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Emy
Jan. 27, 2011, 03:42 PM
http://www.dressagedaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5821:courtney-king-dye-lends-her-voice-to-the-riders4helmets-helmet-safety-symposium&catid=376:january

Please take a moment to read her letter. I was very struck by it.

Fav new quote for my dressage friends who still resist the changing times: "The bottom line is no matter how 'good' you are, you can't train a horse to not trip over his own feet."

Also the last sentance it pretty powerful.

JWB
Jan. 27, 2011, 03:54 PM
Wish there was a "LIKE" button on COTH.

netg
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:10 PM
I just posted that to facebook.


Having a horse fall on me was what made me start wearing a helmet every ride, even when not required. I was lucky that the ride it happened on was one at school, where I was required to wear a helmet.

I hope no one else has to have a horse fall to wear a helmet, but can instead learn from the experiences of others. No, it's not going to happen often - but if I could predict when it would, I'd be buying winning lottery tickets, and Totilas would be in the US now.

Velvet
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:15 PM
Fav new quote for my dressage friends who still resist the changing times: "The bottom line is no matter how 'good' you are, you can't train a horse to not trip over his own feet."



Yeah, well, hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.

I am still surprised that she did not have the foresight to wear one on every horse.

Yes, people can learn from her experiences, but the fact remains that if she hadn't given in to peer pressure and had worn a helmet when riding a horse (rather than baseball caps), this whole situation could have been avoided.

Now everyone can jump on the Velvet-hate pile. I just think there's an elephant in the room regarding her accident and because she was a star and was injured, people make excuses and now jump on board to get behind her helmet crusade.

People, the elephant is that she should have been wearing the helmet to prevent the injuries that can occur when horses have accidents (tripping over their feet, etc.) to avoid her current situation.

Do I feel bad that she was hurt? Yes. Do I want to jump on her band wagon forcing people to wear helmets to prevent injuries? Nope. Why not? Because I think all grown ups should be responsible for themselves and be able to make decisions for themselves (based on their own judgment) and no one else should be expected to have to pay for those mistakes except the person who first chose to get on a horse w/o a helmet. Can she be held up as a poster child for what can happen when you don't wear a helmet? Sure, if she wants to.

NCRider
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:28 PM
Velvet,
You're on a tear of insensitivity (to others) and hypersensitivity (yourself) today. Perhaps you should put down the keyboard before you offend anyone elase.

At no point have I heard CKD say that she shouldn't have been wearing a helmet that day. There is no elephant in the room. It's pretty much right in front of everyone and acknowledged by all involved.

She's shedding light on the fact that well-known riders set trends and if the big guys don't wear helmets then most of the small guys won't either. If the big guys lead the charge, then the smart small guys will follow along. In the dressage world, it seems to take personal or close experience with the aftermath of a TBI before riders buck the trend and wear the helmet.

Rather than berating people for not having the courage/foresight to buck the trend in the past, we should be giving them credit for trying to change the trend now so that no one who wears a helmet has to feel that they're going against the grain. That will do more for safety than judging those who weren't mavericks about helmets in the past.

dwblover
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:30 PM
I think at this point CKD is simply trying to make the most out of a terrible situation. Her accident really did send a wake up call to a lot of upper level riders that ANYONE can suffer injuries doing dressage. I think raising awareness can lead to better choices. Some people who never wore a helmet may be touched by her story and decide to wear one. It may just save their life, and I think that if CKD can save one life then her accident was not in vain. And yes, I agree that she should have thought about these types of things before her accident, but hindsight is always 20/20 and the only thing she can do now is move forward.

mp
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:50 PM
I just posted this on my fbook, too.

Velvet, you need to change back to the ME ME ME sig line.

katarine
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:54 PM
Her accident changed my use of helmets. I don't get on a horse, any horse, without wearing one. I told my then student about her, sent him the links...he wears a helmet. Because of what happened to her.

I forwarded the article to my DH, who is not on the helmet bandwagon, yet. He has one, it fits him, but he's still the Marlboro Man in his mind. No, he doesn't smoke ;)

Velvet, crabs again??

Velvet
Jan. 27, 2011, 04:57 PM
I just posted this on my fbook, too.

Velvet, you need to change back to the ME ME ME sig line.

But, it's not about me. It's about her.

:sigh:

Brother. I said there'd be a Velvet-hate pile. :lol:

I'm just not feeling very PC today. Just pointing at elephants...

Courtney is sweet. Courtney was a great rider. Courtney's accident never should have happened. We all agree on this.

Why is celebrity used to raise awareness for a cause? What about the other people who've been injured? How do you all feel about them? Where's the flag raised for them and their cause?

(BTW, this has nothing to do with the other post on titles. The other one was just a musing that has now grown into a flaming pile. :lol: )

People think I'm attacking, I'm asking why people are taking themselves so seriously and why THIS one cause. Why THIS one person. Why are people not responsible for themselves? (I've probably spent too much time on the Off Course topic about the 'rents suing the coach for their daughter's death.)

UniqueSaddlePads
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:01 PM
Thanks for sharing, this was a great article. Also loved her line, "The bottom line is no matter how 'good' you are, you can't train a horse to not trip over his own feet."

That actually happened to me, my horse tripped and fell on me. Luckily I escaped with only a sprained ankle. And no I wasn't wearing a helmet, but it changed my perspective very quickly and now you won't see me on a horse without one!

Perfect Pony
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:06 PM
I for one am happy she is speaking out. And I am all for a rule requiring helmets.

Then again, I am one of the helmet nazis at my barn that will tell someone they should be wearing a helmet when they don't. Even though it pisses people off. I also would never let anyone get on any horse I own without a helmet on, even the biggest BNT on the planet.

JWB
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:09 PM
Here's the way I look at it Velvet. Some people learn things the hard way. Some people learn things the easy way. CKD unfortunately had to learn the hard way. Hopefully lots of people will see her experience and decide to learn the helmet lesson the easy way.

Dressage_Julie
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:13 PM
Yes, people can learn from her experiences, but the fact remains that if she hadn't given in to peer pressure and had worn a helmet when riding a horse (rather than baseball caps), this whole situation could have been avoided.

Velvet-

I am disgusted by what you wrote, but mostly the part I quoted above. Peer pressure?? Really??? I came up doing young riders at the same time Courtney did, and I don't remember anyone EVER wearing a helmet! I don't think it was a matter of peer pressure, it simply wasn't part of our attire... from the minute a dressage rider graduated to 4th level, we all ditched helmets because it was an honor to earn the top hat back then. I never remember people wearing top hats at the lower levels, and I am not really sure when that happened. I grew up learning that one day I could not wear a helmet, and that is what I set out to do. I will honestly say, since Courtney's accident, I started wearing a helmet every ride. Did I feel pressured into doing so, no... Her accident puts things into perspective, it was time that things changed. I think she is trying to do a great thing which is educate people in the other direction and change what has always been. It is like saying people put leg protection on their horses because it is a peer pressure... no, we are taking steps to protect our investment, we are now starting to see things differently... if we protect our horses legs, why have we not been protecting our heads?

Next time you want to make a comment like you did above, please keep it to yourself... I know if I could take back the minute I gave up to read your post I would have... but as you said "hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20."

Velvet
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:26 PM
Velvet-

I am disgusted by what you wrote, but mostly the part I quoted above. Peer pressure?? Really??? I came up doing young riders at the same time Courtney did, and I don't remember anyone EVER wearing a helmet! I don't think it was a matter of peer pressure, it simply wasn't part of our attire... from the minute a dressage rider graduated to 4th level, we all ditched helmets because it was an honor to earn the top hat back then. I never remember people wearing top hats at the lower levels, and I am not really sure when that happened. I grew up learning that one day I could not wear a helmet, and that is what I set out to do. I will honestly say, since Courtney's accident, I started wearing a helmet every ride. Did I feel pressured into doing so, no... Her accident puts things into perspective, it was time that things changed. I think she is trying to do a great thing which is educate people in the other direction and change what has always been. It is like saying people put leg protection on their horses because it is a peer pressure... no, we are taking steps to protect our investment, we are now starting to see things differently... if we protect our horses legs, why have we not been protecting our heads?

Next time you want to make a comment like you did above, please keep it to yourself... I know if I could take back the minute I gave up to read your post I would have... but as you said "hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20."

Disgusted? It was peer pressure. Do you think that she was allowed to ride at Lendon's without a helmet when she started out?

We all thought that some day you would achieve a level where you would no longer have to wear a helmet. So we started out wearing helmets and then to prove we were great riders we all wanted to get rid of our helmets so we would look as good as our idols. That is peer pressure. To fit in with others by altering your attire or doing something you know is wrong.

She, like many others, did it to prove that they were at the top.

You have a right to your feelings, but disgust at that comment, when it fits, is misplaced.

Read NCRider's response, she understands that part of it.


She's shedding light on the fact that well-known riders set trends and if the big guys don't wear helmets then most of the small guys won't either. If the big guys lead the charge, then the smart small guys will follow along.

Wayside
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:30 PM
Thanks for sharing, this was a great article. Also loved her line, "The bottom line is no matter how 'good' you are, you can't train a horse to not trip over his own feet."

That actually happened to me, my horse tripped and fell on me. Luckily I escaped with only a sprained ankle. And no I wasn't wearing a helmet, but it changed my perspective very quickly and now you won't see me on a horse without one!

Yes, the kindest, quietest, easiest to ride horse I've ever owned once tripped at the canter, went ass over tea kettle, and sent me flying. Thank goodness he launched me out of his own way, and I was wearing a helmet, so I just dislocated a shoulder and got the wind knocked out of me.

Dressage_Julie
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:31 PM
Not peer pressure- it was something you earned... peer pressure is leg warmers and mile high bangs... you do nothing to earn those, you do it because they were cool to wear. I am still disgusted by your comments.

mp
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:31 PM
But, it's not about me. It's about her.

:sigh:

Brother. I said there'd be a Velvet-hate pile. :lol:

I'm just not feeling very PC today. Just pointing at elephants...

Courtney is sweet. Courtney was a great rider. Courtney's accident never should have happened. We all agree on this.

Why is celebrity used to raise awareness for a cause? What about the other people who've been injured? How do you all feel about them? Where's the flag raised for them and their cause?

(BTW, this has nothing to do with the other post on titles. The other one was just a musing that has now grown into a flaming pile. :lol: )

People think I'm attacking, I'm asking why people are taking themselves so seriously and why THIS one cause. Why THIS one person. Why are people not responsible for themselves? (I've probably spent too much time on the Off Course topic about the 'rents suing the coach for their daughter's death.)

It is about you when your perspective is so limited that you can't see the illogic of what you wrote. Her "celebrity" is being used to create awareness for wearing helmets because *HELLO* she's a celebrity in the horse world, so more people are going to hear about her accident. And how preventable her injury was.

I've worn a helmet for 10+ years. I'm no helmevangelist, but, like katarine, her accident gave me an opening to say something to fellow riders about how important helmets are. It also prodded me into buying a new helmet because mine was long overdue for replacement.

I didn't see anyone making excuses for her. She certainly doesn't make any for herself. And your tut-tutting about personal responsibility and what she should have done is completely useless now. Going forward, however, is another story. Which is what she's doing.



PS -- No hate here. You just don't make any sense.

Wayside
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:33 PM
Yes, people can learn from her experiences, but the fact remains that if she hadn't given in to peer pressure and had worn a helmet when riding a horse (rather than baseball caps), this whole situation could have been avoided.

Yes, it could have, but no one can go back and change that now. We can only move forward, share what we've learned from our mistakes, and hope that our experiences can help others learn without having to make the same mistakes themselves.

Rear*Buck*Rear
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:45 PM
Well then to sum this up at this point:

Velvet is in her own disconnected world and we all think she's full of hot air and horse *&$^

and

people like the letter and are passing it on via facebook


Good thread.

ale
Jan. 27, 2011, 05:57 PM
I totally agree with Velvet! Courtney was a big girl and made her own choices...now she has to live with them...end of story

Ibex
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:01 PM
My trainer had a very, VERY similar fall just over a year ago (horse tripped, and went a$$ over teakettle, then kicked her in the head when he scrambled up)... and it was a total fluke she was wearing a helmet at the time. She'd just gotten off a young horse and happened to still be wearing it. That fluke possibly saved her life, and she hasn't gotten on a horse since without a helmet, nor does anyone else in the barn.

Ibex
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:02 PM
I totally agree with Velvet! Courtney was a big girl and made her own choices...now she has to live with them...end of story

And it would be real shame if other people learned from her mistake, now wouldn't it? :rolleyes:

NCRider
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:08 PM
Guys,
I think Velvet's just writing offensive things to stir the pot because she's bored. No one is that dumb. Ale is probably Velvet as well. We should just ignore her.

SillyHorse
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:41 PM
We all thought that some day you would achieve a level where you would no longer have to wear a helmet. So we started out wearing helmets and then to prove we were great riders we all wanted to get rid of our helmets so we would look as good as our idols. That is peer pressure. To fit in with others by altering your attire or doing something you know is wrong.
Speak for yourself, Velvet. There are plenty of us who have always worn helmets, every ride.

SonnysMom
Jan. 27, 2011, 07:09 PM
CKD point seems to be she is a big girl and she made a bad choice and does need to live with. She is now trying to educate others why the choice to ride without a helmet was not well thought out.
As time goes on our views on safety change. My husband is 5 years older than me. He was never in a car seat. I was. Now most people would be horror stricken to see a baby or toddler not in a car seat. Some hospitals won't release a newborn without proof of a car seat.
There were no bike helmets when I grew up. I am only 42. Now bike helmets, especially for children, are much more common.
Seatbelts are mandatory in most, if not all, states.

I think CKD is also pointing out that after her accident she realized that her choice effects more people than just her. It effects her family, her friends, her clients, her employees and her fans.

I always wear a helmet. I always wear a seatbelt. I don't even think about it.

I pay catastrophic medical claims for a living. I see the case management notes for those that decided to not wear a seatbelt, not wear a motorcycle helmet or not wear riding helmets and bike helmets.
One claim I paid, the husband wasn't wearing his motorcycle helmet. Because of the TBI his wife with 2 young kids couldn't bring him home. She couldn't handle his care with having to care for the children and work.
He went to live with his parents. He had a relapse and went back in-patient hospital for a few days. The parents refused to pick him up from the hospital for the week he was waiting for a Medicaid eligible rehabilitation facility to have an open bed. He had exhausted his $1 million dollar lifetime maximum and then some, hence the Medicaid. From the TBI he would have violent outbursts that scared his parents. His wife was afraid to let the kids see him.

His choice ripped his family apart both emotionally and financially. And now his choice is costing the taxpayers with Medicaid. He will likely eventually qualify for Medicare and Social Security disability so his choice will be costing everybody. He was in his mid 40's.

Riding at shows in not a right. Having the horse discipline governing bodies mandate helmets is not a bad thing. It may help keep the horse show liability insurance lower.

EasyStreet
Jan. 27, 2011, 07:52 PM
Nice letter...in the picture on the article Courtney looks like Cathrine Bateson Chandler...I had to do a doubletake!

