PDA

View Full Version : A Challenge to USDF, FEI and Others



WB Mom
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:08 PM
After reading so much information lately on Traumatic Brain Injury I thought, why don't I challenge the dressage community to stop making tradition more important than the safety of its riders?
My challenge is in two parts.
First, I challenge the USDF and FEI to take immediate steps to require every competitor wear an approved helmet while on any horse at all times during any event.
Secondly, I further challenge every UL rider to never get on any horse without one and every UL trainer to require one every time - starting TODAY. It is imperative as you are role models for so many riders at every age and level.
This challenge is more important than any rule you have enacted, any horse you have bred, ridden or sold, or any award you may have won.

You will save the life of another human being.

So, if you agree, please respond to this post and issue your challenge too. I'm just one little minnow in the ocean, but if enough others take up this challenge, maybe the folks listed above will take notice.
Numbers can talk volumes and I believe in the power of the COTH BB! I've seen it in action! :D

ridgeback
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:33 PM
Amen..I come from the H/J world and it's a given for the most part. Once everyone is showing in them you won't even notice it.

Horseymama
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:40 PM
I'm with you, I think it's a great idea!

5WhiteSocks
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:51 PM
Dressage with a helmet on is like caviar with ketchup.

Quest52
Mar. 21, 2010, 07:11 PM
I'll school with it on, no matter the level of the horse, but when I enter that ring, I'll have my top hat on.

Arathita
Mar. 21, 2010, 07:34 PM
Dressage with a helmet on is like caviar with ketchup.


This makes no sense at all. Wearing a helmet is equal to ketchup? Are you saying that the image of the sport in your mind is that dressage is elitist and that riding with head protection is low class? Are you saying that perpetuating an elitist image is more important than rider health? Please explain why you think this. I do not understand at all.

Way to post, Quest.

tempichange
Mar. 21, 2010, 08:00 PM
While I personally ride with a helmet, I think it still should be a choice.

ridgeback
Mar. 21, 2010, 08:06 PM
While I personally ride with a helmet, I think it still should be a choice.

It's not in the jumper world and it should not be in the dressage world either.

whbar158
Mar. 21, 2010, 08:07 PM
I personally think that they should make it a rule to wear an approved helmet while mounted. If everyone wears one it won't matter, because you won't stand out. It still is your choice, you don't have to show if you don't want to wear a helmet. I have fallen off way more on the flat than jumping.

ridgeback
Mar. 21, 2010, 08:08 PM
Yes because horses don't fall on their riders in the ring or buck them off. Lets hope the FEI has more common sense and makes it a rule like they did with the jumpers.

ESG
Mar. 21, 2010, 08:17 PM
Oh, must we? :rolleyes:

USEF, USDF and FEI rules already state that a competitor is not penalized for wearing a helmet at any level. Can't we just please leave it at that?

Whenever a rider gets injured, there's always this hysterical demand for more rules on helmet wear. As sad as Courtney King-Dye's situation is, a rule like this wouldn't have helped her, since she wasn't at a show.

Quest52
Mar. 21, 2010, 09:02 PM
Way to post, Quest.

Eh... I'm just not afraid to be honest. That... is my honest answer. I've ridden for many years, and if I feel that I've got a super nutter horse in the ring I'll leave it on, but no... I'm not going to say that I'm going to pledge to wear a helmet in the ring.

I agree with ESG... we'll wait until Courtney's unfortunate and horrid accident is a bit further away, then we can see where the masses are with statements about helmet. I see a few nicely placed shots of riders riding in helmets int he ring in Wellington now, I'll be curious to see what the rings will look like in one years time.

ridgeback
Mar. 21, 2010, 09:34 PM
We can only hope the FEI steps up and doesn't give the riders a choice like they do with the jumpers. Hopefully the big international riders will lead the way because we know the horse world tends to do whatever the big guns are doing. copy cats...

WB Mom
Mar. 21, 2010, 10:30 PM
As I posted earlier on another thread:
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 possibly make.
Secondly, when you decide not to wear one, you are making a decision for everyone else in your life. Period.
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?
Stop and think about that before putting your foot in the stirrup! :yes:

mg
Mar. 21, 2010, 10:53 PM
I see helmet regulations as akin to seat belt laws and similar. While I understand the good intentions behind them, it really rubs me the wrong way when people are legally (either by law in the classic sense of the word or the rules of the organization) required to do things that have no (direct) effect on others. Yes, you can argue emotional pain, bad PR, yadda yadda. But, when it comes down to it, if a person chooses not to wear a helmet (or a seatbelt), THEY are the one who risks injury. If people are so worked up about how important it is to wear a helmet, then keep on wearing one! You aren't going to get your noggin smooshed because someone else decided not to wear their helmet that day ;)

On a different note, is it legal for individual competitions to make mandatory helmet rules? I believe other sports function in this way (like snowboarding?). That could be an interesting way to approach this.

ridgeback
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:02 AM
I see helmet regulations as akin to seat belt laws and similar. While I understand the good intentions behind them, it really rubs me the wrong way when people are legally (either by law in the classic sense of the word or the rules of the organization) required to do things that have no (direct) effect on others. Yes, you can argue emotional pain, bad PR, yadda yadda. But, when it comes down to it, if a person chooses not to wear a helmet (or a seatbelt), THEY are the one who risks injury. If people are so worked up about how important it is to wear a helmet, then keep on wearing one! You aren't going to get your noggin smooshed because someone else decided not to wear their helmet that day ;)

On a different note, is it legal for individual competitions to make mandatory helmet rules? I believe other sports function in this way (like snowboarding?). That could be an interesting way to approach this.

Not true we pay high insurance rates because of the injuries from car accidents. Yes it is legal because some hunter shows require adults to wear a helmet whenever they are on a horse. I pitty the next pro this happens to because if they are not wearing a helmet some how I doubt they will get the support. Courtney's accident should not be in vain lose the stupid top hat and wear a helmet. I personally think a hunter rider in their shadbelly and helmet is more attractive then the top hat.

