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View Full Version : A Positive Thread! Who here is now committed to wearing a helmet?



Maude
Mar. 8, 2010, 07:31 PM
I started this thread because of Courtney's injury/accident. Her accident may save my life someday. I went out and purchased a Charles Owen helmet last weekend and I am commited to wear it for myself, my family and friends, and for Courtney. This thread is only for those who were moved to do the same as I. Please, no anti/pro helmet discussion. I just would like to know who else out there was so moved by Courtney's accident that they too will commit to wearing a helmet every time they sit on a horse. This is a positive thread. When Courtney wakes up I hope she will see how many people were affected by her injury and chose to wear a helmet from now on. For those who weren't, this is not about you or your decision, so please do not take offense.

quietann
Mar. 8, 2010, 07:39 PM
I always have been, and always will be. In fact, at my old trainer's place, I was one of the few who did, and when I showed up for a lesson without one, my trainer asked me where it was, even though she never wore one! (It was winter, I had a hat on, and for some reason my brain registers anything on my head as a helmet, unless I consciously take the step to put a helmet on. The best time for me is right before bridling.)

So is there anyone out there who is NEWLY committed to wearing a helmet?

ShannonLee
Mar. 8, 2010, 08:34 PM
OK, I am a professional who has no problem riding with a helmet when I think there is any risk/young horse etc. But until this weekend I have never said "every ride". Now I do. I rode at the Derby this weekend, and rode in a helmet when I was schooling. Although I admit I did warm up for the actual show ring in a top hat. Don't know if I can change that.

Creaghgal
Mar. 8, 2010, 08:46 PM
Please, no anti/pro helmet discussion.

Good luck with that - hope it works out fur ya.

[edit]

meupatdoes
Mar. 8, 2010, 08:52 PM
Good luck with that - hope it works out fur ya.

Troll.
What is the matter with you?

Maude is not a troll.
She posted a day or two ago about her decision in the helmet thread, and now has made a post about it for other people to share their experiences.

Sheesh.

Creaghgal
Mar. 8, 2010, 09:24 PM
What is the matter with you?
Sheesh.


I call 'em like I see 'em, is all... I know nothing of your Maude...

I'm sorry, but the fact that a near death experience is what it takes for some knuckleheads to 'come around' to slapping a helmet on their precious heads/hairstyle is quite beyond me.

2tempe
Mar. 8, 2010, 09:29 PM
I know two trainers who have said they will now always wear their helmets. Its too early to tell if this will be a lasting decision, but it is certainly sending more than a few people in the direction of erring on the side of safety.

rebecca yount
Mar. 8, 2010, 09:43 PM
ShannonLee, how is "warming up for the actual show ring" following "every ride"?

Every ride, to me, means wearing an approved helmet every time you ride any horse, any place. Including in the ring.

It's your own decision what to do, but you are not being logical in what you wrote and I am confused.

My teacher decided, starting Thursday, to wear an approved helmet every time she rides. I already do that and have for years.

asterix
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:00 PM
OK, Although I admit I did warm up for the actual show ring in a top hat. Don't know if I can change that.

Um, yes, you can.

Pommederue
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:33 PM
I call 'em like I see 'em, is all... I know nothing of your Maude...

I'm sorry, but the fact that a near death experience is what it takes for some knuckleheads to 'come around' to slapping a helmet on their precious heads/hairstyle is quite beyond me.

Here's one knucklehead who will wear a helmet from now on:D

ShannonLee
Mar. 9, 2010, 07:53 AM
Just bein' honest - perhaps not completely logical.....Doing better than before!

Maude
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:11 AM
Well I guess that makes me a knucklehead too. I always wore a helmet when I sat on something young or silly, but never wore a helmet on my PSG horse, even hacking in Gettysburg. A freak accident like Courtney's was my wake up call. No trolling. I'm as honest and genuine as they get and always wear my heart on my sleeve so I'm told by friends and family. I think there are plenty of others who got "the wake up call" too. That's what this thread is about. Period.

dghunter
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:19 AM
I used to not wear a helmet (that whole young and invincible thing) but I have been for awhile. However, as soon I was done and just cooling out I would always unbuckle it and I won't be doing that anymore :no: Hearing some of the statistics about how many injuries happen at the walk because you're not paying attention as much makes me want to keep that thing buckled.

Noplainjane
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:20 AM
It took my own near death experience(s) that got me into every ride helmet habit. Yep it took more than one incident of wondering why I was so lucky to walk away. It also helps that at my current barn there is a big helmet friendly culture.

butlerfamilyzoo
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:20 AM
I have always wore a helmet. BUT, my husband refused. It's just not "manly" enough. I know the other guys on trail rides give him weird looks with one, and he feels self concious. He only trail rides. We argue about it all the time. I have been updating him daily on Courtney, commenting about how her family must feel and what would he do if something like that happened to me... You know what he actually asked?! "Hey, pass me that Dover catolog, there's gotta be a non-fugly, man type helmet in there..."

Now THAT is a huge accomplishment! Courtney did something that i couldnt do for 10yrs! And he's seen me come off on my head, get kicked in the head, plowed over, a horse rear and fall on me... Yet an olymian gets put in a coma and he decides he'll wear one... MEN!

I'm not complaining though, i said not one word, silently handed him the catolog and tried not to gloat. :)

Maude
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:36 AM
butlerfamilyzoo, That is my point also. Courtney's injury has touched me in a way that no one else's has. I'm not sure why. Maybe because she has always had my utmost respect and admiration.

wildlifer
Mar. 9, 2010, 09:05 AM
I have always worn a helmet, no exceptions. But my BO insisted on flatting her horse without a helmet, only wore one when jumping. Even though the horse can get quite balled up and start to half rear when he gets upset during the dressage phase. After I told her about Courtney's accident, she has finally consented to put that helmet on ALL THE TIME. Perhaps it helps that I told if she didn't this time, I would chase her around the arena with a stick... ;-P But I am very excited about her finally relenting, she is a generous person and a good rider, I would hate to lose her to a stupid preventable accident.

CFFarm
Mar. 9, 2010, 09:11 AM
I always have, always will. It gets to be like your seatbelt. You start to feel weird without it.

Any doubts? This article says it all:
http://www.medpie.com/people/sports/olympic-equestrian-courtney-king-dye-in-coma-0308104.html

myvanya
Mar. 9, 2010, 09:49 AM
Not a new decision for me since mine saved my life once already, but I will always wear a helmet. I also try to make sure my helmet is under 2 or 3 years old and if I fall and it hits the ground it gets replaced. This was a tragic accident but hopefully more people will be willing to be safe now.

(though I do admit I have occasionally slipped up and sat on my old guy without one I try very hard to always have one handy so that doesn't happen...)

Rye
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:04 AM
It's nice to see something positive come out of her accident. Big kudos to those of you who are now shopping for your lid! Once you find one that works for you and you get into the groove of always having it on, you'll never think twice about it again.

As a jumper rider, I always wear my helmet, but was always shocked to see some of the upper level dressage riders at my barn go without one, they are on some fantastically powerful horses that sometimes blow up. And when they do blow....wow-wee!

Hopefully we'll see more helmet converts and that Courtney recovers to see that her accident (while incredibly unfortunate) has had some positive impact on rider safety!

scribbles
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:21 AM
I am an every ride, every time type person, since I was 15. I sat on my friends pony (12.2hh) out in the field in a halter and leadrope with no helmet (this was a quiet pony, and the only time I have ever been on a horse without a helmet) The horses in the field next to her saw a boogie man, and I ended up with a severe concussion, and some short term memory probelms.

ALSO, when I say every ride, every time... that means in the SHOW RING TOO. You can come off or have an accident just as easily there. I dont care, when I ever show grand prix dressage I will still wear my helmet even if I am the only one. (I am close to the only one at the level I was riding with my UL horse last year before he got hurt)

dr j
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:25 AM
I grew up not wearing a helmet except in the show ring ( and did those even count? It was a hunt cap!). This continued until I had a child that wanted to ride. Modeling behavior is so important so everyone got helmets. Since then I have worn every ride. I came from the QH culture so it was a big step for me!

Just a little side story..... one of those Karma things........ because of my profession I often get horsey magazines to which I do not subscribe. I do enjoy reading them. A western magazine I was getting several years ago had a raging helmet debate. I really didn't pay much attention until one letter to the editor sent me over the edge. A woman my own age writing about how well mounted she and her children were and what good riders they were and basically, "they" didn't fall off. I steamed about it all the way into my office one morning. As I walked in I told my receptionist how the letter in this silly magazine had already got my panties in a wad and it was only 8 am! I had thought I would write back but figured after I cooled down I could let it pass without firing off an angry response.......

Well my receptionist's response sealed the deal. She said "the first funeral I ever went to was for my friend in 8th grade. She was riding her horse and she was going through the woods and got hit it the head by a tree branch."

Whoa. I fired off the email letter it was printed - Ms Dye's accident correctly points out that the best riders and horses can have tragic accidents. It's just prudent to protect your most valuable asset .

suzier444
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:37 AM
I always wore a "helmet," but it was the helmet I bought in about 1996, had been through one major fall, and was too big to begin with. This weekend, I purchased a brand-new, properly-fitting Charles Owen. So I'm not a convert to helmet-wearing, but I AM a convert to taking the fit and condition of the helmet seriously.

paddles
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:11 AM
A few years back my friend and mentor in one of our regular calls made a point to make me promise to always wear a helmet. He had just finished a piece for The Chronicle on safety and thought that it wouldn't hurt to underscore the helmet point with me.

Having retired from what some consider a risky profession and moved to "peaceful valley" in Idaho, I had become a little complacent with regard to my helmet. His reminder began a habit that I will not break. This mishap should serve as a reminder that none of us can afford to cut corners when it comes to safety.

paintlady
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:20 AM
I always have, always will. It gets to be like your seatbelt. You start to feel weird without it.


Ditto.

I also had my horse's legs slip out from under me while riding like Courtney King-Dye. It was one of those freak accidents - horse wasn't misbehaving at all. The difference was that I had my helmet on.

