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Helmets Required?

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  • Gunther Seidel, Debbie McDonald and CKD - all had major accidents/falls in the recent past
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    • Originally posted by honeylips View Post
      Gunther Seidel, Debbie McDonald and CKD - all had major accidents/falls in the recent past
      And Seidel still shows in a top hat. Good for him!
      http://www.eurodressage.com/equestri...di-show-season

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ToN Farm View Post
        And Seidel still shows in a top hat. Good for him!
        http://www.eurodressage.com/equestri...di-show-season
        Think over the long, distinguished list of BNT's we've all trained with, in hunters, dressage and even eventing over the past 30 years. How many of them, particularly the Europeans, wear/wore helmets on the flat? I can't think of any. I've asked at least 3 to put one on for insurance purposes at my place and they refused point-blank and said, as above, "My head--my choice." I said, OK fine, just sign the release. The difference was, up until about 10 years ago we didn't have this Greek chorus in the background like here on COTH singing "You will FALL! You will DIE!" everytime you hop up on a horse. The Western people don't have that now. I believe everyone's perception of our sports' "riskiness" has been affected by all of this, and definitely not for the better. The default USED to be the assumption you would stay on--as Mr. Ayers above proves can actually be done. I never fell off in a show or competition either. I DO believe there are far more falls, and worse falls, today because many more people are overmounted and/or have inadequate skills and fitness for what they are attempting. But every accident does not necessitate a policy change; and those decisions should NEVER be made on the basis of an emotional reaction to an isolated tragedy.

        To me, the sensible solution is this:

        "At all levels, use of an approved safety helmet is encouraged and will not be penalized."

        That way, it's still a matter of adults having a choice and personal responsibility too.

        Those who believe such a decision has such far-reaching ripples out into larger society are performing the mirror image of my purposely reductio-ad-absurdum sophistry up thread. So touching, the numbers of high-minded souls who express such concern not only for our heads, but even our theoretical bereaved loved ones and burdened caretakers. Try repeating that goofy line in a real-life conversation and you're going to get some mighty funny looks unless you're on the Kumbaya train!

        I think Guillerme up thread said it all best; this is an idealogical fight between libertarians vs. socialists, and we're never gonna agree!
        Last edited by Lady Eboshi; Feb. 22, 2013, 11:07 PM.

        Comment


        • I think it is a bit delusional to think riding at a certain level is a guarantee of no accidents. If Hickstead had had his anurism a few seconds earlier at the trot or canter Eric could have had a serious accident and no one can argue he isn't a top level rider. After watching Anky and that big black horse bolt and melt down you can't tell me that even uber trained dresssage horses don't have "moments" either. Wear what you want but I wear mine no matter what saddle my horse is sporting - I can function fairly well with a broken arm, not so well with a broken brain.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by ToN Farm View Post
            And Seidel still shows in a top hat. Good for him!
            http://www.eurodressage.com/equestri...di-show-season
            OH BROTHER.

            Unless ToN's post was a joke. It needs to just be a joke.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
              Think over the long, distinguished list of BNT's we've all trained with, in hunters, dressage and even eventing over the past 30 years. How many of them, particularly the Europeans, wear/wore helmets on the flat? I can't think of any.
              Technically a jumper BNT, but Anne Kursinski has been an advocate for helmets with chin straps for at least 15 years.

              I don't think it should be illegal to ride without a helmet. I just think it's an incredibly dumb thing to do. The person making that incredibly dumb choice might be the reincarnation of Xenophon and Einstein merged into one superbrilliant uberbereiter, but not taking literally 3 seconds to put on a helmet is still one dumb decision.

              Just my opinion!
              Last edited by Martha Drum; Feb. 22, 2013, 11:09 PM. Reason: Because anytime I can insert "uber," I do. How do I make an umlaut?
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              Comment


              • Everyone who is griping about having to wear a helmet at USEF shows still has the freedom of choice - don't participate in USEF shows if you don't want to wear a helmet!

                I don't see how anyone can watch that video of CKD and still get on a horse without a helmet.

                My hunter trainer and several of her students NEVER wear a helmet, except at shows. Makes me cringe every time I am jumping with them and they don't have helmets on. I said something the first few times but just keep my mouth shut now. I always put my helmet on, no matter what.

