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helemt discussion thread

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  • helemt discussion thread


  • #2
    Safety and choices and accidents.....

    Unfortunately the topic of to wear or NOT wear a helmet discussion often winds up polorazing those for with those against.....much like certain training topics......

    Instead of arguing right/wrong and absolutes I think that accidents and wrecks offer an opportunity for each person to rethink the unforeseen negative consequences we each confront for ourselves that impact others......

    We all have choices to make and sometimes we just don't comprehend the impact our choices might have on friends/family and loved ones if our choices result in adverse outcomes.....

    As I get older and (hopefully!) a bit mellower I see the wisdom in NOT trying in vain to convince folks who wind up with "preventable" tragedies (I'm NOT talkin about "accidents" that happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere!) to make "other" choices......

    For example an individual chose to SPEED excessively AND wound up WRECKED on our property over the weekend.....he was veryvery lucky to walk away from an upside down TOTALED truck......however his "choice to speed" has now resulted in my horses being put at risk by the glass left embedded right outside their turnout field.....

    I always wear a helmet when I ride.....I do my best to ride "safely" but recognize that "accidents" can and do happen.....

    My trainer, a BNT, also rides WEARING a helmet....when he was hired that was RULE #1.....I believe in the safety experts who advocate the wearing of helmets.

    I also recognize that there is NO WAY to "prevent" an accident and no real "guarantee" that a helmet will "save" me....but I also am unwilling to take the inherent risks in NOT wearing one......

    I have many friends who make a different choice. I respectfully disagree with the reasons for their choice and feel completely comfortable telling them so. I speak "my truth" because I care about them and do not wish to see them at risk.....HOWEVER, I, with regrets, respect their decisions to make their own choices. And I hope and pray each of them continues to prove my opinion on this wrong for them.

    I always feel terrible for each rider who experiences any riding "accident" or "tragedy" and especially for their friends and families who suffer equally through these situations.....but I also feel that constructive safety discussions should be ongoing in the hope that future "accidents"/"tragedies" can be minimized.......


    • #3
      well said!
      you look vaguely familiar.

      "And somewhere -- wherever the racing gods live -- there was unabated laughter at this comeuppance. Karma's a Witch, babe, and so is the Triple Crown. "


      • #4
        Was thinking about this issue just this morning. I'm riding in a cow-working clinic next weekend, and will be one of few there wearing a helmet. My horse is a teenager, a slow mover and very reliable. Should I join the ball-cap crowd? On the other hand, I'm older, too, not as strong a rider as I was once, have gained weight so I'm a bit top-heavy, and have had at least three minor concussions in my 50-year riding life. No, I think I'll stick with my helmet, thanks. Courtney's unfortunate accident is yet another reminder of why.

        (besides, I look no worse with helmet-head than I do with a ball cap ... )
        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

        Spay and neuter. Please.


        • #5
          I am a rider and a physician, and I have seen more brain injuries than I care to remember. Pony Club trained, I will never ever get on a horse unless I am wearing a helmet. In fact, I have taken to wearing one when I handle my horses for grooming, lunging, turn out, etc. since hearing of a fatal kick to the head while a woman was turning out her horse. I am a devoted dressage rider, but I feel strongly that bowlers should be made with safety features, and that wearing of such helmets should be mandated. All the riders seen in the training/clinic videos on the sites I watch regularly should be required to wear helmets as well. Riding in ball caps is a dangerous and irresponsible fashion trend. My 12-year old daughter has been taught to wear a helmet at all times, and can't understand why the pros don't. What kind of an example are we setting for our children? A helmet is not a guarentee against injury, but there are many cases in which it has certainly prevented serious head injuries.


          • #6
            On the other thread, my second thought (after concerns for this young woman's well being) was if she wore a helmet. Not to say "told you so" in the helmet debate, I do wear a helemt now that I've realized its just safer (IMO), but because I was curious if she was injured even while wearing the helmet. I'm not sure what I would do with that information, but was curious.

            I guess as far as the debate goes I think riders should wear helmets, but once they are adults it is a private choice with potential poor outcome....


            • #7
              Perhaps the worst assumption horse people make is that most riding accidents happen when riders are jumping or cross country or on a young or pumped up horse. Statistically they happen in those instances but also equally at times when it is just an "ACCIDENT".

              I always ride with a helmet I've had my body injuries over the past 47 years of riding but as I always remind myself - I can ride without a helmet but I can't do very much at all without a brain.

              I also feel with children the old saying "horses near-helmet on" should apply and we enforce that on our farm.

              I also agree that wearing a helmet just handling some horses isn't a bad idea. We all know how high and far these animal scan kick - even the youngsters

              I'm not sure why so many dressage riders opt to go without head protection - especially in the warmup areas which are very often complete chaos with way too many horses in the warm-up areas and a majorit of riders looking DOWN at their horses and not ahead or around the ring to avoid collisions.