YankeeLawyer
Jan. 27, 2011, 08:00 PM
Nope. Why not? Because I think all grown ups should be responsible for themselves and be able to make decisions for themselves (based on their own judgment) and no one else should be expected to have to pay for those mistakes except the person who first chose to get on a horse w/o a helmet. .
Except that the poor choices people make do have consequences - monetary and other - for other people. Who do you think pays for these poor decisions, exactly?

katarine
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:18 PM
What manner of glass does Velvet have installed in her house, anyway? Must be mighty thick and soundproof.

Why is celebrity used to raise awareness for a cause?It's a level three Strategy of Influence: Social motivation. Social enabling would be a level 4, wherein MP drives me to the tack shop to help me pick one out. Level one is personal motivation, "I want to wear one" and level two is personally enableed .... I can wear one, as I have one in my possession.

AKA Because it works, ding ding ding.

What about the other people who've been injured?

My friend T was injured, and it prompted me to buy a Troxel that didn't fit well. I wore in sporadically. Then CKD got hurt, I started taking dressage lessons, tada, see Level 3 above.

How do you all feel about them? Where's the flag raised for them and their cause? I love T and I was inspired to buy a poorly fitted helmet. But CKD inspired me to look again and get a better one.

I haven't bought anyone a flag, got any suggestions?

GallantGesture
Jan. 28, 2011, 12:14 PM
Thanks for sharing the article. I think it's wonderful that Courtney is using herself as an example and trying to do a good thing to make the sport safer. I also posted that fantastic quote to my facebook, and I hope some of my non-helmet-wearer friends see it!

Jooles
Jan. 28, 2011, 12:22 PM
I just wonder...if CKD hadn't had such a severe brain injury -if it had been a no injury fall that she got up and walked away from would there be this helmet-wearing brouhaha. Would she "have seen the light" from a close call and still now be the "poster child" for helmet wearing for everyone?

Velvet
Jan. 28, 2011, 12:26 PM
I just wonder...if CKD hadn't had such a severe brain injury -if it had been a no injury fall that she got up and walked away from would there be this helmet-wearing brouhaha. Would she "have seen the light" from a close call and still now be the "poster child" for helmet wearing for everyone?

That is a VERY interesting question. (And no, this is not an alter of mine, nor was the other one someone ou here called out. I think they're afraid to use a real alter after I was made into what I call the Velvet piñata. :D

dghunter
Jan. 28, 2011, 01:00 PM
I just wonder...if CKD hadn't had such a severe brain injury -if it had been a no injury fall that she got up and walked away from would there be this helmet-wearing brouhaha. Would she "have seen the light" from a close call and still now be the "poster child" for helmet wearing for everyone?

Maybe not but she might have. I know someone who had a bad fall but wasn't injured and it made her start wearing a helmet. She hit her head on a rock trail riding but did not sustain any real damage. Now she wears a helmet every time she gets on a horse :yes:

Jooles
Jan. 28, 2011, 01:03 PM
No alter here. I’ve been lurking for a while. It just seemed to me that we weren’t seeing all sides to this…that if it hadn’t been so tragic to such a popular well-liked advanced rider would there have been such an escalation to mandatory helmet usage.
(For the record, I always wear a helmet. I want to ride and live on my terms for as long as I possibly can so it makes sense for me to protect one of my biggest assets – my head. As I told a fellow boarder that I went on a trail ride with one hot humid day as she says she can’t ride with all the sweat running down her neck with a helmet on, I tell her I’d rather deal with a little sweat now than forever be drooling on my shoes because of an accident that shouldn’t have happened. BTW – those micro-fiber buffs are awesome with keeping heads cool and dry)
We have all had our close calls. You can get nailed getting your horse out of the pasture or a swinging head after a fly. We aren’t going to wear helmets as soon as we step into the barn. But getting on a horse (or motorcycle or in a car) just ups the ante that a completely unpredictable event could happen that could irrevocably change our life. We have state of the art helmets, body protectors and now even vests with deployable air bags – to give us a leg up on minimizing injury. IMHO it makes sense to utilize these tools to protect what we value. Can or should we mandate common sense? On the other hand, I have more than a passing knowledge of the insurance industry and have seen the costs of not having used common sense and the fall-out that happens. And often the general population does end of paying for it.

rothmpp
Jan. 28, 2011, 01:42 PM
Except that the poor choices people make do have consequences - monetary and other - for other people. Who do you think pays for these poor decisions, exactly?

This is absolutelty true, buuuuut....

You can use this argument for just about anything that is bad for you - obesity is usually very expensive over a lifetime in medical expenses, and on a large scale, bad for everyone's insurance rates. Do we, as a society, get to be the food and exercise police for everyone who is overweight? Alcohol can have serious repercussions on health - but so long as the alcoholic does not break other laws, there is nothing stopping them from the litany of expensive issues that can arise.

I am fine with the helmet rule. We don't have a constitutional right to horse shows, and if we choose to participate, we must follow the rules of those who are putting the private event on. On a personal level I'm a little disappointed, as I felt like as I am planning to show 4th level this year, I planning to start wearing a top hat. OTOH, I'm totally fine with not having to spend the money on one, either. I almost bought on this winter, and am now very happy that I did not.

The only issue that I have is that the rule exempted FEI level rides. Why are those excluded?

suzy
Jan. 28, 2011, 02:06 PM
Off on a slight tangent for a second...for those who don't like the look of safety helmets, do you really think hard hats or top hats are that much more attractive? ;)

As far as CKD being the posterchild for helmet wear, more power to her! She will be heard by thousands of people because she *is* a celebrity. The other people who have suffered head injuries from riding accidents can undoubtedly influence their circle of friends, but their stories usually won't make it much further than that.

I'm devastated for CKD that she had this horrible accident but very glad that she is using her misfortune to prevent the same from happening to someone else. Just having this dialogue going on in a number of internet forums demonstrates the impact she is having. Not everyone will change their habits, but enough will that, because of the law of averages, there is an excellent chance CKD's openness about her accident will save at least one other person from the same.

So, Velvet, could you get your elephant out of the room--he's blocking the view! LOL

tartanfarm
Jan. 28, 2011, 02:10 PM
I find it interesting that all this fuss is being made about helmets, the chance of horses falling, show liability etc. But the USEF is not making this a multi discipline ruling. I look at all the juniors that vault and the only safety gear they wear is a unitard while hanging upside down. I look at reiners,and anyone who has sat on a spinning horse or done a full out slide can tell you about seating issues then. I watch handlers trying to keep babies feet on the ground, and have seen many injuries in these breed shows.

As my son came up through the hockey system in Canada, he started before helmets where worn, then they became required for juniors so as he grew they became part of the uniform. He felt naked without one on. As these young men moved to pro players the helmets naturally followed. I don't see why a gradual,and natural growth in helmets, from the juniors up, in ALL equine disciplines can't be done without all the fuss.

ginger708
Jan. 28, 2011, 03:04 PM
I will say that the coverage here of Courtney's unfortunate accident saved my life. I am three years older than Courtney and when I started riding at 6 there were no helmets. In my hunter / jumper group lessons we were not required to wear a helmet and no kid did.

It was not a peer pressure thing it was just a not knowing better thing. Unfortunately the seed was sewn in my head at a young age that you did't need helmets. When the barn that I was riding at finally got the memo that kids need to be wearing helmets all the barn rats parents bought the same helmet off the same tack truck at the barn.

It was a helmet in the fact that it was hard and plastic and covered in velvet but the chin strap was trouser elastic and there was no foam to pad the head except a diamond shape piece on the inside at the top of the helmet. If I had fallen with that thing on I am convinced that it would have done more harm than good. I still have it as a paper weight on my desk.

So when I got back in to riding as an adult after a 6 year break. I only wore a helmet if the barn I was riding at required it. That was until I read all of the posts and how people were affected by CKD accident. At the time I felt much the way that Velvet and other posters feel now, that she was a big girl and she has to live with what she decided to do that day. However Lendon, her husband and other family members did not. They had to sit helpless and deal with what was set before them because of a decision that they did not make.

The whole thing made me think about what I do and how it effects my family. To some degree all of us riders suffer from a "it's not going to happen to me delusion" we have to, how else do you explain how we put a foot in the strip knowing it's not if we get hurt but when and how bad.

I have the greatest family ever when it comes to riding except for the occasional tasteless Christopher Reeve joke form my cousin who is like my sister. Or my mother telling me to be careful if she know I'm going to the barn. Not to mention my DH who has seen some of my crashes and knows how badly I have been hurt. They support me and let me do as I please. So I decided that after I heard about CKD that I would never ride without a helmet again and I have not broken that promise to myself.

Fast forward to a month ago my very short version of the story. Doing ground pole work with my trainer, horse bolted, got me off balance, stopped short in the corner, I did not and flew head first at a high rate of speed into the kick boards. Except for seeing stars my head was fine except for some scalp bruising. My helmet was busted and I tore a lot of muscles in my pelvis area.

I was walking with a cane for three weeks and needed my DH to help me in and out of the shower and bed for the first week. And still they support my decision to ride because they love me and know that I would not be the same person if I did not ride. So for them and for myself I wear my helmet, if I was not wearing my helmet that day I would be in a wheel chair talking gibberish or dead.

Kadenz
Jan. 28, 2011, 03:34 PM
For everyone who is bemoaning Courtney's "dressage celebrity" status:

remember, there are some people out there who *actually know* Courtney, personally. MANY of those people now wear helmets, and my trainers are included in that number. If my trainer hadn't learned from Courtney's mistake, he'd probably have been killed when he was thrown onto concrete, instead of escaping with a serious concussion and many broken bones.

I, for one, am glad he's still here. And I'm glad that our barn has a helmet rule now. I have Courtney to thank for that.

BetterOffRed
Jan. 28, 2011, 04:59 PM
- I've had the pleasure of seeing CKD ride in person. She is/was the epitomy of a rider with the perfect seat, perfect position. She's has the best training, the best horses and she's competed all over the world under the most harrowing conditions. And if she can't stay on a horse when it has a stumble- than what chances do the rest of us have with our imperfect seats and imperfect horses.

- I was very MEH. about helmets before CKD's accident. But I was still wearing my helmet.

- Then a similar situation happened in my local horse community. Very much the same situation as CKD and the talented rider ended up in a coma. To see what her friends and family went through, to hear what they were paying for the round the clock ICU (and they had good insurance) was frightening, to see what this young woman is now going through to get her life back really altered my opinions on helmet wearing.

- About one month ago, I was doing cavaletti exercises, got distracted, came unbalanced and ended up coming off. I bounced, felt the impact on the back of my helmet. Got up, laughed it off and got back in the saddle. And took 4 E.S. tylenol later on. No harm no foul. I shudder to think of what could have happened to me if I hadn't had my helmet on.

The inconvenience of the damage caused by a TBI far outweighs the inconvenience of a helmet. And I do agree that if none of us learn anything from CKD own accident and the painful journey she has taken then it really is a tragedy.

TheHorseProblem
Jan. 29, 2011, 08:05 PM
I live near Pasadena and always go watch the Tournament of Roses parade in person. One dressage rider on an 18hh shire wore a top hat/helmet, like the one described in Dressage Today a few months ago, with her shadbelly. I was skeptical while reading the article about how such a thing would look, but I have to say, it looked great and the rider was beaming.

I think it is only a matter of time before the rules change.

Emy
Jan. 29, 2011, 09:54 PM
Whatever your point of view, this topic is important to our sport which is why I posted the link in the first place.

I worked in a large dressage stable riding for European coaches and did not wear a helmet on their Advanced FEI horses, because it just wasn‘t “done”. You are given the privilege of riding their good horses, you do it - and you ride the way they do.

I have also had a horse fall over on me while hacking out before a school - a tractor was coming, I asked him to halt and rein back - he stepped on a large sharp stone, (he had a yet unknown large, lurking hoof abscess in the RH) his hind end crumpled beneath me in pain and he fell backwards losing his balance on top of me, slamming me into the driveway - knocking me out and splitting my cheap Tipperary helmet up the back. It saved my bacon no question and I became “a helmet pusher” never riding without one again.

I was in Wellington, at the CDI the day after her accident happened and every rider and trainer there simply believed that she would be fine, just a bad fall, surely she would be back at the next show….

That fall changed how dressage professionals view “a bad fall.” She was not just a cautionary and unfortunate tale of a unlucky rider (like my own story above), she was one of them. This is how she made her living. She was blossoming talent, a beautiful classical rider and she wasn’t ok.

My friend and I did a quadruple take when our German boss went out hacking his GP horse the following week wearing a helmet. We didn’t know he had one! It sounds minimal but it isn’t. It forced people to examine a subject that has been an unspoken and accepted rule.

I has created exactly this.
Discussion about a topic that is integral to our sport.
I don’t want to piñata Velvet. She is merely aiding in what needs to happen, a thorough consideration and re-examination of an important topic from all sides.

CatOnLap
Jan. 30, 2011, 12:18 PM
Hmm I read this whole thread and CKD's letter and have to say a few things:

CKD's head injury was NO accident. So quit calling it that. It was an entirely predictable, statistically PROBABLE event that she chose to ignore prior to coming crashing on her unprotected head. Velvet is entirely right about it being from peer pressure- and many posters on this thread confirm that- apparently, in some big european trainer stables "its just not done on FEI horses". And from someone who came up the YR ranks with CKD, "No one wore helmets". Stupid. In horses, its not IF you're going to get hurt, its WHEN YOU WILL BE HURT AGAIN. When I rode at the major German exam center, NO ONE said a thing about me wearing my helmet. No judge has ever marked me down or made comment about my choiuce to wear a helmet. If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you?

CKD doesn't apologize for having had stupid opinions and choices prior to her crash. She doesn't really even admit in that letter that her previous choices were mistakes. She continues to damn with faint praise the reasons we should wear helmets:

no matter how uncomfortable it is or how ugly it looks, we should wear a helmet. She continues to talk about helmets as if they are ugly and uncomfortable. There is nothing uglier than YOU lying in ICU with bandages swathed around your injured brain. Most helmets today are quite stylish and come in great colours. Less silly looking than the rest of the FEI monkey suit.


The only somewhat relevant excuse is that wearing a helmet for 8 hours in the beating sun is so uncomfortable it almost distracts from the riding.Really? One wonders even today, how much experience she has with modern helmets. I've been wearing the latest thing in helmets for 40 years. Every ride. The ones in the last 10 years are more comfortable in the hot sun than bareheaded, as they have engineered airflow and you don't have the sun burning down on bare skin! Riding in the shade of a helmet beats bareheaded every time for every reason. And it did a few months ago, before she had her predictable crash too!
it makes sense for us to match the hotter horses with the available improved head gear.She continues to talk as if helmets may only be necessary for hotter or more sensitive horses, completely ignoring her own earlier statement to "expect the unexpected". Every ride, Every horse. Like ME. Like VELVET.
I had the exact same crash on a horse 10 years ago- horse tripped over his own feet and we came crashing down, on top of a bunch of jump poles, hitting my head really hard on them. My helmet cracked into two pieces. Saved my LIFE. I got up, put on another helmet, and continued the lesson.