AnotherRound
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:35 AM
Well, I always have, even as a kid back in the 60's, I just recently found my dad's slides of me on Suds, there I am in a t shirt and bell bottoms with my long blond hair NOT in a pony tail or pulled back in anyway, but my helmet on. On a Saturday just fooling around at the barn. There I am sitting on Pone Pone, the 12 hand chincoteague pony, determined to train her her to be a ponyhunter which did NOT dump my little sister in front of every other fence in such a way that the saddle slid down the neck so she could step back out of it, posing for a pic, with my helmet on.

I remember coming off my OTTB 20 miles from home in a hayfield when she was pulling her dirty bucks, at a full gallop, how she would pull her head down, and her heels would kick up so far over her head I thought she would cartwheel fer shur. I remember diving for the ground, hands over my head (I was also a competative diver) thinking "tuck your head and roll or you will break your neck" so I did and hit the brim of my helmet (which stayed on, no harness) on the ground, and the back of it cut into the back of my neck. But the mare's hoof grazed the helmet and took a slick of the velvet off. But I lived. Took an hour and half to catch her, staying just out of snatching range of me trudging after her while she hoovered the green hay down, but I lived, remounted and rode home.

I rode alone, 20 miles distant through the woods, but I wore my helmet.

Did all my barnwork barefoot, but wore a helmet riding. Mare stepped on my left foot, barefoot, and leeeaaaannned on it, and twisted her hoof as I pushed her off, and yes, she was shod, and yes today the nerves are damaged in the top of my left foot, but I wore my helmet.

I remember the discussions about motorcycle dudes wearing or not wearing helmets back in the 60's, how some of them said wearing a helmet would snap your neck in an accident. But my dad was a neurologist. The patients he saw in the hospital with traumatic brain injury fueled our dinner discussions, and I knew enough of the probability that the helmet would protect me over hurt me to know that it would just be the one time I didn't wear it that I would get hurt.

So I wore my helmet, everytime I got on a horse. Still do, of course.

So that's my story.

Dressage_Julie
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:39 AM
I haven't worn a helmet since 1992...I am shopping for one now and do plan to wear it with a green ribbon for Courtney.

Phaxxton
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:43 AM
It wasn't Courtney's accident that did it for me, but the tragic death of a teenager who used to post here years ago that did it for me.

When her mom came onto to CoTH to inform us that her beautiful, 16 year old daughter died of a head injury she suffered in a freak accident while mounting her very trustworthy horse, she pleaded with everyone to PLEASE wear a helmet every ride. Her daughter normally wore a helmet, and no one is quite sure why she didn't have one on when she went to mount he horse that day.

The mom and I exchanged PMs and I promised her I would never, EVER so much as sit on any horse without a helmet again. To this day, years later, I have kept my word.

Prior to that, I wore a helmet 99% of the time. I would, however, occasionally hop on my trustworthy paint without one to amble around the property or would occasionally flat without one. I never did that again. I never, ever sat on another horse without a properly fitting helmet on my head.

I wish I could find that thread again to bump or copy and paste. That mother's words were so moving - that she sought to help save others the pain she was going through in her time of pain and grieving was unbelievable to me.

I wish I could remember the screen name, too, but it's been a long while (4-5 years at least, possibly longer).

At any rate, that was my lightbulb moment. So if I ever make it to "top hat" status, I will still be wearing my lovely helmet at shows -- and any other time I ride. :yes: And I also replace my helmet regularly - every 3 years or every fall, even if I don't think it needs replacing. It's not a chance I'm willing to take.

AnotherRound
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:46 AM
Rye said

... upper level dressage riders at my barn go without one, they are on some fantastically powerful horses that sometimes blow up. And when they do blow....wow-wee!

Ain't it the truth, I had a big bucker, OTTB mare 17 hands, all the fun that goes with a oversexed mare who hasn't been laid in a loooong time, sorry, but I have been watching my trainer's vids of her lessons, and she's been lessoning at some dressage barns with advanced riders and biiiiiggg horses, and in the background, horses warming up for their lesson next, wowzer! instant, out of no where, POW! Twists, kick, handstand, and then they just settle like nothing. Women just sitting on them like they were doing an upward transition. then another one, WHAP! Big, lots of power, usually I see smaller horses, like QH or paints or something act out a little. Then, in the vid, my trainer's horse did it - he saw the others and thought it was ok - plus, they had some kind of pot bellied pig there which wandered around, and her horse was out of his gourd about it. He's some kind of 17.3 warmblood something or other. Those are lots of horse to be acting out! I sure would want my helmet!

CatOnLap
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:53 AM
There but for the grace of God...

in 2001, I was schooling a big warmblood who had a nasty habit of dropping his shoulder in canter and switching direction in a heartbeat, usually leaving me grabbing mane, hanging off one side of the saddle and wondering what the h3!! just happened. I finally figured the trick out, and was able to correct it in the moment, which caused the horse to cross his front legs with the correction and go down face first, throwing me off forwards and then landing with my head bonking a solid 4 inch diameter wood jump pole that was part of the dressage surrounds. Very similar accident to Courtney's.

Her accident is a timely reminder of what I was already doing then- every ride- and it saved my life that day. The helmet, complete with a saggital crack from front to back, hangs on my barn wall. Emblazoned across the crack with felt pen is the message "Wear your helmet- July 7, 2001- no headache".

mbarrett
Mar. 9, 2010, 12:11 PM
I always were a helmet when I ride. I feel naked without one!

I always wear my clunky eventing skull cap with my colored satin cover on it. I can switch the covers to suit my fancy. I even have a nice CO Hampton I wear for "good."

I could care less what people think of me. If they think I look stupid in a helmet, I don't care. I think pretty highly of my head.

kkj
Mar. 9, 2010, 12:21 PM
Was a time when I would ride explosive horses or jump a 4' course without a helmet. But I grew up and learned. I knew 4 people who died in motorcycle accidents, two who died of head injuries riding without a helmet, one very good friend who spent a long stretch unconscious after doing a face plant skiing without a helmet and a cousin who was in a coma for 21/2 months from a mountain bike accident without a helmet. So now I wear a helmet when I ride, ski, bike and I pretty much would never get on a motorcycle. I may die in a car crash or fall down the stairs but I am not going to go out from a head injury in a sport where a simple little helmet could prevent it.

Go Fish
Mar. 9, 2010, 12:25 PM
USEF--it's time to change the "look" of FEI/CDI...you want to ride in recognized competition? Wear a helmet. This is a sport and should be treated as such...with safety requirements at every level.

That's it in a nutshell.

The H/J riders didn't exactly come to the table without kicking and screaming. Once safety helmets were required, everyone got on board. Seeing someone WITHOUT a helmet these days is the exception, even at home.

It can be done...

Mozart
Mar. 9, 2010, 12:43 PM
Absolutely. It just takes a few BNT's to start wearing them all the time and in lieu of top hats and believe you me, things will change.

H/J's first laughted at helmets wiht harnesses, then the ASTM helmets, then the GPA's.

Nobody laughs at them now.

BTW, just got an e-mail from my friend who got a concussion a few weeks ago when her horse's back legs got tangled and slid out from under him and the horse fell on top of her. Knocked out cold for five minutes, eyeballs rolled up in her head, ambulance trip to the hospital. Cracked ribs.

Thank God above (and I'm an atheist ;)) she was wearing her helmet so that I am exchanging e-mails with her three weeks after such a serious injury.

Great idea for a thread Maude!

hollynanne
Mar. 9, 2010, 12:57 PM
Courtney's accident is so sad. I'm an always/everytime girl. I can get myself hurt just walking to the barn, so it would be stupid of me to not wear a helmet while riding.

Hubby is a brat when it comes to helmets. If he's not jumping, he doesn't want to wear one. We moved out here to the PNW and had my mare shipped out (hubby's been catch-riding and leasing for several years). New rule- my farm, my mare, my rules... you WILL wear a helmet or you WON'T be riding.

He p!ssed and moaned when he went schooling for the first time this weekend, but he did it. Head injury = career end in military aviation (I like the money! ;) ) Plus, I like him around, with his brains in his head...

Nojacketrequired
Mar. 9, 2010, 01:13 PM
I always wear a helmet when I ride. When I drive horses too, for that matter.

One thing that makes me cringe however, is to see kids getting their horses ready bare-headed. If you've got a little 10 year old, and her horse decides to kick out for whatever reason while she's getting him ready for her lesson....that kick may be at about head height.
I've seen it happen. The kid did not do well. If she had had a helmet on?

Just food for thought.

NJR

Jane Savoie
Mar. 9, 2010, 01:14 PM
I've been wearing a helmet since a dear friend had a very bad head injury about 15 years ago. She's never been quite the same.

When I first wore it at shows, I'd get a lot of weird looks. I didn't care. Now people are used to seeing me in a helmet. I'd feel "naked" without it.

Melyni
Mar. 9, 2010, 01:26 PM
I've been wearing a helmet since a dear friend had a very bad head injury about 15 years ago. She's never been quite the same.

When I first wore it at shows, I'd get a lot of weird looks. I didn't care. Now people are used to seeing me in a helmet. I'd feel "naked" without it.

Or do you use a top hat.

I have to admit that I am pretty torn. I get to ride PSG for the for the first time this year.
And I was so looking forward to wearing my nice new top hat. BUT now....

Looks like I need to go and buy a GPA and wear that with the tailcoat.

I don't like the look of the top hat covers for helmets at all, so it's down to a GPA or a top hat.
Maybe I could find a GPA with stripe matching the collar of the tailcoat, now there's a thought.
MW

sporthorsept
Mar. 9, 2010, 01:39 PM
Haven't ridden without one since 1996 - was the "always when jumping" type before then. Came off a young horse while wearing one - pretty bad fall backwards with head as point of impact..remember thinking "Don't do a Christopher Reeve" as I blacked out.