Megaladon
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:13 AM
Definitely it should be a choice, I agree with MG.

ccoronios
Mar. 22, 2010, 09:27 AM
Tradition? Watch some bullriding (PBR level) from a decade ago. Watch it now. Helmets were non-existent. Helmets WITH FACE MASKS are commonplace now. Yes, they are still choice, not mandated.

I believe vests are mandated (can't recall seeing anyone ride without one in ages).

And as of this season, specific SPURS are mandated - ones that won't get caught and held in the cinch.

Talk about TRADITION! Can you imagine what it took for these cowboys to be convinced to doff their western hats and don a HELMET? Only a few dozen of their best friends and fellow competitors to meet devastating injuries. Many are dead. At least one is in a wheelchair.

I'm all for tradition. I kicked about helmets over hunt caps. My hunt cap never fell off - it fit correctly. But I have a dear friend who was in Courtney's condition several years ago...and I've adored Courtney since the first time I saw her ride about 15 years ago. Helmets AREN'T always effective - I know that from personal experience. But why not take what you can get so you have the best chance of enjoying the sport you love for as much of your life as possible?

Carol

quietann
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:14 AM
On a different note, is it legal for individual competitions to make mandatory helmet rules? I believe other sports function in this way (like snowboarding?). That could be an interesting way to approach this.

Some places have insurance that mandates helmets. Many places (including my home barn, which hosts a lot of clinics and schooling shows) make everyone sign something saying they will wear a helmet whenever they are mounted.

Some places (e.g. UNH) are kind of lax about enforcing it and I am assuming that if someone not wearing a helmet was injured, the show could say it was not their fault, because the person knew the rules and willfully chose not to follow them. At my barn, not wearing a helmet is grounds for being eliminated from all one's classes and forfeiting entry fees.

I have also seen places that allow entrants to sign something saying they will not hold the grounds liable in any way if they are injured while not wearing a helmet. But this is for adult riders only; kids have no choice.

Quest52
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:19 AM
I have also seen places that allow entrants to sign something saying they will not hold the grounds liable in any way if they are injured while not wearing a helmet.

legally, this wouldn't hold up. You can't say "in any way".



But this is for adult riders only; kids have no choice.

by law minors can be required to wear headgear.

opel
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:31 AM
Come on, if you're so concerned about the grief other people would feel if you were hurt--well you shouldn't ride, lead or work with 1200# animals that can be unpredictable and dangerous. All of the people I personally know who have had severe horse-related injuries where hurt on the ground. Are we going to be forced to wear helmets, flack jackets, etc when longing next? I'm 100% supportive of folks who want to wear helmets and I think the judges are too. I don't want to though, especially while in the show ring. Let this be a free country.

Lori B
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:55 AM
Grief is not what is being referred to here. It's the fact that if you suffer a TBI and aren't killed, you face high risks of needing long and expensive rehabilitative care, having a disruption in your employment, not being able to care for / afford your animal(s) -- the list goes on. Not wearing a helmet isn't a brave, "Marlborough Man" moment of individuality (cue "Free Bird"), it's a selfish bet that you are making with other people's time and money -- most often the time and money of your family.
The riding federations should require helmets because that is the only change that would remove the lingering sense in competitors' minds that, no matter what is said, there is an advantage in having a certain (unhelmeted) look at the upper levels of dressage. As long as riders think that not wearing a helmet is in any way a mark of being one of the cool kids, it's going to be done in dressage. That's why the only consistently low-helmet use barns I've ever seen are DRESSAGE barns.

ESG
Mar. 22, 2010, 12:19 PM
The problem with rules like these, is that it's a slippery slope - where do you draw the line? In Texas, it's mandatory to wear a helmet when you're on a bicycle, but not on a motorcycle. It's mandatory to wear a helmet when you're on some H/J show grounds, yet not on any dressage show grounds that I've ever attended. You see some bull riders with helmets, face masks and mouth guards, and some without. Have yet to see a bronc rider with a helmet, though.

And has anyone ever seen a European sales ad for an upper level dressage horse, where a helmet is being worn by the rider? I haven't. And if the Europeans, who revere only soccer above equestrian sport, won't do it, what are the chances that anyone here, will? Especially when you consider that nearly all equestrian "fashion" comes out of Europe? Pretty slim,I think.

Someone else mentioned that if the upper level riders were to set the trend, others would follow. Bunk. It took many years and a lot of pressure from USEF just to get US jumper riders to wear approved helmets, and it wasn't all that long ago that they became mandatory.

Again, it's hysteria engendered by a prominent rider getting injured. Let's see what happens in six months' time.

Sandra6500
Mar. 22, 2010, 12:33 PM
I'm so sick of these threads. Mass hysteria at its best. What happened to Courtney is tragic and sad. I'm sure everyone hopes for the best outcome for her.

I'm floored that so many people here think its okay to force their beliefs on someone else. Mind your own business- worry about your own riding, safety, etc.

I sometimes wear a helmet when schooling. Will never wear one in the ring. I don't believe it will ever be mandetory- certainly not when schooling at home. If watching me ride without a helmet makes your eyes bleed just don't watch. If you think I'm stupid for making that decision thats fine too- but know that I (like many people) just plain don't give a crap what you think.

Ugh- this is getting to the point of being as pointless and boring as the many Rolkur threads.

Lori B
Mar. 22, 2010, 12:44 PM
I don't see how thinking that riders at shows must engage in a practice that measurably makes them safer is a 'belief', the use of which word implies some kind of adherence based on faith rather than reason. Helmets prevent injuries (not every single one) and save lives (enough so it's worth doing).

As DW's tagline said for so long, "If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you are probably right!" (paraphrase).