                I used to not wear a helmet unless I was jumping. CKD's accident is what changed it for me. I used to HATE helmets but I have a Charles Owen AYR8 now and it is super comfy. No different than wearing a ball cap.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                  I think Guillerme up thread said it all best; this is an idealogical fight between libertarians vs. socialists, and we're never gonna agree!
                  Many years ago, I lived in West Berlin and had a civilian job working for the US Army. An army friend used to use the word 'doopid' which he defined as worse than stupid.

                  I don't know why I thought of that just now.
                  A helmet saved my life.

                  2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                    ...
                    Those who believe such a decision has such far-reaching ripples out into larger society are performing the mirror image of my purposely reductio-ad-absurdum sophistry up thread. So touching, the numbers of high-minded souls who express such concern not only for our heads, but even our theoretical bereaved loved ones and burdened caretakers. Try repeating that goofy line in a real-life conversation and you're going to get some mighty funny looks unless you're on the Kumbaya train!

                    I think Guillerme up thread said it all best; this is an idealogical fight between libertarians vs. socialists, and we're never gonna agree!
                    Okay, so everyone who agrees with some rules/laws that protect people--even at the expense of some personal freedoms--are socialists?

                    So people who believe heroin and cocaine should remain illegal are socialists? I mean, people should get to do what they want...

                    There are limits to your view, you realize that, right?

                    There are shades of gray here. There's a pretty wide swatch of ideas and views between socialism and libertarianism. Not everyone is a polemical thinker.

                    Be real.
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                    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

                    Comment


                    • To those who use the excuse they have never fallen or they never have seen a person fall as reasons why helmets are evil, I have my scenario for consideration.

                      I work with some very deadly and dangerous things at work. I wear a full set of mill greens, face plate, helmet, gloves etc. I never had an incident in 13 years. Yet I CHOOSE to wear safety gear to at least improve my chances of survival just in case the ONE time something happens. A colleague of mine does the same and we both were very happy when things went very wrong for him one day. It never happened to him before but that day he walked away from a brutal furnace explosion with some light burns on his face instead of missing his entire left side of his face had he CHOSEN to wear what most others considered "safe" enough.

                      It only has to happen ONCE. Ask CKD.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        If you're so offended by the rule, don't show at USEF shows. Simple enough. I don't see anyone whining and moaning that they're not allowed to wear plaid breeches and d@mn it, that is their RIGHT, yet somehow a helmet rule is just the worst violation of one's right to choose?

                        FWIW,@ the show I attended I thought all the riders looked perfectly fine in their shadbellies and helmets. Didn't look ridiculous at all. Actually, before I learned about the rule, I thought how smart they all looked.

                        I never thought this would turn into such an arguement. I figured I would just either get confirmation of the rule, or someone telling me that my information was incorrect.
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                        Comment


                        • Everyone will keep the freedom of choice whether or not to wear a helmet outside of USEF shows.
                          They have basic rules regarding show wear for everything. And those change. So you'll *have* to wear a helmet to show. It's their party, their choice. And it seems the majority's choice is being considered in this also, which is also for helmets.
                          Seriously, it's not cause for angst. And it's a horse show for dancing horsies; hardly a socialist issue.
                          If you loathe helmets that much or honestly think if you have to abide a rule change regarding the Head Waiter outfit it equals loss of freedom/attack of the socialists then there are much more serious issues here than an outfit rule change.
                          Sheesh, talk about much ado over nothing.
                          You jump in the saddle,
                          Hold onto the bridle!
                          Jump in the line!
                          ...Belefonte

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Frizzle View Post
                            If you're so offended by the rule, don't show at USEF shows. Simple enough.
                            A lot of the people who are offended by the rule don't. And didn't before the rule

                            Comment


                            • Someone brought up the jumping world.

                              Well, in my area there's about 1 dressage person for 10 jumpers, so most of my horsie friends are jumpers. They all wear helmets for competitions. They all wear helmets when jumping. They NEVER wear helmets when doing flat work. They are all alive and well.

                              If I ride a horse I feel is jumpy I wear a helmet. I do not want to ride my super calm mare with a helmet every single day, and I won't.

                              Anky's horse just doesn't decide to jump up in the air out of nowhere. If you've been riding for as many years as I have, you can feel if a certain horse is nervous as soon as you get on it.
                              www.facebook.com/lusitanos4sale

                              Comment


                              • FWIW, I haven't seen the CKD video. And I won't. I also don't dwell on C. Reeve's condition following his accident, and unlike it would seem a majority of COTH frequent fliers, I don't constantly dwell on accidents, death, drama, and doom.

