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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2008
    Posts
    13

    Thumbs down Helmets, hunt caps, and respect

    <soapbox>

    As I read the updates on Darren Chiacchia, it reminds me there could have been a VERY different press release had he not been wearing an approved helmet.

    That being said... we all know the dangers of riding without a helmet. Anyone who has half a brain knows this... and those that don't probably wish they still did.

    However, it ceases to amaze me that most ULRs and BNTs still believe that their old-fashioned hunt cap is actually going to protect their head if they fall. It's almost as if they're obstinate in their beliefs that, since they grew up in an era of where hunt caps were considered protective headwear, they still are. I can't tell you how many times someone's said, "Here, wear my helmet" if they jump on a borrowed horse... and that "helmet" is no more than a tattered old hunt cap, which has been scientifically proven to provide about as much protection as, well, a cowboy hat!

    I'm almost positive ULRs/BNTs are aware of what happens when you FALL ON YOUR HEAD from any height. Your brain gets messed up, duh. It doesn't have to even be on a horse! But to think that just because they are "good riders," that they have a better probability of staying on. Bullsh*t. There are so many stories on this board that have to do with riders falling off at the walk on their 28 year old bombproof schoolmaster. It doesn't matter what you're doing, whether it's walking down the trail or galloping around a **** course - there's always that risk.

    I also think that ULRs have a huge influence on the younger crowd. I've had conversations with many YRs who made the switch from helmet to hunt cap simply because their trainers made them (seriously), or "because they look better, and the pros wear them." What kind of role model is that?

    So, that being said... I'm really starting to lose respect for those ULRs and BNTs who hack around bareheaded or in their "helmet" (unapproved, 30 year old hunt cap). To me, you can be the greatest rider in the U.S., have numerous accolades and rewards -- but if you're dumb enough to think that riding with a crappy unapproved hunt cap is going to protect your head if you take a spill -- then that, to me, is far more prevalent than any gold medals won.

    I'm not saying that they should be wearing an ASTM/SEI helmet with their tails. There are situations that call for tradition, and that I can understand. But when it's considered perfectly acceptable to wear a helmet instead, why not wear one? "Because approved helmets look ugly."

    I don't have respect for utterly stupid people (Darwin awards, anyone?) -- so why should I have respect for the ULR who doesn't even bother protect the one and only head they have?

    </soapbox>



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 8, 2002
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    3,357

    Default

    You must wear a SEI/ASTM approved helmet in any jumping phase of an event. Yes, for dressage, you can "opt" out, but any jumping? Must Have Approved Helmet.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2004
    Location
    The Cold Cold north
    Posts
    914

    Default

    I am not a militant helmet mandater, but the first time I visited the schooling ring at a three star and saw all but one ULR in a hunt cap, I was completely shocked. I had no idea the culture of unsafe helmets was so pervasive in upper-level eventing.

    If people want to take such a huge risk at home, fine, but I have no idea why the USEA/USEF would not mandate approved helmets at shows. Then again, I have no idea why anyone would not wear an approved helmet, especially in a show atmosphere, so maybe I'm missing something...
    "This thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down" - Mary Pickford



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    You've just reminded me to send that email to all the BNRs who so bravely put their names on the list of EVENTERS FOR SAFETY. I wonder how many of them school in baseball caps at home? Or whenever they don't HAVE to wear a helmet? Safety, my butt. Put your money where your mouth is and set an example!
    Click here before you buy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
    Location
    passepartout
    Posts
    10,480

    Default

    When you're lying on the ground unconscious, there's no real distinction between jumping and dressage.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2007
    Location
    Valley, AL
    Posts
    77

    Default

    That would be an interesting poll:

    How many people's most serious fall/ injury occured in the dressage ring?

    I am missing an entire day of my life from asking for a simple extended trot across the diagonal. And yes I was wearing an approved helmet, and it was cracked from ear to ear. Without it, the Dr said there was no way I would have lived.
    Sir Chancelot- 8 yr TB/ App



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,783

    Default

    My favorite signature line on COTH goes something like this: "If you think your hair style is more important than protecting your brain then it probably is."

    I don't remember whose it was.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    My favorite signature line on COTH goes something like this: "If you think your hair style is more important than protecting your brain then it probably is."

    I don't remember whose it was.
    Deltawave!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2007
    Location
    body in charlottesville VA, heart in Ocala FL
    Posts
    2,037

    Default

    My trainer wears a hunt cap in dressage. It is very common. Two of my friends do also... I have one too. But everyone has to use a helmet in jumping and my trainer uses one when schooling at home, and she did show in her helmet when she had the two babies out...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2007
    Posts
    481

    Default

    Just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention, especially those who think you don't need an approved helmet if you aren't jumping, if you're just riding at home. Page 94 of this week's Chronicle: Dressage trainer Ricardo Amaya sustained massive head injuries -- he was found unconscious in the arena at home. A google search shows that he has since passed away. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I have to guess there was no approved helmet here.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Ricardo's family and loved ones.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    13,860

    Default

    I will admit it....I tend to wear a hunt cap for dressage at shows. At home, I almost always were my approved helmet...but I have hopped on the super quiet safe broke to death QH in a western saddle with a baseball cap.