ESG
Mar. 22, 2010, 12:56 PM
Grief is not what is being referred to here. It's the fact that if you suffer a TBI and aren't killed, you face high risks of needing long and expensive rehabilitative care, having a disruption in your employment, not being able to care for / afford your animal(s) -- the list goes on.

So, if we extrapolated your theory, one could argue that not wearing a helmet when one is walking the dog, driving a car or motorcycle, one is being equally irresponsible, since TBIs can happen doing any of those activities, too. In fact, I'd say those are higher risk activities, considering the number of people who engage in driving cars or riding motorcycles, versus the number of people who ride horses on a regular basis.

If you want to wear a helmet every second you're around a horse, fine - do it. But don't presume to force others to, just because you think it's a good idea. We have enough forcing of questionable rules coming from our government; I certainly don't want more, no matter where they come from. Slippery slope.

Lori B
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:06 PM
No one is suggesting that, be serious.

When I fall from my own feet, I generally land on my backside, which is well-engineered to absorb the shock of falling. When I fall from a horse, I nearly always roll in such a way that my head is at the very least bumped. From a much greater height, generally speaking, than from my feet.

No one seems to have a SERIOUS answer to the question, "What is the real world downside to requiring helmets in the show ring?" Where serious means, 'related to the requirement itself, not to what you think it might maybe could portend in some Ayn Rand-hangover imaginary universe'.

Dramapony_misty
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:10 PM
Tradition? Watch some bullriding (PBR level) from a decade ago. Watch it now. Helmets were non-existent. Helmets WITH FACE MASKS are commonplace now. Yes, they are still choice, not mandated.

Talk about TRADITION! Can you imagine what it took for these cowboys to be convinced to doff their western hats and don a HELMET? Only a few dozen of their best friends and fellow competitors to meet devastating injuries. Many are dead. At least one is in a wheelchair.

I was thinking about this very thing the other day while watching PBR on TV. The number of riders with hockey-style helmets instead of cowboy hats is amazing! My theory is that they mandated helmets in the high-school and junior rodeo levels some years ago. Those "kids" have now grown up and become today's bullriding stars. They had to wear the helmets and are used to wearing the helmets.

SO...mandate approved helmets for anyone under 18 (or maybe 21 since that is still YR age) at all levels USDF, FEI , etc. It may take longer as the "old timers" of the sport don't rotate out nearly as fast as something like professional bullriding, but at least it may be a start.

Sandra6500
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:29 PM
The real life downside to requiring helmets has already been stated by ESG. We don't need more rules. Especially rules governing what should be a personal choice. Just because you think your opinion should be law doesn't really make it so.

Also the FEI is unlikely to ever make a rule change like this, since helmets are even more rare at dressage competitions overseas. Then we will have even more conflicting rules between the USDF and the CDIs.

I am generally always opposed to more restrictions and laws regardless of the organization.

sadlmakr
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:31 PM
Having lost a good friend in a horse accident with a fractured skull, it is my firm belief that if that person had a helmet on they would still be here with us. Yes it is selfish of me to want that person back. But when they have a safety helmet and choose not to use it, I wonder.
I have seen too many accidents with horses where the rider lost their lives to TBI. But one can not legislate common sense.
It is one's perfect right to not wear a helmet. That way their blood is on their own hands. No one elses.
It is tragic to lose a rider. But when it is from neglecting to take simple safety measures then what. This is an emotionally charged subject as you can see.
But I agree with the post that mentions if you have a family that depends on you, you ought to take all safety measures youcan.
JMHO
sadlmakr

Sandra6500
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:31 PM
On a different note- is anyone here really comparing the risks of BULLRIDING to riding a dressage horse? I mean really?!?

Bullriding= certain fall from an often aggressive animal. Not so much like dressage?

Dramapony_misty
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:55 PM
Ahh, Sandra...have you seen how some of those super-athletic FEI level horses buck??? :-P

Anyway, I don't think it is comparing the risks of the sport. It's comparing TRADITIONS of the sport. In terms of pig-headedness, I think even DQs can't hold a candle to stubborn, macho, and oftentimes arrogant cowboys. Trust me, I know. Some of my good friends are tough rodeo guys.

The fact that the majority of the PBR guys wear helmets in the pro ranks by CHOICE is a real testament to how starting the emphasis on safety early on in someone's riding career (whether bull or horse) can have a real impact on what he or she does at the highest levels of the sport.

webmistress32
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:59 PM
I don't think the equestrian community will need to make it a rule; I think what's going to happen is the insurance companies will start requiring it to cover the events and that will be that.

all good, as far as I am concerned.

I honestly don't understand why they haven't already plugged this obvious hole.

ridgeback
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:07 PM
Many if not most of the big hunter jumper shows require everyone to have a helmet on while on a horse.. They do this because it lowers their insurance. This could very well happen to the dressage shows. You just might see horse show organizers require all riders to wear a helmet while mounted.

Lori B
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:10 PM
sadlmakr, dying isn't the problem. It's becoming an expensive vegetable that is so devastating. The most common outcome of a TBI isn't death, it's years of costly care and the odious chore of wiping the injured party's ass, etc.

If it were the case that all head injuries resulting from falling off a horse without a helmet were invariably fatal, the I would say, "sure, go for it, prove to us that natural selection is working this week, and don't wear a helmet if you don't 'believe' in it." But making other people pay to take care of you because you have to look cool for your bronze medal isn't a right that we should be defending so passionately.

Sandy M
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:16 PM
I was thinking about this very thing the other day while watching PBR on TV. The number of riders with hockey-style helmets instead of cowboy hats is amazing! My theory is that they mandated helmets in the high-school and junior rodeo levels some years ago. Those "kids" have now grown up and become today's bullriding stars. They had to wear the helmets and are used to wearing the helmets.