                                For one really good reason: I don't want those images in my head every time I get on a horse. I want to keep my confidence and not be tentative, subconciously riding for a fall. What you expect with horses is frequently what you get. Your fear is telegraphed to a flight animal who will catch it!

                                How many people would get on airplanes if they sat there replaying the smoking heap of every major plane crash in the last 10 years? Does passing a yucky wreck on the highway make your knuckles go white on the wheel? I believe that the over-emphasis on safety, to the point of, as someone above just said, trying to "eliminate all accidents" which is certainly impossible, has made a great many people "white-knuckle riders."

                                Years ago riding horses (and bicycles!) we thought of as a perfectly normal everyday fun, wholesome activity and not some kind of "extreme sport" for which we needed to be encased in armor and insured to the teeth. It was just what you did! Obviously, this was before we had so many liability suits--but I do NOT think there were a lot more fatalities, paralytic events, etc. in those days. If there were, we certainly didn't hear much about them or spend the time DWELLING on them that is done nowadays.

                                There's a "product placement" component to this. The thinking is, if a product exists that could make an activity safer, well, we'd better use it. It's a short step from allowing, to recommending, to mandating that it be used, always with "liability" as the reason. Today, helmets. Tomorrow, flak jackets. Day after, maybe these airbags I can't help thinking of as buck-off "parachutes." If a product exists, we must buy it or else the Greek Chorus starts singing again about our irresponsibility.

                                Now as long as we're yakking about hats, somebody explain to me what makes a Samshield or a GPA worth those, um, "head-smacking" prices when according to the label on the inside, a $34.00 Troxel is just as safe? Just snob appeal?

                                Comment


                                • I actually don't care if people wear helmets or not. I don't mind other people's business. I'm a fuddy duddy traditionalist, an old timey sort of person, and grew up wearing a simple hunt cap and doing things like - gasp - riding bareback outside an arena in shorts and Keds.

                                  But a sport is free to set its own rules and if a helmet is one of them - well put the damn thing on or stay home.

                                  As far as looking like an "athlete" folks - fancy logos, neon stretchy fabric, and trends don't make one an athlete. So abandoning the shadbelly and trying to emulate NASCAR is not going to make the world clamor for dressage on ESPN. Just thought I'd point out the obvious.

                                  If I had my druthers I'd prefer folks wore bowlers or top hats the way we used to do (and some still do). What I'd love to see is a dramatic improvement in helmet design that could make such a thing possible. The ones on the market just make the rider look like the Mad Hatter. But I remember thinking that the new helmets were horribly huge too - and those designs and materials did improve with time.

                                  So for me, the fuddy duddy traditionalist who sits on her porch and yells at the kids to get off her lawn, I say wear the dang helmet and maybe, like a good consumer, work with helmet designers to come up with a helmet design in a more traditional look - if it's that important to you.

                                  Rant over.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment


                                  • As stated earlier:
                                    If they require it, you wear it if you show that.

                                    Doesn't matter what statistics are.
                                    Doesn't matter if you're riding on the flat, jumping, hopscotching.
                                    Doesn't matter what you do at home.
                                    And if definitely does NOT matter if you're not directly showing USEF.


                                    Someone brought up the jumping world.

                                    Well, in my area there's about 1 dressage person for 10 jumpers, so most of my horsie friends are jumpers. They all wear helmets for competitions. They all wear helmets when jumping. They NEVER wear helmets when doing flat work. They are all alive and well.

                                    If I ride a horse I feel is jumpy I wear a helmet. I do not want to ride my super calm mare with a helmet every single day, and I won't.

                                    Anky's horse just doesn't decide to jump up in the air out of nowhere. If you've been riding for as many years as I have, you can feel if a certain horse is nervous as soon as you get on it.
                                    I'm also a jumper rider. Who worked for years as the "tuner upper" for the bratty animals.

                                    And like jumpers...dressage will still be "wear/don't wear what you want schooling at home" and "wear a helmet to show USEF here."
                                    Just like the example above...all of the friends don't wear helmets at home but do at shows. So dressage may be the same. I fail to see where the angst is coming from.

                                    Nobody is saying anyone has to wear a helmet anywhere but where the show may require it. It's their rules, don't show it if wearing a helmet is that horrible for the length of a test. [shrug] No big deal.