In fact, her letter comes across to me as just another celebrity trying to grab limelight for herself. She's "bummed" because she was too sick to appear on stage at the helmet symposium. Good grief- I doubt she was missed. Its not all about her her her. She talks as if SHE "ignited" the helmet discussion. How much more egotistical can one person be? The helmet discussion has been going on for decades before she was even born.

She mentions role models. She's a really poor role model , IMO, now turning around and condemning those who made the exact same choices she has made, because she's changed her mind. or rather, her brain has been changed permanently. Want a role model? Look to your neighbour- the one who wears a helmet all the time. Not a celebrity, not famous, I know, but a much better role model.

Yes, she had a bad injury. Its her personal tragedy. But I guess like so many other celebrities recently- you know- the cocaine addicts, the drunk drivers, the adulterers, the embezzlers, etc who are all now "reformed" and "in recovery"-she's just following the popular trend of cashing in on her personal failings. No such thing as bad publicity and all that.

Hey Velvet- it's warm down here at the bottom of the pile on...

mvp
Jan. 30, 2011, 12:35 PM
I'm so glad CatOnLap posted her long critique of CKD's letter.

You can add me to the Velvet Pile o' Hate, too.

CKD is not the most articulate tool in the shed, as far as I can tell from this letter. She can't seem to decide whether helmets are worth it or a necessary evil. She seems to argue that better bred horses mean "progress" and that includes both changing our mind about helmets or a new, more risky kind of horse. Yet her fall was caused by a trip. That could have happened to a rider on a grade horse.

I'm stunned by the praise she has received for her "enlightenment." This isn't an ice skater discovering that playing with matches is a bad idea. As professional horse trainer, she don't you think she had the opportunity to consider and avoid this danger?

It would have been far cheaper for her, those who bought the T-shirts meant to fund her recovery and her insurance company had she an had an ounce of humility and circumspection before this fall. After all, had she been someone else you didn't like and admire-- some poor slob coming off his motorcycle and racking up huge medical bills, you guys wouldn't be so kind. Your contempt for his bad judgment would have been closer to the surface.

Please. A TBI will put a monkey wrench into anyone's life. But she is capitalizing on hers in a way the hypothetical motorcycle slob will never be able to. In being charitable to her, you are being uncharitable to other people.

NCRider
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:03 PM
Wow, MVP, calling a disabled person who suffered a life altering TBI "not the brightest tool in the shed" is pretty low. Are you this charming in real life too?

Maybe you aren't a dressage rider, but if you'd ever been to a dressage show before CK's accident you'd know that you'd be lucky to see a single person, out of hundreds of riders, wearing a helmet. That's a fact of the discipline. Unless I missed someone, not a single dressage rider or eventer wore a helmet at WEG during a dressage test. Perhaps you'd call custom passive peer pressure but I think custom can almost be harder to defy than active peer pressure.

I haven't been on a horse without a helmet in 5 years. I confess to having ridden without one while riding in Western tack numerous times before that. Why? Because I didn't think about it and I was over the age of 18 and I thought helmets looked doofy. I was lucky that my stupidity didn't cost me.

With respect to the helmet symposium. Of course CKD regretted not being able to attend. The RFH organization was started as a response to her accident. And for all you want to deny it, her accident has every chance of becoming for dressage what Dale Earnhardt's Daytona accident was for NASCAR. She should take something positive from that.

With respect to how you feel she's not strong enough in her statements wrt helmet usage and thus should shut up, there's still a very large contingent of top level dressage riders (especially in Europe) who are opposed to wearing helmets, think they're too good to fall off and that helmet wearers are nervous nellies. A lot of those people are CKD's friends and professional colleagues. She probably doesn't want to offend them or sound too preachy.

Her statement about how they're uncomfortable I imagine reflects one of the reasons she didn't always wear a helmet before the accident. For people who've never worn a helmet before, they probably do feel strange and overwarm. If your only experience with helmets before was a borrowed plastic ill-fitting piece of crap 20 years ago, I understand why you wouldn't be eager to put one on even though you know it's wise.

Paragon
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:28 PM
CKD is not the most articulate tool in the shed, as far as I can tell from this letter.

She suffered a TBI. What's your excuse?

Paragon
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:35 PM
I'm sorry guys, but this thread is like a big slice of Obvious with a side of Duh.

Of course serious injuries are what make us realize that we should change our ways. Of course witnessing them first-hand are what give us pause. Of course celebrities bring to light such things when we haven't experienced them in our own lives. And of course people are hopping on the bandwagon now that it's been shared with them.

Like, really? We needed insulting dissertations and crude derision to tell us this? Thanks, but no thanks.

Courtney did what everyone else in dressage was doing: riding without a helmet. She did what many people in the world do, whether they're experienced horsemen moving cattle or rookies on their first trail ride: riding without a helmet. She suffered a horrific accident and was lucky enough to walk away, and she's smart enough - and compassionate enough - to share her story and try to change people who are currently as (admittedly) foolish as she was.

Why that's so hard for some folks to understand, I don't know. Cruelty simply isn't rational, I guess.

poltroon
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:44 PM
CKD is not the most articulate tool in the shed, as far as I can tell from this letter. She can't seem to decide whether helmets are worth it or a necessary evil. She seems to argue that better bred horses mean "progress" and that includes both changing our mind about helmets or a new, more risky kind of horse. Yet her fall was caused by a trip. That could have happened to a rider on a grade horse.

That she can write as well as that after her injury is a freaking miracle.

I have not met Courtney, but I have been able to use her injury as a starting point for many conversations. The kids, or the trainers, may see people who fell and were hurt, but they can talk themselves into "I'm better than they are, it won't happen to me." But there is no one who can or who would say they are so much better on the flat than Courtney that it can't happen to them.

Another factor in all this is probably that Guenter Seidel had a bad fall that broke his pelvis around that same time. Here you had two of the best American riders with accidents that would be financially catastrophic and potentially career-ending for the ordinary trainers and riders out there who don't have deep pockets.

It's okay to change your mind when you get new information.

poltroon
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:47 PM
Her statement about how they're uncomfortable I imagine reflects one of the reasons she didn't always wear a helmet before the accident. For people who've never worn a helmet before, they probably do feel strange and overwarm. If your only experience with helmets before was a borrowed plastic ill-fitting piece of crap 20 years ago, I understand why you wouldn't be eager to put one on even though you know it's wise.

She probably didn't wear one before her accident, and it's not clear to me how much riding she's done or helmet wearing she's done since. Plus, when one is still recovering from a TBI, your head may still be uncomfortable a lot of the time helmet or no.

kdow
Jan. 30, 2011, 02:05 PM
She probably didn't wear one before her accident, and it's not clear to me how much riding she's done or helmet wearing she's done since. Plus, when one is still recovering from a TBI, your head may still be uncomfortable a lot of the time helmet or no.

Heck, I get migraines and sometimes even a stretchy winter hat is uncomfortable, never mind a properly fitted riding helmet. When your head is tender for any reason is probably not the best time to be judging helmet comfort.

(And, for the record, when I get that sensitive it normally means there's a migraine coming on, so I don't wear a helmet because I don't ride under those conditions.)

Foxtrot's
Jan. 30, 2011, 05:16 PM
Nothing like kicking someone when they are down....just take the message and run with it. For every ride, for every discipline...like seatbelts.

mvp
Jan. 30, 2011, 06:57 PM
She suffered a TBI. What's your excuse?

Oh my.


That she can write as well as that after her injury is a freaking miracle.


I don't know if it is miracle or it is not, as I don't know the nature of her injury. But she has continued to teach after her fall, and I haven't seen complaints that she is incoherent.

Her argument is just bad. It's bad in a really normal way.

If you guys want to think CKD is a saint for getting other adults smart enough to be riding dressage horses that they ought to be taking precautions that are normal, common sense and even legislated for some people, go right ahead. But that doesn't speak well of helmetless dressagers.

I'm just bummed because of the double standard that applies. CKD makes a huge mistake, and publicly changes her ways. Other people make huge mistakes, one's I'm sure they regret, but when they drive up your insurance rates, most other people judge them harshly while congratulating themselves for being superior.

Perfect Pony
Jan. 30, 2011, 08:31 PM
After being launched through the air today and landing flat on my back and onto the back of my head, I soon after thought about this thread. I am so thankful once again to have been wearing my helmet, and no matter what the reasons, I am thankful for CKD now speaking out in favor of them. I don't care how or why she speaks out, if it convinces even one more person to wear them every ride.

princessfluffybritches
Jan. 30, 2011, 08:38 PM
I hadn't worn a helmet for years. Didn't want to mess up the "vision" of me riding, flowing blond hair in the breeze..... My barn mandates that teens wear their helmets. I am certainly not a teen, but I wanted to "belong", LOL. So I started using a helmet. I have a cap to put on afterwards to hide the helmet hair, LOL, when I'm done.

Now my good friend decided to buy a helmet, with no pressure from me.

My feeling now is that as you get older, you carry more and more responsibility around; a mom, a wife, a breadwinner, a caretaker. And you don't have to be a stadium jumper to get hurt bad. Broken bones can be fixed, but brain damage is not something that you can fix with a splint.

Hopefully, they will come out with some real nice looking ones soon!

kdow
Jan. 30, 2011, 08:44 PM
After being launched through the air today and landing flat on my back and onto the back of my head, I soon after thought about this thread. I am so thankful once again to have been wearing my helmet, and no matter what the reasons, I am thankful for CKD now speaking out in favor of them. I don't care how or why she speaks out, if it convinces even one more person to wear them every ride.

I'm going to jump on this to remind people also of the importance of REPLACING a helmet once it's been in a fall, or if it's old. I keep seeing mentions of how people have had incidents that they could get up and get back on from that they put down to the helmet, but unless the helmet was destroyed, people rarely mention "so I got out my spare..."

It's my understanding that helmets are designed such that a blow (like landing on your head) permanently deforms the internal foam - it's that deformation that absorbs the energy instead of your head. But once it's deformed, that's it. It doesn't recover. So if you get back on with the same helmet on, you're not really that much better off than you would be if you weren't wearing a helmet at all. (In fact, possibly you're worse off - I don't know enough about the physics to say.)

So if you hit your head, or MAY have hit your head (because you might not notice) - ditch the helmet, get a new one. Better yet, if you think you're likely to come off frequently (jumping, schooling young or skittish horses, whatever) just suck it up and buy two at a time so you always have a spare.

(Just don't keep the spare where it will be exposed to temperature extremes, like in the trunk of your car. :) )

Perfect Pony
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:02 PM
I'm going to jump on this to remind people also of the importance of REPLACING a helmet once it's been in a fall, or if it's old. I keep seeing mentions of how people have had incidents that they could get up and get back on from that they put down to the helmet, but unless the helmet was destroyed, people rarely mention "so I got out my spare..."

Well, I admit that since it was my 3 year old that launched me, I did get back on and do several walk-trot transitions and made her work again, I did not ask for canter and risk a bucking fit again.

That said, I DO always replace my helmet after a fall, and replace them after a year or so of use when they don't fit quite right. Which is why I choose to ride daily in a Tipperary helmet. It is lightweight, cool, and fairly inexpensive. A Tipperary has now saved me from 2 pretty dramatic falls where I was launched through the air and landed, hitting my head, from quite a distance.

kdow
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:39 PM
Well, I admit that since it was my 3 year old that launched me, I did get back on and do several walk-trot transitions and made her work again, I did not ask for canter and risk a bucking fit again.


As long as you weren't hopping on thinking it'd be the same protection and just fine to keep going with. :)

Like I said, I wasn't trying to pick on you or anything, just using it as a chance to remind people that the things need to be REPLACED when they're used, even if they don't LOOK damaged.

(This is why I wouldn't school in one of those ridiculously expensive ones unless it really was the only one that would fit me properly. I want something where cost isn't much of an issue when it comes to replacing it, so I'm not tempted to say 'well, I don't THINK I hit my head...')

Perfect Pony
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:49 PM
As long as you weren't hopping on thinking it'd be the same protection and just fine to keep going with. :)

Like I said, I wasn't trying to pick on you or anything, just using it as a chance to remind people that the things need to be REPLACED when they're used, even if they don't LOOK damaged.

(This is why I wouldn't school in one of those ridiculously expensive ones unless it really was the only one that would fit me properly. I want something where cost isn't much of an issue when it comes to replacing it, so I'm not tempted to say 'well, I don't THINK I hit my head...')

If I come off in any way except landing on my feet, then I replace my helmet before I ride again. And like you, that's why I like the Tipperary helmets. For a lot less than $100 they are replaced yearly, or after any unplanned dismount.

And it IS good to remind people they have a shelf life, and need to be replaced any time they hit the ground.

Bats79
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:52 PM
I think there is some slightly off comments here.

CKD had an ACCIDENT. Whether or not the injury she received in that accident was PREVENTABLE or not is debatable. But unless she deliberately tipped her horse over it was an accident and so was her resulting injury.

I wear a hat all the time and I still have accidents - sometimes because I make a rider error, other times due to horse error. Lets hope that I don't end up with a head injury.

I was most impressed when I gave a western pleasure rider a lesson at his home the other day and he came out with a helmet on.

dghunter
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:55 PM
As long as you weren't hopping on thinking it'd be the same protection and just fine to keep going with. :)

Like I said, I wasn't trying to pick on you or anything, just using it as a chance to remind people that the things need to be REPLACED when they're used, even if they don't LOOK damaged.

(This is why I wouldn't school in one of those ridiculously expensive ones unless it really was the only one that would fit me properly. I want something where cost isn't much of an issue when it comes to replacing it, so I'm not tempted to say 'well, I don't THINK I hit my head...')

This is such an important point to make! My daily helmet is a Troxel in pink :D It was fairly inexpensive but also comfortable with lots of vents. My show helmet is a CO and I only show in it. Don't want to risk it any other time :lol:

Trevelyan96
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:14 PM
I don't even understand why this post should cause any controversy. Foot in stirrup, helmet on head. Simple and effective. According to an article in the latest issue of COTH, USEF and USDA USEA are already on board. USHJA is still being slow to get there.

One person on the safety committe put it bluntly and well. "Make the rule. You'll have lots of whining and grumbling for a few days or weeks, then it will just be what it is."

clm08
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:20 PM
I really don't get the negative posts here. So those of you who have been wearing helmets all your lives are mad because someone who didn't use to had a catastrophic accident, realized how stupid it was not to, and decided to come forward and preach to her peers about the need to wear a helmet all the time using her accident as the "ah-ha" moment in her life. Because dressage riders, just like Western riders, traditionally don't wear helmets, and she happens to be a very well known name in dressage, as in a... role model.

IMHO, this is the best she can do in the aftermath of her injury. Would it be better if she had made all the same statements before she had a TBI? Of course. But she didn't, so is it too late now? No, it isn't.