Ty Murray actually stated exactly that, although I think he may have said not that the helmets were mandated at the junior level (though they may be), but that those boys' MAMAS said, "You ain't gettin on a bull without a helmet," and they've become so used to it that they automatically wear them now they are adult PBR competitors. He felt that as the older riders retire, eventually ALL PBR participants well wear the helmets. I noticed that their big idol (i.e., the one they are most promoting these days), J.B. Mauney ALWAYS wears a helmet when competing. The minute he's done, the cowboy hat goes back on, though.

Bogey2
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:21 PM
Fact:

I got a million dollar life insurance policy at the age of 50....they did not take any "points" off knowing what I did for a living (teaching/training/BO).
I have health insurance, they do not charge me more based on the above either.
Stop shoving the health insurance bs at us and saying riders with no helmets cause higher rates. It's just not true.
As for liability insurance, I DO require helmets here, have not filed a claim ...and still get quoted the same rate by all the insurers..year after year.
The percentages just aren't there. Wear your helmets, expect it at your facility but we don't need anymore rules IMHO.

Lori B
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:25 PM
Who said law? I said that horse shows and whatever orgs run them should uniformly require them. I'm not sure anyone on this thread has ever suggested laws.

ridgeback
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:30 PM
Who said law? I said that horse shows and whatever orgs run them should uniformly require them. I'm not sure anyone on this thread has ever suggested laws.

Exactly...Jumper riders have to wear them so should dressage riders.

Bogey2
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:33 PM
excuse me, I meant to say rules.

Quest52
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:39 PM
you guys want to make laws now?? Or have insurance companies call the shots?

How many insurance companies make rules about motorcyclists wear helmet?? What do you believe would come first, horse shows or motorcycles? and I'm not seeing anything on that front.

As far as a law, coming form someone who currently has a bill going to the house... finding the backing and creating that bill and driving it forward and promoting it is a bigger job than you think. Go for it.... see you in 10 years with a rejection. Then, you get to go again. Its just not going to happen that way, and thats why it hasn't been "brought up".

Melyni
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:56 PM
because I signed a legal document telling my insurance company that I had a helmet rule and would enforce it.

I don't want to not enforce it and let them have a loophole to refuse a claim, should I have one.

Plus it's just good sense.

Plenty of accidents happen anyway without making the repercussions worse.

But as for the making it a law, well I tend to think of it as a classic example of Darwinian selection in process. The dumb ones go without and sooner or later get hurt. Hopefully they do do so before they reproduce.


But then I use my brains to earn my living, others may differ!

Where do the H/J folks go to get their customized stripes on their helmets. Oh I guess I should be asking that on the H/J column.
YMMV
MW

sadlmakr
Mar. 22, 2010, 06:13 PM
Lori B, I agree with you as for the long term care for the brain damaged person... But to have a young life snuffed out when they hit the fence post with their skull and no helmet, hurts at the deepest part of the heart. Yes even the best trained highest level Dressage horse can have his fits of rebellion.
The point is, to have safety equipment and choose not to use it is rather stupid is it not.
It is the same thing with the seat belts and motorcycle helmets. Or pole climbers not using a safety harness.
Each to their own. It is a free country so far.
Perhaps one of them can get this year's Darwin Award.

ESG
Mar. 22, 2010, 07:12 PM
Fact:

I got a million dollar life insurance policy at the age of 50....they did not take any "points" off knowing what I did for a living (teaching/training/BO).
I have health insurance, they do not charge me more based on the above either.
Stop shoving the health insurance bs at us and saying riders with no helmets cause higher rates. It's just not true.
As for liability insurance, I DO require helmets here, have not filed a claim ...and still get quoted the same rate by all the insurers..year after year.
The percentages just aren't there. Wear your helmets, expect it at your facility but we don't need anymore rules IMHO.

Thank you. Couldn't agree more. :yes:

ESG
Mar. 22, 2010, 07:26 PM
No one is suggesting that, be serious.

Yes, you are, and I am being serious. Texas law doesn't require motorcycle operators to wear helmets. Yet you want to pass a rule that would require me to do, what a state law doesn't? I think not.


When I fall from my own feet, I generally land on my backside, which is well-engineered to absorb the shock of falling. When I fall from a horse, I nearly always roll in such a way that my head is at the very least bumped. From a much greater height, generally speaking, than from my feet.

So? What's your point? That you don't fall well, or were never taught how to?


No one seems to have a SERIOUS answer to the question, "What is the real world downside to requiring helmets in the show ring?" Where serious means, 'related to the requirement itself, not to what you think it might maybe could portend in some Ayn Rand-hangover imaginary universe'.

Your reading comprehension lacks quite a bit. You don't seem to get that most of us don't want more rules of what we have to do, rather than what we choose to do. It's not your place to dictate what anyone wears in a show arena or on a show grounds. USEF/USDF have already allowed the use of helmets at all levels, to the point that the rule insists that riders not be penalized for wearing one, even with a tailcoat. You are overbearing in your apparent zeal to rid the equestrian world of TBIs, while completely ignoring that most TBIs don't even occur on showgrounds. So what then - you want a law that says that everyone mounted must wear a helmet at all times, no matter where they are?

Good luck with that. :rolleyes:

Lori B
Mar. 22, 2010, 09:34 PM
Laws are not what anyone here is suggesting. In fact, I think that if riding sports bodies did a better job of encouraging / enforcing good safety practices, equestrian sports would face LESS risk of stupid and intrusive and inappropriate laws being imposed by horse ignorant legislative bodies.

The fact that Texas is your frame of reference for sensible public policy speaks for itself.

jumpsnake
Mar. 22, 2010, 09:58 PM
I'll never understand why people make such a big deal out of wearing a helmet. Why not be safer? I just don't get it.

I always wear a helmet, even if I'm riding what I think is the most bombproof horse in the universe.


As for the 'image' thing, I agree with whoever said we just have to get used to it. If everyone wore helmets in the dressage ring, no one would care.

