grandin (PhD) will show you the horrors it is to live with a brain that does not read the world around it. You might be riding in a therapeutic riding program the rest of your life where you're required to wear a helmet. And these are the least of your worries -

You could
have a stent installed in your brain to drain the extra fluid from swelling.
be paralyzed.
have a trach. (no fun. Malcolm had one for two and a half years. One lung snot stuck in the wrong spot can kill you.)
be on a ventilator.
die from sepsis from pressure sores.

Yes, I've ridden in Florida in 100 degree weather with a non-ventilated helmet. I do wear a tank top with a built in underwire bra, but that appropriateness is a another thread. I survive. In between rides, I douse myself with water from the hose as I spray off my horse.

In the 70s, before ASTM helmets I wore a hunt cap a few times as a pre-teen. Since then, I've ridden twice without a helmet. Once was my one and only time in the schooling ring at Devon. And I feel stupid and vain to this day for doing it. Nearing 40, I've taken a couple of tough spills and have lost a little nerve. I definitely feel my mortality more. Unfortunately a lot of riders don't.

ceffyl
Mar. 5, 2010, 06:52 AM
How sad that it takes a horrible freak accident to bring up safety and helmets. My thoughts go to all connect and hope that Courtney makes a full recovery.

Having witnessed over the years friends "freak" accidents with trauma to the head that could so easily have been prevented by the wearing of a hat I am on the side of those who promote safety rules for this.

14 yr old girl at a competition, in walk, pony spooked (not violently) but rider was chatting to friend on next pony, loose reins, feet out of stirrups, and was tipped off onto post and rail arena fencing. Front of skull took full force and the girl now though luckily with no long term brain damage has a horribly deformed forehead.

Talented US SJ rider friend in the late 1970's on a Olympic short list training day, in trot horse tripped over a cavaletti and rider was slammed into the next cavaletti. Permanent brain damage and full range of movement limited.

UK dressage rider friend in her mid 20's. Had been on the BD talent list. No hat, indoor school, in walk, cooling down after a schooling session. Horse stubled, rider tipped into side of school. Permanent acute short term memory loss, now she cannot ride a test without a caller and never will be able to.

In the UK yards would be probably found responsible for head injury that could have been prevented by use of a hat. I can think of a few cases in the news in recent years, both involving riders, and those on the ground (one leading a horse in from the field) where the yard owners have been found guilty of negligence for not insisting on hats being worn at appropriate times to current safety standards.

hitchinmygetalong
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:21 AM
I hate to sound completely cynical here, but I would think show grounds and boarding stables would require helmets if for no other reason than to cover their butts when the inevitable lawsuit hits. Insurance companies will sue anyone and everyone when it comes to an accident and I know damn well if I were running even a little baby schooling show I would make it an absolute rule that if you are on a horse you will have a helmet on. Period. No argument. No exceptions.

What people do on their own property is their decision.

Bats79
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:44 AM
Oh, and plenty of dressage riders just don;t wear a helmet at any time when at home, and have taken to wearing hunt caps instead of safety helmets for competitions at lower levels. This is despite everyone here being aware of an accident a few years ago, where an upper level rider had a simple fall from a young horse at a local competition, resulting in a TBI and lots and lots of rehab/therapy. He was supposedly wearing a hunt cap, and had TBIs in the past from football/eventing injuries. Haven't seen him on a horse since.

I'm pretty sure that the latest fall "MB" had was at a competition and he was wearing an approved helmet. The problem was that the medical specialists said that he couldn't take the risk of another brain injury - regardless of how the earlier ones were caused (mostly from Australian football codes which don't require head protection at any age or level - that I know of).

I'm so used to seeing crash hats in the warm up arena now I wouldn't have a problem wearing one into the competition arena. I would like them to come up with a more "slimming" outfit than the tails though - they look okay on blokes but on "blocky" :) ladies like me they aren't all that attractive. LOL

A good friend of many of my pupils (RIP Margot Calten) has recently been laid to rest following an "incident". I assume they are waiting for a coroner's inquest before they announce the cause of death but most people say that it was "catastrophic head and chest injuries". She was wearing a helmet and riding a reliable horse.

Accidents will always happen yet the only time other than riding that I wear a helmet is when collecting semen. Some stallions really do flick their feet around without even meaning too, but most kicking injuries that I know of are full face and a helmet won't protect you from that.

All I can say is - keep safe everyone. Identify danger spots in your environment and as our "Work Safe" advertising campaign says - your safety is not just for yourself.

But I do not see the point in terrifying people with "might be's". You can also end up with a stroke and associated brain injury by eating poorly, drinking too much, smoking and many other issues - heck just bad luck can do it.

twofatponies
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:53 AM
I must add much as I think it is idiotic not to wear a helmet, I really hate laws and rules about every little behavior. I think people can make their own choices about whether to be smart about protecting their own head. Insurance may require it for some venues. Fine. But should you have the "right" to gallop madly through the woods on your own property sans helmet? Sure.

judybigredpony
Mar. 5, 2010, 08:29 AM
"Then why oh why don't you just wear the CO into the arena? "

Because the trainer I had at the time would have had a stroke....since then would not consider riding without my CO on.

Cracked my head 1 to many times even with a helmet on!!.

Over on the H/J Forum there are more threads about What Helmet To Wear....over here its always about Not wearing one.

The warm-up ring for DAD is always more volitale than the Spring H/J show.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:10 AM
EWWW!! Would anyone wear/buy those ugly helmet top hat and helmet derby things? Derbies are just plain ugly anyway, add a helmet to that and WOW! I wonder how many they sold?

jgrass
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:30 AM
A recent New Yorker had an article about brain injuries in football: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell

It is relevant to this. Bashing your head against something with or without a helmet can hurt your brain, and the effect is cumulative. I wear my helmet every time I ride, and that's the best defense I've got against head injury short of staying away from horses. It doesn't seem that a helmet can't protect your brain from all possible injuries caused by the brain sloshing around in the skull.

I do wonder, after reading the football article, what kind of markers the falls I've had might have left on my brain. There is a lot of room left for research here.

tollertwins
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:39 AM
I figure I've only got one brain, and it's one of those things that isn't all that easily fixable. You can fix most broken bones and torn muscles.

I live in hotter-than-hell and humid Houston. I put a thing for kayak helmets on my riding helmet that has a really long brim, and ride in really, really loose, light colored sun protective clothes.

OK - I'm not a great rider, but I don't come off often (I ride relatively laid back horses)...but freak accidents happen.

Bogey2
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:39 AM
jgrass, I heard about that study a few weeks ago. There is no helmet you could make for a football player that would work any better than what they have, it's the impact causing the brain to hit the skull wall at a high rate of speed.

jgrass
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:55 AM
While I was reading that article, though, I couldn't help but think that my typical fall from a horse has had similar forces involved.

When I fall, typically I land butt first, slam my back and then my head hits. Whip and whack. Most of these have been in sand arenas (hoorah for the sand!) and don't leave visible marks in the helmet (time for a new helmet anyway), but there has got to be some brain slosh involved.

I wish the researchers in the New Yorker article would look at some rider brain slices.

Lieslot
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:12 AM
I didn't read all replies, so sorry if this was already discussed, but we hear about those sad stories where a serious injury could have been prevented if a helmet would have been worn, and also those cases where a helmet did not prevent injury; are there any details or does anyone know of any serious injuries actually caused by wearing a helmet during a fall?
I always wear a helmet, to me it's no different then stepping in a car and fastening my seatbelt.

Last Nov I had 2 not so pleasant falls, that happened whilst mounting, the moment I had one foot in the stirrup and my leg swinging over the saddle, horse spins 180 degree and gallops off. This happened in a similar way twice.
The first fall he took off towards our driveway, I was going down, hanging off on one side only reins & speed kind of keeping me there for a few more seconds and I brushed the top of a T-post with my helmet and later fell smack in front of him. I don't know whether my helmet had already shifted on my head from hitting the T-post or not, but the second I hit the ground, my horse hit the back of my helmet with his hindhoof taking the helmet over my head, partially covering my face.
When I got up & took the helmet off (Troxel) the plastic straps inside the helmet that lock onto the dial system had broken, hence given the helmet the posibility to slip off my head. I keep thinking if I would have worn a different helmet without dial & inside strap system, the blow of his hoof to the back of my head probably could have torqued my neck. Dunno just speculating here. I still think it was a good thing the straps inside the helmet broke. Of course hadn't I been wearing a helmet, well for sure I would have been seriously injured.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:13 AM
I surprisingly have never been to the hospital. I have ridden since i was 5, started many horses, done lots and lots of galloping on the trail, jumping, lots of daredevil stuff as well, jumping things I probably shouldn't have. I have never hit my head in a fall. I have fallen many, many times, but never been injured and never hit my head. I always sort of roll from my shoulder to my back and keep my head up. As a result of my good fortune in life thus far, I have no fear, and only wear a helmet jumping or when riding a strange horse. I never wear a helmet when I ride my own horses. I know I probably should, but honestly, I'm not going to start.

In the car I speed, run stop signs, etc... I trip lots when walking, I live alone and could choke to death and it would be days before anyone would realize I was missing. I figure those things are more likely to do me in than riding **my own horses**, yes my horse could trip and I could hit my head like Courtney, but I feel like I'm in more danger driving, or walking around other people's horses than riding my own horses, and I don't wear a helmet driving, or walking around.

Fergs
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:26 AM
When I got up & took the helmet off (Troxel) the plastic straps inside the helmet that lock onto the dial system had broken, hence given the helmet the posibility to slip off my head. I keep thinking if I would have worn a different helmet without dial & inside strap system, the blow of his hoof to the back of my head probably could have torqued my neck. Dunno just speculating here. I still think it was a good thing the straps inside the helmet broke. Of course hadn't I been wearing a helmet, well for sure I would have been seriously injured.

Years ago in one of the Virginia pony clubs a young child was wearing a Troxel helmet that was entangled in the reins of her pony as she fell off. She was subsequently dragged and died of her injuries.

mademoiselle
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:27 AM
As a result of my good fortune in life thus far, I have no fear, and only wear a helmet jumping or when riding a strange horse. I never wear a helmet when I ride my own horses. I know I probably should, but honestly, I'm not going to start.


I will try to forget about the all driving part of your thread as it is not horse related.:mad::mad::mad:

I get that nothing/nobody will ever convince you to wear a helmet. Got that.

But I have a question, why are you so against wearing a helmet if you wear one in some occasions ? What is bad about wearing a helmet that justifies a decision like that. That's what I don't understand.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:37 AM
I'm not against it, on my own horses I feel so safe, that it would be such a freak accident that I would fall and hit my head while riding them that it is really unnecessary I feel. I would be much better off wearing a helmet while driving my car.
I also eat healthy- vegetarian, I don't smoke. I luckily don't have to commute very far. Its all about balance. Should I wear my helmet while driving my car or walking around horse's hind legs, or giving shots or pulling blood on horses? Doing flexion tests? A helmet would be more beneficial in those situations than me riding my horses- my 2 horses that I have had for over 10 years!

quietann
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:41 AM
I hate to sound completely cynical here, but I would think show grounds and boarding stables would require helmets if for no other reason than to cover their butts when the inevitable lawsuit hits. Insurance companies will sue anyone and everyone when it comes to an accident and I know damn well if I were running even a little baby schooling show I would make it an absolute rule that if you are on a horse you will have a helmet on. Period. No argument. No exceptions.

What people do on their own property is their decision.

Around here, almost every barn has a "helmets required" rule *and they enforce it* ... except for dressage barns, which usually have the rule and just ignore its existence. Show venues usually require helmets (and when you enter the show, you sign something agreeing to this policy) but enforcement varies ... and again, seems to be entirely lacking at the higher levels (USDF recognized dressage shows.) I assume that having something showing a rider signed agreeing to the policy and then ignored it *might* get the show off the hook. I for one wouldn't want to be a test case.

