I am one of those "pretty much 100%" helmet wearers and this is a reminder to make it a true 100%.
BUT, you know what this one does do? It reinforces that I MUST get a skiing helmet for this season. We bought one for my son last year, this year, I'll be getting one too. No "cheaping" out on it. The cost of a $100 ski helmet is WAY less than the results of a head injury.
I too have had a few concussions, one severe in which I was in a coma for some time (I have no recollection of this at all). Not nearly as severe an injury as Coreene's though.
Since my injury I have had mild brain function changes - a hesitation when I speak (some think I should hesitate a whole lot longer! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]), I reverse numbers and letters, even on a keyboard - these things are mild. I do have lots of memory 'blanks' too.
When I had my really bad concussion, I don't remember if I was wearing a helmet. Probably was, but these were almost 40 years ago, and mostly decorative by today's standards.
I had another concussion, courtesy of my Big Bob, I was putting hoof ointment on him, and yes, bent across his leg to reach the other foot - his knee came up, hit me in the temple, and I guess I went down like a stone. I don't remember that I either.
Sometimes I think we should be wearing head protection at all times when we are around horses - especially the babies. Something more like a hockey or football helmet with a face guard. I'm ot kidding.
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I am not talking about this thread. Thank you for starting it. What I am talking about happened Friday afternoon.
I am talking about a fall that resulted in a seizure.
One of my students was having a very nice lesson and after jumping a jump and rounding the corner- 2 strides into the short end of the ring, her horse's feet just went completely out from under him.
I was teaching from horseback, so I was sauntering over to her, horse was up & caught by another rider, when I realized that she was NOT sobbing. She was having a clonic/tonic episode. After that, I remember being in front of her and
pulling her tongue out of the back of her throat. Within seconds, her body began to relax. THEN came what for me was one of the most frightening moments of my life. She let out a ragged breath and for what seemed like 10 hours did not take another. It was only about 1.5 seconds. She began to come around but was still not all there. As the EMTs were putting her on the backboard, and taping her down, I was given the phone with her mother on the other end. SHE was understandably hysterical. I had her meet us at the ER and all she wanted was to see her daughter alive and breathing. This is now Tuesday and she is OK, but is still sick to her stomach and has a headache.
SHE WAS WEARING AN APPROVED HELMET!
The neurologist said that if she had not been, the crushed helmet would have been her head.
This fall appeared to be a soft one, if there is such a thing. I am taking her helmet to our store and sending it to the company, but she will have a new one by this afternoon, even though she cannot ride until she has been symptom free for a week.
On a lighter note, the girl's brother is a very accomplished golfer. In light of the accident, of course their dad asked if there was a chance his daughter might take up golf. Brother pipes up with a comeback. It seems a husband and wife were golfing this week and wife went to women's tee and husband to men's tee. Seems hubby fired off a shot before the wife did, and beaned her in the head. Yep, ambulance , whole nine yards. So now they were joking that brother would have to come in and get a helmet!
We are very lucky to be able to joke about such things.
Even though I am considered a pro, I am also a wife, mom, store owner, trainer, general helper of all things equine, SO.....with all of the hats that I must wear, I am proud to say that at least the riding helmet is approved- GPA, Troxel, and COSJ2000 are my choices. I wish there was an ASTM/SEI approved mommy helmet.
Charter Member of the Baby Greenie Support Group
Where the horse and I seem to have a different set of directions. I did not have that last left turn on my map!
(Brushing dust off of self)
It\'s a pity life ain\'t got no warranty for times like now...
I have always been a stickler for wearing a helmet, but I think now, it's even more important that you wear an approved helmet all of the time - not just at shows! More accidents seem to happen at home, when your guard is down, goofing around, etc., than at shows.
A few weeks ago, I was WALKING a horse around the arena, chatting with a friend. Horse tripped, she could not get her balance right off, and flipped over on me. Thank goodness the mare did everything she could to not land or step "directly" on me, but I did a full flip off and landed flat on my back and smacked my head. I am certain that if I had not had an approved helmet on, I would have been unconscious. Instead, I ended up with a wringing head ache for three days.
Don't choose to be stupid by not wearing a helmet... life is too darn short! (This goes for ALL disciplines, remember, I was just walking, not jumping.)