              A helmet isn't a guarantee but no helmet has a very high statistical probability of a head injury.

              I would also point out that when any rider is taken to the hospital - the informatio on the cause of the accident and in the case of riding - whether or not they had head protection is always noted This information is passed on to actuarials who provide yearly data to insurance companies. Same for motorcycle riders and other sports. Many health and life insurance companies specifically ask about "high risk activities" why may or may not include riding and if you engage in these activities you can find yourself with a much higher premium. I know we face this because my husband mountain climbs and has motorcycles. His life insurance premium is DOUBLE. He's had no accidents - it's just based on the statistics.

              So OTHER RIDERS not wearing helmets doesn't just impact them - it impacts the entire equestrian sport.
              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


              • #8
                I wear a helmet, my husband wears a helmet, everyone who rides on our property wears a helmet but...

                Some people enjoy the danger aspect of riding. Honestly, it is the "wild and free" aspect that they enjoy. I get that. I get that they chose to take a higher risk than I. Lets face it, all horse sports are risky but we do them anyway. Some people honestly like the risk and like being on the edge of danger. They know the risks and benefits. It is their choice, just like it is our choice to be involved in horse sports and to wear a helmet.

                When I see someone on a FEI WB performing amazing things, wearing a top hat and shadbelly - it is beautiful. The beauty of the horse and rider, the gleaming horse and the rider's outfit and the partnership are inspiring. Frankly, sometimes - the element of danger heightens the spectactor's enjoyment of the show (and it is a show). If it is freestyle, the music adds to the performance art aspect. A helmet does take away a little tiny bit of that grandeur and performance magic. I totally get why one would not want to wear a helmet when performing or showing.

                So, in my opinion, everyone should always have the option to wear a helmet BUT , I think wearing a helmet should be optional for adults. The only person who is being endangered is the rider. But for people under 18, it should be mandatory.
                Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Silver~Image~Farm View Post
                  Instead of arguing right/wrong and absolutes I think that accidents and wrecks offer an opportunity for each person to rethink the unforeseen negative consequences we each confront for ourselves that impact others......
                  I think this really the only productive thing that could possibly come out of this thread. Courtney's accident will either cause people to think about helmet use or it will not, but there is nothing that anybody posting stridently on an internet forum can say that will sway anyone either way.

                  Aside from any personal reflection that people may make about decisions in their own lives, these threads publicly always go the same way:

                  1. One group says it is their decision not to wear a helmet.
                  2. The next group says they ALWAYS wear a helmet, and lectures group 1 about "Think of your family!"
                  2a. Most of the people in group 2 turn out, upon closer examination, to "always" wear a helmet "except when they're at shows", since they are staunch helmet fans but not staunch enough to be the lone helmet fan in the show ring. (But hey it is easy to stridently lecture from a desk chair than to actually BE the change you want to see in the world, yes?)
                  3. Somebody invariably chimes in that failure to use a helmet unfairly raises every other horse rider's insurance premium.
                  3a. Proponents of argument 3 conveniently fail to realize that horse related accidents, whether with a helmet or no, also raise EVERYONE ELSE'S insurance premium, including those people who have never touched a horse before in their lives. But this time it is ok to "inflict" (as their argument goes) their risk choice on others, insurance wise, because this time it is their risk choice, not someone else's.

                  Basically, the helmet debate at its best tends to involve quite a bit of lecturing, and if you really think about it, often a lot of hypocrisy. Wear a helmet always, (oh but not at shows). (But feel free to mutter that "show culture" 'forces your hand' because you are 'spending a lot of money' and don't want to get knocked by the judge.)
                  Think of the family and everyone else's insurance premiums when it comes to wearing the helmet (but not, of course, when it comes to wearing a helmet in the show ring), but blithely ignore those concerns when it comes to riding a 1,200 pound animal in the first place.

                  And so on.

                  Basically, everyone will make their own decision.
                  People will either wear a helmet or they won't.
                  People, ammy or pro, will either man up and bring the helmet into the show ring, or they won't (and anyone who wants to lecture anyone else in a helmet debate should SHUT UP if they puss out the second they enter the show ring, SERIOULSY).

                  Having some hypocritically lecturing-back-and-forth thread is really not going to make a difference. It has been done before and it always goes the same way anyway.
                  Last edited by meupatdoes; Mar. 4, 2010, 09:45 AM.
                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                  • #10
                    Adults can make their own choices about this. I wear one but don't get all self righteous about adults who don't wear them.

                    All the accidents I've had from being turfed off horses injured everything other than my head. Never my bone head. So I guess someone will get all tsktsk I told you so -she should have worn a safety vest- when I die from a blow to the chest .

                    Perspective is missing in these discussions.

                    When I broke my hand in a riding accident and was taken to emergency one of the questions in triage was - were you wearing a helmet? So I just knew from that question my stats were going into some data bank about horse related injuries and helmets even though it was not relevant to the injury.