There's a variation on this, which I see reflected here: that children/minors should be required to wear helmets, but not anyone else. To my mind, a family losing its adult main breadwinner, or the parent who stays home with the kids, to a TBI is just as tragic as a family losing a 10 year old to a TBI. And trust me, YOUR taxes pay for it, in both cases.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:44 AM
Why shouldn't everyone be required to where body protectors as well, to prevent paralysis?

mademoiselle
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:46 AM
I still don't get it ... But whatever.

When I ride my horses, I have so many things to think about (not let push his right shoulder, be sure that he stays quick in the hind leg, be sure that the connection stays good, and so on), that I don't even think about what I'm wearing.
I would not be able to tell you what T shirt or pants I'm wearing without picking down in the middle of my ride.
And I don't feel the boots or the helmet on my head.
So, I guess it will still stay a mistery for me to understand what is so uncomfortable or annoying about wearing a helmet.

Wearing high heels shoes, dress boots, waxing, plucking eyebrows, carrying buckets of water at shows, all those things are painful and I hate those, but wearing a helmet is like wearing a bra, shoes and so it's just an habit for me.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:49 AM
I still don't get it ... But whatever.

When I ride my horses, I have so many things to think about (not let push his right shoulder, be sure that he stays quick in the hind leg, be sure that the connection stays good, and so on), that I don't even think about what I'm wearing.
I would not be able to tell you what T shirt or pants I'm wearing without picking down in the middle of my ride.
And I don't feel the boots or the helmet on my head.
So, I guess it will still stay a mistery for me to understand what is so uncomfortable or annoying about wearing a helmet.

Wearing high heels shoes, dress boots, waxing, plucking eyebrows, carrying buckets of water at shows, all those things are painful and I hate those, but wearing a helmet is like wearing a bra, shoes and so it's just an habit for me.

Why don't you wear a helmet in your car? Why don't you wear a body protector everytime you ride?

PROTACKGUY
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:53 AM
My number are certainly wrong but I was under the impression that like 90% of head injuries and accidents occur outside the show ring. Typically near or around the barn when the rider feels safe and relaxed...

There is an actual statistic and perhaps someone knows what it is..

monstrpony
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:57 AM
I think it is not totally accurate to say that wearing or not wearing a helmet only affects the person riding.

I really, really hate to be the one to say this, but the simple proof of the above statement is the request on the other thread for donations to pay for Courtney's care. 'nuf said.

blackhorse6
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:58 AM
I will try to forget about the all driving part of your thread as it is not horse related.:mad::mad::mad:

I get that nothing/nobody will ever convince you to wear a helmet. Got that.

But I have a question, why are you so against wearing a helmet if you wear one in some occasions ? What is bad about wearing a helmet that justifies a decision like that. That's what I don't understand.

It is called "maturity"...or lack of it:confused: Her post has nothing to do with wearing a a helmet but that she is pretty much invincable.. Only time will tell

mademoiselle
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:59 AM
Why don't you wear a helmet in your car? Why don't you wear a body protector everytime you ride?

I have driven my car with my helmet on:lol::lol::lol: Last week, I left the barn and my friend who was riding with me, asked after 5mn if she should be scared of my driving as I was wearing my helmet:winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin:

Well, my car is equiped with all the airbags we can fit in it (And yes, I paid extra to be sure to get the side curtain ones). Since my husband totalled a SUV after a lady ran a stop sign and T boned him. The only thing that saved him and my 8 months old daughter were the side airbags.

So, there is no data about helmets in cars, but there is about airbags.

As far as body protectors, they don't prevent from being paralysed. I broke C7 after falling from a horse and there is no piece of equipment that could prevent that (minus bubble wrap). I'm an eventer and vest don't protect you from breaking your spine, they are there to help with bruises and contusions when you hit the ground. You can still break your shoulder, ribs and so on wearing one (I know from first hand experience).

On the other hand, there is a list long like my arm of examples of people being saved from a TBI by wearing their helmet.

KSevnter
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:11 AM
My number are certainly wrong but I was under the impression that like 90% of head injuries and accidents occur outside the show ring. Typically near or around the barn when the rider feels safe and relaxed...

There is an actual statistic and perhaps someone knows what it is..

Not sure of the actual statistic, but I can personally attest to this. I have only had one injury that has sent me to the hospital in my 16 years competing at prelim and intermediate in eventing. I was hacking back to the barn after finishing a jump school at a place my horse had previously lived. Something scared my horse that sent him into a bucking fit. I managed to require seven screws and a plate in one ankle and tore the ligaments in the other. Thankfully, no other injuries as I was wearing both a helmet and my vest.

As someone said earlier, I don't notice it is on my head. But to each his own. I am not going to ever bother to try and convince others to wear one. There are people at my old boarding barn that did not wear them even after a young elementary school teacher DIED of a head injury while mounting her dressage horse without a helmet. If that didn't convince them, me saying it is a good idea certainly won't.

Keepthepeace
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:17 AM
I hate to sound completely cynical here, but I would think show grounds and boarding stables would require helmets if for no other reason than to cover their butts when the inevitable lawsuit hits. Insurance companies will sue anyone and everyone when it comes to an accident and I know damn well if I were running even a little baby schooling show I would make it an absolute rule that if you are on a horse you will have a helmet on. Period. No argument. No exceptions.
What people do on their own property is their decision.

I can only speak for Ontario, Canada...according to the Insurance Companies...a boarding stable is only required to ensure that people up to and including the age of 18 are required to wear helmets.

Grandysgirl
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:26 AM
When I was young (and stupid) I never use to wear my helmet doing anything. Then I was hit by a car a hit and run accident. My head bounced off of the pavement. After experiencing my noggin getting jostled around like a bowl of jello in the fridge from then on I wore my helmet when riding.

Helmets are a personal choice, but this person chooses to wear a helmet. No rider is perfect, no horse is perfect, and no situation is perfect. No thanks, I like my noggin right where it is.

caddym
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:27 AM
EWWW!! Would anyone wear/buy those ugly helmet top hat and helmet derby things? Derbies are just plain ugly anyway, add a helmet to that and WOW! I wonder how many they sold?

Plus that derby helmet thing seems to come with an attached fishing lure - handy if lost in woods and starving I guess

boosma47
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:31 AM
A young woman we know suffered cracked cervical vertebrae from falling WITH a helmet.... Doc said she was lucky injury was not worse, and blamed the helmet.

It is , to me, a matter of cutting down the odds. We choose or not to take the maximum precautions right for us, as adults.

As a child, I was taught how to fall at WT and C. Did't wear safety helmet cause they hadn't been invented, but I could control MOST landings. The only one which I couldn't control...well, I had a nasty concussion resulting in unconsciousness and amnesia.

Now? Can't be too careful. I need what little brain function I have left!

Keepthepeace
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:39 AM
If you want to talk about wearing a helmet... I see so many people wearing ill fitting helmets that are 1) too large, 2) are incorrectly placed on their heads - complete forehead showing or helmet placed well above bangs (because the rider doesn't want to get their hair messed up or dirty?),
3) back of the helmet not done up at all (laces completely gone!), 4) helmet that falls down over eyes if horse takes a bumpy step or trips (jumping is even MORE exciting! and dangerous) 5) hair in face in front of chin strap which obscures vision
Can I tell you how many times I have watched a helmet 'eject' from a riders head because it is not properly fitted? And I am not talking about a rider even falling off!! One girl's helmet 'popped' off her head because it couldn't stay on over her dreadlocks. Can I tell you how many times I have gone up to some kid while on the horse and literally slipped the helmet right off their head in front of the parents because the laces weren't done up at the back? I say "how is THIS going to protect your kid if she falls?" It probably won't stay on that long. Their look of shock is amazing.
Just because you have a helmet 'on' your head doesn't mean squat. It has to FIT CORRECTLY and be DONE UP PROPERLY or it isn't going to do the job intended. If it doesn't sit close to your browbone it won't protect your forehead from impact!
After 30 years of teaching I can tell you this is FACT.

MintHillFarm
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:42 AM
Was thinking about this issue just this morning. I'm riding in a cow-working clinic next weekend, and will be one of few there wearing a helmet. My horse is a teenager, a slow mover and very reliable. Should I join the ball-cap crowd? On the other hand, I'm older, too, not as strong a rider as I was once, have gained weight so I'm a bit top-heavy, and have had at least three minor concussions in my 50-year riding life. No, I think I'll stick with my helmet, thanks. Courtney's unfortunate accident is yet another reminder of why.

(besides, I look no worse with helmet-head than I do with a ball cap ... ;) )

Wear the helmet! Maybe others will follow your example in the Western world and begin to wear them as well.

All riders, no matter what the discipline, should wear a helmet.

It's not just for riders who jump any more. Horses trip, slip, buck, stop etc. Accidents can happen at a walk too. Why is it even a thought not to wear one? I have always wondered why the Dressage people while competing, were not required to by any Association. And those that ride Western and show, they should wear one too.

P.S. Keepthepeace, you are correct about having a helmet that fits. Frankly, they should be tried on for the best fit. I would never order a helmet without having tried it on...

Chic Hunter
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:53 AM
http://www.braintrauma.org/ Discuss this..............

kch7238
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:54 AM
As one who has suffered a TBI and coma (not horse related) I can tell you the years spent in rehab and recovery were not fun. Neither were the loss of things like short-term memory and vocabulary.

I wear a helmet every ride because it is the best protection currently available, and I have no wish to relive a head injury if at all possible.

I think when more dressage riders show with helmets on, and we become used to the difference, it won't be noticed as it is now. I hope the day comes when the thread discussion is about which helmet to wear, not if you wear a helmet at all.

Peggy
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:07 PM
A few years ago on the HJ forum there was a lot of discussion about whether adults should be forced to wear helmets. Now we've kind of gotten used to the approved helmet and shadbelly look for classics.

WRT to those who don't want to wear them and or continue to deny their own mortality, I have two thoughts:
1. Darwin
2. As long as I don't have to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

bort84
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:19 PM
My number are certainly wrong but I was under the impression that like 90% of head injuries and accidents occur outside the show ring. Typically near or around the barn when the rider feels safe and relaxed...

There is an actual statistic and perhaps someone knows what it is..

Well, that particular statistic would make perfect sense since most people ride at home 90% of the time... Similar to that statistic that says the majority of car accidents happen within 10 miles of the house. That's because many people spend the majority of their driving time within 10 miles of their house. So I'm not sure either statistic is all that relevant (though a good scare/reminder to all).

However, I have heard a similar statistic (perhaps this is the one you are thinking of) for the number of injuries that occur while a horse is free walking, on a loose rein, relaxing, cooling down, etc. I don't know the actual number, but it's pretty high. This statistic makes perfect sense to me because I see so many riders that completely zone out and get sloppy with their form when they are cooling out their horse or letting them walk on a loose rein. Then they are not quick enough to get control back before something bad happens.

One of the things my grandmother drilled into me when I first started riding is that you must ALWAYS be alert when you are on top of a horse. Just because he is being allowed to relax doesn't mean you should act like it's time to camp out on the sofa. She was very tough on kids and beginning riders to always be alert and to maintain proper form and attention at all times. I am similarly tough on beginners because I think it is a hugely important safety issue.

I see a lot of scary situations at shows, with junior riders especially (teenagers double especially, haha), where they are just not paying attention at all because they are walking on a loose rein or gabbing to a friend. That's the absolute worst time to not be paying attention... You can be sure a devious squirrel, bird, or particularly evil plastic bag will pick that moment to skitter between your horse's legs or under his nose and cause quite a commotion.

ponyjumper4
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:37 PM
A helmet would be more beneficial in those situations than me riding my horses- my 2 horses that I have had for over 10 years!

I've been riding my pony for 16 years and trust her with my life completely and do a lot of things around her that I wouldn't do with other horses but that doesn't keep me from only getting on her with a helmet because as much as I know her, it only takes that one freak accident to end my life or cause serious injury. Why chance it? Why not go into it as protected as possible?

HenryisBlaisin'
Mar. 5, 2010, 01:32 PM
WRT to those who don't want to wear them and or continue to deny their own mortality, I have two thoughts:
1. Darwin
2. As long as I don't have to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

:yes: This.

