I grew up riding western and working at a livery stable so I never wore a helmet, except when I rode English. Saved my noggin a few times during jumping accidents, although I had plenty of head bonking accidents while riding western. At the track I wore one of those measely jockey skull caps that don't do much of anything to protect you and I clocked my head good a couple times. Still didn't learn enough to wear it all the time.
Once I started dating my current bf, even though he's not a horsey person, he threw fits if I didn't wear my helmet at ALL TIMES. Not one to let a guy tell me what to do, but he was right. I'm getting older, I have more responsibilities to think about that don't involve me dead or in a coma from brain trauma. I still slack off once in awhile, but it's rare now. I have a lightweight airy Troxel I got on clearance at the TSC for $15! (it's a $70 helmet but out in the boonies of Texas, nobody buys helmets). For awhile it was annoying but now it's just part of my gear, I don't notice it at all.
applies to bike helmets too---the styrofoam inside eventually dries out and becomes more crushable. five years if you keep the helmet in a climate controlled place (when not on your head) is about the norm.
and yeah, i'm short--i wear one whenever i handle a horse at all.
Gravity works, and the laws of physics are a bitch.
I've always worn one and always will. I have lasting effects from multiple concussions and I suspect had I not been wearing a helmet when I acquired all of them, I would either be a vegetable right now or I'd be dead.
I had one fall where I took a header into a rock and the impact severely damaged my helmet (to the point that it was essentially cracked in 2). I am sure that I would not have survived that kind of impact directly to my skull.
All things considered, I'm grateful that all I have are the severe headaches and the occasional stumbling over words - it could be a lot worse. But I will never get on without a helmet.
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!
The little princess has so much hair, it's probably the equivalent of a helmet. Besides a "My Little Pony" would NEVER misbehave or even TRIP! LOL
On a board like this, reason prevails and nearly 100% will agree that helmet, every time, every ride is the rule. However I have had quite a few long-standing arguments on other boards and FB groups where the members INSIST that helmets "cause more injuries than they protect." Where on earth do people get these opinions! Another common theme is something along the lines of "you're more likely to break your neck or hurt your back, so why bother with a helmet." WTF? What are these people thinking?
This made me giggle in the context of protecting the brain.
(I need more coffee)
Yes, every time even when riding bareback from here to there. I love to hop on and ride instead of walking her to the pasture, etc.
I was doing this one time and when we reached the barn she decided to walk into her stall before I realized what was happening. I hit my forehead on the door frame. I was wearing my helmet - thank God.
8 – 14 wore one EVERY ride
14-19 would do flat work without one (blame teenage cockiness, and trainer’s bad example)
19- till now EVERY ride
A helmet saved my life at 13 (and yet I would go bare headed after that! Boy I was dumb (and lucky). Now I ALWAYS wear one, I have a sense of responsibility to wear one – If I think about not wearing one for a moment, I then think about my husband and family, and how disappointing it would be if I was killed or handicapped by a head injury that could have been preventable.
Originally Posted by wcporter
...even when I'm grazing my horse bareback.
Yep, same here. In fact, the ONLY time I have come off in the last 15 years - was walking a horse bareback (spooked and bolted - I thought I saved it, then she bolted again! Kerrrplop on the ground, and did bump my trusty helmet)
I wear a helmet every time I get on a horse. My horse is a saint and yet I almost came off when we were in the indoor on a windy day and a large piece of debris slammed into the window just as we were trotting by it.
He did a 180 in about a second and I don't blame him a bit. There was no way he could have anticipated that, might just as well have been a cougar ambush for all he knew. I still don't know how I stayed on.
Accidents happen, even with the kindest of horses.
Every ride, every time. That said, I rode in an unapproved helmet for years and years and years before the influx of approved helmets hit the market. Not for a lack of wanting to protect my head (honestly, I think conventional belief was that those unapproved helmets DID protect your head, even though they were "items of apparel only"), but just due to a lack of good options in helmets.
I can't even imagine getting on a horse without an approved helmet now. I don't find them burdensome. They are just part of my equipment.
I only started riding 5 years ago, and nearly every barn I've been to since has a "no helmet, no riding" rule (though there were exceptions made for trainer/barn owner). I can't really imagine trying to ride helmet-less. I'd be too distracted by how too-light my head felt, ha.
And besides, I think riders look really dashing and professional with their nicely-fitted helmets. I swooned a little, okay, a lot when I saw video of Charlotte Dujardin ride out in her red-accented helmet for the Olympics. Shiny. c:
Still using my first helmet, so I guess I should start looking for a comfy replacement soon.
I always wear a helmet. I wanted my kids to always wear one, so I modeled the behaviour I was expecting.
A friend was knocked out falling from her saint of a horse, who was standing still at the time. She reached down to unlatch a gate and kept going knocking herself out on the gatepost. That is the incident I tell people about when they assure me their horse is a steady eddy. I also tell them I'm selfish enough not to want to deal with the aftermath. I don't want to be calling ambulances...or their relatives thankyouverymuch. This gives them a laugh and an out.. they can blame it on Dreamwalker if asked why they are suddenly wearing helmets
I always wore a helmet growing up (mother's rules), and again am always wearing a helmet. That being said, I went about 3-4 months without wearing a helmet while working at a barn in argentina. It was incredibly hot/humid and working upwards of 10 horses a day made my helmet unbearable. I lasted over a month wearing it before I finally threw the towel in and went without. Not my wisest decision ever but I am back in the states and wearing my helmet again now that I am not attempting to work 10 horses in the heat. A bit of sweat after one or 2 rides is bearable.
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'm not convinced that "approved" helmets are all that good. Now, if somebody came up with a gel lined helmet, that would be dandy. We supply custom seat molding kits to auto racing teams, and I was wondering if the same thing would work for helmets.