                                    Like JSwan, I also started out wearing a hunt cap. Our hunt caps were felt. After a class, we folded them up like a handtowel and stuffed them in a pocket.
                                    Things progressed to 'hard hats'. And then hard hats with little elastic chin straps. Then collapsible brims. Then the harness. We all survived the changes. We didn't start wearing them because "ZOMG we're skeered of horsies suddenly!" We started wearing them because the rules changed, it was required and we were actively showing so had to follow the rules. We AGREED to those rules simply by showing, no reason to blame the headwear changes on socialism, being timid, etc. Who cared? We didn't, it wasn't much different than any other fashion change. No different than going from solid jackets to windowpane jackets to madras jackets to pinstriped coats (somewhere someone changed them from jackets to coats, LOL).

                                    It doesn't change your ride, it doesn't hurt, it's really no big deal. So don't use one at home, when flatting, when schooling, when trail riding, when pleasure riding, when vaulting, when jumping, when grooming, when longeing, when clipping, when roping steer, when running barrels, when mucking stalls, when riding in a posse with Clint Eastwood. USEF doesn't care and nobody else does either. But if you agree to show USEF and USEF makes a rule change to include helmet wearing...wear the stupid thing. For the few minutes of the ridden test. Remove the stupid thing.


                                    (as an aside and FWIW...I'm pretty sure Anky, CKD, et al have all been riding for years also and also may know if a horse is nervous or not.)


                                    Discobold:
                                    A lot of the people who are offended by the rule don't. And didn't before the rule
                                    Exactly. Whole lotta pearl clutching done by those who won't even be affected.
                                    You jump in the saddle,
                                    Hold onto the bridle!
                                    Jump in the line!
                                    ...Belefonte

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                      FWIW, I haven't seen the CKD video. And I won't. I also don't dwell on C. Reeve's condition following his accident, and unlike it would seem a majority of COTH frequent fliers, I don't constantly dwell on accidents, death, drama, and doom.

                                      For one really good reason: I don't want those images in my head every time I get on a horse. I want to keep my confidence and not be tentative, subconciously riding for a fall. What you expect with horses is frequently what you get. Your fear is telegraphed to a flight animal who will catch it!
                                      That is truly one of the most foolish things I have ever seen in print. Did you copy it word for word off the Parelli site? You aren't expressing subconscious fear by putting on a helmet any more than you are expressing fear by putting on half chaps or boots with a heel or tightening your girth. Just curious, do you wear a seatbelt or are you afraid that would make you subconsciously drive into a tree?
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                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by SCMSL View Post
                                        Someone brought up the jumping world.

                                        Well, in my area there's about 1 dressage person for 10 jumpers, so most of my horsie friends are jumpers. They all wear helmets for competitions. They all wear helmets when jumping. They NEVER wear helmets when doing flat work. They are all alive and well.

                                        If I ride a horse I feel is jumpy I wear a helmet. I do not want to ride my super calm mare with a helmet every single day, and I won't.

                                        Anky's horse just doesn't decide to jump up in the air out of nowhere. If you've been riding for as many years as I have, you can feel if a certain horse is nervous as soon as you get on it.
                                        I think what people are trying to get at is, horses don't just dump riders when they are nervous. Courtney's horse was cantering calmly in a dressage arena when he fell on top of her. You're riding an animal that thinks plastic bags are sent to kill him, if one blows into the arena while you're riding he can go from not nervous to I'm outta here in a hot minute.
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                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                          That is truly one of the most foolish things I have ever seen in print. Did you copy it word for word off the Parelli site? You aren't expressing subconscious fear by putting on a helmet any more than you are expressing fear by putting on half chaps or boots with a heel or tightening your girth. Just curious, do you wear a seatbelt or are you afraid that would make you subconsciously drive into a tree?
                                          I wore my helmet into a gas station store once to get coffee - I was doing warm up rides at an IHSA show and honestly forgot that my helmet was still on. Maybe I'm subconsciously afraid of coffee or gas stations?

                                          I wear a helmet every time I ride. I don't begrudge those who don't - I don't think it's very smart and I do say something (once) if it's someone I care about... but hey, if you want to go smash your head in during an unforseen "oh sh!t" moment, that's your prerogative. The boohooing about wearing helmets at shows does seem a little silly, though.
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