This is a great thread. I'll add my story as well. I had a bad wreck doing flatwork several years ago when a horse went over backwards on me. I was knocked out completely. I remember the horse rearing and leaning forward with my body but I don't remember the horse falling. I woke up pinned by the leg under the horse that I was holding down inadvertently with a strong rigid hold of the reins. My ASTM helmet was completely caved in over my forehead area. My nose was bruised and I was one big purple bruise all over my body as he apparently rolled over me trying to get up not to mention used me as a cushion for his fall, but I walked away from that one with only a minor concussion. I remember as I struggled to get up after letting the horse's reins loose (he jumped right up off my leg) and seeing flashes of light (stars) just like in a cartoon. I remember thinking, "Wow, this was a bad wreck!" I think I was very very lucky that day that I had my helmet on. I believe that without it I would have had a really bad head injury or perhaps even been killed. Would you believe I actually caught the horse and remounted? No one ever said I wasn't crazy but it took a while for the shock to wear off and realize how close I'd come. Oh, and I was alone too. No one saw the wreck or was there to help me. If I had been badly injured, I would have laid there for hours before someone would have come looking for me.
Wear an approved helmet every ride!
"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence
Never used to. Then after an accident left my leg in a brace, found that I couldn't "dodge the bullet" as quickly as I used to - i.e. little baby hooves during minor "I don't want to do that" tantrums or just turning out on cold, windy days. So granted, I sometimes look like a cross between the Michelin Man & Robocop decked out in my protective vest & approved helmet while working with the youngsters, BUT I find that I am more effective because I'm not worrying as much about having to jump out of the way or getting knocked over, etc., etc.
Mr. Breezymeadow, who doesn't ride, used to "pooh pooh" my pleas that he put my helmet on when turning out our 18-month old stud colt. Then one cold, windy morning, just for fun, the Little Prince reared up in play & caught helmetless hubby good & hard right on the shoulder - mere inches from his skull. Needless to say, Mr. Breezymeadow puts that helmet on every single time he touches that horse now. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a "fixer- upper".
I have to add my two cents here. Brain injuries don't just cause physical problems...
I fell off my horse August 12, 1999. We were in the ring, doing dressage, I was wearing my approved helmet. The only reason we know this is when my sister came to get me, my dressage tack was sitting out (I didn't know where to put it) my helmet and gloves were next to my tack (soaked with sweat) and I was hand grazing my horse near the ring (I didn't know where to put her, either). I was the barn manager of the farm, and I couldn't remember these very simple things. I spent the rest of the day and that night in the ER.
That's what my family says, I don't remember that day, or the day before. In fact, the concussion I suffered while wearing my approved helmet has permanently affected my long term memory.
Over time, I've come to realize how much I've lost. Just recently, my family has as well. My mother was recently regailing a friend of hers with a story from my middle school years, and turned to me for details. I couldn't even remember the incident she was talking about, much less any details. I remember almost nothing from my adolecent years. Even less about my childhood years.
I was refused a security clearance that would've made me eligible for a promotion because I couldn't remember details about past employment. I had even forgotten I worked for a graphic design agency during my first year in college, and the security officer thought I was deliberately withholding information.
The only thing I can say is thank god I was wearing my helmet. In fact, that day, the ER doctor was lecturing me on not wearing my helmet. When my sister pointed out that I was, he became very quiet, then told her if I hadn't, I'd probably be dead. I don't remember this either, my sister told me later.
I just wanted to point out other effects of brain injuries.
As someone who was severly injured while working with a youngster on the ground, I definitely support the idea of wearing a helmet while working with horses on the ground. I was cow kicked in the head (I'm short), by a youngster who was upset about getting on a trailer. While he did not aim at me and it was not maliciously done, the damage was the same and I was very lucky (with minimal long term damage despite the plate in my forehead).
I have to admit I still don't wear one all the time, but do when I'm working around feet or doing something that they may resist or be aggravated by. I am also a lot more careful in general. I NEVER thought that my "big wreck" would happen while I wasn't even riding!