ESG
Mar. 22, 2010, 10:26 PM
Laws are not what anyone here is suggesting. In fact, I think that if riding sports bodies did a better job of encouraging / enforcing good safety practices, equestrian sports would face LESS risk of stupid and intrusive and inappropriate laws being imposed by horse ignorant legislative bodies.

But it's okay for you, because you're not a "horse ignorant legislative body", to suggest rules that demand compliance at horse shows? Yep, that makes sense. :rolleyes:


The fact that Texas is your frame of reference for sensible public policy speaks for itself.

Explain this remark, please?

Horseymama
Mar. 23, 2010, 11:26 AM
I'll never understand why people make such a big deal out of wearing a helmet. Why not be safer? I just don't get it.


I don't get it either. Why the huge debate? Wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one. Why would anyone not wear a helmet every time they get on a horse?

I actually find it quite strange that people argue against wearing helmets.

mg
Mar. 23, 2010, 01:15 PM
I don't get it either. Why the huge debate? Wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one. Why would anyone not wear a helmet every time they get on a horse?

I actually find it quite strange that people argue against wearing helmets.

People aren't arguing that others shouldn't wear helmets, they're arguing that individuals shouldn't be required to wear one if they don't want to. No one here is advocating that helmets are unnecessary; they're advocating personal choice.

katarine
Mar. 23, 2010, 02:30 PM
I want to retain my right to make my own choices about what I put on my head, thanks very much.

I don't need a governing body governing anything more than they already are. It's not like they are banned, Good Heavens one can CHOOSE to wear one now.

Manage your own mess, I say.

And don't give me the claptrap about caring for someone in a vegetative state and whatnot. Slipping a foot into a stirrup is a choice, and that choice on any day on any horse in any setting may be the choice that punches your ticket. We all know that, and darnit, we do it anyway. Go Fruitbattin Figure.

Lori B
Mar. 23, 2010, 02:38 PM
Managing your own mess is EXACTLY what you won't be able to do if you get a TBI from falling off without a helmet. THAT IS THE POINT.

You become someone else's mess to manage because you were too cool to wear a helmet. No amount of saying 'this is my problem to solve' will make that fact go away.

katarine
Mar. 23, 2010, 02:57 PM
Lori, you blast past MY point to point your sanctimonious finger my way. MY point is riding is risky. Life is risky. Get over it or stay on the porch.

Lori B
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:01 PM
Of course life is risky. Which is why taking unnecessary risks that are easily preventable is so dim. I am 'over it', but am also utterly over the whole "I must be free to do stupid stuff so that I can look classickal" line of argument pursued with such passion with the anti-helmet requirement folks.

tabula rashah
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:05 PM
They already tell you what bits you can and cannot use, what saddle, that you can or cannot carry a whip, size and type of spurs, even down to the exact cm size of a logo on your saddle pad is dictated- So why on earth do you think requiring helmets is any different? We all gladly go along with the rest of the rules, why is it requiring helmets is such a issue?
I'm an every ride person, no one on my property or my horses without one-

mg
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:07 PM
I don't see what a show requirement would really do anyway as I understand a majority of these injuries happen at home. I know plenty of H/J people who school flat and jumping at home in baseball caps despite the helmet requirements on show grounds. I don't see dressage being any different.

ESG
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:25 PM
People aren't arguing that others shouldn't wear helmets, they're arguing that individuals shouldn't be required to wear one if they don't want to. No one here is advocating that helmets are unnecessary; they're advocating personal choice.

Thank you, mg. Very well said. :yes:

ESG
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:33 PM
Of course life is risky. Which is why taking unnecessary risks that are easily preventable is so dim. I am 'over it', but am also utterly over the whole "I must be free to do stupid stuff so that I can look classickal" line of argument pursued with such passion with the anti-helmet requirement folks.

No, it's people who think they can dictate what others do, when it isn't their place to do so. It's already been stated that most TBIs don't occur at shows, so your mandate that everyone wear a helmet at shows, isn't going to solve the problem. And since you can't dictate what someone does when not on a show grounds, what good is your mandatory helmet rule going to do, that isn't already done?

Oh, and I'm still waiting for an explanation of the remark about Texas. :D

ESG
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:33 PM
I don't see what a show requirement would really do anyway as I understand a majority of these injuries happen at home. I know plenty of H/J people who school flat and jumping at home in baseball caps despite the helmet requirements on show grounds. I don't see dressage being any different.

Exactly. :yes:

Sneekers
Mar. 23, 2010, 04:13 PM
And has anyone ever seen a European sales ad for an upper level dressage horse, where a helmet is being worn by the rider? I haven't. And if the Europeans, who revere only soccer above equestrian sport, won't do it, what are the chances that anyone here, will? Especially when you consider that nearly all equestrian "fashion" comes out of Europe? Pretty slim,I think.

Truthfully, I hate wearing a helmet of any type because all hats, or for that matter anything I wear on my head gives me major headaches-really painful ones. But, I've been wearing a helmet for the past 4-5 years.

Maybe we should think of this another way (in light of current events). How many people who ride horses have adequate health insurance to cover them if they sustain a TBI? Once that runs out, how does one pay for the ongoing care required until (hopefully) the rider makes a full recovery and is self-supporting again? In Europe this is less of a concern since (I believe) most of these countries have government funded healthcare for their citizens. So, this isn't a factor in the equation for dealing with riders who get serious injuries. In the U.S. most of us would probably not be able to afford the aftercare which we all know can be long term. Using the examples of Courtney King-Dye, Darren Chiachia (I apologize if I mangled the spelling of his name) to name 2 high-profile professionals who have had serious injuries, friends, family, colleagues, etc. have set up funds to assist/offset medical expenses. The average person doesn't have the network to do this.

So if you're not swayed by the practical or emotional repercussions of a TBI and choose to ride without a helmet (your choice~no argument from me), perhaps the financial burden on your loved ones, the potential loss of everything due to bankruptcy and being kept on life support in a state funded rehab facility indefinitely might make you think twice about the helmet issue.