Apparently I combat crawled for 30 feet after being still for 8 seconds or so, "came to" with dirt in my mouth cursing a blue streak. Got up but recognized I wasn't in a good state to persue any training.

Didn't really think about the helmet much until I picked it up and my thumb broke through the foam layer to reveal a huge area had been flattened to paper thinness from the outside to the inside. That's really dense foam. Flattened. To paper thin level. Against my skull. Wow.

That made me a whole lot more aware of the work that helmet had done. I still had short term memory challenges, auditory processing issues, all in all the longest I'd been off a horse - took about 6 weeks before I started riding cautiously. With a new helmet. Every time, every ride.

Because of this incident, and subsequently seeing the every time every ride video, our facility has been 100% helmet use since then. My mom, a past USET rider, had a fall 11/08 with a young horse that sounds a lot like what happened to Courtney KD, stayed in the tack all the way down. Out for 10 minutes or so, airlifted to trauma center, 4 broken ribs and a small bleed in the brain. Wearing a helmet. Back in the GP arena by 5/09. Thank you helmet.

Hope this event sways a lot of folks into prudent protection.

Anne

PS: Show in a short coat with helmet - only had one FEI judge comment that he'd like to see the tails at FEI, no concern about the helmet.

Melyni
Mar. 9, 2010, 04:40 PM
Anne

PS: Show in a short coat with helmet - only had one FEI judge comment that he'd like to see the tails at FEI, no concern about the helmet.

Yeah but half the excitement of showing FEI is the chance to wear that coat! ANd now no top hat or take a risk.

Bummer!
MW

nomoregrays
Mar. 9, 2010, 06:29 PM
One thing that makes me cringe however, is to see kids getting their horses ready bare-headed. If you've got a little 10 year old, and her horse decides to kick out for whatever reason while she's getting him ready for her lesson....that kick may be at about head height.

NJR

I was thinking about this as I cleaned my gelding's sheath this afternoon. If he decided to object, he might just hit me in the head.

Chris

webmistress32
Mar. 9, 2010, 06:31 PM
let's see, how can I count the ways?

cantering full force into a huge tree branch with my head while looking back at my friends? check.

falling off sideways when my surefooted App slipped in the wet grass and fell down, hitting the side of my head? check. (also shattered my foot...)

lawn dart into the arena dirt after a largish X on my young sport horse, landing right on the BACK of my head? check.

needing to bail off a full force galloping 2yo Arabian horse heading into the side of the barn, landing??? don't know where? check. (broke 5 ribs...)

needing to bail off a full force galloping 8yo Thoroughbred heading down a dirt road and onto the paved road T intersection? landing on my shoulder, broke my sunglasses into bits but not my helmeted head! check. (some bad bruises, I won't say where!!)

I have so many!! yikes!! thank God for helmets or I would surely either be a vegetable or dead by now. :-)

EVERY RIDE. EVERY TIME!!!

JoanR
Mar. 9, 2010, 06:35 PM
Several of my horses are Clydesdales, and I always ride in a helmet. The top hat issue will never be an issue for me, as my aspirations do not include high level dressage (hench the Clydesdales!). I keep one of my horses at a very busy stable, and I have just given up on mentioning the "helmet issue" to the multitude of people who decline to wear them UNLESS it is one of my friends who usually wears one because sometimes they just forget to put it on! I hope this recent incident will encourage others to "buck the trend" and put on a helmet, even if they are riding a high level test. It is just really a shame that it takes something of this nature to make people realize they CAN get hurt!

CatOnLap
Mar. 9, 2010, 09:27 PM
http://www.smartpakequine.com/images/teamsmartpak/Jane_Savoie.jpg


Do you wear it with your shadbelly?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Savoie
I've been wearing a helmet since a dear friend had a very bad head injury about 15 years ago. She's never been quite the same.

When I first wore it at shows, I'd get a lot of weird looks. I didn't care. Now people are used to seeing me in a helmet. I'd feel "naked" without it.
:Close Quote.

Or do you use a top hat.


apt question. Google images shows many more pics without a helmet than with one. Maybe all those pics are ancient.

Jane Savoie
Mar. 9, 2010, 09:53 PM
I've worn a helmet every day for schooling for the past 15 years.

I have, however, competed in a top hat. Obviously, I need to rethink that.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:14 PM
I learned riding as an adult, and perhaps because of that I have been lacking that confidence that I'll stay always on or will never get hurt. So I do ride in my helmet. When I showed up wearing my helmet for my first lesson with my newly leased schoolmaster to a trainer who has known this horse for the past 13 years and that she is basically as safe to ride as a horse will get, he commented on me "showing up with all the safety gear". Told him I needed my brain to pay for his lessons. He never made that comment again, and I still wear my helmet.

ctbatlanta
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:28 PM
I have picture jumping 4 foot oxer - no helmet! I have picture of X-C jump - hunt cap & no vest! Both were in the 70s! When I returned to riding after being away for 30+ years I put on a helmet and I put one on every time so I am an example to my daughter who rides. We have both replaced helmets that have been damaged!

I did get knocked out cold once at the barn but I was not on or near a horse - a small dog flipped me in the air! Accidents happen! Saddle, bridle, boots, gloves, helmet, spurs - it is just another piece of tack needed to ride. Why take a chance!?!

poltroon
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:54 PM
I am so pleased to see more professionals and upper level riders committing to helmets.

JRG
Mar. 10, 2010, 05:21 AM
I too grew up wearing the hunt cap. I only stated wearing an approved helmet about 10 years ago, when the "girls" at the barn told me to get with it and wear the helmet dejour "GPA". Since then, three horses later and three bad lawn dart experiences, I am thankful to those girls for making me a convert. Since then I am a Charles Owen fan, they fit my shape of head better.

But I have been at a crossroad. I will be showing 4th is year and have my eye on PSG, I have a derby (which I have never warn) and a top hat sitting in my closet (also never warn by me). When I dream about riding FEI, I imagine myself in a top hat riding down center line.

My quandry, when I ride down center line...if I am in a helmet will I look like "an Ammy" to the judge?....will it matter?...will I stand out? I am not a fan of standing out, I like to blend.

It is a very real thought for me. I lean toward wearing it anyway, after all it is my brain. I only hope I won't be the only one out there next year.

caddym
Mar. 10, 2010, 06:05 AM
I very very rarely wear a helmet unless required - just the way I grew up only wore a helmet for jumping or x country schools.

I'm an MD, I know all about head injuries

But I agree with the OP that Courtney's accident has made an impact on me.

So I am wearing a helmet now. I have no problem wearing my GPA with a short coat. I'll be thinking about what I want to wear with the shadbelly. I have worn the GPA with the shad, but only because it was pouring down rain, the pictures looked really good - sort of classy.

Jane Savoie
Mar. 10, 2010, 07:24 AM
JRG,
Several top professionals including Ashley Holzner and Jackie Brooks competed at the Derby in their helmets at FEI levels last week.

My husband told me there were many others but I was only there 1/2 day so can't give you names.

Event4Life
Mar. 10, 2010, 07:46 AM
I have never not worn a helmet. The first barn I ever rode at required us to wear helmets at ALL TIMES, on and off the horse. Even if we were just going in the field to say hello.

One of my major concerns about working out west this summer was not being allowed to wear a helmet. Luckily, I found the ONLY ranch out west that REQUIRES EVERY SINGLE GUEST/WRANGLER to wear a helmet at all times while mounted. A lot of ranches offer helmets as an option, but not all require them. Sure, it ruins the ambience of the pictures and all that, but does that mean anything compared to a lost life/serious head injury? Not in my book.

I was responsible for fitting helmets on guests who didn't have their own. We had some complaints, but once they realised everyone, even wranglers, wore them they stopped complaining. A well known tack catalogue sponsors the ranch and provided some free helmets.

Trakehner
Mar. 10, 2010, 07:54 AM
Helmets...I hate em'...but, my wife had a terrible riding accident (no helmet) that was pretty close to Courtney's accident (not going to live...will live but won't wake up...will wake up but what will be inside...4 months in-patient rehab and a miracle recovery). At that point, I figured we'd used all her luck and mine too! I don't have the luxury any more not to wear a helmet. So I got an Aero something or other GPA helmet...most comfortable one I ever wore. Still hate em'.

Couture TB
Mar. 10, 2010, 08:06 AM
I would never let my husband get on a horse without a helmet. I also have the smaller kids wear them when they are grooming the horse while they are learning how to do things the right way (hey their heads are kicking height). I'd like to say I always wear a helmet, but there are times I have not. So I would say I wear one 90% of the time. I hardly ever wore one until after a really bad fall the doctor was very concerned about swelling and how bad my concussion was. Plus there are a handful of times I know whering a helmet saved my life

(please forgive my spelling, it is a bit off right now do to my illness, and that illness is not the horse addiction that I have!)

monstrpony
Mar. 10, 2010, 08:38 AM
I have worn the GPA with the shad, but only because it was pouring down rain, the pictures looked really good - sort of classy.

I have to admit, I do think it has a classy look. Honors both the traditional formality and the athleticism.

I'm an every time, every ride sort of girl, have been for years. I had a draft cross who was the epitome of clumsy (not his fault, undiagnosed EPSM most of his working years) and did the tangled-feet thing a couple of times. I remember thinking, after those falls, that they really do slap the rider on the ground, and, of course, the lash on the end of the whip is the rider's head. One thinks that if you fall with the horse, it should be a more gentle landing than if you get launched, but once they nose-plant, they roll pretty quickly and that's what gets you.

ChocoMare
Mar. 10, 2010, 08:49 AM
Going airborne off a 17.3 Percheron and hitting rock-hard Georgia clay made me teary-eyed grateful that a helmet is always on my head and has been so since I was 12.

Sure, I have had plenty of chucks, lawndarts and body-to-ground collisions before. But this one? Well, let's just say that the 1/4" dent in my IRH Skull Cap was easier to view in my hands, rather than via X-ray in the ICU in a neurologist's hands.