From what I read, many trainers, some BNT like Steffan Peters, and others not so famous, made the decision to ride in helmets after CKD's accident, or to require helmets of all the riders in their barns or clinics. I have personally seen many riders who used to only wear a helmet when jumping but not while riding on the flat change their habit to helmet every ride.

While a few of you choose to focus on criticizing CKD for becoming pro-helmet, I choose to thank her for being vocal about it. I know this will save lives and tragedies for many riders who CKD has never met. As someone said, it is only a matter of when, not if, someone will hit their head falling off a horse. That's why role models speaking in favor of helmets is so important. If she had chosen not to become the poster child, then I would be disappointed in her!

Velvet
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:48 PM
My comments were not meant to say that CKD is wrong, but to wonder about why HER having the accident suddenly made wearing helmets the right thing. And to point out that it's too bad she had not worn helmets all the time in the first place, rather than emulating her peers (I still say it is a form of peer pressure).

I was also just questioning why it was that since she was an Olympic rider that her accident, and subsequent desire to push for more riders to wear helmets, seems to carry more weight with people on this board (and elsewhere in the dressage community) than any other riders who have been injured without helmets.

Think about one thing. If she had been wearing a helmet and had avoided serious injury, would we be talking about this with as much passion as most of you are showing for the topic of wearing helmets? Would the recent rule change have been proposed or passed?

If we all agree this is a good thing, then why does it take a celebrity having an injury to make everyone aware of the danger? And why do so many smart people think that not wearing a helmet is a badge of honor and your ability to ride? Is our society so amazingly shallow that we can only make changes or take advice from celebrities and not make our own decisions and recommendations--going against the norm? Horse people are generally independent and darn proud of it. Maybe it's time we start behaving like the smart and independent people we are and do what is right before having to be told by someone famous.

I am NOT pointing fingers at anyone out here. And, once again, this was not about Courtney specifically, except that she is the celebrity that was injured and is now on the crusade to save people from making similar mistakes. So, back to my original statement about hindsight being 20/20--it's for all of us. But can't we also be a bit more proactive ON OUR OWN?

poltroon
Jan. 31, 2011, 12:33 AM
Is our society so amazingly shallow that we can only make changes or take advice from celebrities and not make our own decisions and recommendations--going against the norm?

Um, where have you been? Certainly not AMERICA! :D

It's our freaking national identity that we are that shallow. :D :D

suzy
Jan. 31, 2011, 08:30 AM
If we all agree this is a good thing, then why does it take a celebrity having an injury to make everyone aware of the danger?

Is our society so amazingly shallow that we can only make changes or take advice from celebrities and not make our own decisions and recommendations--going against the norm? Horse people are generally independent and darn proud of it. Maybe it's time we start behaving like the smart and independent people we are and do what is right before having to be told by someone famous.

But can't we also be a bit more proactive ON OUR OWN?

To answer your first question, it takes a celebrity having an injury to make it into the papers or onto internet sites. Think about it--how often do we hear about serious injuries to non-celebs. I only hear about injuries to non-celebs if they live within about a 50 mile radius of me, and it has always been by word-of-mouth.

It's not until an accident like Courtney's happens that a large number of people realize it could have been them. Here is one of our absolutely top riders with a serious injury. When we hear of Joe-average-rider having an injury, we can think it was because of the rider's lack of skill or poorly trained horse or any other host of excuses. But when a top rider with an excellent seat gets badly injured, we start to realize how vulnerable we really are...if we haven't already.

I don't think it's a case of being shallow that people sat up and took notice of this particular accident. It was well publicized and a much needed wake-up call to many.

For those of you accusing CKD of being in this for the attention, you obviously have never had to recover from any serious injury/surgery/or sickness. I'm sure it has been a horrific experience for her. As a recent article said, she had to miss an event because she had a seizure. This is almost a year after the accident! Can you imagine what it must be like not knowing when something like that will hit you. She continues to have a difficult time with her balance and probably other things we don't know about. Her speaking up is not the least bit selfish or a cry for attention--she's trying to prevent other people from going through what she has been through. In my opinion, that is a self-LESS act.

And for those of you calling into question her mental acuity, two things. First, she suffered a MASSIVE HEAD INJURY!!! Secondly, she graduated from Columbia University! In case you didn't know, it is an Ivy League college, one of the most difficult to get into. She is clearly a very intelligent and well-educated woman.

mp
Jan. 31, 2011, 11:12 AM
Think about it

Way too much work for some people, apparently.

monstrpony
Jan. 31, 2011, 11:23 AM
... but to wonder about why HER having the accident suddenly made wearing helmets the right thing. ... But can't we also be a bit more proactive ON OUR OWN?

You can wonder till you're blue in the face, but the fact is that the wearing of helmets has moved forward in the wake of her injury. For whatever reason, the job sure as heck wasn't getting done before her injury. OTOH, wearing a helmet still hasn't become universally accepted, so you can rest in comfort knowing that her accident hasn't worked total miracles (:rolleyes:). But--at least--the trend is moving forward a little bit more, and there is some good coming out of a tragic misstep.

Sorry if that offends you. Too bad.

Velvet
Jan. 31, 2011, 11:26 AM
Sorry if that offends you. Too bad.

Never said I was offended. Not sure how you read that into my posts.

People really need to stop reading more into posts than what is being stated. :eek:

PeanutButterPony
Jan. 31, 2011, 11:58 AM
I think it was Katherine ? who answered your question about the roll of celebrity in shaping behaviour earlier in this thread, among others. Or perhaps you wanted your oft repeated question to be rhetorical in nature? Or you are senile :)

Velvet
Jan. 31, 2011, 12:01 PM
Oy. :rolleyes:

monstrpony
Jan. 31, 2011, 12:20 PM
Never said I was offended. Not sure how you read that into my posts.

People really need to stop reading more into posts than what is being stated. :eek:

Well, I was being facetious, of course. But it is lost on me why you have to question this situation. It's freakin' unfortunate that it takes something like this to get a few more people to use their noggins about the issue of riding with a helmet, but ... there it is.

Velvet
Jan. 31, 2011, 12:28 PM
I just think (wishful thinking?) that people should be able to figure this out without having to look at something as horrible as CKD's accident. They should not be lemmings and should be able to realize helmets are a good thing (there are many other horse sports where they have been mandated for a lot longer--like racing) and a smart thing to wear. To heck with those at the top. They may be able to ride, but they must be stupid to take such risks, because the rest of us normals all know that anything can happen at any time with horses. (They do tend to behave like giant toddlers most of the time.)

The lemming part of it bugs me and the idolizing people emulating them. Yes, I know that what Courtney is doing is making a difference and that this form of idolization is having a potentially positive influence, but really, why aren't we thinking for ourselves? (And my point on CKD was simply why did she, a well educated horsewoman, not think about this before the accident? Not pointing fingers at how we all make mistakes, but she's smart and she gave in to following in the footsteps of her own idols, obviously, so even she is not immune.)

I really just WISH (hope springs eternal) that we could just think for ourselves and evaluate things using the brains that we've been given--while we have them. :yes:

I was watching a bit of the PBR this weekend on TV and just thought about how stupid so many of them were when they didn't wear protective head and face gear, or when they didn't wear it correctly. I mean, if horses are dangerous, don't you think riding a ticked of and smart bull is a bit more dangerous and worthy of protecting your noggin? And then there are the lemmings who are too young to know better yet who will emulate these guys. :sigh:

Maybe our country isn't full of as many smart and indepent people as I've always thought it was... :eek:

monstrpony
Jan. 31, 2011, 12:32 PM
Maybe our country isn't full of as many smart and indepent people as I've always thought it was... :eek:

Alas, there's your answer. :(

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Jan. 31, 2011, 01:01 PM
Velvet, I understand what you are saying and I dont think you are the ogre people are making you out to be. Courtney's fall was sad and unfortunate but didn't affect me at all in my decision to wear/not wear a helmet. Nor does her letter. Yay for her that she has a cause to support but I will continue to make my own choices about my own head.

princessfluffybritches
Jan. 31, 2011, 02:22 PM
It's funny that jumpers, even Olympic level, have always worn helmets and no one ever batted an eye about it, but when it comes to Dressage, do people assume they're safe?
Both of my bucking falls were on a green horse and I had a helmet on. One I actually got sand in my mouth, you can imagine what my nose would have looked like with no helmet!

Years later I rode gaited horses for 6 years without a helmet. The first 2 dumps were at a standstill! Thank God this 3rd recent one was with a helmet on. My horse made a sharp turn at a canter, and the swivel snaps on my reins broke. My saddle slipped sideways, and my butt saved my hip and I did hear my helmet make a clunk noise.

Horses will always be unpredictable. And the time is coming for all riders to wear head protection. There are superb riders out there, but horses will still remain unpredictable, even the best trained ones.

Perfect Pony
Jan. 31, 2011, 03:14 PM
It's funny that jumpers, even Olympic level, have always worn helmets and no one ever batted an eye about it, but when it comes to Dressage, do people assume they're safe?


FYI, go to any big jumping competition and you will see all the jumper riders riding without helmets on. Most of them only put their helmets on to jump.

I was shocked at the lack of helmets while watching people ride at WEG, rarely saw a helmet outside the warm-up or show ring.

poltroon
Jan. 31, 2011, 04:04 PM
FYI, go to any big jumping competition and you will see all the jumper riders riding without helmets on. Most of them only put their helmets on to jump.

I was shocked at the lack of helmets while watching people ride at WEG, rarely saw a helmet outside the warm-up or show ring.

It was especially amazing considering that a lot of those horses were really keyed up, the rings were crowded, and even Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum was careening around in that ring, complete with red ribbon in tail, like a pinball.

bort84
Jan. 31, 2011, 06:36 PM
To answer your first question, it takes a celebrity having an injury to make it into the papers or onto internet sites. Think about it--how often do we hear about serious injuries to non-celebs. I only hear about injuries to non-celebs if they live within about a 50 mile radius of me, and it has always been by word-of-mouth.

It's not until an accident like Courtney's happens that a large number of people realize it could have been them. Here is one of our absolutely top riders with a serious injury. When we hear of Joe-average-rider having an injury, we can think it was because of the rider's lack of skill or poorly trained horse or any other host of excuses. But when a top rider with an excellent seat gets badly injured, we start to realize how vulnerable we really are...if we haven't already.

I don't think it's a case of being shallow that people sat up and took notice of this particular accident. It was well publicized and a much needed wake-up call to many.

For those of you accusing CKD of being in this for the attention, you obviously have never had to recover from any serious injury/surgery/or sickness. I'm sure it has been a horrific experience for her. As a recent article said, she had to miss an event because she had a seizure. This is almost a year after the accident! Can you imagine what it must be like not knowing when something like that will hit you. She continues to have a difficult time with her balance and probably other things we don't know about. Her speaking up is not the least bit selfish or a cry for attention--she's trying to prevent other people from going through what she has been through. In my opinion, that is a self-LESS act.

And for those of you calling into question her mental acuity, two things. First, she suffered a MASSIVE HEAD INJURY!!! Secondly, she graduated from Columbia University! In case you didn't know, it is an Ivy League college, one of the most difficult to get into. She is clearly a very intelligent and well-educated woman.

This is very fair.

Yes, we'd all like for common sense to rule at all times, but that is rarely the case - let's be honest here. You can wish all you want for the human race to be ruled by common sense and not to act like a bunch of dumb sheep - but it ain't gonna happen.

Yes, she should have worn a helmet at all times, but guess what, whether it's common sense or not, doing things the way they've always been done is pretty standard, and until recently, wearing helmets wasn't done much at all in dressage. It didn't used to be done in JUMPING either until they made it a rule (make it a rule!)

I grew up riding saddle seat - I didn't even think about helmets until I started living with a girl who evented. Even tiny tots rarely wear helmets at saddle seat shows, though it is becoming slightly more common.

And no professional who's never had a life-changing fall, no matter how well known saying, "You should wear a helmet for your safety," is going to get through to people in the same way a top professional who HAS had a bad fall will. Again, people need big flashing arrows to point them in the right direction, common sense or not, and CKD can provide those big flashing arrows now.

It's a shame for CKD and her family and friends that she didn't jump on the helmet train until it was too late. However, it takes MORE than common sense for many people to make the effort to buck the norm - so it's great that CKD is using her life changing mistake to spread awareness about helmets.

To me, it's as simple as that. Kicking the woman while she's down for making an effort to make some good from her mistake is just counterproductive and insensitive.

(I do think her letter could have been phrased better, but I think she was mostly trying to not step on any professional toes while still saying no matter how ugly and uncomfortable you might think a helmet is - because, let's face it, a LOT of people feel that way - that's not an excuse not to wear one. She also was trying to speak casually and informally and not sound too pompous or preachy.)

Marydell
Jan. 31, 2011, 06:53 PM
I was a client of Courtney's at the time of the accident. Her accident has effected me and all her other clients in ways, you (COTH posters) can not imagine. Not to mention her wonderful husband and her other family and friends.

I was there just as the call to 911 was made. I knelt on the sand and helped stablize her neck waiting for the Paramedics. I know what happened and know it was unavoidable. Would wearing a helmet have changed things? SURE!, but not nessesarily for the better. Just as with seatbelts, MOST accidents are less traumatic. But there are times when they can kill you just as well as save you. (I used to be a first responder/EMT and a nurse). She should have gotten up, dusted off her britches and carried on. It was a "soft fall".

What most of you don't realize is that Courtney, her assistant and her working student wore helmets on the farm and at shows. The only horses that Courtney did not wear a helmet with were those she knew well and trusted. I know she was very media concious and did not like photos of her with her client's horses wearing a helmet-it sent ( and still does to mare owners/breeders) a wrong impression of the horse's temperment. This was a young horse that she rarely sat on. She had an appointment off site and probably thought that what she was doing would only take a couple of minutes. I am not privy to her thoughts, just speculation.

This is AMERICA, land of the free, meaning free choice. Education is the key and I believe that Courtney is educating the general public and doing a great job of it. Yes, it does take celebrity status to make an impact.

I will tell you that if I were allowed to ride, it would be without a helmet( god knows no one I know would allow that!!) because of head and vision issues. I can't even wear a ponytail in my hair without auras,nausea, vommiting and migrains. I also have a DNR, so I know the risks. I accept them as does my husband. But in a way, it is a non issue for us, because of other health issues, he will never have to worry about it- I am forbidden from riding.

I admire Courtney for her public sharing of her accident. She is very intelligetn and knows what is said about her. SHe still stands proud and speaks out for the good of us all.

Equus
Jan. 31, 2011, 10:08 PM
I'm joining the Velvet pile. They didn't just start selling helmets after CKD's accident. Helmets have always been available, and every year there are even nicer helmets on the market. If people feel they have to be "thankful" that because of CKD's accident, they started riding with a helmet I can't help myself but think that those people are stupid. Nobody forbid you to put a helmet on your head before CKD's accident.

Common people, it's old news! Riding without a helmet brings a higher risk of head trauma when falling off. Everybody knows what can happen when you fall of a horse. And as somebody on this board puts it: it's not a matter of if you're going to get hurt, but when you are going to get hurt.