JMHO

Horseymama
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:21 PM
People aren't arguing that others shouldn't wear helmets, they're arguing that individuals shouldn't be required to wear one if they don't want to. No one here is advocating that helmets are unnecessary; they're advocating personal choice.

I still don't get it. Why would anyone want to get on a horse without a helmet? Personal choice? Why would anyone choose that?

opel
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:46 PM
As you may have noticed, people do choose to ride without a helmet. Even though you can't comprehend why. Guess what? It's not your problem. Personally, I sometimes wear a helmet but often don't. Why? To be cool? To follow fashion? No.......because any kind of hat gives me a terrible headache and because it impedes my balance and upper body. I could care less what other people are doing--and definately feel more "judged" by the "be very scared and always wear a helmet" crowd. I have never, ever felt judged by anyone when wearing a helmet. So this accusation that it's all about being cool is wrong. It's all about riding better and not having a headache. Yes, I know you'll go on and on about the headache I'd have if hurt. Many things in life could hurt or kill me. Some of us have a different outlook about risks and benefits. When I'm riding a well trained horse, the risks of something happening don't measure up to the benefits of having unimpeded balance, movement of my upper body and relaxation. Sorry, but that's the way it is and all of the strident opinion-making and judging of those without helmets won't change this.

Tamsin
Mar. 23, 2010, 08:07 PM
They already tell you what bits you can and cannot use, what saddle, that you can or cannot carry a whip, size and type of spurs, even down to the exact cm size of a logo on your saddle pad is dictated- So why on earth do you think requiring helmets is any different? We all gladly go along with the rest of the rules, why is it requiring helmets is such a issue?
I'm an every ride person, no one on my property or my horses without one-

Excellent point. How ridiculous ESG and others sound insisting that they don't want rules imposed upon them. They already follow countless rules that are a lot less intelligent and useful than a rule to wear a helmet when showing a horse.

LauraKY
Mar. 23, 2010, 08:11 PM
. But, when it comes down to it, if a person chooses not to wear a helmet (or a seatbelt), THEY are the one who risks injury.
Not quite true. If you are in the back seat and unbelted, in a head on collision your body will continue moving...to the front seat and will impact whoever or whatever is in front of you. Not pretty!

ESG
Mar. 23, 2010, 08:50 PM
Sneekers, I'm not saying I don't agree with you - I do. I happen to wear a helmet whenever mounted, because I like my brain (what there is of it ;) ) the way it is, and don't want to give up any more of it than I have to. I've had four concussions, (one serious enough to have caused short term memory loss and made it unsafe for me to drive for nearly a month), none of which were sustained on or around horses. And since brain injuries tend to be cumulative, it makes good sense for me to wear the brain bucket.

That said, I don't want anyone telling me I have to wear a helmet. If one shows hunters or jumpers, it's part of the deal and you accept that (and with good reason). And bellicose, finger-pointing, holier-than-thou "arguments" for a mandatory helmet rule make me almost mad enough to dump the brain bucket as a matter of principle. I'm smarter than that, but it does make me give short shrift to those who presume upon my right to make decisions for myself. We already have a government who wants to wipe our noses and play nanny for us - I don't want that sort of thinking to go any further than it already has. The rules already exist that makes it more than permissible for anyone showing at a USEF/USDF show to wear a helmet at any level, without penalty. I don't see the point of doing anything beyond that.

ESG
Mar. 23, 2010, 08:53 PM
Excellent point. How ridiculous ESG and others sound insisting that they don't want rules imposed upon them. They already follow countless rules that are a lot less intelligent and useful than a rule to wear a helmet when showing a horse.

No more ridiculous than those of you who are yammering about making helmets mandatory at shows. :cool:

Quest52
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:46 PM
Not quite true. If you are in the back seat and unbelted, in a head on collision your body will continue moving...to the front seat and will impact whoever or whatever is in front of you. Not pretty!

And this has to do with horses and helmet how?

Please inform me how I can cause physical pain to someone else by not wearing my helmet.

mg
Mar. 23, 2010, 10:10 PM
I still don't get it. Why would anyone want to get on a horse without a helmet? Personal choice? Why would anyone choose that?

*shrug* the same reason people choose to do a LOT of stupid things in this world? I wear my (super dorky skull cap) helmet every ride, but I'm not about to advocate a rule that makes helmets mandatory at shows. I don't see a person's choice to wear or not wear a helmet as anything that directly affects anyone else. "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

mg
Mar. 23, 2010, 10:16 PM
Excellent point. How ridiculous ESG and others sound insisting that they don't want rules imposed upon them. They already follow countless rules that are a lot less intelligent and useful than a rule to wear a helmet when showing a horse.

I see those rules as "level playing field" rules. For example, certain bits aren't allowed because they defeat the purpose/intent of dressage (ie. leverage bits). By only allowing a certain selection of bits, it attempts to create a more "fair" showing situation where some people don't have equipment advantages. We have rules on dress so that we can be judged more objectively (or so is the intention). I see the rules in the rulebook as being things that advocate fairness and consistency between riders. I don't see how making helmets mandatory does this at all. I'd imagine making helmets mandatory would help with liability/insurance, but I also see that as something that should be a show-by-show decision, not one made by the USDF/USEF.

Sneekers
Mar. 24, 2010, 09:34 AM
ESG, I agree that it's a personal choice. I, too, am fed up with rules for this, rules for that, mandatory yada, yada, yada. Much less a government regulation by people who don't have a clue about riding or horses telling me what is and is not "for my own good". I'm just saying that given this personal choice, one might consider the long term financial ramifications.

Although I am loathe to bring up the Christopher Reeves incident, his healthcare and finances were tapped out due to the long term care he required. If I recall, Robin Williams stepped up to pay some (or all) of the ongoing medical expenses. So, what I'm saying is that if you choose not to wear a helmet from a personal choice perspective (and I support that choice), perhaps another consideration might be financial. I know I couldn't possibly afford long term care once my health insurance runs out - and I don't have any family to worry about.