I loff my new IRH XR9 :D

Looks and "fitting in" take 10th place behind a sound skull ;)

TimelyImpulse
Mar. 10, 2010, 08:57 AM
http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/top_hat_helmet_022210/

Here. No excuses. You can wear a top hat cover on you helmet. Protect your style and your noggin.

cyberbay
Mar. 10, 2010, 09:05 AM
Just as important, please, is that ASTM/SEI helmets are still in need of improvement. Do your research and find the helmet that is the best-performing helmet -- do not use the popularity method. I have been told the helmet so popular in the h/j world has some unprotected areas in it -- may be wrong on this, 'though -- so just do your research and learn everything you can about them. O'wise, it's the same as riding without a helmet, IOW, just following what everyone else is doing...

Helmets don't protect a lot of things, and the neck still remains vulnerable. Just be realistic about what today's helmets can do, and stay abreast of the research.

pday09
Mar. 10, 2010, 09:48 AM
I have always been "required" to wear one, and have since I was learning to ride at summer camp where it was mandatory, even on the ground. I've had a few irresponsible "the barn manager isn't here and I'm just schooling on the flat" moments when I decided not to wear one, but Courtney's accident has recommitted me to every time, every ride.

whbar158
Mar. 10, 2010, 09:59 AM
I have always worn an approved helmet, and I have ridden since I was very small. The people who would only wear one for jumping make me laugh as I can't count the number of times I have come off, but I can count the number of times I have come off jumping and I have been jumping since I was 5 or 6 and I am now 23. In the past few years the most common way for me to come off was for the horse to fall down, one of the times making me land right on my head/shoulder. Now a few times I have sat on my horse without a helmet, and I have walked him around without one (to and from the pasture), and I rarely do it. He is the safest horse I have ever ridden, but that doesn't mean, he could trip/fall spook at something freak. I also wear my seat belt every ride in a car.

llltf3
Mar. 10, 2010, 10:12 AM
Is there a thread explaining what and when Coutneys accident happened? All I know is she fell off her horse and is in a coma. Her website doesnt say much either. I am a 100% helmet wearer, but my friend isnt. She is a dressage rider and HATES helmets. I am trying to get more info on the accident to hopefully open her eyes. What do the doctors say about her recovery? If anyone else knows anything, please let me know. Thanks

Laura

Grataan
Mar. 10, 2010, 10:34 AM
Laura, the "jingles for courtney" thread has a description in the first few pages.

As I understand it, Ms. King-Dye was schooling a horse when rounding a corner the horse's feet flipped out from under it (not misbehaving-just slipped) and the horse fell with her. She was knocked unconscious and suffered a skull fracture and is currently in a coma.

CatOnLap
Mar. 10, 2010, 10:46 AM
Gettin back to making a positive change...

I imagine that the accident rate among great performers, teachers and competitors in the art of dressage is far less per hour than that of the average rider. Accidents like Courtney's, a pro, are reasonably rare, which is why they get noticed.

I love to see top performers in traditional dress sans brainbucket. It beautiful and like ballet. For me, the helmet takes away from that pic. I am not a top performer though and wear my helmet showing, even at FEI level.

Its an individual decision.

Still for young people and inexperienced people and for schooling I think we should be promoting helmet use, and build good habits for life. Part of promotion can be that some riders begin to decrease their risk by wearing protective gear in the Grand Prix ring if they wish. Especially those riders who also teach, promote and influence young people.

JRG
Mar. 10, 2010, 11:48 AM
Thanks Jane, it is positive to know it will be ok. I only wish there were a different reason for the increased awareness.

DownYonder
Mar. 10, 2010, 12:00 PM
Here's a positive change -

A friend told me that the barn manager where she boards has emailed all boarders and told them that everyone must now wear a helmet with fastened chin strap at all times when mounted. They are following this up with a written notice by snail mail, and will also be posting the new policy in several locations around the barn.

One of the trainers at this barn has subsequently emailed all her students and told them that this Saturday's usual 10 AM theory session would be replaced by a shopping trip to the local tack store to purchase helmets. Everyone was instructed to bring their checkbook or credit card, and junior riders were instructed to bring a parent. Many of the riders already have helmets but apparently most of them are several years old and it is time to replace them.

Kudos to that barn owner/manager and to the trainer. :yes:

FatDinah
Mar. 10, 2010, 01:08 PM
CatonLap posted:

I imagine that the accident rate among great performers, teachers and competitors in the art of dressage is far less per hour than that of the average rider. Accidents like Courtney's, a pro, are reasonably rare, which is why they get noticed.

That apparently is not true. I found a medical article that the injuries occur mostly to experienced riders.

Olympic Equestrian Courtney King-Dye in Coma
By Barbara Lock, MD
March 08, 2010
Olympic equestrian and dressage rider Courtney King-Dye has been severely injured while schooling a young horse, according to TheHorse.com. King-Dye reportedly hit her head, suffered a skull fracture, and is in a coma.
While horseback riders make up a small proportion of the population, they account for a disproportionate share of trauma. Almost 2% of patients presenting to an Australian hospital with traumatic injuries were equestrians, according to a study by Ball et al. Of these, 7% died. That's a very high mortality rate. Chest and head injuries accounted for the majority of injuries, and 45% of patients required surgery. Most riders were experienced, according to the study, and many had been injured before.
A study from more than a decade ago by Frankel et al highlights the repeat nature of equestrian injuries, so-called recidivism, and points out the high hospital charges for the care of traumatic equestrian injuries.
Serious injury from horseback riding is very common; researchers have calculated that one injury would be expected for the average rider every 2040 hours of riding.
Our hearts go out to Courtney King-Dye and her loved ones. We wish her a speedy recovery.

RodeoQueen
Mar. 10, 2010, 01:30 PM
Ok, I'm really NOT a Rodeo Queen, but i named myself this after a huge bad fall. I was wearing a helmet. I had just purchased a new, young green horse and made myself Promise that along with the new horse came the new rule: No helmet, no ride. I believe i am alive and able to work and ride my horses today because I had a helmet on.

Another incident occurred over a big half halt. My horse sat down and i slipped off the back - reasonably close to the ground. I had a HUGE concussion, but again, I can feed myself today because i was wearing a Helmet!

Let's all do it - let's wear our helmets and put our pride aside. if we all start wearning them, others will eventually look out of place or just plain ridiculous.


And for the bad hair post helmet? More baseball caps - cool colors and caps sized for women! Let's start a trend in Coutney's honor and for the love of our brains: Let's all wear Helmets!

l.

LuvMyTB
Mar. 10, 2010, 02:41 PM
I have always worn one. Always. When I turned 18 I no longer "had" to wear one per barn rules and I flatted 3 times without one--but I felt too uncomfortable without it.

I am an h/j rider at a very small dressage/eventing barn. Up until last month I have been literally the ONLY ADULT in the entire barn to wear a helmet. It has been just me and the little kids who buckle one on before each ride, and that always bothered me that the kids were seeing the older girls ride without one--sets a bad example.

Just before Courtney's accident, the BO decided that everyone had to be wearing a helmet every time they ride on the property. It is taking a while to catch on, but the other night I sat and watched 6 riders in the arena--and 5 had helmets when they wouldn't have before. It was great to see.

ChocoMare
Mar. 10, 2010, 02:44 PM
Here's a positive change -

A friend told me that the barn manager where she boards has emailed all boarders and told them that everyone must now wear a helmet with fastened chin strap at all times when mounted. They are following this up with a written notice by snail mail, and will also be posting the new policy in several locations around the barn.

One of the trainers at this barn has subsequently emailed all her students and told them that this Saturday's usual 10 AM theory session would be replaced by a shopping trip to the local tack store to purchase helmets. Everyone was instructed to bring their checkbook or credit card, and junior riders were instructed to bring a parent. Many of the riders already have helmets but apparently most of them are several years old and it is time to replace them.

Kudos to that barn owner/manager and to the trainer. :yes:

Big kudos to said BO/BM/Trainer :yes: ;) :D

Arizona DQ
Mar. 10, 2010, 02:45 PM
Zillions of years ago, when I rode H/Js, helmets were not required in lessons. I even remember watching my trainer (a big name in Jumpers back in the "Olden Days") riding into the show ring and pretty much dislodging his helmet off his head before he started the jump course!!!!! :no:

But since I started riding again, I ALWAYS wear a helmet. It is a requirement at my barn. Once in a while, I had been tempted to ride without one, when my trainer was not around, but I never did. Mostly because I would be a disappointment to my trainer (even if she NEVER found out).... Now the thought does not even cross my mind.

A few years ago I went up north to learn to drive (horses) with a friend. First thing she did was hand me a helmet!!!! I was shocked but after she told me to "Bail" if she yelled, "Bail" I appreciated the helmet!!! :yes:

I will ALWAYS wear one now, "No Ifs ands or Butts!!!"

Jingles for Courtney!!!!!

Sansena
Mar. 10, 2010, 02:52 PM
How are these barns getting insurance if they're not requiring riders to wear helmets? Am I mistaken, or aren't insurance rates less if headgear is mandatory for all mounted activity?

Summit Springs Farm
Mar. 10, 2010, 03:31 PM
I'm a always and every time I ride girl too. I ride hunters/jumpers but what I could never understand was when I would see dressage people not wearing a helmet.

I would see someone riding a HUGE WB and think are you really sure you don't want a helmet on, cause if you come off its a long way to the grown and probably with force. If one of those horses spooks and spins you are toast. Or at least I would be! And some dressage horses are not turned out and get very fresh!

Not Just For Jumping Now- HELMETS! Should be ya'lls mantra!

Prayers and Jingle Courtney and Charlie!!

PS I hear lots of people at WEF are putting on helmets too, I am off to get a green ribbon for Courtney.

spotted mustang
Mar. 10, 2010, 04:52 PM
have always worn one, always will. I kinda need the ol' noggin for a variety of other activities, and I've never been so silly as to believe it can't happen to me.