That said, I do feel bad for CKD and her family. We all make poor choices and mistakes in our lives and her decision to ride without a helmet was a poor choice. But to me, that's all it was. Her accident is not motivational or inspirational to me. I rode with a helmet before her accident, and will continue to ride with one after.

Equus
Jan. 31, 2011, 10:14 PM
I know she was very media concious and did not like photos of her with her client's horses wearing a helmet-it sent ( and still does to mare owners/breeders) a wrong impression of the horse's temperment.
.

This is the dumbest thing I have read in this topic so far.

rothmpp
Jan. 31, 2011, 11:06 PM
This is the dumbest thing I have read in this topic so far. Thank goodness it's not hurting my business that I'm wearing a helmet on every single horse I ride. I have never had a client or potential buyer question a horse's temperament because I was wearing a helmet while riding it.

Oh please... Pre CKD all you had to do was stand on the rail at a dressage show to hear the negative comments if a rider dared show up for their third, fourth, or god forbid, FEI level test in a helmet rather than a top hat. Interestingly, in years of scribing, I never heard a judge comment, even in an aside type thing, about helmets except for FEI, and that was only because it was so rare, not questioning the horse's temperament.

I'm all for helmets. I wore one every ride pre CKD, and always showed in one. Though I respected the right of those who chose not to wear one as understanding they were taking a larger risk. For those who complain, I say you want to play in USEF's sandbox, you play by their rules. Feel free to start your own organization to sponsor shows.

Marydell
Feb. 1, 2011, 12:59 AM
Obviously Equus, you have never stood a stallion at stud.
I am NOT saying I agree with this as you are correct, it shows a certain lack of understanding of real life. But that is the honest truth- I heard it frequently from mare owners all the time, pre CKD. You could probably find threads here on COTH in the breeding forum concerning a stallion's temperment if a photo showed up with the handler or rider wearing a helmet(unless the horse was very young). It still exsists, but has become more of a whisper rather than outright detraction.

Perfect Pony
Feb. 1, 2011, 10:19 AM
Obviously Equus, you have never stood a stallion at stud.
I am NOT saying I agree with this as you are correct, it shows a certain lack of understanding of real life. But that is the honest truth- I heard it frequently from mare owners all the time, pre CKD. You could probably find threads here on COTH in the breeding forum concerning a stallion's temperment if a photo showed up with the handler or rider wearing a helmet(unless the horse was very young). It still exsists, but has become more of a whisper rather than outright detraction.

I totally believe it. It's like a horse with a stud chain on, people will focus on it as something that means something it doesn't, when it's simply a normal safety precaution.

Which is why I am all for having a rule, all helmets all the time. Soon people will do it and not even think about it.

Velvet
Feb. 1, 2011, 10:45 AM
Oh please... Pre CKD all you had to do was stand on the rail at a dressage show to hear the negative comments if a rider dared show up for their third, fourth, or god forbid, FEI level test in a helmet rather than a top hat.

Don't know where you show, but I've never heard such things. Then again, I tend to not listen to dogs barking. If you do, you go deaf without learning anything... ;)

PeanutButterPony
Feb. 1, 2011, 10:48 AM
I'm joining the Velvet pile. They didn't just start selling helmets after CKD's accident. Helmets have always been available, and every year there are even nicer helmets on the market. If people feel they have to be "thankful" that because of CKD's accident, they started riding with a helmet I can't help myself but think that those people are stupid. Nobody forbid you to put a helmet on your head before CKD's accident.

Common people, it's old news! Riding without a helmet brings a higher risk of head trauma when falling off. Everybody knows what can happen when you fall of a horse. And as somebody on this board puts it: it's not a matter of if you're going to get hurt, but when you are going to get hurt.

That said, I do feel bad for CKD and her family. We all make poor choices and mistakes in our lives and her decision to ride without a helmet was a poor choice. But to me, that's all it was. Her accident is not motivational or inspirational to me. I rode with a helmet before her accident, and will continue to ride with one after.

Oh Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way! I can't wait to look in the mirror 'cause I get better lookin' each day. To know me is to love me, I must be a hell of a man.

Oh Lord it's hard to be humble, but I'm doin' the best that I can

:confused:

suzy
Feb. 1, 2011, 11:03 AM
You could probably find threads here on COTH in the breeding forum concerning a stallion's temperment if a photo showed up with the handler or rider wearing a helmet(unless the horse was very young). It still exsists, but has become more of a whisper rather than outright detraction.

Sadly, these "whisperers" are displaying their ignorance. Worse still, they are in some cases influencing those who can't/don't/won't think for themselves.

RE: another post of yours that referred to seatbelts, you are right that they can be more of a detriment in *some* accidents. However, the statistics are still wildly in their favor for the majority of accidents--same goes for helmets.

Perfect Pony
Feb. 1, 2011, 11:42 AM
RE: another post of yours that referred to seatbelts, you are right that they can be more of a detriment in *some* accidents. However, the statistics are still wildly in their favor for the majority of accidents--same goes for helmets.

I know, it drives me crazy to argue with the motorcycle helmet crowd too. Has anyone ever been to a superbike race? Watched the men get up and walk away from accidents on pavement at sometimes 100mph? There is a reason they are wearing helmets!

I have a good friend who is in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and on all sorts of meds to stop his seizures. He is also not 100% there. He went down in a slow speed motorcycle accident with a fake helmet on (a little piece of plastic beenie helmet). Had he been wearing a proper approved helmet he would most likely be fine now. Another friend went down on the freeway at about 60mph and just so happened to be wearing a borrowed approved full face helmet and walked away from the accident. The helmet was practically broken in half. He would be dead right now without it.

So the arguments about that very small percentage of people who might be harmed more by safety equipment drive me bonkers.

Touchstone Farm
Feb. 1, 2011, 08:45 PM
"So the arguments about that very small percentage of people who might be harmed more by safety equipment drive me bonkers." - Perfect Pony

Agree! The other argument that drives me crazy is, "I'm an adult. I am free to make my own decisions." Okay, I'll agree with you there as long as you can show me a bank account that can cover all your expenses (without insurance) for your hospital, doctor and rehab care. Hopefully you have a good million dollar plus bank account -- otherwise, I and the rest of society will be covering your "free choice."

rothmpp
Feb. 2, 2011, 08:54 AM
Agree! The other argument that drives me crazy is, "I'm an adult. I am free to make my own decisions." Okay, I'll agree with you there as long as you can show me a bank account that can cover all your expenses (without insurance) for your hospital, doctor and rehab care. Hopefully you have a good million dollar plus bank account -- otherwise, I and the rest of society will be covering your "free choice."

I'll start by saying - I wear my helmet. I wore it pre CKD and I wear it post CKD.

The problem with the above is that this is true of so many things that people have the "right" to choose to do. If you are injured in a car accident ant you were speeding or found at fault, your injuries are still covered by your insurance, either car or health. Obesity related health issues are covered by insurance. At some point in their lives, most (note I did not say all) obese people made the decisions that started them down the road to obesity. If you have ever done an activity or sport with any level of risk of injury, or smoked or drank, you have taken a risk with other people's money.

Velvet
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:19 AM
I'll start by saying - I wear my helmet. I wore it pre CKD and I wear it post CKD.

The problem with the above is that this is true of so many things that people have the "right" to choose to do. If you are injured in a car accident ant you were speeding or found at fault, your injuries are still covered by your insurance, either car or health. Obesity related health issues are covered by insurance. At some point in their lives, most (note I did not say all) obese people made the decisions that started them down the road to obesity. If you have ever done an activity or sport with any level of risk of injury, or smoked or drank, you have taken a risk with other people's money.

Yeah, but it's a collective of other people's money and they are all agreeing to buy into the bet that more people will pay in and stay healthy than will get sick and use more than what they have invested. That is how the "insurance" industry began and what it is still supposed to do. How else do you think they make money? It's gambling on the odds against catastrophe (for homes, cars, health, etc.).

suzy
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:22 AM
Actually, it is the uninsured people that are the problem.

Velvet
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:31 AM
Actually, it is the uninsured people that are the problem.

I'm guessing that wasn't pointed at me since I was only addressing a comment about insurance as a whole.

suzy
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:19 AM
What kind of a DQ are you if you think that wasn't pointed at *you*!!! LOL

My comment wasn't directed at any one particular person.

Velvet
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:26 AM
What kind of a DQ are you if you think that wasn't pointed at *you*!!! LOL

My comment wasn't directed at any one particular person.

Well, then put a quote out there!!!! :p

If you post after my comment, and are not referencing someone else's post, then of course it's about mine! I guess the snow has given you a brain white out. ;)

CatOnLap
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:09 PM
both of you are so old I amazed you can still put a post together, helmet or not!

Velvet
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:12 PM
both of you are so old I amazed you can still put a post together, helmet or not!

Yeah, our collective ages are older than dirt. :no: Nice thing is that in the future we can just use Dragon to post out here. So when our hands are permanantly bent into claws from typing all day, we can still come out here and bother people! :D

CatOnLap
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:16 PM
Thank Heavens! I thought you were going to say "Takes one to know one". Now excuse me, I have to go manicure my claws. All that media attention...

Equus
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:42 PM
Obviously Equus, you have never stood a stallion at stud.
I am NOT saying I agree with this as you are correct, it shows a certain lack of understanding of real life. But that is the honest truth- I heard it frequently from mare owners all the time, pre CKD. You could probably find threads here on COTH in the breeding forum concerning a stallion's temperment if a photo showed up with the handler or rider wearing a helmet(unless the horse was very young). It still exsists, but has become more of a whisper rather than outright detraction.

I actually did ride a breeding stallion for an owner. A stallion who was known for his excellent temperament. I always rode him in a helmet and never received any comments from his owners about that. Obviously it didn't affect his breeding numbers. But then again, if I hadn't worn a helmet maybe his breedings would have sky rocketed :)

If this is really true, I feel sad for stallion riders. It must be horrible to be put in a situation where you have to chose between your own safety or perhaps losing a client.

cyberbay
Feb. 2, 2011, 03:42 PM
It is kind of disspiriting that people need an accident of CKD's magnitude to get motivated enough to put on a safety helmet.

I guess I'm saying that if common sense + the facts about horse behavior + the facts about head injury + some life experience to realize other people may suffer if something happens to us aren't enough to motivate a horseperson to put on a helmet to go riding, all I can say is that I hope my horses never end up in the hands of any of those people. If they can't work with that set of information, I'd hate to see what they'd do with other sets of facts.

Commander Cody
Feb. 2, 2011, 06:49 PM
Obviously Equus, you have never stood a stallion at stud.
I am NOT saying I agree with this as you are correct, it shows a certain lack of understanding of real life. But that is the honest truth- I heard it frequently from mare owners all the time, pre CKD. You could probably find threads here on COTH in the breeding forum concerning a stallion's temperment if a photo showed up with the handler or rider wearing a helmet(unless the horse was very young). It still exsists, but has become more of a whisper rather than outright detraction.

I must be terribly naive but in all the years I have been riding stallions for others, showing their offspring, and now riding my own stallion and his babies I have NEVER heard this. I wear a helmet on my stallion all the time and every young horse for sale is shown both on video and at the farm with a helmet. I think it says more about ME if I don't wear one than about my stallion's temperament. If all of us stallion owners, young horse sellers etc.. just wore helmets and had those riding for us do the same, then perhaps people could evaluate our stallions on some real rather than perceived criteria.

Xfactor
Feb. 3, 2011, 10:34 AM
Dumb question to ask;
Why is wearing a helmet such a big deal, frowned upon (quietly or not) or thought less of?

Do trainers or riders have an unspoken fear that wearing a helmet quietly says they are not good enough? That the horse is not good enough?

No snarks.....seriously asking.

I've always worn one. Probably wouldn't like be "forced" to do anything...but as I rather fancy my nut just the way it sits on my shoulders, I happily don my helmet before every ride.

Had a fall with my very first horse, who sent me flying up, off and onto a rock out on a "quiet trail ride". Split my helmet up the back much like another poster. Replaced that less expensive one with a
COGR8 for schooling.

On another horse, his stumble threw us face first onto the arena floor.The brim if my helmet smashed off, but saved my face.

Horses are not robots that are 100% predictable, and as humans we are apt to make a mistake in judgement a time or two, even as a pro.

I'd like to think people would have the common sense to protect their heads, but as in anything, people don't always make the best choices for reasons known only to them.

Still not sure I am a fan of mandates of any sort, but that's the libertarian in me.

I do think, as a last thought, that the letter was lukewarm in its ability to persuade, JMO

Velvet
Feb. 3, 2011, 10:44 AM
Xfactor,

I think a lot of it is from the old days, when people didn't wear helmets. As they were beginning to be introduce with safety features (and not just as decorations that might give some small protection) the old school saw it as an admission of an inability to ride well (not having a good seat, etc.).

The racing and steeplechasers were some of the first to get behind it, at least for the younger riders they taught. But then those young riders, while idolizing the older and better riders, saw people w/o helmets and began to believe it really was a badge of honor and statement on your ability when you didn't need a helmet anymore.

I think many felt that way, even though they felt exposed when they first stopped wearing helmets.

I think a lot of us who have started young horses had figured out that we didnt' really want to emulate those older riders who went around w/o helmets. We knew the risks and started wearing helmets all the time and didn't like the feeling of not having one on. I'll still hop up on a broke horse once in a blue moon for a few minutes without a helmet, but I completely realize the risk and am definitely uncomfortable.

There's the rub. I'm with you on the accepting of the risk. I know what I'm accepting. I don't agree with the people out here mandating the helmet rule, I think it's a cultural shift.

Mandating things goes against my liberatarian streak as well. ;) I think that too often we look at organizations and groups to tell us what we should do to keep us all "safe." Having grown up riding horses, I know that there is no such thing as being 100% safe and I accept that. It's okay. When you're born you only have one guarantee--and that is that you'll die someday. We all will. And none of us can choose the accidents that will happen, or the ones we'll avoid. Wearing a helmet doesn't save your neck. I know that one for a fact. It didn't save Christopher Reeves. But it often DOES do a very good job of protecting your skull.

I'm for them, but I just have a hard time with the mandate/rule.

Perfect Pony
Feb. 3, 2011, 11:23 AM
I don't agree with the people out here mandating the helmet rule, I think it's a cultural shift.

Mandating things goes against my liberatarian streak as well. ;) I think that too often we look at organizations and groups to tell us what we should do to keep us all "safe." Having grown up riding horses, I know that there is no such thing as being 100% safe and I accept that. It's okay. When you're born you only have one guarantee--and that is that you'll die someday. We all will. And none of us can choose the accidents that will happen, or the ones we'll avoid. Wearing a helmet doesn't save your neck. I know that one for a fact. It didn't save Christopher Reeves. But it often DOES do a very good job of protecting your skull.

I'm for them, but I just have a hard time with the mandate/rule.

This is ridiculous. There are 101 "rules" in horse shows. Should people be allowed to wear tennis shoes? Tank tops? Shorts? Go barefoot??