Instead of a mandatory helmet rule/law, how about a rule or law that allows insurance companies or any publicly funded programs to refuse to pay one red cent towards the care of any helmetless rider suffering a head injury that, in the doctor's determination, would have been prevented by wearing a helmet.. I wonder if that would change some riders' minds in a hurry, if they had to pay every last cent out of their own pocket?

Why should MY insurance premium go up because of the stupidity of others?

It may be a "choice," but the cost to families, friends, not to mention every single person on the same health insurance who has increased premiums due to people being ignorant, is much more than the cost of a bad hair day or being too hot.

As for the riding several horses on a hot humid day? Been there. Done that. Wore a helmet every time.

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 5, 2010, 01:49 PM
:yes: This.

Instead of a mandatory helmet rule/law, how about a rule or law that allows insurance companies or any publicly funded programs to refuse to pay one red cent towards the care of any helmetless rider suffering a head injury that, in the doctor's determination, would have been prevented by wearing a helmet.. I wonder if that would change some riders' minds in a hurry, if they had to pay every last cent out of their own pocket?

Why should MY insurance premium go up because of the stupidity of others?

It may be a "choice," but the cost to families, friends, not to mention every single person on the same health insurance who has increased premiums due to people being ignorant, is much more than the cost of a bad hair day or being too hot.

As for the riding several horses on a hot humid day? Been there. Done that. Wore a helmet every time.

Just to be clear, I am very much in favor of helmets and cannot figure out why people would not wear them except for vanity or comfort reasons. On my farm, they are mandatory, and if people do not like it they do not ride at my farm, period.

But, I do not agree with the above position for the simple reason that many, many people take risks every day that others would think are unacceptable, yet they are not singled out or excluded from coverage (and why do you think insurers would only exclude helmet-less injuries as opposed to ALL injuries incurred in equestrian activities or even all sports-related injuries?). Personally, I don't ski because I think it is scary and too risky, and I am not sure why I should subsidize the skiing accidents of others through increased premiums. See where this is going?

paintjumper
Mar. 5, 2010, 01:57 PM
For all those that don't wear helmets for WHATEVER your reason, great olympic rider, my horse is safer than my mama, my horse is 28 and can't get frisky.....whatever, just know that Murphy's Law is the rule of the universe and as a result..........S*#@%*t happens. As as far as I am concerned the statement "Only those that never ride, never fall" is about as TRUE as ever has been stated.

nhwr
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:01 PM
So I am curious;
Do people insist that trainers who work with their horses wear hard hats? If a BNT is on your horse and wearing a baseball cap, do you suggest a helmet for them?

I am certainly not a lawyer but it seems to me if they are injured while riding your horse, you might have some liability. Allowing them on your horse sans headgear might contribute to that.

WishIWereRiding
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:02 PM
Alright, I know I'm going to stir up a lot of debate and outrage at saying this, but what does everyone think of donations being asked for when the rider was injured because she didn't wear a helmet? If a motorcycle rider was in an accident without a helmet and asked for donations, would you give money then too?

reefy!
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:44 PM
So I am curious;
Do people insist that trainers who work with their horses wear hard hats? If a BNT is on your horse and wearing a baseball cap, do you suggest a helmet for them?

I am certainly not a lawyer but it seems to me if they are injured while riding your horse, you might have some liability. Allowing them on your horse sans headgear might contribute to that.


Because my trainer, who has been the best thing to happen to my horse, does not wear a helmet except to show or clinic. And it bothers me terribly. Many of her other students follow that example (adults) and don't wear helmets, either. But she is so good with my horse, who can be difficult. It's a conundrum for me.

Thankfully, my part leaser wears a helmet at my request. If she doesn't, she is not allowed on my horse. Otherwise, she wouldn't either :no:

Since having a concussion at age 15, I've never once gotten on a horse without my helmet, even when I go trail riding around town here with friends at a public riding place. The cowboys think I'm cuckoo but it's the only head I have so I'm sure as heck going to do what I can to protect it! I even carried it wtih me overseas on a trip to Ireland so I could ride there.

At times, when my horse is feeling frisky, I will even wear a helmet to lunge or turn out. I got a good kick in the head once on a very cold day turning him out and that was enough to convince me to take precautions when necessary.

dghunter
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:49 PM
Alright, I know I'm going to stir up a lot of debate and outrage at saying this, but what does everyone think of donations being asked for when the rider was injured because she didn't wear a helmet? If a motorcycle rider was in an accident without a helmet and asked for donations, would you give money then too?

I may be in the minority here but I would not donate anything. I would feel bad for the person but I saw a lot of brain injuries when my friend was on the brain ward at Metro. It was roommate was in a motorcycle accident in Germany and was not wearing a helmet. It was definitely tragic but I still wouldn't donate anything to help his medical expenses. I'm sure if it was someone I knew then I would donate if asked but if it was someone I did not have a connection with then I'd have to say no I think.

FlightCheck
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:55 PM
Reefy,
Would your trainer wear a helmet if you requested it?

When I had a farm, anyone who rode on property (including Olympic riders giving clinics) had to wear a helmet. I did not budge, even for the western riders - and my insurance rates were lower.

When I have had an instructor "hop on" at other facilities, incuding their own, I have insisted on them wearing a helmet.

Surprisingly, no one has ever given me grief, aside from a few sheepish "yeah, I should wear one of these all the time" comments.

stryder
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:55 PM
My trainer now wears a helmet, every ride, even on the schoolies. He was of the ball cap crowd, and says an incident about two years ago involving me was the reason for the change.

He was working my former mare, with me up. We were on the longe, maybe 4 feet from him. Everything was good. I'm told she was walking quietly. She just exploded. Apparently I rode out the first two big bucks, but sailed off on the third, when she threw in a particularly nasty twist.

I don't remember any of this. Or much of what happened in the next 30 days.

I wear a helmet every ride, and sometimes when I longe or work my mare in hand, if she's in a mood.

TrueGrit
Mar. 5, 2010, 03:08 PM
When I was a kid, we all wore those black velvet/veleteen hunt caps with elastic chin straps. Now THEY were HOT in the summer - no ventilation holes - we'd all be dripping with sweat. But even those unapproved helmets saved my friend from a nasty brain injury. Later, as a young adult, I purchased a white vented jockey exercise helmet for summer hacking, to get some heat relief. Now that was a dorky looking helmet, and I got a lot of comments (mostly wanting to know where on earth I found a white helmet with vents) - remember we're still in black velvet hunt cap era - but I was much more comfortable in the summer heat, even if it did look odd.

Growing up, we had no seatbelt laws, and rarely did anyone wear seatbelts. Shoulder straps were unheard of. Then the evidence pointing to the benefits of wearing seatbelts began mounting. Now, a generation later, we automatically buckle-up in the car, and even have airbags for safety. Oh yes, there was a lot of heated debate about seatbelts for years, and the naysayers were quick to point out instances where the wearing of the seat belt caused injury or death, but in the majority of motor vehicle accidents they proved to be of benefit. Laws were enacted, stiff fines were given out to the stubborn few that were holding on to their "freedom to choose". In one generation we went from no seatbelts to seatbelts.

Now in riding, the tradition is helmets. The evidence of safety benefits is overwhelming. In one generation, we've gone from black velvet unvented with elastic chin strap, to scientifically tested brain protection, designed for safety and comfort, in a variety of styles and colors to match our personality and outfit. Not wearing a helmet these days just doesn't make any sense. Simple as that.

reefy!
Mar. 5, 2010, 03:13 PM
Reefy,
Would your trainer wear a helmet if you requested it?


I think if she were on a very young horse or on a particularly boisterous one, trainer might.

But no, my horse's difficulties lie in his ability to remember things from ride to ride (ADD?) and a lazy work ethic. Nothing inherently dangerous to convince trainer otherwise!

It's always the 'freak' accident I worry about and that could come on any horse, not just mine.

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 5, 2010, 03:16 PM
Alright, I know I'm going to stir up a lot of debate and outrage at saying this, but what does everyone think of donations being asked for when the rider was injured because she didn't wear a helmet?

Courtney was not injured because she did not wear a helmet. She was inured because she sustained a bad fall from her horse. Her injuries may or may not have been less severe had she had a helmet.

In any event, I fully intend to do what I can to help her because she is a wonderful person and to the extent she made a mistake by not wearing a helmet, she certainly did not deserve to be hurt in this way. Now all her friends can do is help and pray for her.

purplnurpl
Mar. 5, 2010, 03:43 PM
I think it is sad when those who are under daily scrutiny don't take proper safety measures.

Courtney King is in the spotlight. This unwillingly makes her a spokes person.

People mimic and idolize professionals and because of this they have an unspoken obligation to sport proper gear and behavior.

but then again, there is no helmet law. So to each his own I guess.
Such an easy way to save brain cells though.

but that is JMHO.

mvp
Mar. 5, 2010, 03:54 PM
Courtney was not injured because she did not wear a helmet. She was inured because she sustained a bad fall from her horse. Her injuries may or may not have been less severe had she had a helmet.

In any event, I fully intend to do what I can to help her because she is a wonderful person and to the extent she made a mistake by not wearing a helmet, she certainly did not deserve to be hurt in this way. Now all her friends can do is help and pray for her.

Just chiming in here because this kind of logic on both threads makes no sense to me.

I think it's implied that wearing a helmet or not 1) Only does it's job when you fall off and hit the ground; 2) Does not prevent your falling off in the first place. So it stands to reason that, should the fall slam your head into the ground, the helmet would help you out.

I also don't see how "people we like" deserve more credit or fewer falls than "people we don't like." It turns out that good people make bad decisions and that the laws of physics apply to everyone equally.

And the reason to bring up helmeted or bare-headed with respect to Courtney King-Dye or this thread? With spring coming, and most of us putting our ammy butts back on our less-well-trained horses and perhaps with imperfect conditions, it's a perfect time to come off. Hence, the perfect time to talk about helmets.

purplnurpl
Mar. 5, 2010, 04:05 PM
Courtney was not injured because she did not wear a helmet. She was inured because she sustained a bad fall from her horse. Her injuries may or may not have been less severe had she had a helmet.

Really?
A good comparison (though not as life threating) would be working barefoot around horses.

No one tells you to wear shoes around horses it's just implied and common sense.

My foot was not injured because I was not wearing shoes--It was injured because a horse stepped on my foot.
My injuries may or may not have been less severe had I been wearing proper attire.

Nope. I can pretty much state that there would have been a 99% chance I would have been fine if I had been wearing shoes.

I think we all just feel really sad when others [regardless of who they are] make stupid mistakes and are now hurt when an injury most likely could have been avoided.

It has nothing to do with a rude lecture.

stryder
Mar. 5, 2010, 04:21 PM
Courtney was not injured because she did not wear a helmet. She was inured because she sustained a bad fall from her horse. Her injuries may or may not have been less severe had she had a helmet.



This is true. But I don't believe her injuries could have been worse if she had been wearing a helmet. The outcome under a different scenario is not knowable.

Race car drivers wear the gear. While it may not save them in every crash, the assumption is that the gear will not cause their injuries to be worse.

I hope for a full recovery for Courtney. And I predict more riders will wear helmets during more rides. I can only hope this is the case.

egontoast
Mar. 5, 2010, 04:26 PM
I think we all just feel really sad when others [regardless of who they are] make stupid mistakes and are now hurt when an injury most likely could have been avoided.



How self righteous and insensitive you are on this and also on the other thread.

Silver~Image~Farm
Mar. 5, 2010, 04:31 PM
So I am curious;
Do people insist that trainers who work with their horses wear hard hats? If a BNT is on your horse and wearing a baseball cap, do you suggest a helmet for them?

I am certainly not a lawyer but it seems to me if they are injured while riding your horse, you might have some liability. Allowing them on your horse sans headgear might contribute to that.

FYI, The trainers I work with DO WEAR HELMETS.
AND....there is a rule about WEARING HELMETS at their training center.

tollertwins
Mar. 5, 2010, 04:32 PM
To the poster talking about the helmet moving after the horse kicked it....