Plumcreek
Mar. 10, 2010, 05:27 PM
Seems to me that if helmet manufactures can make a soft or detatchable visor for hunt styles, it would not be a stretch to design a similar brim all the way around like a derby, for a low profile dressage helmet.

Also seems to me that dressage judges could add their names to a list of judges, stating that they would look favorably upon competitors in upper levels showing in helmets, even with shads.

poltroon
Mar. 10, 2010, 07:11 PM
I imagine that the accident rate among great performers, teachers and competitors in the art of dressage is far less per hour than that of the average rider. Accidents like Courtney's, a pro, are reasonably rare, which is why they get noticed.

It would be interesting to see real data on that. Just from these threads, just in dressage, in the past two years, there are reports of the death of Ricardo Amaya and a very serious injury to Sandy Howard, two international elite riders, from riding on the flat.

CatOnLap
Mar. 10, 2010, 07:51 PM
CatonLap posted:

I imagine that the accident rate among great performers, teachers and competitors in the art of dressage is far less per hour than that of the average rider. Accidents like Courtney's, a pro, are reasonably rare, which is why they get noticed.

That apparently is not true. I found a medical article that the injuries occur mostly to experienced riders.


Serious injury from horseback riding is very common; researchers have calculated that one injury would be expected for the average rider every 2040 hours of riding.
Our hearts go out to Courtney King-Dye and her loved ones. We wish her a speedy recovery.

well, as I said, I IMAGINE. That's all anyone can do. The actual study comparing professional riders versus average riders has not yet been done. THAT was my point.

Since I ride about 300-500 hours a year, I guess I should be very happy that I haven't had a serious injury in over a decade. But as I always caution parents of young riders, its not IF you get hurt, its WHEN you will get hurt again...

cnvh
Mar. 10, 2010, 08:19 PM
I grew up in H/J land and was required to wear a helmet when mounted at the lesson barn. My aunt had a pasture-pet QH that I rode for years just for fun as a teenager, and I wouldn't wear a helmet unless my mom caught me and made me. I had one bad fall on the pasture-pet QH helmetless; she tripped on a backtop road and we both went down, my head connecting with the pavement. How it didn't kill me is a mystery, but I ended up with a nasty concussion and laceration. Being a young-and-stupid teenager, I still didn't get it and continued to ride helmetless whenever possible, sustaining another concussion years later when I was around 22.

I finally got the right idea a few years later and for the past 10 years or so, I wear a helmet each and every ride, even if I'm only hopping on for 2 minutes. It wasn't a particular event that swung my opinion, just finally got a little more mature about the whole thing and realized that I was not invincible and accidents DO happen.

Since then, I have had at least one fall where my helmet probably saved me-- a fall on the XC course at Frying Pan park which cracked my helmet. And just three days ago, I was trail-riding with a dear friend, her horse tripped in some slippery footing on a dirt road and she went off, landing head-first on a rock in the road. The noise made by her helmet connecting with that rock was absolutely sickening-- it left a golf-ball-sized crack in her helmet. She was dazed but conscious; we got her to the ER just to be safe, and after a CT scan they said she was fine, just a mild concussion.

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the "professionals are better riders and it's OK if they ride without a helmet" argument. If Courtney's situation doesn't prove that point, I don't know what does. As far as I'm concerned, there's just absolutely no good reason NOT to wear one... and "some disciplines just look better without a helmet" has to be about the worst argument there is. Really people, are we that vain??? Oye.

inca
Mar. 10, 2010, 09:51 PM
I was one that wore helmet on young horses, horses I didn't know or on days that just seemed ripe for silliness (cold, windy days, etc.) But, I didn't wear a helmet when I rode my reliable horses (3rd/4th level mare now 16 years old and 2nd/3rd level horse now 10 years old) on a "normal" day at home.

BUT, I am now wearing my helmet every ride. I am going shopping for a new one this weekend. Have my eye on a Charles Owen AYR8 but will see what I like best after I try many on at the tack shop.

Haven't completely decided about the show ring, however. Will be interesting to see what is on everyone's head at the next Recognized show on the 28th.

dressagetraks
Mar. 10, 2010, 11:40 PM
I've been an every time, every ride person since the time my helmet saved my life - at a show, and the fact that I was at that show where it was required was the only reason I had one on. That accident could have happened any day with that horse. Any other, non show day, he would have killed me. I saw the split helmet afterward. Lesson learned. Every time since, without fail.

I saw a very encouraging sight tonight, though, and it made me think about this thread. I live in a region where there are basically two types of horses as far as 95% of people are concerned, QH and Foxtrotters. Very, very Western dominated. Very rare to see a brain bucket on riders. But today when I was driving to church in the late afternoon, I passed a farm where a woman was out practicing running barrels in her pasture. Going full tilt on her QH, running the triangle, Western tack, with a helmet securely buckled on.

I know it's her own choice, but I must admit it was heartwarming to see the choice she was making. :yes: I have never in over 30 years in this state seen anybody running barrels while wearing a helmet. Today, I did. :cool:

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 11, 2010, 03:11 AM
Seems to me that if helmet manufactures can make a soft or detatchable visor for hunt styles, it would not be a stretch to design a similar brim all the way around like a derby, for a low profile dressage helmet.

Also seems to me that dressage judges could add their names to a list of judges, stating that they would look favorably upon competitors in upper levels showing in helmets, even with shads.

I would like a list of judges who penalize riders for showing in helmets because frankly I think they should be blacklisted. Better yet, maybe the USEF could finally step in and make helmets mandatory on show grounds. I cannot believe show managers allow people to ride without them at shows.

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 11, 2010, 03:12 AM
Jane, I agree but it needs to go further - the whole industry needs to rethink that, right up to the WEG and Olympic levels.

Someone needs to design a hard hat that comes close to the shape of a top hat. It won't ever look classically like a top hat, but really there needs to be an overhaul of the whole trademark and develop a new trend.

I think it would be possible to do a pretty decent looking Top Hat / helmet. There are ones now that are commercially available that could be a lot more attractive with just a little tweaking.

Bats79
Mar. 11, 2010, 05:59 AM
I have been committed to wearing a helmet for the last 15 years (no accident just a growing awareness) but this has made me decide that I will wear my helmet when I compete in my tails (when I get back in the FEI ring) rather than a top hat. I'd always believed that I would change from helmet to top hat because I could "trust" the horse.

But recently I have heard of people getting banged into arena walls etc when horses trip or shy. Nothing to do with the ability of the rider. I just don't think that extra moment of "looking the part" is really that important.

Jane Savoie
Mar. 11, 2010, 07:36 AM
"Better yet, maybe the USEF could finally step in and make helmets mandatory on show grounds."

Now, that's a terrific idea!!! It would end the "should I?/shouldn't I" dilemma.

BTW, I did try to design a "protective top hat" about 10 years ago. At that time it was too bubble-headed looking, and I was sure people wouldn't wear them. I would think the technology nowdays would make this more feasible. I think there are already some versions out there.

monstrpony
Mar. 11, 2010, 08:36 AM
I would like a list of judges who penalize riders for showing in helmets because frankly I think they should be blacklisted.

I seriously doubt there are any judges in this country who would consciously penalize a rider for showing in a helmet. If I'm wrong about that, then, yes, they should be blacklisted. Judges know what the rules say (that protective headgear trumps anything else). There might, however, be unintentional prejudices--that a helmet marks the rider as less knowlegable of How Things Are. THAT is why it is so important for the leaders in the discipline to get on the bandwagon (well, that, and protecting their heads ... ). NO judge is gonna see Steffan Peters with a helmet and think, even subconsciously, "eh, newby". The top riders wearing helmets would remove any form of prejudice, and in about a week, the fuss would all be over.

Better yet, maybe the USEF could finally step in and make helmets mandatory on show grounds. I cannot believe show managers allow people to ride without them at shows.
:yes::yes::yes:

carolprudm
Mar. 11, 2010, 09:34 AM
My mom had brain damage from tumor removal surgery. I took care of her for 15 years. It was miserable for her and for everyone else in the family.

No way will I unnecessarily risk that

Mariequi
Mar. 11, 2010, 09:42 AM
Never without - prob last 20 years.

a_quick_one
Mar. 11, 2010, 10:22 AM
I've always worn a helmet, and always will. Was so thrilled when the top h/j riders made the switch because it was not so long ago that they just wore hunt caps - and because of that they're "socially acceptable" in the show ring and beyond in that realm. I so hope dressage goes the same way.

poltroon
Mar. 11, 2010, 12:47 PM
NO judge is gonna see Steffan Peters with a helmet and think, even subconsciously, "eh, newby". The top riders wearing helmets would remove any form of prejudice, and in about a week, the fuss would all be over.

:yes::yes::yes:

Yep.

buck22
Mar. 11, 2010, 12:52 PM
I'm a converted knucklehead. For 15 years I never wore one, now I will every ride. In fact, off to go ebay myself something nice right now :)

TaliaCristianna
Mar. 11, 2010, 03:44 PM
I started out as a typical "western rider" wild child. I grew up out on the trails and thought helmets were the dorkiest things on earth. (As were breeches and silly, flimsy, English saddles...)

As I got older, I got a house payment, car payment, a job that I NEEDED to keep and other various responsibilities.

When I started taking H/J and Dressage lessons about 8 years ago I have to admit - the thought that helmets were no longer a discipline faux paux was a bit of a relief. I guess it was starting to sink in how precious life is and how much I had at risk should I be seriously injured. I got... wiser.

I am now at the point where I'm considering getting back into some western events with a new colt of mine. Rest assured I am going to be the one oddball out in the cattle pen w/a helmet on.

In my life, I'm far beyond the point of giving a crap what people think. That goes for dressage riders and cowboys alike.

I don't want to lose my ability to walk. I grew out of wearing diapers decades ago - I have no desire to regress back to that time of childlike helplessness.

In addition I do not wish for the family I love dearly to EVER see me suffering through a brain injury. If you value your health and well-being - why would you not take simple steps to protect it?