Much of the attire we wear (and is "mandated") is for safety and security reasons. Leather boots with heels, breeches, gloves. You are mandated to ride in an English saddle, to have stirrups on your saddle, to only use certain bits. My God, a helmet is probably the MOST important piece of safety equipment you could wear, of all the things above most of all a helmet should be mandatory!

Velvet
Feb. 3, 2011, 11:33 AM
This is ridiculous. There are 101 "rules" in horse shows. Should people be allowed to wear tennis shoes? Tank tops? Shorts? Go barefoot??

Much of the attire we wear (and is "mandated") is for safety and security reasons. Leather boots with heels, breeches, gloves. You are mandated to ride in an English saddle, to have stirrups on your saddle, to only use certain bits. My God, a helmet is probably the MOST important piece of safety equipment you could wear, of all the things above most of all a helmet should be mandatory!

First of all, I was replying to Afactor's post.

Second, I said I have a problem with them mandating the rule for helmets. Most of the rules for other attire were not originally so much for safety as it was to ensure people were well turned out to show respect and to show that AHSA shows were important and to be taken seriously. Uniformity in attire was also to stop the judges from being biased by one person who was very well turned out and one who might show up in street shoes, etc.

Mandating certain things for insurance purposes is understood. I accept that they are doing it for that reason. While I accept it, I can still disagree with any group or organization mandating safety to protect people from their own foolish behavior. In our country, due to the litigious nature of people and the courts and juries feeling that people are not always responsible for their own behavior, the USEF has to take such steps to protect itself. It's all due to insurance, not because they have an altruistic motivation. If they did, they would look at the whole picture for each and every individual and would allow people to work out what is best for them.

:sigh: Maybe it's time to move this back over to the USET rule change topic. This conversation has wandered well away from the OP. Which is the letter.

belgianWBLuver
Feb. 3, 2011, 11:47 AM
Hum, interesting thread - but here is my 2 cents... I never ever wore a helmet when I was young. I'm old now and started wearing one a few years ago after I witnessed a fellow dressage rider's accident. Last year I was wearing a helmet when my young horse tripped over his feet in an arena and sent me face first in the dirt - like the previous poster's experience. I injured my face, neck and back and cracked my GPA helmet in 3 places.

Went to emergency - thank God nothing but severe bruising. However my health insurance company kept asking me was I wearing a helment and was it ASTM / SEI approved... I wasn't aware the insurance companies were on board with types of helmets but the customer rep said that if I wasn't wearing an approved helmet it was likely I would not be covered. That was totally new to me.
Now I wear a helmet without question... because if I have to pick up the bill for a helmet-less accident I'll have to sell my horse!!!!

netg
Feb. 3, 2011, 12:46 PM
I had never heard of an insurance company not wanting to pay out because someone may not have been in the correct type of helmet!


My libertarian streak has issues with helmets as law. I have zero problem with helmets as required at a horse show. I have more issues with requiring a rider have a number on their horse's bridle or halter at all times when out of a stall - talk about an annoying rule!

I almost never wore a helmet growing up. It just wasn't something any of us thought about doing - not that it was "uncool" but it just wasn't even a consideration. I love that culture is changing to be more pro-helmet.

To me, having grown up in the culture where helmets simply aren't a thought, I get why CKD didn't wear one. My thoughts went toward wearing them when I was required to wear one in college, and I'm glad they changed, as it saved me from more serious injury when a horse fell on me. But it was the requirement to wear one which made me go "oh, gee, maybe I should wear a helmet all the time." I'm a rocket scientist - but not seeing them around all the time, and having grown up in a culture where people didn't wear them, it just simply wasn't part of my thoughts/considerations.

In summary, as a whole we are all pretty dumb. And it takes something to make us consider changing the way things are - whether an injury to a rider who is clearly better than we are, a change in culture, or a rule.

BetterOffRed
Feb. 3, 2011, 12:47 PM
However my health insurance company kept asking me was I wearing a helment and was it ASTM / SEI approved... I wasn't aware the insurance companies were on board with types of helmets but the customer rep said that if I wasn't wearing an approved helmet it was likely I would not be covered. That was totally new to me.
Now I wear a helmet without question... because if I have to pick up the bill for a helmet-less accident I'll have to sell my horse!!!!

That puts an interesting twist on the whole helmet discussion!

Velvet
Feb. 3, 2011, 02:47 PM
Why would the insurance company even bother asking? How can they prove it one way or the other? I mean, isn't asking you after the fact kind of like asking someone already outside of their vehicle after an accident whether or not they had the seat belt on? People might be too shaken to remember correctly, or they just might lie if they think it will help them get out of something.

belgianWBLuver
Feb. 3, 2011, 03:24 PM
[Why would the insurance company even bother asking? How can they prove it one way or the other? I mean, isn't asking you after the fact kind of like asking someone already outside of their vehicle after an accident whether or not they had the seat belt on? People might be too shaken to remember correctly, or they just might lie if they think it will help them get out of something. ]

You know - I asked BCBS the same question after I filled out the after accident questionnaire and as I was speaking with the customer rep. Response: I had proof of wearing a helmet because there were obvious marks on my head from the helmet rubbing and banging into my brow from the fall which were seen by the emergency personnel. The rep knew which emergency ward I was treated at and knew the location of the stables. I was also asked to give the names of any witnesses to the accident of which I had 2.

Scary I know - but after that experience I really do believe the insurance companies are looking for ways not to pay out a claim in a big way - We hear the horror stories in the news about certain companies and thier denial of payments to certain insured customers. Well it almost happened to me....

atlatl
Feb. 3, 2011, 03:31 PM
This all comes down to two words: natural selection

Velvet
Feb. 3, 2011, 03:41 PM
This all comes down to two words: natural selection

Be careful about throwing that around. I was the Velvet Pinata after my comments. :lol:

Xfactor
Feb. 4, 2011, 07:28 AM
K Velvet. Got it. I figured that was probably the reason behind it.
Thanks for answering the question.

Gotta say, I personally have always asked any trainer hopping on my horses to also wear a helmet.

I really hate seeing a lack of one...to me it denotes just the opposite of what maybe the old thinking was.

Laissez-faire works for a lot of things, not so much this one.

Still....personal responsibility; I hate seeing that go by the wayside, but that's another story.


The article tho...back to that...

silence_ridewell
Feb. 4, 2011, 08:40 AM
Why stop with just dressage regarding the new helmet rule? Why not require it for all equestrian sports? How about those vaulters? They aren’t even claiming to be riders! What about when dressage is being offered at breed specific shows (i.e. Arabian, Morgan, Andalusian/Lusitano, etc.)? Are the competitors only supposed to wear helmets when they are warming up for their dangerous dressage rides? What about the claim that dressage horses represent the most highly trained horses in the competition world? Why would a rider need to wear a helmet on the most highly trained horse?

The ludicrousness of this requirement is on a par with the government telling McDonalds what to serve their customers. What has possessed USEF to implement such an inane rule? Is this new rule going to lower the insurance premiums for dressage competitions? Is this new rule going to make riding horses safer? Does this rule actually increase the liability exposure for competitions? It might actually, if one assumes wearing a helmet does indeed make the riders safer. Now, when they do get injured while riding, it must be due to management not providing a safe riding environment. The rule also requires the rider to have the harness fastened and properly adjusted. Does this mean the rider should go to the show Technical Delegate and ask them to properly adjust their helmet harness and thereby increase the show and the Technical Delegate’s liability? What about during the heat of the summer? What happens when a rider suffers heat stroke due to wearing a helmet as required?

The sad part of this is what it actually does, it silences dissidence by claiming the reason is for “safety”. No one wants to appear to be against safety. This is the same tactic politicians use when they are endorsing certain policies. For example, they say a policy to broaden governmental intrusion into people’s lives (and personal choices), such as the above mentioned McDonalds dilemma, is to protect children. No one wants to “hurt the children”.

It seems the main drive behind this decision/rule was the injury of US Dressage Olympian Courtney King-Dye. This is a case of an unfortunate accident which happened at her personal riding location. It did not happen at a competition and wearing a helmet may or may not have prevented or lessened the nature of her injuries. If one wants to hear expert testimony from doctors trained in the nature of her specific injury as to whether or not a helmet would have helped then we can have an intelligent conversation about helmets. Until then this is just a knee jerk reaction to a complex issue.

The fact of the matter is, unless USEF discloses the injury statistics for all recognized competitions and proves Dressage shows actually have a higher rate of injury, there is NO reason for this new rule. It is an adult choice to wear or not to wear a helmet and USEF unfortunately has taken a position of treating adults like children.

suzy
Feb. 4, 2011, 08:56 AM
CKD’s accident is not driving the helmet rule; it is a reminder of how at-risk people are when they engage in horseback riding (or any other sport) without taking appropriate precautions. The reason that competition organizers are in favor of helmet rules is the same reason I require people to wear helmets when riding at my farm—the liability. Needless to say, I don’t want anyone to suffer a head injury, but I also have the right to make the ADULT CHOICE of requiring riders at my farm to wear a helmet so that I don't lose my life savings to some idiot that didn’t have the smarts to wear one without being told. There are plenty of statistics insurance companies have put together confirming that helmets really do serve their intended purpose—in the majority of cases—of preventing people from having TBIs.

So, it’s not a case of more injuries happening at shows. In fact, I would suspect there are fewer injuries per capita in competition than in our everyday riding. It boils down to liability and law suits.

fordtraktor
Feb. 4, 2011, 09:13 AM
I applaud CKD for trying to get people to wear helmets and wish her every success. No matter whether she should have worn one before, I'm glad she is wearing one now and taking a stand in the public eye. People do look up to her and it is great for the kids to see such a lovely and talented rider advocate for helmet use.

I do think her letter itself is perhaps not the best approach -- how successful are you going to be if you go around telling people how uncomfortable and ugly helmets are, and that we need them now because we ride new, fancy-bred, high-octane horses? All of which I find sort of laughable. There are so many comfortable helmet options these days that are reasonably attractive. And I personally have suffered two serious TBIs while wearing a helmet, one from a draft cross and one from a quarter horse, not exactly the Ferraris of the horse world. There's no way I would be alive today without my helmets.

Accidents happen. It just seems that for all my serious horse-related accidents, I seem to get my head stepped on. As a result I am a huge helmet advocate.

As for requiring helmets at USET events for any or all disciplines, I think it is a no-brainer (:lol:). As a lawyer I can't imagine why the rule isn't already in place for liability reasons. It only takes a lawsuit or two to cost the Association hundreds of thousands in legal fees -- even if they win and are held not liable.

I would not be surprised if before too long insurance companies start requiring facilities to enact helmet rules before they will provide event insurance.

suzy
Feb. 4, 2011, 09:22 AM
Why would a rider need to wear a helmet on the most highly trained horse?

If one wants to hear expert testimony from doctors trained in the nature of her specific injury as to whether or not a helmet would have helped then we can have an intelligent conversation about helmets. Until then this is just a knee jerk reaction to a complex issue.

It is an adult choice to wear or not to wear a helmet and USEF unfortunately has taken a position of treating adults like children.

Regarding your first comment, even the most well trained horses spook, buck, bolt, slip, and trip on occasion.

No expert testimony needed. The insurance companies have done exhaustive studies on this topic (it's in their best interest!), and the statistics are in. Helmets DO prevent TBIs and sometimes even death.

Finally, some people do not behave like adults. It's that simple. They needlessly put themselves in harm's way. My big objection is the impact they have on other people when they do this.

mishmash
Feb. 4, 2011, 09:45 AM
[QUOTE=netg;5400747]I had never heard of an insurance company not wanting to pay out because someone may not have been in the correct type of helmet!


As a paramedic for 23 years, I can tell you that of the 4 times I have been deposed by a lawyer, 3 of those times were about what safety equipment was being used (helmets, seatbelts, etc).

And in my 23 years, I have seen many, many people whose lives would have been saved, or injuries less severe if they had been wearing helmets/seatbelts. I have NEVER seen one, Marydell, who was injured because they were using safety equipment. It may be possible, but is so unlikely it should not even be a consideration.

If you think your brain isn't worth protecting, or you think it is more important what others think of you or the horse you are riding, than your brain,... well, you are probably right.

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 10:01 AM
So, it’s not a case of more injuries happening at shows. In fact, I would suspect there are fewer injuries per capita in competition than in our everyday riding. It boils down to liability and law suits.

THIS is one of the biggest tragedies in the United States. The courts allowing frivolous law suit (I'm thinking about the woman burned by MacDonald's hot coffee in her car) and huge pay outs. Just makes it hard to see the forest for all those darn trees when juries are trying to figure out who really is a victim of someone else, and who is a victim of a Darwinian moment. :yes:

It's not the horses or helmets that are dangerous to us, it's the lawyers and judges! ;) :D

Always loved the old joke, "What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?" Answer: A good start. :lol:

suzy
Feb. 4, 2011, 10:10 AM
What do you call ten lawyers buried up to their necks in sand?

Not enough sand.

Apologies to all lawyers out there. :)

Mishmash, good post. I know of one incident in which a friend is still alive because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. He was broadsided by someone running a redlight and was thrown through the passenger side window. If he had been strapped in, he would have been crushed. Needless to say, he suffered horrible injuries but is still alive. AND wears a seatbelt now because that accident was more the exception than the rule.

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 10:22 AM
And how many TBIs are caused by that twisting in the skull (like Natasha Richardson)--where a helmet really wouldn't have helped?

Just talking statistics. Like I said, I wear one and I KNOW it has saved me from a more severe injury. Just always questioning statistics...

What's black and brown and looks good on a lawyer? A doberman. :D

Perfect Pony
Feb. 4, 2011, 10:43 AM
The ludicrousness of this requirement is on a par with the government telling McDonalds what to serve their customers. What has possessed USEF to implement such an inane rule? Is this new rule going to lower the insurance premiums for dressage competitions? Is this new rule going to make riding horses safer? Does this rule actually increase the liability exposure for competitions? It might actually, if one assumes wearing a helmet does indeed make the riders safer. Now, when they do get injured while riding, it must be due to management not providing a safe riding environment. The rule also requires the rider to have the harness fastened and properly adjusted. Does this mean the rider should go to the show Technical Delegate and ask them to properly adjust their helmet harness and thereby increase the show and the Technical Delegate’s liability? What about during the heat of the summer? What happens when a rider suffers heat stroke due to wearing a helmet as required?

The sad part of this is what it actually does, it silences dissidence by claiming the reason is for “safety”. No one wants to appear to be against safety.

It is an adult choice to wear or not to wear a helmet and USEF unfortunately has taken a position of treating adults like children.

Yes it's ludicrous to expect someone to wear a helmet!! I mean, how dare we treat our NFL players like CHILDREN. Poor things, what if they get heat stroke?! And those baseball players whan they are up at bat, if they want to risk getting hit in the head by a fast ball, well then they should be allowed too! And those sissy hockey players, I mean WTF? Don't they realize how uncomfortable and in the way those helmets are?