The person who fitted my new helmet after my last fall told me that they are supposed to do that. E.g. you want the helmet absorbing concussion and shear - and not your brain.

Lieslot
Mar. 5, 2010, 05:36 PM
Tollertwins, that was me, thanks for that.
I've been thinking about that fall a lot and was just wondering whether it was a good thing the helmet moved when the horse knocked me on the head or not.
I've replaced my helmet again with a dial fit system, thinking if it happens again (surely hope not) I'd rather the back straps break and the helmet moves with the impact, rather then fixed on my head and making my head absorb more of the blow.
I didn't realize that all helmets were supposed to do that. I just figured I was lucky with that particular helmet.

Mozart
Mar. 5, 2010, 05:59 PM
Coreene's story about the friend whose daughter only wore a helmet for two weeks after her mother's death....well, it just blows me away.

There must be some sort of dissociation that occurs. I don't understand it. So far, everyone who has posted (not that I have read every single post) says they always wear one. Yet, we ALL see the trainers and "upper level" riders who don't. Every clinic you go to, helmetless riders galore.

I guess these people aren't going to post as they know they wil be skewered...but at some point the helmet wearer must abandon the helmet. I wonder on what basis? Is is it a consious decision or do they go without once or twice and decide they don't need and/or want it?

I have had two friends whose horses fell doing something completey innocuous. One's horse tripped while trotting..pile driven onto the head. Unconcious, seizuring. Was wearing a helmet, she survived. Second one, while cantering IN BETWEEN jumps, got a little balky, she urged him forward and he got his hind legs tangled up. He fell on her. She was completely unconsious for five full minutes. Eyeballs rolling back in her head, etc. Was essentially bedridden for weeks, could not read, could not watch TV. Also, thankfully, wearing a helmet.

She is self employed, I can't imagine the economic hit that was.

Both of these friends, I'm sure, would be dead or disabled but for their helmets.

So the continued shunning of helmets just truly baffles me. I have even seen paralympic riders wear helmets with no harness. I have seen pictures of a rider, who used to event at a very high level but suffered a brain injury (not jumping, btw, schooling a green horse)...show dressage in helmet with no harness. I'm not going to judge...I just don't understand the thought process.

cyndi
Mar. 5, 2010, 05:59 PM
I found it interesting, at the USDF Symposium this past December, when Jan Brink was going to get on a demo horse to ride it, it seems organizers made him put a helmet on. As in, someone had one there, in his size, just in case. It was pretty obvious it was not something he did normally.

I agree that if I owned a boarding stable or a show facility, everyone would have to wear helmets when mounted. I got a concussion maybe 10 years ago when a horse I was riding stepped in a hole and somersaulted. I got a concussion despite my helmet, and still have no memory of how I got back on my horse, or most of the trip home. (I was about 5 miles from home, by myself.)

webmistress32
Mar. 5, 2010, 06:35 PM
However, when a high profile rider suffers a serious head injury it is extremely relevant to ask if they were wearing a helmet. If they were not, it's an important teachable moment. It hurts to sit here and think of what might have been--Courtney wearing a helmet and walking away from that fall, head intact. It is yet another reminder to young people to wear helmets always since even the best riders in the world have accidents.

yes. that's saying what I was thinking.

AHorseoffCourse
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:10 PM
I took a friend out for a trail ride. Where he grew up there were no trees - just grass land. This was his first "real" trail ride (ie - done at endurance speed....) after bashing through brush and dogding numerous branches (he's taller than me and was riding a taller horse...) I turned around and smirked "the helmet isn't for falling off silly, it's for brush and branch interference!".

I've fallen off many many times and never hit my head, but most of the time I was wearing a helmet. There are times I odn't wear one (like during civil war reenactments) but when it is allowed, I do wear one. I have occasionally forgotten - excited to try out a new bridle and jumped on bareback and didn't realize I didn't have a helmet on until I had already been cantering around for ~15 minutes - but I put it on as soon as I remember. It's part of my riding apparal like anything else.

I'm fortunate that in my sport a majority of the particpants wear helmets (endruance). What'e interesting is we don't REQUIRE it, we dont' NAG, and no body tells another rider what to do....but some how we've all come to the conclusion it's a good idea. It's few and far between that you see a rider without one.

WishIWereRiding
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:28 PM
I have had a couple of falls from my horse this year when he bucked explosively (flatting, not even jumping), and I am sure if I hadn't been wearing my helmet, I would have been in the hospital with a brain injury. I think the posters who say that Courtney's injuries may have not been any different had she been wearing a helmet are foolish. There are several eventers over the last 2 years that had very bad falls with head injuries, and unless I am wrong, I do not think one had a skull fracture.

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:34 PM
I have had a couple of falls from my horse this year when he bucked explosively (flatting, not even jumping), and I am sure if I hadn't been wearing my helmet, I would have been in the hospital with a brain injury. I think the posters who say that Courtney's injuries may have not been any different had she been wearing a helmet are foolish. There are several eventers over the last 2 years that had very bad falls with head injuries, and unless I am wrong, I do not think one had a skull fracture.

To the extent you are referring to my post, you (and others) are completely missing my point, which was made in response to suggestions that an injured person should be "punished" by their friends for failing to wear a helmet by refusing to assist them with healthcare costs.

ridgeback
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:44 PM
WishIWereRiding you say,
Alright, I know I'm going to stir up a lot of debate and outrage at saying this, but what does everyone think of donations being asked for when the rider was injured because she didn't wear a helmet? If a motorcycle rider was in an accident without a helmet and asked for donations, would you give money then too?>>>



are you friggen kidding me:mad: Your judgement and self righteousness is mind boggling. God help you if you ever make a mistake.

Yankee lawyer we all should be wearing helmets it does cut down on the number and severity of injuries.

Ajierene
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:53 PM
To the extent you are referring to my post, you (and others) are completely missing my point, which was made in response to suggestions that an injured person should be "punished" by their friends for failing to wear a helmet by refusing to assist them with healthcare costs.

This probably depends on your definition of 'friend'. Most of the people making donations are likely fans, not friends. But what if fans did speak with their wallets and say 'listen, I like you, your a great rider, wish you a full recovery, but you were not wearing a helmet...'

Dale Earnhardt senior died of an injury sustained during a race. The injury would not have been sustained if he were wearing the new neck restraint safety device that had been introduced but was not mandatory. He CHOSE not to wear that device - said he did not like it. After his fall, that safety device became mandatory. Why is this not true for helmets?

WishIWereRiding
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:56 PM
are you friggen kidding me:mad: Your judgement and self righteousness is mind boggling. God help you if you ever make a mistake.

Yankee lawyer we all should be wearing helmets it does cut down on the number and severity of injuries.

It was only a question I put out there. This is supposed to be a forum where we can ask questions, debate, share opinions, etc. I never said she didn't deserve any assistance because she wasn't wearing a helmet. Where did you read that? I only wanted to know what people thought about it. I thought it would be interesting. Gees. My point was people are very judgmental about motorcyclists and the like who aren't wearing helmets, too. Just food for thought. Get over yourself.

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 5, 2010, 08:10 PM
[B]WishIWereRiding you say,


Yankee lawyer we all should be wearing helmets it does cut down on the number and severity of injuries.

To clarify again, as far as I am concerned, there is no excuse - NONE - for not wearing a helmet. Helmets are mandatory on my farm. I would feel the same way if they only decreased the likelihood of serious injury by a small percent. I don't need a statistic saying that helmets prevent all injury to think they are a very good idea. I only have one brain and regardless of how dorky helmets might look, splattered brain looks worse.

Sandy M
Mar. 5, 2010, 08:39 PM
If I ever reach FEI levels, I will ride with my helmet, much as I'd prefer a topper.

For years and years I showed "old reliable" wearing a soft derby, figuring that the worst he would ever do was drop dead in the arena - i.e., from about age 8 on, he never bucked, spooked or otherwise misbehaved under saddle, and certainly not in the relatively quiet atmosphere of a dressage show. I still wore my helmet on the trails or jumping - though maybe 15 years ago, I may have taken the occasional stroll on him helmet-less. I came through all that just fine, but I even wear my helmet while leading my youngster, current rehabbing from an injury. When he's in normal work, I can work around him on the ground un-helmeted, but when ridden, or in his current "I have NOT had enough exercise!!!!!" frame of mind, I wear the helmet even for leading.

However, for those hoping for a tophat-helmet -Well, there's an article in DT showing a lady who had one made and...welllllll....I'm sure she's delighted that she's showing in a helmet top-hat, but I, personally, don't think it looks that great or "normal" and that a regular helmet would look better, even at FEI levels...IMHO. Not dissing the lady and I applaud her effort, but... It's, well--BIG and in the little photo provided looks kinda fluffy - like those nerf-ball-material cowboy hats - outsized.



-

ridgeback
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:58 PM
It was only a question I put out there. This is supposed to be a forum where we can ask questions, debate, share opinions, etc. I never said she didn't deserve any assistance because she wasn't wearing a helmet. Where did you read that? I only wanted to know what people thought about it. I thought it would be interesting. Gees. My point was people are very judgmental about motorcyclists and the like who aren't wearing helmets, too. Just food for thought. Get over yourself.

Seriously I need to get over myself. You got some nerve. One of the best U.S. dressage riders is in the hospital fighting for her life and you think it is a good idea to ask people if they would donate to her fund because she didn't wear a helmet. :mad::mad::mad: sad sad sad sad unbelievable!!!!

tabula rashah
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:02 PM
WishIWereRiding you say,
Alright, I know I'm going to stir up a lot of debate and outrage at saying this, but what does everyone think of donations being asked for when the rider was injured because she didn't wear a helmet? If a motorcycle rider was in an accident without a helmet and asked for donations, would you give money then too?>>>



are you friggen kidding me:mad: Your judgement and self righteousness is mind boggling. God help you if you ever make a mistake.

Yankee lawyer we all should be wearing helmets it does cut down on the number and severity of injuries.


Actually I completely agree with WishIWereRiding's question. Not wearing a helmet is not a mistake, its a choice- so why should we have to pay for someone else's poor choice??

The major argument against helmets is "I'm an adult and its my choice not to wear one"- well, great- but don't ask me for assistance when you get hurt. And for all those who think it doesn't effect anyone when they make that choice, just looks at the huge impact one accident has had on the whole equestrian community and beyond.

Personally, I've met Courtney a couple times and find her very friendly and likeable- I am strongly pulling for her recovery and keeping her friends and her family in my thoughts. But she made that choice, now she and her family are going to have to live with it.

WishIWereRiding
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:26 PM
Seriously I need to get over myself. You got some nerve. One of the best U.S. dressage riders is in the hospital fighting for her life and you think it is a good idea to ask people if they would donate to her fund because she didn't wear a helmet. :mad::mad::mad: sad sad sad sad unbelievable!!!!

First of all, there is something called freedom of speech. And if I can remind you, the purpose of these boards is to allow people to discuss topics, share opinions, etc. Why are certain things off limits? Because of who she is?

What if was the worst backyard rider in the world who was asking for donations? Is that rider any different? Shouldn't be. I'm just asking for thoughts on the matter, and if you are unable to THINK a little bit about things, well then, that is sad.
I'm not saying people shouldn't donate money to her fund. Do whatever you want with your money. I don't wish anything bad for her, I hope she recovers. But I think there is nothing wrong with asking a bunch of people on a thread about helmet wearing if they would donate to such a fund.
ridgeback, you really need to relax and take a xanax or something.

gold2012
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:15 PM
Fine, don't wear a helmet for those of you who think it's not as pretty, not as glamourous, have kids running barrels and don't care, are uncomfortable, forgot it back at the barn, in the truck, at the house....

same for those of you who ride motorcycles, dirt bikes, bikes, and other moving objects....

Same for those who don't wear seatbelts....

Just please don't ask me to help support your medical bills when something does happen. It's your right to chose to be safe vs. unsafe, It is America. But it's my right to save my money for the girl who was wearing all the right equipment, fell off a bucking idiot horse riding for a moron, and dislocates a shoulder and hasn't the money to have it surgically fixed, and will forever, now, have a loss of motion, and constant pain.

