Odd man out here.
Never even considered buying top hat when bought shadbelly.
Ride & home and @ shows w/ helmet, always have, was brought up that way so think nothing of it. But have kids so two main reasons.
1. they need me healthy
2. they are required to wear every ride
I'd be too much of a hypocrite to ride without.
Here's the thing...even if you have insurance, if you suffer a TBI that costs thousands in treatment, everyone ELSE's insurance premiums go up to defray the cost. If insurace could say, "Not wearing a helmet was your choice, not paying for your stupidity is ours," it might be different. But until then, why should the rest of us pay so you can look oh-so-special in a dressage test?
And you'll look better in a helmet on your horse than in a top hat in a wheelchair.
I am so sad to see the helmet police have invaded dressage. As a former H/J rider, I went through this years ago when ASTM/SEI helmets were made mandatory for that discipline. My poor gorgeous Patey, which fit perfectly and never came off my head, had to be replaced with a not-so-quite-perfectly fitting approved helmet. I have several of them, in fact... GPAs, CO AYR8, etc. I've spent a small fortune trying to find an approved helmet that doesn't give me a headache. Guess I must just have an odd shaped head or something.
And to all those who yammer on about insurance costs - sorry, it's simply not true. This has been discussed ad nauseum on the H/J boards, including explanations from insurance professionals who actually develop and price insurance plans, if you care to check your facts.
Riding is an inherently dangerous sport, and I would never dream of judging someone for using (or not using) a particular item of safety equipment. But for adults, I believe the matter should be one of individual choice, at least at home. I do understand why competition management might choose to mandate approved helmets.
Think it through long and hard before you make the argument that because you pay into a risk pool that gives you a say in how others live their lives.
If those of us who wear our helmets every ride didn't have to pay for those who don't, I say go ahead and be as stupid as you want.
I have no heartburn with a private entity establishing a "helmet rule" for their activity. When we boarded we required helmets for riders under 18 and strongly encouraged them for all. We ran a 4H horse project for several years and helmets, along with long pants, proper boots, etc. were required. Adults who assisted the kids wore proper clothing, as well, to set a good example.
I'm here to write this today because I was wearing a good quality, correctly fitting helmet when I got thrown. Even with proper equipment my medical expenses were north of $22,000 (one night in the hospital; one MRI; three CAT scans; the government payed just over 90%; I'm a USNR retiree).
I would not support a government mandate. That's over-reaching, IMO. But a private entity has the right, and duty, to make rules for it's own activities. People can then choose to participate or not.
Times change. And really, $500 is a drop in the bucket if you are showing at FEI levels. We've ALL spent at least that much at some point just to turn around and realize it was a waste. Shine up your horse, put on your TH at tails at home, and take some pictures if it means that much to you. Most people never notice what a rider has on their head at shows anyway, especially when they are riding beautifully.
As an aside, the majority of states do not require adults to wear anything on their head when riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Now what are you going to do?
Some people simply cannot help themselves against controlling others without ever realizing how the shoe will feel on the other foot.
Its a sport, not a fashion show. IMO top hats look ridiculous anyway.
As far as 'risk pool', I sure hope none of you advocating you don't want to pay for someone else's head injury-
a.- under any circumstances text and drive
b.- are going around with untreated high blood pressure
c.- are eating a high fat high sugar diet
d.- are not exercising
e.- are overweight
f.- don't wear your seatbelt
g.- are riding a horse that is beyond your ability
because we don't want to pay for your irresponsibility. Where's the line?
Same old, same old argument.
I choose to wear a helmet, but that's my choice.
But since that's never going to happen, I'll just say this: not only is throwing a leg over without a helmet stupid, it is incredibly selfish. Bravo to USEF for making more helmet rules, because they protect us ALL.
If an insurer decides that ALL equine sports are too much of a loss risk, why should they be forced to cover you even though you wear a helmet or take other "precautions"?
Insurers do not exist to facilitate your enjoyment of risky activities. They exist to make money by insuring against risks that IN THEIR ANALYSIS do not present an excessive exposure to loss.
Who are you to make that determination for them?
Then there's the whole issue of "proper precautions" and drafting appropriate language.
I agree that wearing a helmet on horseback should be the default and that show sponsoring organizations should consider mandatory wear.
Insurance companies have either cancelled or refused new underwriting requests for homeowner's insurance in many coastal areas due to the probability of losses due to hurricanes.
They really don't care about any "precautions" individual homeowners may take. Nor should they.
At this point, USEF needs to put up or shut up. Mandate them for ALL disciplines that they govern or none. This piecemeal crap is nonsense.