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 10:48 AM
Yes it's ludicrous to expect someone to wear a helmet!! I mean, how dare we treat our NFL players like CHILDREN. Poor things, what if they get heat stroke?! And those baseball players whan they are up at bat, if they want to risk getting hit in the head by a fast ball, well then they should be allowed too! And those sissy hockey players, I mean WTF? Don't they realize how uncomfortable and in the way those helmets are?

I realize you're being facetious, but in a way, I still lean towards allowing adults to make their own decisions. In the cases of pros, as you've used, they are contractually obligated to wear helmets in most of those sports, to protect the interests of the team owners. :yes:

If someone wants to go out and become a poster child for natural selection and drooling in a cup, I guess I'm still going to say that they have the right.

I recognize the insurance issues. That, to me, is because of a flaw in our system of insurance and health care and is different than the personal freedom to take risks and act like an idiot. :D

netg
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:01 AM
The courts allowing frivolous law suit (I'm thinking about the woman burned by MacDonald's hot coffee in her car) and huge pay outs.

In that case, there was a lot more than most people realize.

There were internal memos within McDonald's ordering coffee to be heated to a dangerous level in order to decrease the amount people drank, since they had free refills. The lawsuit was over the fact it was institutional policy to intentionally make it dangerously hot, not just the fact she was stupid to put a hot drink between her legs. (And the damage she incurred was far greater than she would have had for a typical cup of coffee because of the intentional overheating.)

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:10 AM
In that case, there was a lot more than most people realize.

There were internal memos within McDonald's ordering coffee to be heated to a dangerous level in order to decrease the amount people drank, since they had free refills. The lawsuit was over the fact it was institutional policy to intentionally make it dangerously hot, not just the fact she was stupid to put a hot drink between her legs. (And the damage she incurred was far greater than she would have had for a typical cup of coffee because of the intentional overheating.)

But was it worth the millions that the jury awarded?

It wasn't my intent to take this off course and away from the topic at hand, which is helmets.

suzy
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:10 AM
Q: What's wrong with lawyer jokes?
A: Lawyers don't think they're funny and other people don't think they're jokes.

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and an onion?
A: You cry when you cut up an onion.

Q: What do you throw to a drowning lawyer?
A: His partners.

Q: What's the difference between a lawyer and a vulture?
A: The lawyer gets frequent flyer miles.

Q: If you have a bad lawyer, why not get a new one?
A: Changing lawyers is like moving to a different deck chair on the Titanic.

Q: How does an attorney sleep?
A: First he lies on one side and then on the other.

Q: What’s the difference between a shame and a pity?
A: If a busload of lawyers goes over a cliff, and there are no survivors, that’s known as a pity. If there were any empty seats, that’s a shame.

Q: How do you get a group of lawyers to smile for a photo?
A: Just say, "Fees!"

Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Three. One to climb the ladder. One to shake it. And one to sue the ladder company.


Don't blame ME. Velvet started it!!!

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:13 AM
Yes, I did. I'm trapped in winter and it's so cold outside the lawyers actually have their hands in their own pockets today. :D

suzy
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:15 AM
It wasn't my intent to take this off course and away from the topic at hand, which is helmets.

Oops. And here I thought the topic was lawyer jokes. My bad.

netg
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:15 AM
But was it worth the millions that the jury awarded?

It wasn't my intent to take this off course and away from the topic at hand, which is helmets.

It was punitive damage to punish the company for their actions and intentional harm, not merely to pay for her damages themselves.


So if you have a high value stallion who intentionally launches a rider (who is wearing a helmet) and causes that rider damage.... can you hold his stud fees at ransom to pay for medical bills?

atlatl
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:23 AM
Be careful about throwing that around. I was the Velvet Pinata after my comments. :lol:

That's OK, I'm genetically predisposed to survive internet attacks! :winkgrin:

Seriously, if someone declines to wear a helmet and gets injured, that's their choice. It's my choice to not contribute to their medical fund.

That said, if someone actually survives an accident and learns from the experience, more power to them.

silence_ridewell
Feb. 4, 2011, 03:15 PM
So, in response to the ones that think this is about football or McDonalds or lawsuits...

This is not about any of the above. It is about USEF enacting a rule for a specific group of competitors (not jumping obstacles) and not making it an across the board rule for all USEF competitions.

As the child of a neurologist, my physician father always said it is better to crack your skull than break your neck. The injury most misunderstood by doctors today in closed head injuries is sheering. Helmets will not prevent sheering injuries. The skull is adequate to protect from most falls from a horse and doctors often not only crack skulls, but remove sections of skull to relieve pressure from brain swelling following an accident.

BTW - the McDonalds reference was not to hot coffee, but to fruits and veggies offered in kids meals.

If you want to ride your horse/pony/mule with a helmet than that is your choice. No one has ever been told they could NOT wear a helmet in competition to my knowledge (and for sure in dressage competition).

The only proof that insurance companies believe helmets will help reduce injuries is if they lower their premiums. I don't believe this will be the case, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

I for one will try to avoid showing in the national levels for the time being as I don't believe I will wear a helmet in competition that doesn't involve jumping something.

Horses do stupid things. Riders are expected to anticipate those reactions and respond accordingly. If you are not up to riding these unanticipated reactions from the horse you don't belong on one.

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 03:43 PM
So, in response to the ones that think this is about football or McDonalds or lawsuits...

This is not about any of the above. It is about USEF enacting a rule for a specific group of competitors (not jumping obstacles) and not making it an across the board rule for all USEF competitions.



None of the continuing conversation was about you and your posts. You might want to go back and read the posts since your last one. :lol:

One would almost think you were a DQ with that POV, but DQs will show no matter what the rules so you can't be one. :D Then again, if you've only made five posts, and most of thems are repeats including the self-started topic, maybe you are one. :eek:

millerra
Feb. 4, 2011, 03:45 PM
Horses do stupid things. Riders are expected to anticipate those reactions and respond accordingly. If you are not up to riding these unanticipated reactions from the horse you don't belong on one.

Some of my closest very near disasters have been when the horse has tripped while walking (once down a good hill) and almost gone head over tea kettle. All you can do is sit back and wait it out until they get their gears straightened out. I don't care how good a rider you are, you can't keep them from falling down - that's up to the horse.

I guess the lawyer joke would be: if you have a horse that like to fall down, sell him to a lawyer.

[the original, told by an old eventer, it's to the ex-spouse]

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 03:50 PM
I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, two men are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress.
-- John Adams, in the play "1776"

Lawyers are just like physicians: what one says, the other contradicts.
-- Sholom Aleichem

LAWYER: A professional advocate hired to bend the law on behalf of a paying client; for this reason considered the most suitable background for entry into politics.
-- The Cynic's Dictionary; published by William Morrow, © Rick Bayan.

There is never a deed so foul that something couldn't be said for the guy; that's why there are lawyers.
-- Melvin Belli

Imagine the appeals, dissents and remandments, if lawyers had written 'The Ten Commandments'.
-- Harry Bender

"Lawyers Are": The only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished. -- Jeremy Bentham


More quotes: http://www.jamesfuqua.com/lawyers/jokes/famous.shtml

RAyers
Feb. 4, 2011, 03:59 PM
...

As the child of a neurologist, my physician father always said it is better to crack your skull than break your neck. The injury most misunderstood by doctors today in closed head injuries is sheering. Helmets will not prevent sheering injuries. The skull is adequate to protect from most falls from a horse and doctors often not only crack skulls, but remove sections of skull to relieve pressure from brain swelling following an accident.



I will up your child of neurologist with a dissertation on craniofacial reconstruction and being a clinical professor in orthopaedics and say you really don't understand the function of helmets do you? Your father should be able to tell you. If not, I suggest reading up on football helmet research where it is WELL established in clinical studies that even SLIGHT impacts to the head (no loss of consciousness nor even seeing stars) can have a significant cumulative effect to the point of dementia. Helmets don't just protect from a major impact but from multiple slight hits. I also suggest the automotive research.

And, many times if the skull is cracked due to impact the neck is broken (e.g. occipital cervical dislocation) so your dad's adage is not exactly accurate especially by today's clinical understanding.

Reed

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:04 PM
I will up your child of neurologist with a dissertation on craniofacial reconstruction and being a clinical professor in orthopaedics and say you really don't understand the function of helmets do you? Your father should be able to tell you. If not, I suggest reading up on football helmet research where it is WELL established in clinical studies that even SLIGHT impacts to the head (no loss of consciousness nor even seeing stars) can have a significant cumulative effect to the point of dementia. Helmets don't just protect from a major impact but from multiple slight hits. I also suggest the automotive research.

And, many times if the skull is cracked due to impact the neck is broken (e.g. occipital cervical dislocation) so your dad's adage is not exactly accurate especially by today's clinical understanding.

Reed

Reed, you're much too serious today. (I've been serious all week--and I'm calling a time out.)

Let's get back to hijacking with lawyer jokes and quotes! :lol:

silence_ridewell
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:22 PM
This has been my first visit to posting on blogs since they tend to be people sitting in their basements with nothing else to do. I am NOT a DQ by any stretch and run my own training facility - helmets optional unless under 18.

I am also a USEF licensed official. Shocker.

As far as orthopedics and cranio-facial reconstruction etc etc.....multiple low head impacts leads to dementia WITH helmets. I guess there is no easy answer, but as an adult that is my call not any government agency or private organization.

Again - if you can't ride 'em don't get on 'em

The one upside to communism is they do shoot all the lawyers when they take over - so I guess the helmet rule is the least of our worries with todays political climate :)

Perfect Pony
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:24 PM
I will up your child of neurologist with a dissertation on craniofacial reconstruction and being a clinical professor in orthopaedics

Well...I once had a dream I was a neurologist and...oh, you mean that doesn't count?

mp
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:27 PM
As the child of a neurologist, my physician father always said it is better to crack your skull than break your neck. The injury most misunderstood by doctors today in closed head injuries is sheering. Helmets will not prevent sheering injuries.


That doctors don't understand brain sheer (sic) or that helmets don't prevent it is beside the point. Helmets can prevent concussions and skull fractures, and both injuries can have severe and long-lasting effects. For that reason, I wear a helmet when I ride. That is my choice.

You've stated that you won't ride at a national level now that USEF has mandated them for dressage, so that is your choice.


The skull is adequate to protect from most falls from a horse and doctors often not only crack skulls, but remove sections of skull to relieve pressure from brain swelling following an accident.

So ... skull fractures are no big deal because neurosurgeons crack skulls to relieve brain swelling? Is that what Dad told you?

PS -- helmets mitigate the effects of blows to the head. You can keep saying they don't, but they do.

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:31 PM
This has been my first visit to posting on blogs since they tend to be people sitting in their basements with nothing else to do.

You might want to stay away from "blogs" in the future--oh, and BULLETIN BOARDS, too. :rolleyes:

As for your duragotory comment about who posts out here, you might want to look around yourself and get out of the basement. (In case you missed that, it's because you would now be the pot calling the kettle black, if it were true. Just thought you might need a word picture.) It seems your lack of contact with the world has left your social skills rusty. :no:

Methinks we are feeding a troll...

silence_ridewell
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:32 PM
Whatever - again the reason I have never visited blogs and I guess to make all of you happy it will be my last.

Good luck with your riding & happy landings

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:35 PM
Whatever - again the reason I have never visited blogs and I guess to make all of you happy it will be my last.

Good luck with your riding & happy landings

I'm thinking of a Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote now. Can anyone guess which one? :lol:

S A McKee
Feb. 4, 2011, 04:36 PM
I am also a USEF licensed official. Shocker.



Yeah that is shocking. You don't seem to know that Eventing and HJ have a similar rule. HJ has for years. Paso Fino even has a helmet rule.

But why don't you simply ASK USEF for information about injuries ? Or even better instead of posting the same nonsense on every thread you can find try doing a search for helmet threads and you'll find lots of info.

And what divisions are you licensed in??

Oh and this isn't a blog , it's a BB. And you seem to also have nothing else to do based on the number of posts you made in one day. LOL

All of the above spells troll and a 13 year old.

kdow
Feb. 4, 2011, 07:20 PM
Horses do stupid things. Riders are expected to anticipate those reactions and respond accordingly. If you are not up to riding these unanticipated reactions from the horse you don't belong on one.

Does anyone else find this particular section of this post kind of amusing in light of the topic title?

Apparently, CKD isn't a good rider; great, I've never fallen off a horse, that means I should be getting ready for 2012!

(I have elected to dismount at speed, mind. Just never an actual "wait, I was just on the horse and now I am not" fall. Combination kid-velcro-butt and a good sense of when to bail, since I was doing dressage lessons. No opportunity for the horse to decide he wasn't going over a jump but I was. :) )

(And even with that, I have used a helmet! My horse tripped, was going down, it was bail or get rolled over on. I bailed, hit the dirt, possibly bumped my head. Got up, brushed off the dust, checked out the horse, did a couple more laps of the arena just to end on a 'good' note, and that was that. Replaced the helmet the next day Just In Case.)

mjhco
Feb. 4, 2011, 08:16 PM
...

I am also a USEF licensed official. Shocker.

...

I am SO sorry

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:33 PM
I am SO sorry

For yourself and others that would have to deal with this stuff? :lol:

Touchstone Farm
Feb. 5, 2011, 08:56 PM
Does anyone else find this particular section of this post kind of amusing in light of the topic title?

Apparently, CKD isn't a good rider; great, I've never fallen off a horse, that means I should be getting ready for 2012!

The same thing crossed my mind and I found it amusing as well. CKD -- such a beginning rider. Debbie Mcdonald, Guenter Seidel, Ralph Hill, Darren Chicacchia*: more beginning riders that hardly know how to post. All have no business on a horse. (Eyes rolling.)

(Forgive my misspelling.)

suzy
Feb. 7, 2011, 08:56 AM
Horses do stupid things. Riders are expected to anticipate those reactions and respond accordingly. If you are not up to riding these unanticipated reactions from the horse you don't belong on one.

ROTFLOL. You ARE funny. Have you ever ridden a horse? Do you even know what one looks like. ;)

atlatl
Feb. 7, 2011, 12:55 PM
I'm thinking of a Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote now. Can anyone guess which one? :lol:

When danger reared it's ugly head, Sir Robin bravely turned and fled??

You've just got a couple of coconuts and are banging 'em together??

dotneko
Feb. 7, 2011, 01:14 PM
I also find the new helmet rule problematic.
If, in fact, the USEF feel that it is a safety
issue, then why don't they require it in all
disciplines? Why are dressage horses more
unsafe than park horses, western pleasure
horses, morgans, arabians or any of the many
other disciplines that do not require jumping?

I believe that safety rules have to be applied
across the board. This is opening the USEF up
to liability issues otherwise.

Velvet
Feb. 7, 2011, 01:29 PM
When danger reared it's ugly head, Sir Robin bravely turned and fled??

You've just got a couple of coconuts and are banging 'em together??

:lol: I was thinking more along the lines of simply, 'Run away! Run away!"