It's a matter of common sense. I don't smoke cigarettes, I try to watch my diet, I see my doctor for a checkup every year. I wear my seatbelt when I drive and I wear my helmet when I ride.

Canterbury Court
Mar. 11, 2010, 04:54 PM
Women's brains are 30% more biologically active than men's (no surprise ) and men have thicker skulls ( again no surprise ). 85% of USEF members are women. We need to be particularly religious in our use of helmets.

I have always practiced "wear a helmet - every day every ride." If you want to ride my horse, wear a helmet or get off now. If you want to ride on my farm wear a helmet or get off now. I also wear helmets if I'm working around a horse that I have questions about. I probably do not do that enough even though I am very careful to give my horses appropriate space and warning.

I spent a lot of time in med school on neurology and neurosurgery. It really makes a believer out of you when you see what a brain injury does to people and their families.

canyonoak
Mar. 11, 2010, 05:16 PM
http://doversworld.com/blog/2010/03/11/2395/#comments

Trevelyan96
Mar. 11, 2010, 06:08 PM
I don't put a foot in the stirrup without one, and it definitely saved me. Fell, hit the back of my head, couldn't remember where I lived or worked for about 12 hours, but I shudder to think what would have happened if I'd been bare headed!

Huge thanks to all those pro's out there who wear them, all the instructors who won't let their students on without one, and those who've made the decision to always wear one in the future. Every rider, every ride, every time, becomes more of a possibility because of you.

patch work farm
Mar. 11, 2010, 06:25 PM
I think the best quote I was ever told was, "you only get one head" that was many years ago and all it took to make me wear mine 100% of the time instead of just when I was on a youngster...

Jackie & Starlette
Mar. 11, 2010, 06:38 PM
Lurker here...I have to say, I started wearing a helmet about 3 years ago when I bought my hot-headed, green-broke, 6 year-old Appendix QH mare. I was looking for a nice calm horse for a 50-year old re-rider, and fell in love with her. The second time I came off, I went and bought a helmet. Felt silly, never wore one before except when I was jumping way too many years ago. But, the minute I put it on and got on her, I relaxed and enjoyed my ride so much more. She dumped me two more times and both times I hit my head on the ground...the second time a pretty good knock out/slight concussion, and I am glad I wore my helmet.

I am now trail riding this hot-head (who is slowly getting better as she gets older and I get more training on her, but will always be hot), and ride with people who don't wear helmets...and was thinking of not using it, but if someone who is a much better rider than I can come off and get really hurt, I think I will leave my helmet on. I value my intelligence and strength, and don't want to find myself in a wheelchair or worse. Now I need to pressure my friends to wear one, too!

spotted mustang
Mar. 11, 2010, 06:50 PM
if only one of those top-competitors would put vanity aside (and let's face it - it's all about vanity) and wear a helmet during a big competition, I bet the spell would be broken and others would follow.

Personally, I think helmets look better than tophats. I always thought tophats were a slightly ridiculous choice for a sport. Can you imagine a down-hill skier in a tophat? He'd get laughed off the slope. Tophats makes dressage look like this is an afternoon activity for Maitre 'Ds rather than a demanding, active and dangerous sport.

CenterlineGirl2
Mar. 11, 2010, 07:06 PM
Spotted Mustang wrote:
Personally, I think helmets look better than tophats. I always thought tophats were a slightly ridiculous choice for a sport. Can you imagine a down-hill skier in a tophat? He'd get laughed off the slope. Tophats makes dressage look like this is an afternoon activity for Maitre 'Ds rather than a demanding, active and dangerous sport.


That is SO true. I think tophats look totally stupid?
I honestly thought that tophats were mandatory at FEI levels. I was dreading the time that I would have to wear one. I now realize that I have nothing to worry about, I can just wear my helmet.

avante
Mar. 11, 2010, 08:12 PM
How about putting the support ribbon on the back of the helmet when we are in a competition instead pinned on the coat this year? I plan to swap my black ribbon out. It won't work I suppose on the tech fabric helmets, but I have a velvet covered helmet for competition with the usual ribbon at the base (I like the traditional look of it).

sid
Mar. 11, 2010, 10:53 PM
I learned the "helmet lesson" about 25 years ago when I was relatively new to riding. In those days most people thought nothing about NOT wearing a helmet while flying though the wonderful 50 miles of Battlefield trails adjoining my farm.

Until...one time I went out for a ride with a gal who was a bit of a "cowgirl". She did the trails "backwards" which disoriented me. She took off in a very narrow trail at kick-ass speed and I made the mistake (against my "gut") to follow.

Hit a big tree, full force at a full gallop. Concussion and fractured jaw.

I learned two things...1) always wear a helmet and 2) don'f follow stupid people..;)

Even though my specialty morphed to dressage and riding is often confined to the percieved safety of an indoor arena, freak things can happen on top of the most reliable of horses.

Not worth the risk to go without a helmet. I'm really quite claustophobic, and feel more "free" sans headgear, but I am lucky enough to know it's just not worth it.

Have I cheated from time to time going naked..yes. This thread and Courtney's dire situation reminds me not to.

Jade13
Mar. 11, 2010, 11:33 PM
I was at the Dressage Affair in Del Mar today. About 95% of the riders had helmets and green ribbons. The top riders, Guenter, Stephen, Leslie etc.... wore theirs and everyone else followed. Sure makes sense..

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 12, 2010, 04:05 AM
I was at the Dressage Affair in Del Mar today. About 95% of the riders had helmets and green ribbons. The top riders, Guenter, Stephen, Leslie etc.... wore theirs and everyone else followed. Sure makes sense..

That is awesome - good for them for setting an example :)

Zydeco Sport Horses
Mar. 12, 2010, 05:48 AM
Jade 13,

Did they wear the helmets for their rides as well as their warm-up? I ask because I understand from someone in attendance at the Derby that there were many helmets donned for warm-up, but removed for the actual rides.

As a former ER nurse, I see that like choosing to wear your seatbelt, but only on certain highways or in certain weather conditions, or during certain times of the year or if you are wearing the color blue. By sheer definition an accident cannot be predicted, nor does it happen on a time table.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here--just curious. Hopefully, this is just the start. As a mother of a YR who is hopefully only a few years from showing at the upper levels, I'm all for the FEI making it mandatory. My daughter knows that while she's on one of my horses, it is not optional. She actually asked me at one point if the FEI even allowed helmets because she had never seen an upper level rider in one.

DownYonder
Mar. 12, 2010, 06:46 AM
I was at the Dressage Affair in Del Mar today. About 95% of the riders had helmets and green ribbons. The top riders, Guenter, Stephen, Leslie etc.... wore theirs and everyone else followed. Sure makes sense..

They wore them during their tests? Or just warming up?

If the former, than HUGE KUDOS to them. :yes:

monstrpony
Mar. 12, 2010, 09:00 AM
I was at the Dressage Affair in Del Mar today. About 95% of the riders had helmets and green ribbons. The top riders, Guenter, Stephen, Leslie etc.... wore theirs and everyone else followed. Sure makes sense..

Oh, P-L-E-A-S-E tell me they wore their helmets during their tests! That will abso-freakin-lutely make my day!

bird4416
Mar. 12, 2010, 09:18 AM
I got an email yesterday from a person that organizes local dressage shows. She was doing a small informal survery nto find if people would support her if she required protective helmets on the show grounds with the option to change into the tophat or derby for the test only. She is worried that if she makes this change the upper level riders will quit coming to her shows.

I e-mailed back that I fully supported her. I am about ready to move up to Prix St. George so this really makes a diifference to me. I always wear a helmet when mounted and really don't want to wear something other than my beloved brain bucket. I would probably opt to keep my helmet on when doing my test but I hope if she passes this rule, I won't look quite so amateurish when I ride my test in a tail coat and helmet.

monstrpony
Mar. 12, 2010, 09:56 AM
I would probably opt to keep my helmet on when doing my test but I hope if she passes this rule, I won't look quite so amateurish when I ride my test in a tail coat and helmet.

In understand completely where you are coming from, but--

Honestly, can you really, genuinely *respect* anyone who thinks you look amateurish for wearing a protective helmet? :confused: Talk about wasting unnecessary energy on being judgemental (I mean them, not you).

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 12, 2010, 10:20 AM
I got an email yesterday from a person that organizes local dressage shows. She was doing a small informal survery nto find if people would support her if she required protective helmets on the show grounds with the option to change into the tophat or derby for the test only. She is worried that if she makes this change the upper level riders will quit coming to her shows.


I would be worried about a lawsuit - not whether some rider would boycott because they have a death wish. Just saying ;)

meupatdoes
Mar. 12, 2010, 10:34 AM
I would probably opt to keep my helmet on when doing my test but I hope if she passes this rule, I won't look quite so amateurish when I ride my test in a tail coat and helmet.

OK, I realize the following reveals some reverse snobbery and is indicative of a character flaw on my part.

But I have to say, if I am being honest about it, when I see a perfectly coiffed woman, 35-45yo, who is clearly an amateur and riding about 1st/2nd level on a learning curve, if she IS wearing a helmet I think: "Good for her, she gives the impression of being a serious athlete and horsewoman and I think she is really going to learn how to ride that horse."
If she IS NOT wearing a helmet, I think, "Good luck learning to sit that trot, ski bunny."

Obviously I realize this reveals a character flaw on my part and I try to counsel myself to not give in to my prejudices, and I remain open to having somebody's riding or eventual demonstrated improvement disprove my initial impression, but I must admit that I am more inclined to take somebody seriously as a horseperson straight off the bat if they are wearing a helmet. To me it is a no fuss, "I RIDE, not pose" statement.


I am sure there are people out there who are more inclined to think, "Psh, amateur" if they see you wearing a helmet, but there are also people like me out there who are more inclined to think, "Psh, ski bunny" if they see you NOT wearing one.

Ultimately it is six of one, half a dozen of the other and YOU are the one who makes the decision about YOUR head, regardless of what the peanut gallery may be thinking.