Jingles for those who are needing it at this time.

Velvet
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:25 PM
I found it interesting, at the USDF Symposium this past December, when Jan Brink was going to get on a demo horse to ride it, it seems organizers made him put a helmet on. As in, someone had one there, in his size, just in case. It was pretty obvious it was not something he did normally.


This is a TOTALLY unfair assumption. You have no idea what he does at home. The man was teaching in front of a very large group of people. You don't know if it was his habit not to wear a helmet. To me, I believe he was busy and distracted and was no thinking about it. For all I knew, it was his helmet that they trotted out to him. I don't know what he does or does not do at home, and I will not speculate. Please do not assume such things and blacken a top rider's name by making such statements--it's irresponsible.

ToN Farm
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:43 PM
First of all, there is something called freedom of speech. And if I can remind you, the purpose of these boards is to allow people to discuss topics, share opinions, etc. Why are certain things off limits? Because of who she is?

What if was the worst backyard rider in the world who was asking for donations? Is that rider any different? Shouldn't be. I'm just asking for thoughts on the matter, and if you are unable to THINK a little bit about things, well then, that is sad.
I'm not saying people shouldn't donate money to her fund. Do whatever you want with your money. I don't wish anything bad for her, I hope she recovers. But I think there is nothing wrong with asking a bunch of people on a thread about helmet wearing if they would donate to such a fund.
ridgeback, you really need to relax and take a xanax or something. I totally agree with you, but you have to expect to be pounced on hard for feeling this way and putting it in writing. I highlighted in red what I find significant. Even if an unknown backyard rider that is a regular poster on these forums got badly injured and was wearing a helmet, chances are there would be no donations. A couple "oh, that's awful" and move on to the next topic. A life is a life.

cyndi
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:16 AM
This is a TOTALLY unfair assumption. You have no idea what he does at home. The man was teaching in front of a very large group of people. You don't know if it was his habit not to wear a helmet. To me, I believe he was busy and distracted and was no thinking about it. For all I knew, it was his helmet that they trotted out to him. I don't know what he does or does not do at home, and I will not speculate. Please do not assume such things and blacken a top rider's name by making such statements--it's irresponsible.

Nope. I don't think it 'blackens' his name that he would not wear one normally. I don't think necessarily think someone is a 'bad' person for not wearing a helmet - nor do I think someone is a 'bad' person for choosing to smoke. But it was quite evident to me that he was surprised by the appearane of the helmet, and also very evident someone was explaining to him that he needed to put it on before he got on the horse.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:33 AM
What if was the worst backyard rider in the world who was asking for donations? Is that rider any different? Shouldn't be.


Even if an unknown backyard rider that is a regular poster on these forums got badly injured and was wearing a helmet, chances are there would be no donations.

I would think it depends on how that person has touched other's lives.

Courtney has worled hard to get to the top of her sport. Sport in this country entertains us, but riders don't make the salary of other top entertainers, like NFL football players, talk show hosts, etc. Riders instead have to actually pay to perform for us - entry fees, equipment, training, travel, etc.

We have enjoyed watching Courtney's career, and many are willing to help her out because of what she has given us. Being high profile, she has touched many of us.

If a poster here was also in need of financial help, and they had touched others lives, I bet you would also see a desire to help.

I was glad to see Robert's update that many people there are riding in helmets.

Coreene
Mar. 6, 2010, 01:14 AM
When I had my accident, one of my friends asked another friend, who owned the tack store on the premises, if she could put out a jar for donations. Not because my insurance didn't cover things, but because people want to help. It was the kindest surprise - and I still get choked up about it years later - when I got a card signed by so many people, and a receipt showing that their donations had paid for seceral months' board. :sadsmile: To have had such a gift was so amazing, so kind and so humbling.

Marydell
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:37 AM
FWI I have not had the time to visit this thread before, but heard about the posts regarding the donations and want to clarify things.

FIRST--this was generously offered by the Management of the Palm Beach Derby and to my knowledge, was not asked for by any family or friend. It was and is a very kind and generous offer. Do not belittle the kindness that one day you may have need of.

SECOND- it is not premature to ask for assistance. HAving worked in the medical field for years, I know for a fact, no matter how good her insurance (And I do not know ANY details of this), a great deal of her expenses are not going to be covered. Lifeflight is only covered up to a certain percentage. Only a certain # of days willbe covered in ICU before the insurance company will insist on her being downgraded to another status. At most, after a certain poiint, only about 80% will be covered.

THIRD- Do not forget there are paid staff that she supports that will also be affected by her lack of ability to earn an income.

Now as to the helmet issue-- as with seatbelts- there are times that a safety device can cause more harm than good. Wearing any safety device is a personal choice and risk.
Courtney's skull fracture is serving a good purpose in that her bleeds are vented through it and are helping to keep her ICP within normal range. This is not a medical opnion by the way, but my own from my medical training.

We are all adults here, and we all have the RIGHT to make our own decisions. Personally, I cannot ride with a helmet( Have not ridden in 13 years though) because of severe head pain and blurred vision which makes riding with one more dangerous than with out one. But I am older and know that quality of life is far more imprtant than quantity. If I chose to take that risk, I know the consequences, and I know that I cannot live without horses in my life. So I chose to breed. And you know what--there are more risks with that occupation than with riding. I know of accidents when leading a foal or yearling when an inocent kick has ended a competent pro's life.

So please set a good example, but remember , you do not know the circumstances involved.

staceyk
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:52 AM
Here is a question:

Someone told me that FEI competition rules REQUIRE a top hat. Can someone confirm or deny this?


And to the poster who wrote "I have driven my car with my helmet on"

My husband commutes an hour a day on a dangerous road, I-78 in NJ. He read a statistic that a huge percentage of auto fatalities are head injuries. He wears a helmet sometimes (though not always). I'm a big advocate of riding helmets for everyone! But one wonders why, given the stats on traffic accidents, helmets are not required for car drivers...

ctanner
Mar. 6, 2010, 09:15 AM
The whole do I or don't I wear a helmet I think goes back to what is required out of different sports. Hunters/Jumper/Eventers are required to show with helmets. In Dressage, you wear a helmet or a derby and then you earn your tophat. In dressage about 15 years ago, it used to be very few people wore a helmet once they earned a tophat. I think the trend is changing. I did FEI young riders with Courtney in the 90's- we didn't wear helmets. I think the times are certainly changing. But the debate as to should I or shouldn't I is silly. I think there is a direct correlation between the equine disiplines that require helmets at shows and those that wear something else in a show- ie dressage, western, barrel racing.

I couldn't agree more.

DownYonder
Mar. 6, 2010, 09:32 AM
While a helmet does not guarantee that a rider will not suffer a catastrophic injury, it can certainly help mitigate the physical, emotional and financial damage should there be an accident.

We all ask so much from our loved ones because of our infatuation with horses. We ask them to accept the fact that we are involved in a potentially dangerous sport, to accept the fact that we could be killed or severely injured, to accept the fact that they may end losing us or faced with caring for a permanently disabled person, to accept the fact that we are jeopardizing our family's financial well-being AND emotional well-being, etc., etc., etc.

The least we can do is put aside our selfishness and wear a helmet when we ride, to give them some small relief from the worry and anxiety they feel every time we put a foot in the stirrup.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel that I owe it to my loved ones.

grayarabpony
Mar. 6, 2010, 09:43 AM
SECOND- it is not premature to ask for assistance. HAving worked in the medical field for years, I know for a fact, no matter how good her insurance (And I do not know ANY details of this), a great deal of her expenses are not going to be covered. Lifeflight is only covered up to a certain percentage. Only a certain # of days willbe covered in ICU before the insurance company will insist on her being downgraded to another status. At most, after a certain poiint, only about 80% will be covered.


After customers got rude awakenings with 80% coverage, many policies cover 100% after a deductible.

The trouble is going over the cap.

Edited to add: It is true that a lot of the more affordable policies will only cover 80% of hospitalization costs -- it all depends on your own individual policy.

In addition, time in the ICU is determined by the patient's needs, not by a certain number of days determined by an insurance policy.

back in the saddle
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:04 AM
http://www.emsaonline.net/helmet_safety.html (Equestrian Medical Safety Association)

Equestrian Helmet Facts:

Fact #1: Between 12 to 15 million persons in the United States ride a horse or pony every year.

Fact # 2: Approximately 20 percent of horse related injuries occur on the ground and not riding.

Fact # 3: Most riding injuries occur during pleasure riding.

Fact # 4: The most common reason among riders for admission to hospital and death. are head injuries.

Fact # 5: A fall from two feet (60 cm) can cause permanent brain damage. A horse elevates a rider eight feet (three meters) or more above ground.

Fact # 6: A human skull can be shattered by an impact of 7-10 kph. Horses can gallop at 65 kph.

Fact # 7: According to the National Electronic Surveillance System figures the most likely ages for injury is at 5-14, and 25-44 years with each decade having about 20 percent of the injuries.

Fact # 8: A rider who has one head injury has a 40 percent chance of suffering a second head injury. Children, teens and young adults are most vulnerable to sudden death from second impact syndrome: severe brain swelling as a result of suffering a second head injury before recovery from the first head injury.

Fact # 9: Death is not the only serious outcome of unprotected head injuries. Those who survive with brain injury may suffer epilepsy, intellectual and memory impairment, and personality changes.

Fact # 10: Hospital costs for an acute head injury can be in the range of $25,000 per day. Lifetime extended care costs may easily exceed $3 million. There is no funding for rehabilitation outside the medical setting. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Fact # 11: Helmets work. :yes: Most deaths from head injury can be prevented by wearing ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials), SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) approved helmets that fit correctly and have the harness firmly applied. Other types of helmets, including bike helmets, are inadequate.

Fact # 12: Racing organizations require helmets and as a result jockeys now suffer less head injuries than pleasure riders. The US Pony Club lowered their head injury rate 29 percent with mandatory helmet use. Britain's hospital admission rate for equestrians fell 46 percent after helmet design improved and they became in routine use.

Fact # 13: The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association through the Committee on Sports Medicine, Canadian Medical Association, and the American Medical Equestrian Association/Safe Riders Foundation recommend that approved, fitted and secured helmets be worn on all rides by all horseback riders.

annikak
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the above.

Sadly, I think the only thing that will change the waters is the insurance companies. When they say helmets are a must (as might happen with a show who has a rider who gets hurt without a helmet and the insurance company gets involved) it might get mandated.

On the FETA trail system, our insurance says people must wear a helmet. People bitched to be sure, but as a land owner, a helmet wearer and a pony club family, I find it rude that people that ride on my land would object. Sure if you don't use my tax money to pay for your injuries, great. But that is rarely the case. So, want to ride on my land (which pretty much give you access to most of the FETA trails) then you wear a helmet. Period.

Yes, there are days where wearing one is more annoying then not. But, still, the stats are out there. I also use one when I lunge, and when working a horse on the ground that is unpredictable (As all horses are, but some are more so).

I admit that when I rode in a CCI, I did not wear my helmet as my hat seemed just so important... a risk I took. Not so sure that I'd do that now, but just to illustrate that I know I made a decision that might not have been in my best interest but did it in the name of pride.

What happened this past week to CKD was such a fluke...so sad. It seems in this case it was the worst case of fate I can imagine.

meupatdoes
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:35 AM
Here is a question:

Someone told me that FEI competition rules REQUIRE a top hat. Can someone confirm or deny this?


Someone told you wrong.

You can wear a helmet without penalty from the judge.

Tell them to read DR120:

4. Riders at all levels of competition must wear one of the following: A hunt cap or riding hat with a hard shell, derby or top hat, military/police cap or hat, or protective head- gear. Any exhibitor may wear protective headgear at any level of competition without penalty from the judge. Exhibitors choosing to wear protective headgear must wear a short, dark jacket, dark tailcoat (only permitted for tests above Fourth Level), or Armed Services or police uniform (if eligible), dark hatcovers (where applicable) and must otherwise conform to DR120 (see also, GR801).

tollertwins
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:37 AM
I believe that if you want to wear a helmet for safety reasons that you can even at FEI levels.