ESG
Mar. 24, 2010, 11:04 AM
ESG, I agree that it's a personal choice. I, too, am fed up with rules for this, rules for that, mandatory yada, yada, yada. Much less a government regulation by people who don't have a clue about riding or horses telling me what is and is not "for my own good". I'm just saying that given this personal choice, one might consider the long term financial ramifications.

Although I am loathe to bring up the Christopher Reeves incident, his healthcare and finances were tapped out due to the long term care he required. If I recall, Robin Williams stepped up to pay some (or all) of the ongoing medical expenses. So, what I'm saying is that if you choose not to wear a helmet from a personal choice perspective (and I support that choice), perhaps another consideration might be financial. I know I couldn't possibly afford long term care once my health insurance runs out - and I don't have any family to worry about.

Not disputing your perspective, but it would carry a lot more weight if TBIs only happened with riders who don't wear helmets. That, of course, is not the case.

Oh, and CR actually was wearing a helmet, and his brain was one of the few things that wasn't much affected by the accident. One could conceivably argue that the brain, being part of the central nervous system, was secondarily/tertiarily affected, but one's argument about helmet prevention would be weakened, quite a bit.

Ah, well - fluff to think about. Just as this "mandatory helmet" rule is fluff. Ain't gonna happen. :cool:

5WhiteSocks
Mar. 24, 2010, 11:19 AM
I'm so sick of these threads. Mass hysteria at its best. What happened to Courtney is tragic and sad. I'm sure everyone hopes for the best outcome for her.

I'm floored that so many people here think its okay to force their beliefs on someone else. Mind your own business- worry about your own riding, safety, etc.

I sometimes wear a helmet when schooling. Will never wear one in the ring. I don't believe it will ever be mandetory- certainly not when schooling at home. If watching me ride without a helmet makes your eyes bleed just don't watch. If you think I'm stupid for making that decision thats fine too- but know that I (like many people) just plain don't give a crap what you think.

Ugh- this is getting to the point of being as pointless and boring as the many Rolkur threads.

EXXXXXXXXactly :lol:


Many training and riding barns in Europe get an discount in assurance when they force their student to wear a helmet. But I never saw the owners and trainers of these barns wear a helmet.

Freedom of choice :yes:


Rider still in coma 11 months after eventing fall

March 24, 2010

Allison and Skyler just moments before the fall.

Allison's parents Terri and Grand Angrove wearing their "Team Allison" t-shirts at the "Walk for Thought" event in Sacramento last weekend, which is organised to raise awareness of brain injury across the state during Brain Injury Awareness Month.


Young US rider Allison Angrove remains in a coma after falling in a warmup session before the showjumping phase of the Ram Tap horse trials in Fresno, California on April 10, 2009.
Allison, then 16, fell from her horse, Skyler, and sustained a fractured skull, a severe traumatic brain injury, and bruised lungs.

She was wearing a helmet and at the time her family said they were "baffled by the extent of her injuries."

The 17-year-old is still in a coma, but is breathing on her own through a trach, and has a feeding tube. Her mother, Terri, said Allison is resting quietly and her vital signs are stable. "Because of the extensive injury to her brain, we don't know what the future holds, so we would greatly appreciate your prayers for her healing."

Yesterday morning Allison opened her eyes at 6am and kept them open until about 9.30. "Afterwards she was sleepy the rest of the day," Terri Angrove said. "She slept through her Reiki healing session."

Messages of support and prayer are read to Allison, who is now at Santa Clara Kaiser Hospital. Hundreds of supporters have signed Allison's guestbook.

Her family is looking for a suitable care facility for Allison once she is discharged from hospital.

A fund-raiser is being held for Allison at the Ram Tap Horse Trials, on May 1-2.


Allison's story

Sandy M
Mar. 24, 2010, 02:35 PM
Oh, and CR actually was wearing a helmet, and his brain was one of the few things that wasn't much affected by the accident. One could conceivably argue that the brain, being part of the central nervous system, was secondarily/tertiarily affected, but one's argument about helmet prevention would be weakened, quite a bit.

Ah, well - fluff to think about. Just as this "mandatory helmet" rule is fluff. Ain't gonna happen. :cool:


I don't believe anyone has ever said that helmets would prevent compression spinal injuries, ergo, IMHO, it neither strengthens nor weakens the arguments about helmet use.

I have never thought of Mr. Reeve's accident as an argument for or against helmets. I would think, however, that had he not been wearing a helmet (outrageously unlikely for an eventer, certainly, but I suppose if he had been schooling at home it might have been possible....) he would not have become quadraplegic, but likely would have died on the spot. Now Mr. Reeve being a very courageous and optimistic man survived for several years in that condition, but I have known people who would have preferred death to that level of incapacity. To even bring it up is like saying "she wouldn't have broken her arm/leg if she'd been wearing a helmet." Not truly relevant.

Now I admit to - several years back - riding helmetless, even on the trails, though never on "new" trails nor in such venues as San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which could give heartattacks to the calmest of horses at times. I rode Old Faithful that way, and showed him (dressage) wearing a soft derby. He was pretty much unflappable and nothing ever happened. These days, however, I wouldn't get on my 5 year old without a helmet AND vest. I changed my mind about helmets in general after a friend of mine (who emerged uninjured from the whole thing) was T-boned by two mountain bikers while riding her equally Reliable 24+ year old horse on the (usually pretty peaceful) trails in our area. She and the horse were knocked off the side of the road, and the horse saved from falling all the way off a cliff because it slid into a tree (fortunately big enough to take his weight). She and the horse emerged with nothing worse than bruises, but it brought it home to me that it isn't what YOU or YOUR HORSE might do/react to - it's what the other idiots out there - equestrian and non-equestrian - might do that's going to affect you and your horse. To me, doing without is an unnecessary and foolish risk. If you (in general) want to take that risk, fine, but please be sure you have good insurance coverage. It's like the said joke, "What do you call a helmet-less motorcyclist?" Answer: An organ donor.