                    Riding is risky. Some people, including most people who ride western do not wear helmets. Many people don't wear safety vests either.

                    When a support thread is started after a tragic accident that is not the time or place to BLAME the person who is injured . Save that for texting to your like minded told you so friends.


                    • #11
                      I understand the implications to my loved ones and myself of not wearing a helmet. Most people (adults) are capable of reaching this same understanding. Children on my property or riding my horses have to wear helmets.

                      I wear one. I would never get in someone's face for not wearing one.
                      Those types of interactions are usually counter productive (and rude).
                      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                        Basically, the helmet debate at its best tends to involve quite a bit of lecturing, and if you really think about it, often a lot of hypocrisy. Wear a helmet always, (oh but not at shows). (But feel free to mutter that "show culture" 'forces your hand' because you are 'spending a lot of money' and don't want to get knocked by the judge.)
                        Totally agree. Every time I hear this argument it makes me nuts. I've managed dozens of shows. Scribed probably thousands of rides. With judges from lowly Ls to to Os. Judges that I know well enough that they would make an aside to me about whether they thought differently about a horse because a rider was wearing a helmet rather than a derby, bowler or top hat. Never once did I hear a single comment. Never once did I think as I was recording scores, "The rider's getting dinged for wearing a helmet.". Including a local FEI rider riding I2 in a helmet. In fact that judge said she likes seeing the upper level riders in helmets because it sets a good example. The only ones making negative comments about it are the railbirds, and they are not scoring you.

                        I would be the last to lecture about not wearing a helmet. I'm as guilty as many for not always wearing a helmet. But what I am is a "every ride, every time" while at a show. Shows are so much more unpredictable, particularly with a young, unseasoned horse. If I lose a couple of points (which I won't), so be it.


                        • #13
                          Helmets are mandatory on this farm, period. We are in Cowboy country and yes, we get a lot of flack about the helmets but this is a "dangerous" lifestyle and doing what you can to prevent the "preventable" accident is just common sense.

                          When a rider chooses to ride without a helmet and gets injured, it affects more than just the rider! Of course the rider is the one who really suffers but so do all the people around the rider.
                          Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                          • #14
                            This accident will not change a thing

                            The people who always wear helmets will say that they always do, a few people who don't will say maybe they will, and in the end zippo zilch nada. A friend came off a few years ago sans helmet, her skull was totally crushed in on one side, her daughter wore one for two weeks after her mom died (as did a few fellow boarders), and then they went back to bareheaded.


                            • #15
                              I wear a helmet...every single ride. When and if I make it to FEI levels, I will wear a helmet to show in. I don't care about tradition but I do care about my head and what few brains I have left after menopause finishes with me! ;-) I ride a lot of young horses but my worst wreck to date was doing flat work on an older horse. Crap happens and you never know when. It's such a simple precaution to take that I will never "get" why people refuse to wear a helmet. I try not to judge anyone for their choices but when I hear of an accident where someone chose not to use safety equipment and got a head injury, I can't help but wonder if they had it to do over, what would their choice be?


                              • #16
                                The whole do I or don't I wear a helmet I think goes back to what is required out of different sports. Hunters/Jumper/Eventers are required to show with helmets. In Dressage, you wear a helmet or a derby and then you earn your tophat. In dressage about 15 years ago, it used to be very few people wore a helmet once they earned a tophat. I think the trend is changing. I did FEI young riders with Courtney in the 90's- we didn't wear helmets. I think the times are certainly changing. But the debate as to should I or shouldn't I is silly. I think there is a direct correlation between the equine disiplines that require helmets at shows and those that wear something else in a show- ie dressage, western, barrel racing.
                                Last edited by Dressage_Julie; Mar. 4, 2010, 11:38 AM.
                                Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/


                                • #17
                                  My worst injury was a severe concussion I got when my horse slipped and fell AT A WALK in wet grass. This was after schooling an entire cross country course without incident. I was wearing a helmet, but my friend who saw it mentioned that I was "sling-shotted" down--my hips hit, then shoulder, then head like cracking a whip.

                                  My helmet was not damaged, my head not "cracked". I was shaken, but untacked, drove home.

                                  Then I had no idea how I got home or what happened to my horse. A trip to the ER showed significant concussion.

                                  I ride dressage, and am at the brink of FEI. Many of my peers are wearing toppers at 3rd and 4th, but I still wear my helmet. I have purchased my shadbelly, but not a topper yet, because I really WANT the look of the topper, but really want to keep my head.

                                  I don't know what I'll do, luckily I don't have to make that decision today!
                                  From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


                                  • #18
                                    I know two German men named Helmut.


                                    • #19
                                      LOL--where is the "like" button!
                                      From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                                        I know two German men named Helmut.

                                        I'm going to be glib because I'm at work right now, but I wanted to add two things to this discussion.

                                        1. Ricardo
                                        2. Amaya
                                        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                                        A helmet saved my life.