Even more important: do you wear an approved helmet? I had a trainer who died at Ocala wearing one of the old plastic shell hunt caps. I started wearing an approved helmet then even though they weren't required or fashionable. You can never be too careful with your brain!
I do. I started because of COTH, actually. Some thread or threads made me realize I was stupid not to. Any kids riding wear a helmet, and my friend uses my son's if he doesn't go. My husband does not wear one. Most people I ride with do not, but I have noticed more people wearing them the last couple of years. And several people in riding lessons wear them. I think that the majority of people I see wearing them are middle-aged women who ride calmer, well-behaved horses (which might be kind of ironic), and then some of the men at lessons.
I started wearing an approved helmet every ride after a friend of mine was in a motorcycle accident without a helmet. She had bleeding, had grey matter removed to stop the bleeding and it was a miracle she even survived. When she woke up, various doctors and nurses on her case would just stand in the door of her room, amazed she hadn't died.
That made me realize how foolish it was to not wear a helmet when we have so many effective, comfortable options available. Why risk it?
i wear one most of the time, even on my mostly sane horse, but there are days i just do not wear it. I know that i SHOULD always but truthfully, i do not always. I grew up in the 70's and 80's and nobody wore them back then, so it was difficult to get used to them, and there are times i do go without. but only on MY horse, and only on rare occasions.
always. I value my brain and my life far too much to gamble on something like not taking two seconds to put my helmet on. I don't even notice it when it's on, but I sure would notice it if I fell and it wasn't on.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
Approved helmet, every ride, every time. Horse tripped, I fell and suffered a concussion--at the walk--while wearing an approved helmet. I shudder to think what would have happened had I been wearing a ball cap or nothing at all.
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
Always, always. I have had 3 incidents that could have ended tragically but did not since I had my brain bucket on. I'm a believer! (And I did grow up in the 60s and we rode everywhere without a helmet...but I'm older and wiser now!)
Every time I am on any horse. Even if it is just for a minute. Even if we are just standing still. Even if it is a half-dead, 40 year old, 11-hand pony. I only have one brain and I would like to keep it in proper working order.
last week, after the blizzard, we had a good 2 feet of snow on the ground. my inner 12yo wanted to ride my horse in the snow bareback. as i walked out to the paddock to jump on horsey, my brain said 'go get your helmet', so i went back to get my helmet. even though the temps were low 20's and i was grumbling about putting my helmet on, i did it anyway.
soo, as i am standing on the mounting block contemplating the Grand Canyon sized gap between me and horsey's back (reality-it was maybe a foot) i did my best mary lou retton impression and flung my 54yo body at horsey. horsey stood rock still and i tried my best to hook my heel over the back but lost my grip and slid off and landed on the mounting block with my head and upper back. had i not worn my helmet, i would have a goose egg or worse on my head along with my sore back. i am nursing my sore back but i still have my wits (or most of them) about me. accidents can happen ANYWHERE, anytime. i'm too selfish to let me end up with a brain injury. i would be sooo pissed at myself.
R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever
Wow, just realized that the little Princess on this hat ... is NOT WEARING A HELMET while riding her flower pony (which also appears to have, um, boobs, but maybe that's just because I'm up past my bedtime)! Oh, the irony!
I always wear a helmet, every time I put a foot to a stirrup or my butt to a bareback pad. I didn't always wear an approved helmet, nor did I when I was a kid, but I did have a mentor insist upon it and now I preach to everyone else who doesn't. I take it a step further by not only wearing an approved one but also replacing it at the recommended intervals due to aging of the materials the helmet is made of, and also after a fall, which thankfully doesn't happen often *knock on wood*. Just got a new Charles Owen that I need to start breaking in.
I also own and often wear a safety vest, and I have a pair of very-hard-to-find breakaway irons made by a company that was called The Australian Stirrup Company (anyone heard of them?)...they look like any other hunt iron but fold out in two spots instead of one, and have MUCH better tread than the Kwik-Outs. Tread is made of steel nubs and is easy to clean, does not slip. Would LOVE to have a second set of these if I could find them and know other people who want them too. I found this pair on Ebay and have never found another. They are the best!
I started wearing a helmet every time I got on a horse after a friend was severely injured in a non-horse related accident (car wreck). He had a very bad head injury and watching him struggle with the most simple tasks even after recovery made me very committed to protecting my brain. It is my most valuable asset and I don't want it to be compromised! I also seem to have a habit of falling on my head when I do fall -- whether on a jump or propelled into the arena fence or bailing off the bucking bronco. Any such fall, I replace the helmet. Heck, I'll even put my helmet on for stuff like cleaning sheaths now. Maybe it makes me a weenie to some, but I consider it smart!