I have scoured the rulebook on usef.org, but cannot find the new US regulations for helmet use in Dressage competition?
Is it that a certain level and under have to wear approved helmets?
I know in Canada they have made it so that all levels at all shows have to wear a helmet, but I can't seem to find what it is for the US.
At any time while mounted on the competition grounds, all riders under age 18, all riders while on horses competing in national level tests, all riders competing in Para-Equestrian tests, and all riders while on non-competing horses, must wear protective headgear as defined by this rule and otherwise in compliance with GR801. When a horse is competing in both national and FEI levels or tests (e.g. Fourth Level and PSG), the rider must wear protective headgear at all times when
mounted on that horse on the competition grounds and during all tests. Any rider violating this rule at any time must immediately be prohibited from further riding until such headgear is properly in place. Any other exhibitor may wear protective headgear at any level of competition without
penalty from the judge. Protective headgear is defined as a riding helmet which meets or exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. The harness must be secured and properly fitted. Unless
jackets are waived, while in the competition ring, exhibitors wearing protective headgear must wear a short, dark jacket, dark tailcoat (only permitted for tests above Fourth Level), or Armed Services or police uniform (if eligible), dark hatcovers (where applicable) and must otherwise conform to DR120 (see GR801).
As the survivor of an awful head injury in 1984--in a coma for nearly a month--I would advise wearing a helmet "every horse, every ride" whether showing or not, regardless of test level. You don't sustain a head injury one day, come back from a coma, and the next day you're just the same as you were before. Think of Courtney King-Dye: a head injury is not like a concussion. The effects hang with you for the rest of your life, to some extent.
For those of you that wouldn't be caught dead without a top hat when showing, check out the article about the top hat-helmet in DRESSAGE TODAY, March of 2010.
Last edited by threemagicalmares; Jan. 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM.
IIRC from past helmet discussions on this board, the vast majority of people here are in agreement -- every horse, every ride. Sorry you suffered a life-altering injury, threemagicalmares. Are you riding again?
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Was pleased to see more than a few riders wearing helmets at an FEI show in Palm Beach last weekend... including in GP tests. Some were folks who've competed at WEG etc. so it's good to see the "big names" taking it seriously. Helmet + shadbelly no longer looks "weird."
OTOH... no cheer to the girl wearing a pink baseball cap while riding in warm-up. I didn't report her to the TD, bad me (had no idea where to *find* the TD), but neither did anyone else.
Yes, I am riding now. FYI, my head injury was NOT from a riding accident. I was run over by a forklift at my job as a commercial pilot in Alaska. Although I survived one TBI, even a slight one would kill me next time.
I'm new to COTH and was not aware of the majority view of the importance of head protection, and as a "helmet nazi" I felt forced to comment when it appeared that someone was trying to wear a helmet as little as she could.
I didn't get back to riding until 2002, when I took lessons to see if I could even ride again. Like I said, the effects of a TBI stick with you and my balance--even 18 years later--was compromised. Once I proved to my instructor that I "still had it", she and I went to Canada to test ride a 7 yo CWB mare, who I bought. Both time AND my riding have helped my balance, and mucking 4 stalls and paddocks every day has built my strength again.
As a canuck, I am dancing with joy at our new helmet rule. In my opinion, this is the best way to both ensure that fewer people suffer TBIs (unfortunately, they can still happen with helmets, but the chance is greatly lessened), and to just erase that "mystique" that seems to surround helmet-less riding. So long as there is one person cantering around sans helmet, there is going to be at least one person who thinks it looks "cool" and wants to emulate it. If absolutely no one is allowed to ride without a helmet? Then the shows will no longer be the place where the "cool" myth is perpetuated.
Yes, yeah for Canada. They are leaps and bounds ahead of the US in helmet rules. Although I don't believe that common sense should be legislated--i.e. seat belt or helmet use anywhere--when someone suffers a TBI, and can't pay for the million-dollar treatment, that money comes out of MY pocketbook as a taxpayer. I don't want that, and I'm willing to stop the stupidity any way I can.
Troxel has some "western" helmets, and for awhile they had a cowboy hat over a skullcap helmet. I don't think it caught on. It may take something like Courtney King-Dye's TBI to shake up the Western folk, maybe a reiner getting killed on a horse due to hitting his head. The status quo is hard to change sometimes.
I had the same problem when I was looking for a protective top hat for when I reached the point I needed one, but I had to have one made for me b/c one did not exist. Next show I go to I will wear it, even if I'm at TL, to prove that you can wear a top hat that CAN save you from a TBI. There was an article in DT about the top hat-helmet when it was finished. March 2010, like I said in my first post on this thread. I've seen pictures of riders wearing top hats with short coats at TL, so I guess I won't be ostracized if I wear one, too.
ETA--I've seen barrel racers wearing helmets! Nat'l champion barrel racers!