Houdini1220
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:40 AM
In my opionion as long as nobody is being backed into a corner and all the information is being given, people can ask for donations for whatever they want and I will decide what I feel comfortable with. As long as everyone is being honest about the circumstances behind the accident, or event, or situation depending on what it is, then I'm happy.

What I don't like, is when people withhold important information about something and then ask for money (this was the case in my area a few months ago). Think about how many non-horse people might say that we are all idiots for getting up on these huge animals to begin with, even with a helmet on. Ultimately it all ends up being relative to what you see as important in life. Helmet, no-helmet.....I think chosing to donate to anything is a personal decision. I respect any situation in which people are honest about the circumstances.

monstrpony
Mar. 6, 2010, 11:10 AM
I believe that if you want to wear a helmet for safety reasons that you can even at FEI levels.

For that matter, even in western disciplines, AQHA rules defer to USEF rules, and helmets are acceptable. You still have to consider "judge prejudice", depending on how real you believe that is (and there is clear evidence that it is real, unfortuately, in the western disciplines--can't even protect the poor horses, never mind the riders, but that's another issue).

In my IHSA region, western horsemanship is a fairly recent addition. Since all of the coaches, in the year we started western, were hunt seat types (except for me, a former eventer), we shuddered at the thought of putting college riders on horses w/o approved helmets, so we made it a regional rule that all riders would wear helmets in western shows. A few years later, we were planning our regionals show, and the hosting school made expensive arrangements with their insurance carrier to allow traditional western hats, so the riders could "practice" for semi-finals, etc. ... until we found out that the judge we had for regionals, Lynn Palm, was pro-helmet. We went ahead and had the riders wear helmets.

Actually, it was fun at the western shows to have a little bling be okay, or use the pretty pearlized colors of Troxel helmets to go with the western outfits. I had a rider at regionals who had a good chance of qualifying for semi-finals, and we agreed among our team that she would continue to wear her helmet, even at semi-finals. Her chance of going to Nationals was slim anyway, so we agreed to make The Statement. Alas, she ended up one place from qualifying. I was proud of her, though--she came from a Morgan park/pleasure background, but had a good head on her shoulders (;)) and saw the sense in wearing helmets.

ridgeback
Mar. 6, 2010, 11:17 AM
First of all, there is something called freedom of speech. And if I can remind you, the purpose of these boards is to allow people to discuss topics, share opinions, etc. Why are certain things off limits? Because of who she is?

What if was the worst backyard rider in the world who was asking for donations? Is that rider any different? Shouldn't be. I'm just asking for thoughts on the matter, and if you are unable to THINK a little bit about things, well then, that is sad.
I'm not saying people shouldn't donate money to her fund. Do whatever you want with your money. I don't wish anything bad for her, I hope she recovers. But I think there is nothing wrong with asking a bunch of people on a thread about helmet wearing if they would donate to such a fund.
ridgeback, you really need to relax and take a xanax or something.

You are correct on the freedom of speech and I'm using it by saying what you wrote initially was appalling!! Again I truly hope you never make a mistake and are in need of help. Hey I don't have to live in your head so I won't be needing a xanax.

Coreene
Mar. 6, 2010, 11:36 AM
Pardon me if I don't look at it as a freak accident. In late January, our friend Doug had a fall from his horse onto his head, skull fractures, brain bleeds, shunt put in, intubated etc. Also owns his own business. Is now in a rehab facility trying to learn everything all over again. No helmet. My dead friend two years ago? No helmet. My vertigo today - and quite literally, because it's spinning - no helmet 15 years ago. Grow up. If it is just you and not a single person in the world will be affected, have at it. But if you have any friends, family, business responsibility, etc., grow the eff up. It's an effing helmet, for God's sake. If you think it's sissy or makes you you uncool or whatever, I'd say it might be time to pull your head out of your ass and start working on your own ego.

atlatl
Mar. 6, 2010, 11:43 AM
It all comes down to natural selection in my mind; plain and simple. You don't want to wear a helmet, fine by me, it's your choice. If you end up out of the gene pool as a result, that's fine by me too. If your family ends up taking care of you the rest of your life, as a result, that's the consequence of your action/inaction and also fine by me as long as you aren't dependent on public aid (my tax dollars) as a result.

Years ago an AQHA BNT was in a horrific car accident, BNT ended up severely injured, two others were killed, infant child survived relatively unscathed as did the only other person wearing a seat belt. Big movement to collect money to help out as they were at best, under-insured. Some donated, some didn't.

Choices result in consequences; it's really that easy.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 6, 2010, 11:54 AM
Over the last decade, many helmet manufacturers have answered the problems of heat, and pain by new designs, and changes to accommodate different head shapes. Just because one (or two or three) does not work for you, does not mean there is not one that will.

I remember a lady that worked in a tack shop many years ago, that would just walk up and put her hands on someone's head, and grab the best fitting helmet for them. Maybe that is what we really need at the shops at shows - an expert in fit to make the best choice for each person's head shape.

dotneko
Mar. 6, 2010, 11:54 AM
I believe that FEI rules supercede USEF rules at
a CDI competition. I do not believe that the FEI
allows helmets. So, for example, at the Palm Beach
Derby, those showing in the CDI portion cannot
wear helmets, while those in the national level
FEI classes (ie AA or Open PSG) can wear helmets.

In national level competitions, then helmets are
allowed at FEI levels.

Maybe this rule has changed since I rode in CDI's

ridgeback
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:12 PM
Pardon me if I don't look at it as a freak accident. In late January, our friend Doug had a fall from his horse onto his head, skull fractures, brain bleeds, shunt put in, intubated etc. Also owns his own business. Is now in a rehab facility trying to learn everything all over again. No helmet. My dead friend two years ago? No helmet. My vertigo today - and quite literally, because it's spinning - no helmet 15 years ago. Grow up. If it is just you and not a single person in the world will be affected, have at it. But if you have any friends, family, business responsibility, etc., grow the eff up. It's an effing helmet, for God's sake. If you think it's sissy or makes you you uncool or whatever, I'd say it might be time to pull your head out of your ass and start working on your own ego.


Who is saying don't wear a helmet? I personally think it should be mandatory at horse shows including FEI riders wearing them instead of the top hats.

ridgeback
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:13 PM
I believe that FEI rules supercede USEF rules at
a CDI competition. I do not believe that the FEI
allows helmets. So, for example, at the Palm Beach
Derby, those showing in the CDI portion cannot
wear helmets, while those in the national level
FEI classes (ie AA or Open PSG) can wear helmets.

In national level competitions, then helmets are
allowed at FEI levels.

Maybe this rule has changed since I rode in CDI's

Well if someone gets a brain injury while showing they should sue the fei.

Bronte
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:15 PM
I believe that FEI rules supercede USEF rules at
a CDI competition. I do not believe that the FEI
allows helmets. So, for example, at the Palm Beach
Derby, those showing in the CDI portion cannot
wear helmets, while those in the national level
FEI classes (ie AA or Open PSG) can wear helmets.

In national level competitions, then helmets are
allowed at FEI levels.

Maybe this rule has changed since I rode in CDI's

Yes it has, helmets are permitted at all FEI levels.

meupatdoes
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:22 PM
I believe that FEI rules supercede USEF rules at
a CDI competition. I do not believe that the FEI
allows helmets. So, for example, at the Palm Beach
Derby, those showing in the CDI portion cannot
wear helmets, while those in the national level
FEI classes (ie AA or Open PSG) can wear helmets.

In national level competitions, then helmets are
allowed at FEI levels.

Maybe this rule has changed since I rode in CDI's

FEI rule:

1. Civilians:At CDIs 3*, CDIOs, Championships, Regional and Olympic Games a black or dark blue tail coat (other colours may be approved by the FEI Dressage Committee by application), with top hat*, white or off white breeches, stock or tie, gloves, black riding boots and spurs must be worn. At all CDIs 1* and CDIs 2*, a black or dark blue jacket (see above) with a bowler hat or hunting cap is also permitted. This dress is also desirable for all other international dressage events, unless otherwise stated in any special rules.
Note*: If, for safety reasons, a rider wishes to wear an approved protective headgear, this is permitted.

NoDQhere
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:28 PM
I think many people are upset by Courtney's injury because she is "America's Sweetheart" in Dressage. It does appear that if she had had a helmet on she quite likely would have walked away with nothing more than grass stains on her breeches. I for one, find this whole situation heartbreaking. She is one of the best in the world!

I certainly don't blame Courtney or think she was stupid to not wear a helmet, we all get complacent with our horses. I just think it's a damn shame and am praying she makes a full recovery. We need her representing "us" in International competitions.

And please, while we pray for Courtney, wear your helmets so YOU are not the one who is the subject of another one of these threads!

BestHorses
Mar. 6, 2010, 01:02 PM
I read on dressagedaily.com that riders at the derby have been wearing green ribbons in support of Courtney. I would much rather see them wearing helmets instead!

Regal Grace
Mar. 6, 2010, 01:22 PM
I read on dressagedaily.com that riders at the derby have been wearing green ribbons in support of Courtney. I would much rather see them wearing helmets instead!

especially when I read the last paragraph of the article..

"Heather Blitz posted her support on her website of adopting a strong position on the need for Dressage riders to adopt this policy which sets an example to our youth as well as those who emulate their trainers and favorite riders. "Courtney's accident reminds us all how vulnerable we are around horses," Heather Blitz, Grand Prix dressage rider, said in a press release. "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Courtney and her family as she faces this medical challenge, and we wish her a full and speedy recovery."

However this is not positions which all agree on as it became the most hotly contested topic of conversation at the High Performance Riders’ meeting held Thursday afternoon after the day’s competition. “We are all guilty of this issue,” said US Dressage Technical advisor Anne Gribbons, “and there was definitely a strong opinion for both pro and con.” Whatever each individual’s opinion Courtney’s accident has given all food for thought as to the safety issues Dressage riders need to consider."

Coanteen
Mar. 6, 2010, 02:25 PM
I think adults should be able to decide what risks to take for themselves.

But I truly wish that more upper-level riders would wear helmets in shows. I doubt a widespread change will happen unless it's either mandated, or the leaders voluntarily take the lead.

Unfortunately tragedies like this one are the perfect time to discuss these issues.

horsepoor
Mar. 6, 2010, 02:38 PM
I wear a helmet every time that I ride, even just walking to cool out. I have witnessed first hand the terrible lasting results of a head injury (not HR, but affected person was also a rider) and it changed my mind on helmets even though the accident was actually in a car. But I also believe it is up to every individual to make the choice for themselves.

However, what I have an issue with that I haven't yet resolved is when a trainer doesn't wear a helmet. I support their right to choose, but if they are getting on my horse, I really want to have a say. I just would feel awful if they got hurt on my horse...but I try to tell myself it is their choice.

I also wish more trainers wore helmets regularly to set an example for the young folks. When the trainer doesn't, it sort of creates this "goal" of helmetlessness -- like the kids aspire to be old enough or "good enough" to go without a helmet.

ambar
Mar. 6, 2010, 03:16 PM
I'm not against it, on my own horses I feel so safe, that it would be such a freak accident that I would fall and hit my head while riding them that it is really unnecessary I feel.

What's that warning on all the financial advertisements? Past performance is no guarantee of future results?

ridgeback
Mar. 6, 2010, 03:40 PM
Let's not forget Courtney did not fall off her horse he fall on top of her. You cannot control that and should not think it won't happen to you.

SisterToSoreFoot
Mar. 6, 2010, 05:18 PM
I, too, wish the big name riders would set an example by wearing a helmet--in the last issue of Dressage Today, Steffen Peters is shown wearing a helmet and the look is just as elegant, confident, and polished as if he had not been wearing it.

Like so many things in horses, the lack of helmets in upper level dressage is a matter of fashion/convention rather than being based on any logical or practical reason.

