Sent wishfulthinking711 a PM but this is easier -- I don't remember where that line came from and think it is in the public domain, but I can't claim to have made it up myself.
I do love telling it to my little tiny lesson students ... watching them as they parse out the meaning .... and then smile at the idea that they are actually allowed to think that some grownups are dodoheads. They always want to wear the hat after that.
I just stopped wearing my XC vest on my own personal horse. I feel naked with out it but its really hard to sit the trot in that puppy in a dressage saddle. Granted I have 6 months of professional training on ex-bad pony that has made him into extraordinary pony.
--Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--
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!
Dangit! My original post on this thread was supposed to include this quote.
Interesting choice of words, horsepoor...
Originally Posted by dizzywriter
My saddle fits perfectly well. It might be a little tight around the waist, but I take care of that with those spandex things.
It's a habit and I feel naked without it when on a horse, but...
I got bucked off in Jan 2012 and knocked out for over 4 minutes. That was the first time I've been knocked unconscious, and I shudder to think what it would have been without the approved helmet. The helmet was replaced long before my bruised butt touched the saddle again.
I have fallen off a couple of times and said "I'm going to have a heck of a headache" and then didn't have any kind of headache. Helmet replaced every time. Once a young horse managed to flip me when he bolted on the longe. I just happened to be wearing my helmet that day because I was going to ride him after the longe and it's easier to carry my helmet on my head. Bye bye helmet, time for a new one.
With the way modern helmets are designed it is SO important that we replace them after they've saved our nuts once. Concussions are caused by the brain slamming into the inside of the skull. The concussion increases when our heads bounce off the ground because the skull and brain are travelling in opposite directions at the time of (brain) impact. Modern helmets have linings that crush without rebounding into their original shape. It takes a fair bit of force to crush the lining and that force robs the skull of speed - slowing it down before the rebound, which also reduces the force of the rebound. The reduction in skull speed before the rebound can be enough for the fluid around the brain to slow it down enough to avoid impact with the skull entirely, but at the least it reduces the force of impact (and the severity of the concussion). Often the crushing of the lining isn't noticeable, but SOME of the ability of the material to absorb force is gone and it might be needed next time. So really, unless you can 100% guarantee you won't hit your head near that spot again... replace the helmet.
My helmet of choice for schooling is under $100 (including taxes) so that I don't have to worry about replacing it when needed.
I started wearing one as a result of some of the links on brain injuries here on COTH back in 2002. When USEF started requiring approved helmets for minors, and I was getting back into showing as an adult, I decided that it was safer to have an approve helmet, and it would set a good example for kids.
I wear one no matter what horse I am on, or what I am doing. I don't say anything to any the adults if they choose not to wear one, unless there is an incident with one of my friends, and they were without a helmet. Then I might make a remark afterwards, like " I worry about you when you don't wear your helmet" and I'll leave it at that. It seems to be somewhat effective, as one of my friends now wears a helmet most of the time, when she used to not wear one unless jumping.
Always. Most of my formative riding years were during the '70s...there were plenty of people riding without helmets back then, but my trainer made us wear them. Of course, nothing was certified back then. We generally wore those Caliente, racing style, helmets for schooling and, of course, the totally non-protective hunt caps for showing.
At the time, as a teen wanting to be like the "cool kids", I resented wearing a helmet when so many others were schooling without one at shows. Now I appreciate that my trainer was way before her time and I acquired a habit so ingrained that my head feels naked without a helmet on a horse, can't imagine sitting on a horse without one.
Always - since a college friend died at 19 when a bee stung her horse while she was hacking back to the stables bareback at a show. I'm now 57 but Robin never made it past 19 and I've never forgotten that.
2005, and I had just gotten my first horse as an adult. I'm riding, bareback, no helmet. My five-year-old son says "Mommy, why do I wear a football helmet, and a bike helmet, and a baseball helmet, but you don't wear one way up there on that horse?". Point taken. Every single ride since, even though my mare is a saint, and I haven't fallen off since 1981. That just means I'm long overdue.
How often are you supposed to replace a helmet in the ordinary course of things (no falls, helmet in fine shape)?
Each manufacturer sets their own recommendation. I would imagine Troxel has excellent information available online or through a 1 800 number, or you could ask at a tack store to be allowed to open a box and read the information that comes with the helmet. May not be the exact guideline for yours but probably close. It's not so often as to be unbearable -- though somehow, I seem to keep needing a new one before that times comes around ... turns out I can go airborne without a sharps container too