:D

poltroon
Feb. 7, 2011, 01:45 PM
I don't believe this new rule does much for USEF in terms of liability, given that protective headgear was already clearly permissible and available.

That said, given that three of our top international dressage riders have had serious falls in the last year, it's probably the cheapest and most cost-effective action USEF can take to ensure we have the best riders available to field for the 2012 Olympics.

I do think other disciplines would benefit from some serious thinking about helmets and how they might make them at least socially acceptable in the ring. It would be nice if they never have the situation that Dressage has experienced, where one of their best and brightest had a life-threatening injury. Creating a rule is not the only way - having the top, most successful riders in those disciplines donning helmets themselves as a statement of leadership would work as well.

Velvet
Feb. 7, 2011, 02:10 PM
That said, given that three of our top international dressage riders have had serious falls in the last year, it's probably the cheapest and most cost-effective action USEF can take to ensure we have the best riders available to field for the 2012 Olympics.


If this is truly the only reason that that smacks of self-serving rather than altruistic behavior on the part of the USEF (which is actually what I suspected in the first place). :no: But I see it as more of a major PR move than anything else.

dotneko
Feb. 7, 2011, 03:07 PM
Well, since none of the falls happened in
competition, I don't see the helmet rule as
doing anything to ensure the viability of our
team. What they do in public and what they
do at home can be two very different things.
Since competitions account for less than 1%
of the time a rider spends on a horse, I daresay
it is the proverbial drop in a bucket.

Again, I still see pictures of the kids riding saddleseat
in big honking bits and no helmets. Where is the
USEF on that? Rightly or wrongly, I can see a parent
whose child gets injured riding in a discipline that does
not require helmets saying 'My governing body did not
feel the need to require my child to wear a helmet riding
saddleseat yet they do for dressage. They are the authority,
so I based my judgement on their rules. My child was injured
as a result.'

S A McKee
Feb. 7, 2011, 03:42 PM
Again, I still see pictures of the kids riding saddleseat
in big honking bits and no helmets. Where is the
USEF on that? Rightly or wrongly, I can see a parent
whose child gets injured riding in a discipline that does
not require helmets saying 'My governing body did not
feel the need to require my child to wear a helmet riding
saddleseat yet they do for dressage. They are the authority,
so I based my judgement on their rules. My child was injured
as a result.'

If you are going to post the same stufff on multiple threads then I'll post the same response on several threads LOL

Most rule changes do not originate with the USEF, they come from the discipline association. For example, USEA sponsored the helmet rule for their discipline and USEF credits them for that.
Maybe the other groups, saddleseat for example, simply aren't enlightened enough to move a rule change like this forward.

But it does look like something is going on with Morgans etc. There are a bunch of new rule change proposals that seem to indicate those groups 'think' they are governed by the new Dressage rules. Their proposals seek to exempt their breeds/disciplines from the rule unless showing in a Dressage division or show as opposed to a breed show or class.

USEF site has this:
"Release: February 04 2011
Author: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY – The Executive Committee of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will meet to consider Extraordinary Rule Changes to clearly define the implementation of the Federation’s new helmet rule to breed competitions that offer dressage classes. The committee will meet later this month to discuss the changes, which will clarify the rule in the Andalusian, Arabian, Friesian and Morgan divisions of USEF Licensed Competitions."

silence_ridewell
Mar. 28, 2011, 03:04 PM
Last post is correct. For the most part USEF follows the discipline/breed associations recommendations as to the rules they would like to implement which affect their association's interests. Like the recent move by the Morgan Association requiring the leadline riders to wear helmets....interestingly leadline riders are aged 2-6 years old - congratulations dressage riders you are in the same league as pre-schoolers and kindergartners.....

So, in the case of the helmet rule, one should be aware of past requirements that were broached by USDF. USDF attempted to require minimum scores for rider's to "move up" the levels. Sadly, it caved on this requirement due to the outcry from the Adult Amateurs. This requirement actually had merit. By insisting rider's develop their riding skills demonstrated by receiving minimum scores, it may in turn keep them safer. But NO, USDF caved and now to appease this same group of riders has capitulated to the AA whine requiring riders to put a plastic cap on their heads and call themselves safer for it.

some interesting reading:
http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/amea/apr93nws.htm
http://www.saskhorse.ca/pdfs/Helmet_Safety_Brochure.pdf (note mostly affects younger riders and was apparently researched with barrel racers)
http://www.dressagedaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5066:is-horseback-riding-a-dangerous-sport&catid=330:perspectives&Itemid=59
(note she is not arguing either way other than statistically it can play a role in decreasing your injury severity and some of the push behind this is a business slant)
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00058

While reading the above, easily researched on the internet, articles/statistics a couple of things come to mind. 1. They mention injuries on the ground occur nearly as often as mounted and 2. Except for the last one it doesn't really mention learning to ride well....food for thought? Lastly, if they discuss minors vs. adults and amateurs vs. professionals - they seem to limit the risks to the minors and amateurs. Of course, we all know professionals can and do get hurt while riding, but while these are generally the ones riding the most hours I would fathom a guess they suffer less injuries overall. Remember too though, "riding injuries" includes those working at race tracks and in other high speed/extreme riding situations. I would also like to know where the statistic comes from the riding horses is more dangerous than riding a motorcycle and the 7000 hour vs 350 hour part comes from? One might look at the average age of the motorcyclist and does this include only street bike stats or does it include racing bikes too?

The ultimate measurement of "safety" while riding will be when insurance companies lower the premiums for equestrian competitions as a result of requiring riding helmets while mounted at all times. Only then will it be because it is "safer".

mickeydoodle
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:42 PM
You know, I have not given much thought to Courtney's injury until I went to Wellington this season. The on line press and Dressage Today repored she was doing really well. Not because I was not sympathetic nor empathetic, I am an MD who does lots of work with head injured patients. I ALWAYS wear my helmet- having had two minor head bangs as a child on horses with some short-term memory loss of the incidents(no helmet) and now being a physician (MD surgeon) and not being able to lose any more brain cells.

I saw CKD ride in the World Cup in Vegas- in the warm up day on Idocus she was hatless, riding in two cute blond pigtails- ala Pippi Longstocking. She looked great, she has a fabulous seat on a horse, I wished I could ride one thousandth as well.

I read all the on line press about her injury and recovery- everything hopeful and it looked like (at least in the reports on line and in Dressage Today) that she was doing "really well"

Saw her at a show in Wellyworld- not on a horse. It is really really really important for the dressage world to wake up and always always ride with a certified helmet.

I wish her all the best success in recovery- it has been encouraging to see many riders wearing helmets at shows this year- keep it up, and hope more people will join the helmet "clique"

BetterOffRed
Mar. 29, 2011, 12:44 AM
You know, I have not given much thought to Courtney's injury until I went to Wellington this season. The on line press and Dressage Today repored she was doing really well. Not because I was not sympathetic nor empathetic, I am an MD who does lots of work with head injured patients. I ALWAYS wear my helmet- having had two minor head bangs as a child on horses with some short-term memory loss of the incidents(no helmet) and now being a physician (MD surgeon) and not being able to lose any more brain cells.

I saw CKD ride in the World Cup in Vegas- in the warm up day on Idocus she was hatless, riding in two cute blond pigtails- ala Pippi Longstocking. She looked great, she has a fabulous seat on a horse, I wished I could ride one thousandth as well.

I read all the on line press about her injury and recovery- everything hopeful and it looked like (at least in the reports on line and in Dressage Today) that she was doing "really well"

Saw her at a show in Wellyworld- not on a horse. It is really really really important for the dressage world to wake up and always always ride with a certified helmet.

I wish her all the best success in recovery- it has been encouraging to see many riders wearing helmets at shows this year- keep it up, and hope more people will join the helmet "clique"

"Really Well" is probably relative. She is alive, she is breathing. She can speak. She is mobile. She is present for her family, friends, husband and loved ones. A head injury of that magnitude will require a long recovery.

Blugal
Mar. 29, 2011, 03:58 AM
You know, I have not given much thought to Courtney's injury until I went to Wellington this season. The on line press and Dressage Today repored she was doing really well.

Ditto, I was shocked when I watched a news clip of her at (for lack of the right PC term) Riding for the Disabled. My version of "doing really well" was so far off what the reality is.

paulaedwina
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:40 AM
I'm lucky that the trainers I've had have always insisted on wearing helmets every time. I could have easily spent my impressionable years at barns that are more lax. Now as an adult when I'm at those barns I still wear a helmet. Does this make me feel superior to people who don't wear a helmet and have had injuries as a result. Heck no. I say, there but for the grace of good trainers go I.

People need to understand how much our behavior is influenced by those around us and not feel so cocky that they don't have TBIs from falling without a helmet. Realize that most of that is fear - that it is more comfortable to resort to magical thinking (I always wear a helmet so I will never suffer a traumatic injury while riding) than it is to accept that horseback riding is actually more dangerous than motorcycles when you count the number of incidents on both that are reportable (emergency room visits).

Don't worry; magical thinking is not unique to riding. People use it all the time, and mostly to the detriment of compassion. Some examples of magical thinking:

1. Homeless people are drunks, drug addicts, lazy, etc. So if I am never drunk, addicted, or lazy I will never risk losing my home.

2. People get mugged walking down dark alleys late at night by themselves so if I only walk on well lit streets in the middle of the day with company I won't be the victim of crim.

3. Only whores get raped so if I don't dress like or act like a whore I won't get raped.

And so on.

Paula

europa
Mar. 29, 2011, 10:05 AM
I have worn a helmet ever since I was about 12 years old after seeing a friend fall around a hunter corner in a show. She was never the same. Mr Pounds the barn owner threatened us constantly. It changed us all.

That having been said I find it incredibly stupid that anyone in this day and age would not wear a helmet EVERY SINGLE time they got on a horse. I buckle mine before I even mount. We all know horses and how seriously spooky and clutzy they can be. ALL OF US KNOW THIS.

Yeah you hair will be sweaty and not look great.....so wear a ball cap afterwards. Get over yourselves.

I applaud Courtney for her helmet efforts and I am truly sorry that the accident happened to her. She rolled the dice without a helmet. I am sure that when she rides again she will take every precaution and I hope she returns to form.

Now, hopefully all those that don't wear helmets need to WAKE up.

SillyHorse
Mar. 29, 2011, 12:55 PM
I for one will try to avoid showing in the national levels for the time being as I don't believe I will wear a helmet in competition that doesn't involve jumping something.
Well that really takes the cake. Heaven forbid you can't wear your precious topper at training level so we will all know you are a top-notch rider slumming at the lower levels, and not some national-level POS. We'll miss you. Not.

Oh, and "try to avoid?" Do us all a favor and just avoid.

katarine
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:06 PM
CKD's terrible accident changed my view of helmet wearing. I'm not incredibly stupid, but I didn't grow up wearing one. For whatever reason her story touched my heart in a way that changed my behavior.

From my POV: I'm seeing a gradual shift in helmet wearing trends among many types of riders, but especially among those riders who are at least seeing helmets on SOME riders that 'look like them' -meaning among the trail riding gals, a few wear helmets...and over time I'm seeing more and more trail riding gals in helmets, it looks normal and do able and no one laughs, and you know someone whom you can chat with about fit, and shape, maybe slap hers on your head, etc... The last place we'll see helmets become common will be the western events, just you just don't see enough 'people like you' doing it, so you don't, AND because it means changing the 'look' at least hnt caps looked like helmets, just sans chin straps and any real protective qualities.

It's like bull riders wearing the full face helmets/masks and vets; 20 yrs ago it just was not done. Now I don't even notice it when I turn on the PBR: those guys are tough as nails, only a real fool would look at one of them decked out in that gear and call him chicken or unskilled or what have you. Those bulls can kill, and you can have done everything right, trip on a dirt clod running for the fence and get nailed. Or is it that only fools trip on dirt?

Hairdo
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:40 PM
I also agree with Velvet she is absolutely right. Btw I really do have mile high bangs.

BetterOffRed
Mar. 29, 2011, 05:00 PM
I was watching some video of Silva Martin riding one of her horses in a Third Level test. The horse was going amazingly well and it didn't even occur to me until the 3rd or 4th time I watched the video that she was wearing a helmet. When the horse moves that nicely and the rider is doing such a superb job, you just don't notice the rider or the helmet for that matter!

quietann
Mar. 29, 2011, 07:45 PM
I'm quite happily taking a friend to buy her very first riding helmet on Friday. She's been using one of the spares at the barn where she takes lessons, just bought her first horse and decided it is time for her very own helmet.

Thing is, she lives in South Dakota, her new horse is a gaited trail horse, and her instructor is one of the few in the area who even makes helmets available (and recommends them, but does not require them for adults.) My friend's taken some guff over her decision to wear a helmet -- including from her husband! But she knows the value of her brain, which is what allowed her to move from MA to SD and work remotely for a software company that *never* lets their employees work remotely, and will protect it.

My helmet goes on when I get my horse's bridle. Wouldn't think of riding without it.

allison finch
Mar. 29, 2011, 10:00 PM
I love the old "it's not traditional...." argument. What is traditional? Just how long have we even been wearing tops and shadbellys? Not that long. If we were to really be traditional, we would be riding naked and saddleless as the Greeks did in the infancy of dressage. Just saying, I would sure rather keep up with the times wearing a helmet (as I always do at home) as ride dressage naked.

paulaedwina
Mar. 29, 2011, 10:13 PM
OMG I had an image of me riding naked and saddleless and it was NOT pretty.:no::no:


Paula

netg
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:30 AM
I just pictured my horse's withers and that was enough! :eek:

Schwab62
Mar. 30, 2011, 01:03 PM
Great article. Glad she came forward about her accident and is encouraging other to wear a helmet. I've always worn a Certified Helmet throughout my years of riding hunter, eventing, and now dressage. Yes, I have fallen and broken bones over the years but nothing was worse than having my own horse slip and fall on top of me while doing a 20 meter canter cirlce. To this day (6 years later), I only remember part of that circle because I woke up five (yes, 5) hours later in the hospital emergency room with a sever concussion. I was told the fall (on his right side) happen so quickly. My horse got up by I didn't, which cause him to panic from what I was told. My helmet did indeed save my life that day and was immediately replaced. Needless to say, my horse was extremely happy to see me the next day. And, he got the next month off because my brain was still sloshing around and I was under doctor's order not to ride until my brain healed.

AllWeatherGal
Mar. 30, 2011, 01:38 PM
FWIW regarding children riding w/out helmets ... Florida, the state in which you can talk and text on a cellphone while driving, ride a motorcycle without a helmet, and do all manner of other things that as a recent transplant from California frankly shock me ... yes, this Florida has a law that requires all children under 16 to be wearing helmets while riding in public areas.

There's a huge loophole, of course ... the law does not apply to children under 16 who are riding while "practicing for, riding to or from, or competing or performing in, shows or events such as rodeos and parades where helmets are not historically a part of the show or event."

And yes, there are fines. I can't find them online, but remember seeing a sign next to helmets at a tack store citing $500 to the "responsible party" (parent?) of the offending child.