In my own mind, I think riders look much more pulled together with a helmet during a schooling ride then with a visor or ballcap (!?)

I can only hope Dye's accident, coupled with the advancement in helmets' looks and function, will help shift the "fashion" in dressage towards helmets, so AA's and newly minted upper level riders won't feel they need to stash their helmet as a rite of passage.

egontoast
Mar. 6, 2010, 07:13 PM
NoDQHere


It does appear that if she had had a helmet on she quite likely would have walked away with nothing more than grass stains on her breeches.

I think you just made that up.

Please don't do that.

Zevida
Mar. 6, 2010, 07:46 PM
However, what I have an issue with that I haven't yet resolved is when a trainer doesn't wear a helmet. I support their right to choose, but if they are getting on my horse, I really want to have a say. I just would feel awful if they got hurt on my horse...but I try to tell myself it is their choice.

You absolutely have a choice when it comes to your horse. When I take a lesson, I don't use helmet use as a criteria, mostly because good trainers are few and far between and it would be impossible to find one if that was a requirement. But, you can bet that no one will ever put their foot in my horse's stirrup without a helmet on. Period.

I suppose if you have a BNT or are in full training and thus your horse is ridden when you are not around, that can be hard to require or monitor. Fortunately I do all my own riding, but I would never put my horse (or myself) in that situation where I might have to feel guilty that my horse killed someone because they weren't wearing a helmet.

Sandy M
Mar. 6, 2010, 07:56 PM
It's true that there are some horse that one can feel perfectly safe on helmetless, and you're probably right. I've done it myself in the past and I'm still here to talk about it. BUT...old faithful could pop an aneurysm...and that sometimes can be violent. A friend's horse, unridden, cantered down the arena with his pal, and flipped end over end when he collapsed from a burst aneurysm. Did he every buck, rear, or otherwise misbehave? No, but had she been riding him when that happened.....

Besides, it's not how well YOUR horse may behave. I finally came to that realization when a friend was out hacking her aged TB - a horse that occassionally did a mild spook, but nothing more - and she was T-boned by two mountainbikers. The horse went off the side of the road. She fell clear, and the horse rammed into a tree (fortunately) instead of sliding all the way down a looong hillside and tangling into a barbed wire fence at the bottom. He was bruised but otherwise unhurt. She helped the horse to its feet and it managed to climb back up onto the trail...where the bikers cursed HER out for getting in their way. It's not just what your horse might do, but what others do.

I can remember days when I would hack my eventer out into the hills, riding bareback in a halter, with me wearing shorts, tennies and a baseball cap. Would I do that now? Never. Yeah, adults can make their own decisions - but you can't control the people/horses around you. Helmets are more comfortable than they used to be, and as a friend of mine once said, and as I think I've seen on this board more than once, "If you think your hairdo/appearance is more important than your head....you're probably right."

SisterToSoreFoot
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:18 PM
It does appear that if she had had a helmet on she quite likely would have walked away with nothing more than grass stains on her breeches.


I think you just made that up.

Please don't do that.


I don't know who you're quoting, egon, but even if that's speculation its a fair speculation.

Of course there is no way to prove if Dye would have been less severely injured if she had been wearing a helmet, but since she suffered a skull fracture, and helmets are designed to protect one's skull and absorb impact, it isn't off base to predict that she would have escaped without such a severe head injury had she been wearing one. She may not have walked away, but she may not have been where she is now, either.

No different than when news stories mention that drivers would have survived had they been wearing a seatbelt--no one can say for sure, but that type of speculation is fair when one forgoes safety gear. That's why the articles mentioning her accident also mention her lack of helmet.

SisterToSoreFoot
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:42 PM
Now as to the helmet issue-- as with seatbelts- there are times that a safety device can cause more harm than good. Wearing any safety device is a personal choice and risk.
Courtney's skull fracture is serving a good purpose in that her bleeds are vented through it and are helping to keep her ICP within normal range. This is not a medical opnion by the way, but my own from my medical training.
.

This isn't logical. Her skull fracture may be venting her "bleeds" as you put it, but wouldn't it have been better for her not to be bleeding on the brain period, and not to have a skull fracture, either? Why use such twisted logic to defend her not wearing a helmet?

Her accident was tragic, but don't act as if not wearing a helmet was a wise choice, because it allowed her skull to crack in a helpful way. That's insane, and belittles the good work that equine safety advocates are doing in the wake of this accident.

Passage2
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:52 PM
Just left the derby and was moved to tears to see olympian ,Jackie Brooks, wearing her helmet on grand prix cdi, bravo!

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 6, 2010, 09:22 PM
Just left the derby and was moved to tears to see olympian ,Jackie Brooks, wearing her helmet on grand prix cdi, bravo!

Bravo, indeed!

I am one of the many whose life was saved by a helmet. If we can get used to elite jumpers wearing them, why not dressage riders?

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 6, 2010, 09:46 PM
Courtney's skull fracture is serving a good purpose in that her bleeds are vented through it and are helping to keep her ICP within normal range. This is not a medical opnion by the way, but my own from my medical training.


Something Rahm Emanuel got in trouble for saying recently is what springs to mind here.

NoDQhere
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:18 PM
NoDQHere

I think you just made that up.

Please don't do that.

I wasn't "making anything up", I was speculating because I've not heard any reports of any injuries other than the TBI. As in I haven't heard that her leg was broken, for instance. So to me it does seem that a helmet may have prevented the injury that did result.

Peggy
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:18 PM
I rode horses for someone who would not let anyone sit on any of her horses without a helmet.

Today my trainer was getting ready to get on a 23-y.o. horse for a trail walk. I asked her to please where her helmet and told her about Courtney. Helmet went on and stayed on for all her subsequent rides.

dghunter
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:35 PM
It is interesting since I can remember a lot of discussion about this when I did hunters. Many were against it at first but now most seem to have accepted it from what I've seen. I had a good friend who's helmet shattered when she hit the ground. She was fine. I shudder to think what would have happened if she hadn't been wearing the helmet.

Tamsin
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:39 PM
This isn't logical. Her skull fracture may be venting her "bleeds" as you put it, but wouldn't it have been better for her not to be bleeding on the brain period, and not to have a skull fracture, either? Why use such twisted logic to defend her not wearing a helmet?

Her accident was tragic, but don't act as if not wearing a helmet was a wise choice, because it allowed her skull to crack in a helpful way. That's insane, and belittles the good work that equine safety advocates are doing in the wake of this accident.

I agree. How sad and frustrating that so many people think it's wrong to discuss helmet use (or lack of use) following this tragic accident. Obviously a helmet would have protected her head when it hit the ground.

I can't believe how rude posters are on the other thread the instant helmets are mentioned. If my loved one was in Courtney's situation I would want every post to address the fact that she wasn't wearing a helmet, never mind jingles and prayers. Because when she woke up, I would want my loved one to know one thing: everyone wants you to wear a helmet every time you get on a horse. A positive and intelligent change in behavior is the only good thing that could come from this accident. But on the other thread everyone seems determined to pretend that helmets don't matter at all and have no relevance to Courtney's injury. Sad.

a_quick_one
Mar. 7, 2010, 12:28 AM
I agree that the helmet debate is incredibly apropos in this situation. I almost never fall (and usually have some idea it's coming when I do), but I wear a helmet every time I sit on a horse - even the other day when I had someone leading me as I got on for a pony ride after ankle surgery. I have had horses fall over under me, and have frequently cited that as my reason for always wearing one - I occasionally fall over my own two feet, why should horses be immune with their four? Now I will cite Courtney's accident as well. I think this should be a massive lesson to everyone - NO ONE, no matter how good a rider they are, is guaranteed not to hit the ground. And gosh, helmets are NOT that uncomfortable!

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 7, 2010, 12:51 AM
The reason people do not want helmets discussed on the other thread is that it detracts from the point of that thread - which is to express positive thoughts for Courtney. Because so many people have posted nice messages, her friends have been able to pass them on to her family.

In addition, it likely is very, very painful to hear that a loved one might have been spared a serious injury by taking a very simple precaution. And too often these kinds of debates turn quite nasty.

Bats79
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:10 AM
I said to my mum a couple of years ago (she was 65 then)

"Would you be angry if you heard I had an accident off a horse I knew well and I didn't have a helmet on?"

Her answer was "I'd be furious, wear your hat". I've haven't got on (intentionally) without one since.

Bats79
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:22 AM
I remember a lady that worked in a tack shop many years ago, that would just walk up and put her hands on someone's head, and grab the best fitting helmet for them. Maybe that is what we really need at the shops at shows - an expert in fit to make the best choice for each person's head shape.

"Saddle fit for life" or whatever the organisation is called would do well to include training in helmet fit also. Training people to fit helmets would be a good idea. I wonder if the cyclists have people trained for this?

Coanteen
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:59 AM
Re: the fracture "venting" the bleed from her head.
Yes, if ICP is high the pressure has to go somewhere. If there's a need for decompression and there's no fracture, the neurosurgeon WILL MAKE A HOLE. The medical system doesn't sit there hoping the patient sustained a helpful skull fracture, because if they didn't they're SOL.

The helmet is supposed to absorb the force of the blow. Could she still have a head injury with helmet on? Sure. And the helmet wouldn't help in injuries like neck fractures etc.
But it's likely to the point of medical certainly (as certain as that gets, which isn't 100%) that the kind of injury she sustained would at least be less severe if she'd worn a helmet.

Adults can make their own choices, but there's nothing wrong with discussing the consequences of those choices. This *is* the right time (though I agree that the "jingles" thread is not the right place).
I make my choices too, as we all do. I always wear a helmet at home - but I just returned from vacation where I went on a 3-day horse safari. There were no adult-size helmets, and I chose to ride without one. I knew the risks.

whitewolfe001
Mar. 7, 2010, 03:41 AM
How many people have to get hurt or die before helmets in dressage become standard equipment? At the time, I had sincerely hoped that Meri Straz's tragic death would have been a wake-up call for amateurs and professionals alike to wear a helmet always. Her incident was just as unexpected and unintentional as what happened to Courtney.

You can speculate all you want on the minutiae of the misstep/fall/point of impact. Yes, people can still be seriously hurt when wearing a helmet, but the chances of traumatic head injury are greatly reduced when wearing a helmet.

Meri's and Courtney's incidents both emphasize the fact that

1. tramuatic head injury can happen to the most experienced riders
2. it can happen on any horse in any situation

Neither situation involved a crazy horse. The horses simply had a misstep/stumble.

I find it very arrogant and short-sighted when people insist that not wearing a helmet is their own decision and they are comfortable with the risks, etc. Guess what? If you end up a vegetable, you've impacted a lot more people than just yourself. You're impacting your loved ones.

And it's BS that people say "well if you have insurance then you're not costing the state or taxpayer money for your long term care". Well SOMEBODY pays for it. The insurance company has to pay and that means higher and higher premiums for the rest of us, some of whom end up being unable to afford to pay. Hospital care or long term care is not "free" no matter where the money is coming from.

And I hate to say this but I personally witnessed Chris Reeves on cross-country several years in a row and I was horrified by his careless riding (and lack of approved helmet). It was an accident waiting to happen.

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone, but I personally believe that the lack of a helmet for anyone, beginner or Olympian, is not only careless but selfish.

I don't mean any disrespect to Courtney, I admire her greatly and I feel terribly for all the bad luck she's had in the last couple of years. I just really wish she'd had a helmet on and I am sure her family does too.

twcolabear
Mar. 7, 2010, 04:32 AM
A little off topic


I was really excited to see two mounted police officers on their patrol wearing helmets. The rule is you wear a patrol hat when you are a mounted officer, but have an option to wear a helmet. Most old timers don't (must be the macho thing) but I saw two new mounted officers ride through the park wearing theirs and I asked them when did the rule get changed. The officers told me that they are required to wear their helmets while in training (about 2months) after that they can continue wearing them or wear the patrol hats. These two officers decided to wears their helmets. I'm so glad to see that.