WB Mom
Mar. 12, 2010, 11:24 AM
Most people think wearing a helmet is a personal choice. IT IS NOT. First off, IMHO, not wearing a helmet is the most selfish decision you can make. Secondly, when you decide not to wear one, you are making a decision for everyone else in your life. PERIOD.
We can all see that so painfully clear for CKD, her family, friends and all those that care about her. Of course I won't say that if she had been wearing a helmet she would be perfectly fine. No one can know that. However, we do know the helmet would have protected her head and logic dictates she would not have been injured so seriously.
So the next time you get on a horse without a helmet, remember you are making a decision on your safety, and possibly your life for your children, husband, boyfriend, wife, parents, grandparents, cousins, friends, etc.

What would they want you to do?

May get flamed for this, but I just had to get that off my chest, thanks for reading.

tveley
Mar. 12, 2010, 11:28 AM
I NEVER ride without one.

caddym
Mar. 12, 2010, 11:31 AM
there is a great photo on Dover's World of Gunter, steffen and adrienne all wearing helmets

DownYonder
Mar. 12, 2010, 12:44 PM
there is a great photo on Dover's World of Gunter, steffen and adrienne all wearing helmets

Yes - in warm-up. I long for the day when we will see photos of them doing their TESTS in helmets.

asterix
Mar. 12, 2010, 03:47 PM
So this new-found understanding that helmets make you safer only extends to warmup???
What kind of a message is THAT???
That suggests a cosmetic change, not a real one.
How disappointing.
Horse can trip and fall on center line IN the ring just as easily as IN warmup.

A few years ago I was doing my dressage test when someone got dumped in warmup. Horse came flying into and around the 3 dressage rings, which all had pairs riding tests in them. Luckily no one else came off, but...

Mardi
Mar. 12, 2010, 04:35 PM
there is a great photo on Dover's World of Guenter, steffen and adrienne all wearing helmets

Steffen was wearing his helmet today during his test at Dressage Affaire.
4th level, I think.

Guenter was wearing one in his warm up on Trinity. Not sure if he changed
hats for his test.

Let's all keep in mind that it's still an option, and not mandatory.

qgirl45
Mar. 12, 2010, 06:15 PM
The Equine Source tack shop is running a great campaign for helmet safety. It is a helmet pledge...they are also offering a discount on a new helmet when you take it.
http://www.equinesource.com/rideonpledge.aspx

2ndyrgal
Mar. 12, 2010, 10:06 PM
If they are wearing them in the warm ups people, it's a very big deal. Baby steps, and one less chance to take. They do still have an image to portray out in the arena during the test, it's kind of like going to an NFL game and since it's cold out, the Cowboy's cheerleaders aren't wearing their trademark uhnnm, uniforms, they're wearing Carharts and those Fargo hats. Kind of loses something even though they'd be more "protected", people expect as certain "look" and the reality is, it is highly unlikely for anyone to be seriously injured during a test in a dressage show arena. Now I know that isn't a popular statement to the "every ride" set, but I can't remember anything bad happening in an arena, during a dressage competition. If I'm paying one of the BNR to take my horse in the big ring, I want the whole package. I wouldn't drum someone that said "hey, I'm wearing a skunk helmet with my shad", but I wouldn't jump up and make them wear one either.

The flip side to this is, after 6 months off riding (first his injury, then mine) I rode on the flat for the first time yesterday. I was riding alone, called and told my DH I'd phone him when I was done, put on and fastened my helmet, and called DH when we got back in the barn. Had nothing to do with CKD and everything to do with the age I am and the responsibilities I have, both to myself and to others. But, it was my choice.

Course that helmet didn't make my back feel any better this am after all the big horse's "I feel good!" bucks...

KyrieNZ
Mar. 12, 2010, 11:17 PM
I always wear a helmet. I've fractured my skull once and been concussed three times. I simply don't see the reason for not wearing a helmet - you only get one brain, look after it! I realise the argument of 'it is your choice' whether to wear a helmet or not, but seriously, think of all the people your head injury would affect...

YankeeLawyer
Mar. 13, 2010, 08:19 AM
Now I know that isn't a popular statement to the "every ride" set, but I can't remember anything bad happening in an arena, during a dressage competition. If I'm paying one of the BNR to take my horse in the big ring, I want the whole package.

Wow.

I would not allow a BNR to ride my horse without a helmet because I would not be able to live with the guilt if something were to happen to them. I care more about their safety than how their hair looks. And I was a fashion designer for a number of years so I am not oblivious to aesthetics. It is a sport, though, not a runway show.

not again
Mar. 13, 2010, 08:35 AM
Since I started judging in 1967, I have seen plenty of serious accidents in and around dressage competitions. The judge is often the only one to watch every ride all day, and often has a view of the warm up ring as well. There was a statistical analysis of incidents per thousand competitors from USEF some years back and oddly enough dressage was near the top of the list.

cyberbay
Mar. 13, 2010, 09:48 AM
That Australian story citing that head injuries came with 'experienced' riders. Well, just what defines an experienced rider? What? This is the sort of spreading of unexamined 'facts' that makes for such trouble.

Experienced? I would call Courtney an experienced rider (expert, actually), but bet that study took at face value the injured rider's claim that he/she was experienced. I know people who have ridden for 15 years, which most people would think indicates 'experienced,' and really don't know the first thing about keeping a horse in front of their leg (one of the safest places to put a horse), or safe conduct around a horse or having ANY concept that their behavior might spook someone else's horse and cause a fall. And just what was the person doing with the horse at the time of the fall? Does the rider have a good reputation or is known for being a yahoo? These are important factors. And I've seen the craziest, most irresponsible behavior right at horse shows, so BNTs can be just as guilty as the yahoo.

I mean, it is this sort of arrogance I see in the horse world that brings down the whole industry. Makes insurance rates impossible, makes the average person associate riding with, "Dangerous, isn't it?" so no new municipical riding facilities, no tax breaks, no nuthin' that other sports seem to get, like, uh, soccer, that cripples so many knee joints and leaves so many girls unable to do any sort of sport after the age of 22.

I guess I can't get that excited about people getting religion recently about wearing a helmet. And as a riding instructor, I review students helmets REGULARLY and point out to the parent or student if I think it's time for the next size up or a replacement helmet, just as I check stirrup width, etc. That's the job.

Riding without a helmet has repercussions for the entire industry.

Ziutek
Mar. 13, 2010, 07:10 PM
That is great news that Steffen and others are choosing to wear their helmets in their tests. I just hope they would wear them in the FEI tests. I know I will this year!

2ndyrgal
Mar. 13, 2010, 08:13 PM
then quote the entire thing. My post indicated that ONLY in the competition arena would it matter asthetically to me at all and that if the RIDER wanted to wear a helmet, I would not object. At all. And my post did not refer to "dressage" accidents, I was only speaking about accidents that resulted in head trauma that happened ONLY in the actual competition ring during a test.

I should not think that number would be very high at all.

2ndyrgal
Mar. 13, 2010, 08:14 PM
A BNR to compete their horse at an upper level sans helmet, well, good luck with that.

asterix
Mar. 15, 2010, 09:08 AM
I'm sorry, I am not in a position to pay a BNR to ride my horse in an FEI test, but, yes, if it's MY horse, I jolly well can "not allow".
Or the BNR would not actually ride the horse.
That, too, I can "not allow."

This really isn't very complicated. Saying you can't remember any accidents in competition is not data. There is absolutely NOTHING about competition that is any safer than what CKD was doing when she had her (freak, yes, but it only takes once) accident.

Maude
Mar. 15, 2010, 09:32 AM
As the OP, I would ask that we all stick to the original topic of the thread. If not, please go to the helmet thread or start one of your own. Thanks.

TemJeito
Mar. 15, 2010, 10:28 AM
Good thread :)! To go back to the original topic, I've been committed to wearing a helmet for years. I grew up in the hunter-jumpers and remember riding and even jumping without a helmet. I also remember how ugly the orginal safety helmets were and how for years I would still show in a useless hunt cap. In 1990, I had a fall that resulted in a concussion. No visible injury, just loss of memory (I still don't know how I fell :no:). I was a second-year law student at the time. It didn't even occur to me that I might die or become incapacitated from such an injury. All I knew at that moment is that I had a big exam the next day and I wanted to be able to use my brain. I started wearing helmets "most of the time" after that. But it didn't become an every day, every ride thing until about 2002 when I boarded at a barn where it was required. Now I would never get on without a helmet. It's automatic like putting on my boots and gloves :winkgrin: Sometimes I feel it makes me "less cool" - those pony tails under the baseball caps are very cute :lol: - but the heck if I'm going to let vanity or peer pressure affect what I do. So that's my story.

Thomas_1
Mar. 15, 2010, 10:49 AM
Been wearing one for 50 years!

Can't begin to understand riders that choose not to!

Phaxxton
Mar. 15, 2010, 11:12 AM
then quote the entire thing. My post indicated that ONLY in the competition arena would it matter asthetically to me at all and that if the RIDER wanted to wear a helmet, I would not object. At all. And my post did not refer to "dressage" accidents, I was only speaking about accidents that resulted in head trauma that happened ONLY in the actual competition ring during a test.

I should not think that number would be very high at all.

Who cares how high the number is? It takes ONE fall to change your life forever. And that fall can happen anywhere, even in the competition ring.

If you don't want to wear a helmet, that's your prerogative... but using statistics to justify it in one place, but not another doesn't really make much sense to me. It only takes one fall... and while we can't prevent EVERY injury and there are never any guarantees, helmets can and do save lives.

baylady7
Mar. 15, 2010, 12:48 PM
I wear a helmet always- whether riding my trusty 20+ retiree or lessoning on an FEI level horse (he is FEI- I am not). I have had 4 head injuries from falls (including one where the horse slipped) and probably have lost some cognitive function as a result (I never had it formally evaluated as I had no baseline).