Rules, meh. While I would applaud rules (as opposed to laws) mandating helmets at all competitions, it's like sex: You can't legislate morality. However, in California, you CAN legislate helmets for motorcyclists, so the time may be coming. If it saves people from themselves, then good. I understand why some people get their back up at the concept, but it DOES affect more people than just the person injured/crippled/killed because they didn't wear a helmet. Is wearing a helmet a foolproof safety item - of course not, but it's better than wearing nothing. The helmets these days constantly improve, and my IHR is so comfortable, I often forget I'm wearing it, so discomfort to me just means you didn't shop long or hard enough to find a good helmet.

Years ago, a friend finished exercising a horse, was late for an appointment, and the horse's owner said she'd untack and cool horse out, so my friend rushed to her car, still wearing her helmet. She got t-boned by someone running a redlight, and despite her seatbelt, hit her head forcefully on the windshield. Since she was still wearing her helmet, she got nothing worse than mild headache. Maybe we SHOULD wear helmets in our cars. ROFLOL

mg
Mar. 24, 2010, 02:50 PM
Rules, meh. While I would applaud rules (as opposed to laws) mandating helmets at all competitions, it's like sex: You can't legislate morality. However, in California, you CAN legislate helmets for motorcyclists, so the time may be coming.

I don't know a ton about law (and don't really care to spend the time looking into this), but are motorcycle helmet laws and seat belt laws allowed to be made/enforced because those activities take place on public roads?

ESG
Mar. 24, 2010, 07:09 PM
No. It's a state mandate, either for or against. Texas (and Florida, IIRC?) both make wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle, optional. But you are required by law to wear one when riding a bicycle. Go figure. :no:

mg
Mar. 24, 2010, 07:13 PM
No. It's a state mandate, either for or against. Texas (and Florida, IIRC?) both make wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle, optional. But you are required by law to wear one when riding a bicycle. Go figure. :no:

No motorcycle helmet law in Maine either! So does this mean that if I were driving a motorcycle in, say, Vermont where there is a helmet law and I was driving up and down my private driveway, I'd still be breaking the law? If so...:eek: that's terrifying.

Micah68
Mar. 25, 2010, 01:04 PM
I just finally had to throw my opinion in with the rest of the crowd on this subject. I read all the arguments against enacting a helmet use rule at dressage competitions and I just don't find any of them convincing.

First of all, this idea of "I shouldn't have rules telling me what to wear on my head" just doesn't hold water. We are already governed by plenty of rules that tell us what we can and can't wear in competition. We are NOT free to wear what we want. For that matter, we are already told what is permissable in the show ring to wear on our head. To update this rule to make it more about safety is certainly in keeping with the purpose of our sport. Safety is an important issue.

Secondly, there IS research (although not enough regarding equestrian injuries, especially from recent years) that clearly supports the fact that helmet use prevents injury or lessens it. Helmets DO SAVE LIVES and reduce injury.

Lastly, I believe enacting a rule WILL happen if enough of us rally behind such a proposal. Change is almost always difficult and controversial. Look at the battle that baseball players and hockey players went through before helmets were mandatory!

ESG
Mar. 25, 2010, 01:49 PM
No motorcycle helmet law in Maine either! So does this mean that if I were driving a motorcycle in, say, Vermont where there is a helmet law and I was driving up and down my private driveway, I'd still be breaking the law? If so...:eek: that's terrifying.

I don't know. :no:

lorilu
Mar. 25, 2010, 02:28 PM
If you do not have a helmet, and you get hurt, and go to the ER, you had better be rich. OR, better yet, have an end of life directive.
I DO NOT WANT TO PAY YOUR HEALTH COSTS. this is how you "hurt" someone else. I know of better ways to spend my tax dollars.

L

Horseymama
Mar. 25, 2010, 03:07 PM
I just finally had to throw my opinion in with the rest of the crowd on this subject. I read all the arguments against enacting a helmet use rule at dressage competitions and I just don't find any of them convincing.

First of all, this idea of "I shouldn't have rules telling me what to wear on my head" just doesn't hold water. We are already governed by plenty of rules that tell us what we can and can't wear in competition. We are NOT free to wear what we want. For that matter, we are already told what is permissable in the show ring to wear on our head. To update this rule to make it more about safety is certainly in keeping with the purpose of our sport. Safety is an important issue.

Secondly, there IS research (although not enough regarding equestrian injuries, especially from recent years) that clearly supports the fact that helmet use prevents injury or lessens it. Helmets DO SAVE LIVES and reduce injury.

Lastly, I believe enacting a rule WILL happen if enough of us rally behind such a proposal. Change is almost always difficult and controversial. Look at the battle that baseball players and hockey players went through before helmets were mandatory!

I completely and totally agree with this entire post. If enacting a rule such as this saves ONE person's life, it is worth it.

le_dressage
Mar. 25, 2010, 03:16 PM
I do wear a helmet and I also think it should be a choice. I think before we attack the dressage community maybe we should look at the western community who never wears helmets and have a great deal of accidents that never get heard about. Half of those people running around doing barrels should have something on.

monstrpony
Mar. 25, 2010, 03:21 PM
I do wear a helmet and I also think it should be a choice. I think before we attack the dressage community maybe we should look at the western community who never wears helmets and have a great deal of accidents that never get heard about. Half of those people running around doing barrels should have something on.

Only half? :confused:

Knights Mom
Mar. 26, 2010, 12:00 AM
It should be a choice.

It makes me cranky when someone espouses to tell me to do something because they perceive it as good for me. Especially since I won't be able to tell them to do something I want them to do.

Like shutting up when they want to tell me what to do.

I don't mean to personally insult anyone. But it should be a choice. My head, my choice. My uterus, my choice.

That's how I roll!