WishIWereRiding
Mar. 7, 2010, 09:05 AM
I have a question for those of you who don't wear helmets--do you drive without a seatbelt too? If it weren't a law would you? Same thing. I've fallen off my horse more times than I've been in a car accident (0 times).

monstrpony
Mar. 7, 2010, 09:06 AM
Just left the derby and was moved to tears to see olympian ,Jackie Brooks, wearing her helmet on grand prix cdi, bravo!

Just READING this brought tears to my eyes. Bravo, indeed.

DownYonder
Mar. 7, 2010, 09:36 AM
Just left the derby and was moved to tears to see olympian ,Jackie Brooks, wearing her helmet on grand prix cdi, bravo!


Just READING this brought tears to my eyes. Bravo, indeed.

Amen! What a great example she is setting!

monstrpony
Mar. 7, 2010, 09:57 AM
(now, is there any evidence that it made any difference in her scores?)

Maude
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:10 AM
Courtney King-Dye's accident really got me thinking... I am an FEI dressage rider who never wears a helmet unless I get on a horse that I think may dump me. Then, I put on this flimsy turtleshell cheapo helmet that feels like a bicycle helmet. I never wear a helmet on my own FEI horse. Well, I bought a new helmet yesterday and plan to wear it everytime I get on a horse for schooling and competing. I do reserve the right to wear my top hat in the arena whe appropriate though.
I have a young horse that will be started this year also. I wanted something that was well made, and attractive. I also can afford only one helmet so wanted something to school in that is nice enough to wear when I show my young horse in recognized dressage shows. I bought a Charles Owens Wellington Classic and it actually looks good on me. (I know, I'm not a particularly vain person, but have a hat-hair thing, and look good in a top hat, but not a helmet).

I love this helmet. It is safe, fits like a glove and will look great schooling or in the competition arena. It is velvet with a flesh colored leather harness. I went to Bit of Britain as they are local. They cater to eventers, so I knew that I would get expert help from a qualified person. The helmet was $239.99, but well worth the price and certainly not the most expensive helmet out there!

If there is anything positive that comes of Courtney's accident (and I know and pray that she will make a full recovery!) it is that her accident made me think long and hard and go buy a good helmet and WEAR it. I hope that there are others out there who, like me, may be spared a head injury because they too were moved to buy/wear a helmet now. That said, I in no way judge someone who doesn't choose to wear one. I believe that if Courtney woke up at this moment she would tell me I did the right thing. And, So cool to see that many FEI riders are wearing their helmets because of Courtney.
__________________

meupatdoes
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:13 AM
I read on dressagedaily.com that riders at the derby have been wearing green ribbons in support of Courtney. I would much rather see them wearing helmets instead!

I completely agree with this.
Not to be a cynical a$$ or anything, and perhaps this is a character failing on my part, but I have to admit the green ribbon/top hat combination elicited an OH PULEEZ :rolleyes: from me.

Extra props to Jackie Brooks for a response that actually gets it.

Gryhrs
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:21 AM
Courtney King-Dye's accident really got me thinking... I am an FEI dressage rider who never wears a helmet unless I get on a horse that I think may dump me. Then, I put on this flimsy turtleshell cheapo helmet that feels like a bicycle helmet. I never wear a helmet on my own FEI horse. Well, I bought a new helmet yesterday and plan to wear it everytime I get on a horse for schooling and competing. I do reserve the right to wear my top hat in the arena whe appropriate though.
I have a young horse that will be started this year also. I wanted something that was well made, and attractive. I also can afford only one helmet so wanted something to school in that is nice enough to wear when I show my young horse in recognized dressage shows. I bought a Charles Owens Wellington Classic and it actually looks good on me. (I know, I'm not a particularly vain person, but have a hat-hair thing, and look good in a top hat, but not a helmet).

I love this helmet. It is safe, fits like a glove and will look great schooling or in the competition arena. It is velvet with a flesh colored leather harness. I went to Bit of Britain as they are local. They cater to eventers, so I knew that I would get expert help from a qualified person. The helmet was $239.99, but well worth the price and certainly not the most expensive helmet out there!

If there is anything positive that comes of Courtney's accident (and I know and pray that she will make a full recovery!) it is that her accident made me think long and hard and go buy a good helmet and WEAR it. I hope that there are others out there who, like me, may be spared a head injury because they too were moved to buy/wear a helmet now. That said, I in no way judge someone who doesn't choose to wear one. I believe that if Courtney woke up at this moment she would tell me I did the right thing. And, So cool to see that many FEI riders are wearing their helmets because of Courtney.
__________________

Thank God! A note of sanity and purpose. Thank you.

sisu27
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:25 AM
WRT to those who don't want to wear them and or continue to deny their own mortality, I have two thoughts:
1. Darwin
2. As long as I don't have to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

THIS.

blackhorsegirl
Mar. 7, 2010, 10:52 AM
Having survived a serious head injury from riding as a teen (I was in a coma for 4 days), I don't get in the saddle without a helmet. As for judging those who choose not to wear a helmet:

We don't have to judge them. They've done that to themselves by selecting the path they walk. I've had this conversation with my trainer. I've told her I'm not her mother but she is the mother of 3 small children. Why would she put herself at such risk? There was really no answer

ise@ssl
Mar. 7, 2010, 11:02 AM
Just wanted to point out that when someone has had a traumatic head injury they are advised by physicians to make sure they DO wear a helmet in the future. Subsequent head injuries - even minor can be serious if not fatal without protection. It's not like have a broken arm and it heals and that's that. Trauma to the brain itself is much much more serious.

BestHorses
Mar. 7, 2010, 12:26 PM
Just left the derby and was moved to tears to see olympian ,Jackie Brooks, wearing her helmet on grand prix cdi, bravo!

That's great! I'm impressed some are "getting it" and wearing a helmet and not just a green ribbon.

Didn't GPA sponsor some famous jumper riders when their helmets first came out? After that everyone wanted a new stripe helmet. I think this would be a great opportunity for a helmet company to sponsor some of the big dressage riders so that others will want to emulate them. It's a chance for some company to own the dressage market. Hint hint.

Horseymama
Mar. 7, 2010, 12:43 PM
My husband told me that he read a study that said that 70 percent of all accidents that resulted in head injuries occurred while riding at the walk or trot. In other words: when you least expect it.

I wear a helmet every ride, every time. I have a small head and I never thought it looks nice on me, but I DON'T CARE. Hopefully someday I will ride at FEI level. I will not be wearing a top hat, I don't care how good it looks.

I have a son, a husband, my horses, dogs, cat, etc. They need me. You never know when you are going to die, but why take unnecessary risks just because it's "popular" or "fashionable?" I have never understood why dressage riders do not wear helmets, to me it is truly bizarre.

It's such a simple and easy precaution to take. There is no excuse.

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:03 PM
I was reading the threads on Ricardo Amaya, a California dressage rider who fell off a 4 year old horse he was schooling and died from a TBI. Ricardo had a wife and young children. But he died doing what he loved most--riding without a helmet.

It was on the eventing forum from that I came across this post from Poltroon:


"Look at how quickly GPAs took off in hunterland. I mean, here you have a group that was very concerned about the look, terribly upset about even adding a harness, fought ASTM standards for years.... and then in about a two year period, GPA paid a bunch of top riders to wear their very expensive helmets, and suddenly they were the new in-thing even in the hunter and equitation rings. Today you'll come across young posters wondering if it would be OK to wear a plain velvet ASTM helmet, instead of the "traditional" GPA, or if they'll be penalized!

If Anky started wearing a helmet, everyone would be within 5 years. I swear it."

I think that is a fantastic idea.:yes::yes::yes:

meupatdoes
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:19 PM
I was reading the threads on Ricardo Amaya, a California dressage rider who fell off a 4 year old horse he was schooling and died from a TBI. Ricardo had a wife and young children. But he died doing what he loved most--riding without a helmet.

It was on the eventing forum from that I came across this post from Poltroon:


"Look at how quickly GPAs took off in hunterland. I mean, here you have a group that was very concerned about the look, terribly upset about even adding a harness, fought ASTM standards for years.... and then in about a two year period, GPA paid a bunch of top riders to wear their very expensive helmets, and suddenly they were the new in-thing even in the hunter and equitation rings. Today you'll come across young posters wondering if it would be OK to wear a plain velvet ASTM helmet, instead of the "traditional" GPA, or if they'll be penalized!

If Anky started wearing a helmet, everyone would be within 5 years. I swear it."

I think that is a fantastic idea.:yes::yes::yes:

Unfortunately I think that, with a few exceptions of people who have some sense (Jackie Brooks), people will continue to wear their top hats (which, yes, is absolutely their decision), but will make sure to wear a green ribbon and press their hand emotively to their heart to show how deeply they care...

"TBIs are srz bzns guys. I know what, I'll wear a ribbon!"

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:20 PM
I just scrolled down all the hot topics on the dressage forum, and am shocked, shocked to discover that helmet discussion threads have overtaken Totilas/Rollkur in popularity!

ToN Farm
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:03 PM
If Anky started wearing a helmet, everyone would be within 5 years. I swear it." I don't agree at all. I think that if the vast majority of show riders wear an approved hard helmet, then most others would follow suit. It wouldn't be because they necessarily respect those riders or think helmets are a good idea, but competitive riders do not want to stand out as different in apparel in the ring. That's the way I see it. Keep in mind that even if you get people wearing a helmet at a show, you can't force them to wear helmets at home, where most of the riding is done.

I don't think you can compare the jumping disciplines with dressage. The jumpers always wore a helmet of some kind, so it was not such a big change to put on one that has straps.

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:15 PM
I don't think you can compare the jumping disciplines with dressage. The jumpers always wore a helmet of some kind, so it was not such a big change to put on one that has straps.

That is true only in the ring, and the old hunt caps offered very little protection. But in the schooling areas and at home - frequently no helmets.

The USEF and the FEI should simply make helmets mandatory. I really cannot believe that anyone running a horse show would permit participants to compete without one, but in any event the national and international federations should take the lead. There really is no excuse for it (and yes, I look dorky in a helmet, too, I am sure).

ciscolark
Mar. 7, 2010, 02:59 PM
An accident can happen to anyone. My mother insisted that I wear a helmet as a child, even when no one else was. It saved my life. I got really lucky. I now believe in wearing a helmet every ride, every time. Wearing a helmet gives me more confidence in that I feel safer, and it gives my family peace of mind. My riding instructor always wears a helmet as well, which is something I admire about her.

I have had a family member die of a non-riding related brain injury. It is not something to wish on anyone. My highly accomplished riding mentor also passed away last year following a fall. He was not wearing a helmet. I don't know that a helmet would have saved his life, but I certainly do wish that he was still here today and I know my saddness following his passing is felt by many.

I would support legislation to require helmets at shows (regardless of discipline)... lots of accidents happen there and many disciplines/sports have similar requirements. I require others to wear properly fitted helmets when riding my horses. I believe that people should have the right to choose what they do on their own property with their own horses However, I would not wish such an injury on any family and also realize that insurance companies and hospitals...and sometimes (but not as often) families end up bearing the financial brunt of such an accident which is often so large that the individual who had the accident would not have had the funds to pay for the hospital and aftercare bills.

I want everyone who falls to get up and walk away. I love riding, realize it is risky, and do what I can to mitigate the risk by training my horses carefully and wearing a helmet. I wouldn't force my views on anyone else, but if I had people that I loved and cared about who did not wear helmets, I would defniitely mention my concern.

raff
Mar. 7, 2010, 05:14 PM
http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=5307
Something positive.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 7, 2010, 05:28 PM
Yes. The Article did note something that I have been contacted previously about


Even so, one horse breeder pointed out that photos of helmet-wearing riders of stallions in breeding advertisements, for example, would send a message that the horse is difficult and could adversely affect breedings.

My stallions have always been ridden in helmets, and I have definitely had interested breeders email with their concern of the temperaments because of this. Very sad that any stallion owner would feel pressured to have a rider not wear a helmet for photos or video for advertising. For me, my trainers simply will not get on a horse without one, so it is not something I think about.