That said, what this requires to remedy this situation once and for all is LEADERSHIP, both by professionals and by the USDF. Looks like many of the professionals are trying things out- do you think the USDF leadership would be willing to engage? Maybe do something "radical" (but *gasp* responsible) like requiring certified helmets while mounted at show grounds? Is this even worth writing an email to my rep to encourage this? Courtney is a lovely rider and it would be fitting to remember her rides by tributing a new way of doing things to her. Imagine 10-15 years from now EVERYONE wearing helmets and not being at all concerned about fashion.

Heck, we can look at PRCA cowboys, at least Bronc and bullriders, and they wear vests and helmets (legendary Lane Frost died from an impact with a bull)

After all, for those who are shopoholics, there are pretty expensive helmets out there that will let you stay on the cusp of the equestrian style scene.

Horseymama
Mar. 15, 2010, 01:10 PM
Not only do I wear a helmet every ride, every time and have for 20 years at least, I am somewhat of a helmet addict, I have four! Two Charles Owens, one black, one brown, a Harry Hall (certified in England), and a Troxel. The latest one I have my eye on is called the JTE Sprint helmet: https://www.tds-saddlers.com/productdetails.asp?PCLinkID=11532
It's really cute on, I tried it on last fall but didn't have the money at the time to get it.

I would never get on a horse without a helmet, EVER. Someone asked me to get on their small pony the other day, I said "sure, just let me go get my helmet!"

Invite
Mar. 15, 2010, 08:45 PM
I am proudly sporting my Charles Owen GR8. I must admit I was wearing it prior to Courtney's accident. Being a former h/j rider and foxhunter, wearing a helmet has always been second nature. I actually bought another CO helmet so I have one that stays at the barn and one that travels with me. You never know when someone is going to ask you to hop on a horse or give you the opportunity to ride something really nice. I want a helmet that properly fits me on hand at all times!

2ndyrgal
Mar. 15, 2010, 09:44 PM
Yes, I think helmets are a wonderful idea and I'm probably more qualified than most to address this. Here's why. I had cranial surgery as an infant (9 months) to repair the fact that my "soft spot" closed prematurely. The untreated result of this would have been certainly severe brain damage, probably death. The solution (and this was in 1962) was to fly in an expert from TX, who decided to simply REMOVE an inch wide section of my skull, down the centerline, from about 2 inches back from my hairline, clear to the base of my skull. They sent me home in what amounted to a youth football helmet, metal sutures that looked like some Frankenstinian monster baby, and wished my parents "good luck" As a result of this little guinea pig experiement, I was subjected to every baseline mental apptitude, and IQ test known to man over the next 15 years. My parents were told to not let me stand on my head, climb trees, dive off a diving board, or do anything that might cause any head trauma. My parents let me run the woods and fields like a wild indian, riding untrained ponies bareback, climbing trees, you name it, we did it, I was no more sheltered than my twin sister or my little brother, in fact, I was usually the first one to attempt anything a)new or b) that we shouldn't have been doing in the first place. I got my first minor concussion from a fall figure skating, and what we were told was, I simply have a bit less space between my brain and skull than "normal" people. I also have a really weird shaped head. My first "oval" helmet was heated and shaped by my father with a vise in the garage. Gave me a blinding headache, as did most helmets that would stay on, until I got my Patey. Which they promptly made illegal in competition the following year. The CO helmets fit well, I have 4 of them. I wear my helmet, and have had just as many concussions with as without at this point. It is what it is. Do they make a difference? Of course they do, and if you have been moved to action by someone else's tragedy, then good on you. While I feel for anyone injured badly either with or without preventitive equipment, I feel that once you become 18 years of age, you have choices that I have no right to compel or legislate.

TheParisienne
Mar. 16, 2010, 04:07 AM
Had a bad fall in 1995 wearing a dress hard hat. The Dr. looked at me and said "One more concussion like that and you will die."

Good enough for me. I always wear one now.

Blkarab
Mar. 16, 2010, 05:11 PM
This is a great thread! Thanks for starting it.

I have always worn my helmet. I don't feel secure without it, and can only think of one time in 8 years that I rode without it in a lesson, and it was because it was in impromptu lesson and I didn't have it with me.

Courtney's accident, did however, change my instructor's view. I have been asking her for years to wear one, especially after she took a fall 3 years ago and ended up with a black eye, and fractured jaw. She would wear one occassionally after that, and always on her young horse, but never on the rest. What changed it for her, was the fact that Courtney's accident occurred doing something simple and routine-a basic leg yield. How many thousands of leg yields has my instructor done, or Courtney for that matter? It only takes one time, and we just never know. She wasn't on some wild and crazy horse, she was just doing something basic. It could happen to any of us.

I'm praying like mad for Courtney to heal and be back in the saddle soon.

MsSteno
Mar. 17, 2010, 03:03 AM
I bought a CO helmet last Fall after a friend fell gently off her horse, barely touching her head on soft ground but soon after could not recall how to saddle a horse. She has no memory of the week leading up to that day or the fall itself:no:
Also read an article in our local paper Monday about a much loved music teacher that was found dead. Apparently she was riding alone without a helmet....someone came across her horse and started searching but it was too late. She died from head trauma :cry:
I admit that I hate the helmet head and CO's don't vent well but I kind of like having my head about me. I also noticed I am a wee bit braver then without :confused:

dressageluv
Mar. 17, 2010, 09:35 AM
who did not allow me to ride my horse, or hers, without a helmet last year at her barn!!!
She actually made me get off the horse and stop teaching....gave me money, send me to the store to buy one, and then let me continue my riding and lesson.....have never been on a horse WITHOUT one since....she broke my bad habit and I am ever so thankful......even though after a few falls my head never got hurt.....it only takes that one time.

Thank You , Pam! :)

Trixie
Mar. 17, 2010, 09:58 AM
I don't necessarily care other folks do - that's their choice - but I do think it's absolutely the right of farm owners and barn managers to require helmets on their properties, the governing associations to require them at their shows, and individual owners to require the, on their horses. That's THEIR choice, which you have to follow if you wish to participate.

I'm a H/J rider who grew up with helmets as a requirement for every time, every ride, albeit, not approved helmets. As much as I love my hunt cap - and I really do - I wear an approved hat now because it's just safer. And so does everyone else. I very rarely see anyone schooling at H/J shows sans helmet anymore. It took some getting used to, but we all did have to follow the rule.

It's not like my hair will ever look terribly good at the BARN anyway.

tollertwins
Mar. 17, 2010, 11:26 AM
Have always worn a helmet and feel quite nekkid and vulnerable without one.

Am now thinking about getting committed to riding in a vest, too!

ethos
Mar. 17, 2010, 06:35 PM
We have so much to gain by wearing the helmet and so much to lose by not. A hat can look very stylish as a cover up for our helmet hair!

sunhawk
Mar. 18, 2010, 02:08 PM
I have found my helmet is wonderful for keeping rain off my glasses, and the sun out of my eyes, and when trail riding, protects the head from low branches.

tollertwins
Mar. 20, 2010, 07:50 PM
police horses go through more "bomb" proofing training, plus practicing with regular upkeep and maintenance than any horse in the world and THEY still spook).

Yeah - we had an officer here killed in a flood a number of years ago. Patrolling along a bayou, and for some reason the horse reared - officer went into flood waters.

And I know somebody who had an older horse die under them.

Both very sad incidents - both flukes - but I don't wanna be a statistic if I don't have to.

Equa
Mar. 21, 2010, 03:48 PM
I always wear a helmet, but my new resolution is to be vigilant that on the rare occasions a trainer might hop on my horse in a lesson, that they too wear a helmet.

Carol O
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:01 PM
Wearing one. Every ride. This is a change for me. I have a young horse on whom I have worn one always, but now I do even on my 25 yo schoolmaster too. He is capable of very big moves at times... Should have done this with him all along!

trothappy
Mar. 22, 2010, 03:11 PM
Every ride. Every time. :yes:

LuckoftheIrish17
Jun. 9, 2011, 04:18 PM
A good friend of mine was riding her horse one day without a helmet. Somehow her horse tripped or slipped and fell on her (he wasn't misbehaving, it was just a horrible accident). She was unconscious and ended up in a coma for almost 7 months. Her husband, who believed she would wake up, kept her on life support the whole time. But he wasn't a horsey guy and couldn't afford to board the horse and pay the medical bills (and she obviously couldn't work) so he had to sell the horse to what he thought was a good home. When she finally recovered, she tried to find out what happened to the horse. Her horse had been sold again, and ended up at a kill auction. They think he was sent to a slaughterhouse.

This horse was well trained and polite, not spooky at all, and was the type of horse you'd feel good putting your little kid on for their first ride. He wasn't clumsy and he was completely sound. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the footing was good, and it should have been a great ride. But an accident can happen to anyone at any time, and now she has to wake up every day knowing that her horse died because she wouldn't put a helmet on her head.

So that's why I wear a helmet. Even if you don't care about your own life, you need to care about your horse's.

Velvet
Jun. 9, 2011, 05:09 PM
A good friend of mine was riding her horse one day without a helmet. Somehow her horse tripped or slipped and fell on her (he wasn't misbehaving, it was just a horrible accident). She was unconscious and ended up in a coma for almost 7 months. Her husband, who believed she would wake up, kept her on life support the whole time. But he wasn't a horsey guy and couldn't afford to board the horse and pay the medical bills (and she obviously couldn't work) so he had to sell the horse to what he thought was a good home. When she finally recovered, she tried to find out what happened to the horse. Her horse had been sold again, and ended up at a kill auction. They think he was sent to a slaughterhouse.

This horse was well trained and polite, not spooky at all, and was the type of horse you'd feel good putting your little kid on for their first ride. He wasn't clumsy and he was completely sound. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the footing was good, and it should have been a great ride. But an accident can happen to anyone at any time, and now she has to wake up every day knowing that her horse died because she wouldn't put a helmet on her head.

So that's why I wear a helmet. Even if you don't care about your own life, you need to care about your horse's.

I have to say, compared to all the other arguments for wearing a helmet this one is the winner! People being left behind is one thing, leaving your horse behind to a possible fate like this should motivate even more people!