    At a show, I do wear an approved hat with a harness on any young horse or any horse who I don't really really really trust for all phases...but will use my hunt cap on my quiet sane horses for dressage who have proven to me that they are not going to be stupid. It is a measured risk...but I completely acknowledge it is a risk and I respect anyone who chooses to be smarter and always wear their approved helmet.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,804

    Default

    If someone who is older than 18 chooses to wear an unapproved helmet because it "looks" better, I suppose it is their right. But it sets a terrible example for younger riders.

    c_espresso, I believe you are still under 18 and your post is a perfect example of how your coach has influenced you and your friends.

    Even the safest, calmest horse can trip and fall. One of the worst falls I ever had was when the horse I was riding tripped and fell when we were trotting in an arena. Perfect footing, nothing special, but he landed on me.

    Let's face it folks, helmets are helmets. No one looks all that different in a hunt cap than in an approved helmet.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2006
    Location
    Frederick, MD. Canada originally!
    Posts
    2,498

    Default

    I'm taking one of my horses out at PSG next year.
    I'm going to wear my helmet - top hat be damned. To me it doesn't matter that I'm not jumping!!

    I'm a dressage trainer - I wear a helmet - EVERY HORSE, EVERY RIDE.
    True North Dressage
    Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing
    www.TrueNorthDressage.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Location
    On the back of a horse somewhere in KY
    Posts
    1,133

    Default

    Can I be a stupid example of how the powers that be at events are getting tougher? I think I literally felt elimination crawling along my stock pin after a SJ phase at a recognized HT in FL this winter when the TD called me out for my hunt cap that I wore in the SJ phase. Now it is fair to note that I have worn that same one since I was 12 and it was given to me by an UL rider that I knew at the time (since I didn't wear a helmet before this...*gasp* backyard young rider faux pas). I have worn this same helmet from BN to A and this was the ONLY time I was called out on it. Props to the TD for saying something. I promptly went and found a GPA at a garage sale for $20. It had a birdsnest in it, but it FIT!

    Additional note: I ride race horses for a living. I ride in a Caliente that is more likely to serve as a not-very-attractive soup bowl than honest head protection. So do 90% of all of the people I ride with at the track, and 99% of jockeys I ride with. This is also something that needs to be addressed in the racing industry but likely will not be for a long time.
    "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Nobody is forcing you to wear a Caliente OR a hunt cap. Yes, it needs addressing, one individual at a time.
    Click here before you buy.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2007
    Location
    body in charlottesville VA, heart in Ocala FL
    Posts
    2,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogie View Post
    If someone who is older than 18 chooses to wear an unapproved helmet because it "looks" better, I suppose it is their right. But it sets a terrible example for younger riders.

    c_espresso, I believe you are still under 18 and your post is a perfect example of how your coach has influenced you and your friends.

    Even the safest, calmest horse can trip and fall. One of the worst falls I ever had was when the horse I was riding tripped and fell when we were trotting in an arena. Perfect footing, nothing special, but he landed on me.

    Let's face it folks, helmets are helmets. No one looks all that different in a hunt cap than in an approved helmet.
    My friends that wear them actually ride with different trainers... one other friend that wears one rides with same trainer though. Anyhow I know it is a risk, and any horse could trip or fall, or spook, etc. However I trust my horse enough and will take the risk. I probably wouldn't wear it on most horses.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2005
    Location
    Lost in the Sandhills of NC
    Posts
    2,670

    Default

    Rule EV113 Dress, 1.Protective Headgear addresses requirements for all phases of eventing. It is illegal to jump in anything other than properly fitting headgear which passes or surpasses ASTM/SEI standard, with a harness, properly fastened.

    The TD at our last event also tld me that under the age of 18 you must wear approved headgear in all three phases, but I am not finding that rule at the moment. Janet??



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2007
    Location
    body in charlottesville VA, heart in Ocala FL
    Posts
    2,037

    Default

    I think when you are under 18 you have to wear a helmet too, but I am 18 in "horse show years".



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
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    too far from the barn
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    5,864

    Default

    Yes, that is correct. It is in the general USEF rules, GR801 that juniors must wear ASTM headgear including in dressage
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2007
    Location
    Napanee ON
    Posts
    5,090

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat Lux View Post
    Just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention, especially those who think you don't need an approved helmet if you aren't jumping, if you're just riding at home. Page 94 of this week's Chronicle: Dressage trainer Ricardo Amaya sustained massive head injuries -- he was found unconscious in the arena at home. A google search shows that he has since passed away. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I have to guess there was no approved helmet here.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Ricardo's family and loved ones.
    He was most definitly without a helmet, discussion here:

    http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/sho...hlight=ricardo




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