What a coincidence this came up just now! I'm another one who's thinking maybe I should wear a helmet while off the horse. My 4 year old is on stall rest and handwalking, and is in the sixth week. She's getting quite frisky, and doesn't like to stand still in the cross ties. I hand walk her in surcingle and side reins, which helps to keep her focused and on the ground! I was bridling her yesterday, and she was being spooky about the reins going over her head. I was just placing the bit in her mouth, when she spooked and hit me with her head - hard! I now have a good sized lump on the side of my face, and a sore jaw. Thank goodness I didn't get a concussion - I've got a pretty hard head! I'm thinking maybe I should be wearing a helmet when I walk her now! I never get on her without my helmet.
Just in case someone you love needs help, there is a one of a kind program for brain injury rehab at NYU. I have seen how it works first hand - my mom was in it - and it is unique and complex as far as brain injury therapy goes today, leagues ahead of most conventional therapies available elsewhere.
WA. The Evergreen State Where The Horses Are Forever Green
Yes, please wear your helmet on the ground.
I have a lovely horse shoe shaped scar on my upper forehead from a frisky OTTB who somehow kicked me while I was lunging him [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]
Actually just as I was letting him out on the line, he heard something wheeled and BAM.
Oddly enough no one saw it happen, and it did not knock me down. So I let him go out on the circle and asked a friend if the horse had kicked me.
She said no, after awhile my head felt lumpy so I lifted my wooly Cowichian cap, and MAN out came a gallon of blood, (in my mind).
I thought to mention that with all the personal stories above, there is something that may apply directly to you or someone you know. After experiencing head trauma without brain injury or after recovering from a brain injury, you may be surprised to learn that you are not fine or have not actually recovered.
There was a middle aged fellow married with three children, in the NYU program at the same time as my mother. He had gone through life without ever being diagnosed with a brain injury he received falling off a bike at age 3. He only discovered later that some of his marital problem and problems at work were related to symptoms of the old brain injury that he didn't even know he had.
Just a sad note.
I'm on my way out the door to buy another new ATH. It will be my fourth one since April. I've had three very different falls, and have been very fortunate to not have had any serious problems resulting from them.
Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread and provided information. I once spent 24 days in a row waiting for someone I cared about to awaken from a coma caused by a traumatic brain injury. He was very fortunate and now would appear to someone who didn't know him as a fairly "normal" person. He is not, however, anything like the person before he was hurt.
I hope no one of us ever have the experience of standing next to a rotating bed in the neuro ICU for five minutes on the hour day after day, seeing no change. I can guarantee that if you ever do, you will never get on a horse without an approved hat.
I've had a couple nasty experiences in the last few months. The first I was just flatting, at home, hacking even and had even considered not wearing my helmet since my horse is about as bombproof as a TB gets. Well, we were cantering, came around a corner and the next thing I knew I was being tossed over my boy's shoulder as he fell out from under me. Landed face down in the dirt, twisted my ankle and my knee and slid a good six feet on bare stomach. Thank God for my helmet.
The second time I was schooling a horse over a course. he'd jumped everything great, including the airy 3'9 vertical. ( I had never before ridden this horse) SO I was quite relaxed coming up to the 3' oxar. Well, despite a good distance and pace he decided he was done, hit the skids, hit the front rail and reared, smacking me in the head with his poll. I managed to ride away from that one a little dizzy and with a severely sore jaw. Yeah for approveds.
Every ride, every time.
You know, if you took this jello, put it in a mold and froze it, you could be like look....an emerald. Dude, I'd kick some guys ass he ever tried to give me a jello ring.
Personality changes are the most lasting after effect of TBI.
My brother, a national merit finalist, had a serious BI. It took him about 6 years to finish college after that. He is marginally employable. He is married with two children. He is a HUGE sucess story in relation to the seriousness of his injury. He also has nearly no recollection of his pre-injury life other that what we tell him. He is totally unable to filter out the intricacies of everyday subtle human communications. His affect is often slightly inappropriate and worst of all, his children have grown up and exhibit a degree of his interpersonal problems. It's a very real picture of how much your family life effects how you relate to the world.
Just as an example, you know when you are talking to someone and they start to fidget or shit their weight from foot to fott and look away occasionally... they are likey bored and looking for an excuse to stop talking to you.. He has absolutely no ability to recognize this.
Needless to say I was the first one at my barn in an approved helmet! I am SUCH a stickler.
"I've got a holiday, a paid holiday, I've got a holiday in my head"