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USEF Proposed Rule Change for Eventing - Helmets

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  • USEF Proposed Rule Change for Eventing - Helmets

    I was looking through the proposed rule changes for Eventing and came across one that makes helmets with a harness mandatory at all times while mounted. This means hunt caps and top hats would not be allowed for Dressage. I know riding is a dangerous sport and you can fall at any time, even when walking, but let's get real. Is there any data out there that suggests head injuries during the Dressage phase are such a problem that we will now be required to wear a helmet with a harness while warming up for and executing our tests or is this just a knee-jerk reaction to Courtney's accident which, if I recall correctly, did not take place at a show?

  • #2
    I hear the train acoming, coming round the bend.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

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    • #3
      I am not an attorney or an insurance agent, but today with all the lawsuits of people getting injured (for various reasons) and the cost of insurance policies for the USEA and individual events it could be steming from stituations like these. When you ride at home (own you own place) you can do whatever you want. Some boarding facilities have helmet all the time rules. Maybe the USEA and individual events are just trying to protect themselves.

      I like wearing a hunt cap (no harness) for dressage. But I do realized that even though I have paid an entry fee, I am an invited guest to someone elses property.

      JMO

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      • #4
        Not biting at the bait here. I used to think like you too. Go back a few hundred threads to a discussion we had about top-hats and tails.

        I now think it is a great rule change. NO, I do not think it is a knee jerk reaction to Courtney King. I think it is a final recognition as to the danger and the liability. This rule has been percolating as an idea for YEARS. I definitely intend to wear a harnessed ASTM helmet in dressage just like I do any time when mounted.

        Reed

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Innocent Bystander View Post
          This means hunt caps and top hats would not be allowed for Dressage.
          No, it doesn't. It means you have to have an approved hunt cap with a harness and top hats are not allowed. There aren't that many eventers qualified to wear tails anyway, so no biggie, unless you would enjoy being brain damaged.
          ... _. ._ .._. .._

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          • #6
            I would never get on without a proper helmet. I have fallen off walking. Bit of a freak thing, but there you go.

            Most places require proper helmets at all times when mounted...and then you go to an event there and everyone's riding around in dressage in hunt caps.

            Think the rule is overdue and sensible.
            The big man -- my lost prince

            The little brother, now my main man

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            • #7
              I'm with Reed. This has been percolating for a loooong time and really, common sense reasons aside, for liability alone, I am shocked it has not happened sooner.
              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
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              • #8
                I'm with Reed too. I've been wearing a helmet for dressage since 2001 so this rule won't affect me except that I won't be cringing any more, watching my friends ride around in useless hats.
                Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

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                • #9
                  I like the rule (though, I'd rather it specify ASTM instead of just "with harness").

                  It will take away all the 2nd guessing of whether wearing a hunt cap/top hat could be a competitive advantage, whether judges are subconsciously dinging helmets, etc. Just like the similar rule change in the hunters a few years back.

                  There really aren't any good reasons NOT to wear a helmet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm with Reed too.

                    I am one who is very vein and I love nothing more than to put on my beautiful dressage hat and lipstick. That being said, I have HT in a week and I have been pondering as to whether I should wear my dressage cap or CO low profile which is approved. This thread helped me make up my mind.

                    The JR8/GR8 is quite pretty.

                    hey, takes away the expense of a top hat too!! lol.

                    In reality, think about it, who cares? It's an extra 5 minutes you'll be wearing an approved helmet instead of a cap/top hat. It will have little impact on your day--unless of course it saves your life.
                    http://kaboomeventing.com/
                    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
                      It's an extra 5 minutes you'll be wearing an approved helmet instead of a cap/top hat. It will have little impact on your day--unless of course it saves your life.
                      I like that a lot!!!
                      The big man -- my lost prince

                      The little brother, now my main man

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think a lot of people think the helmet issue is a personal one, and feel infringed upon to have someone MAKE you to do something. I also know there is a lot of people who want to keep the dressage ring traditional and formal, and that would be with a hunt cap or top hat. With that said, I am a 100% helmet wearer, and would personally forgo wearing a top hat for the helmet that can save my life. It's not just life saving, but also brain protecting, a lot of people are not aware that you can have suffer brain damage from a fall from 3-4 feet from the ground, and if you have never met someone with a traumatic brain injury(TBI), then I suggest you not comment. A TBI alone can ruin your riding career, let alone how you function on a daily basis. I am all for helmets being required. It's really not that bad!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleChanges/302-10.pdf

                          Nowhere does it say you cannot wear a Hunt Cap. However it must be securely fastened on your head and carry an SEI tag/conform to ASTM standards for equestrian use.
                          Example; http://www.charlesowen.com/en/produc.../list.php?p=15

                          http://cp.useventing.com/resources/f...2002232010.pdf


                          Proposed Change:
                          EV114 Dress. [Chapter EV. Eventing Division] Change to read:
                          1. PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR.
                          a. At all levels of eventing competition, from beginner novice through advanced, at Federation Endorsed competitions and recognized competitions, riders must wear headgear as follows in 1b through 1f, except as may otherwise be mandated by local law (see also GR801):
                          b. Upon arrival, wearing a hard hat is compulsory for anyone riding a horse on the flat. all riders must wear properly fitting protective headgear which passes or surpasses ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. Harness must be secured and properly fitted.

                          Replaces
                          c. While jumping any obstacle all riders must wear properly fitting protective headgear which passes or surpasses ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. Harness must be secured and properly fitted.
                          d. c. […]
                          Last edited by Equibrit; Nov. 14, 2010, 02:44 PM.
                          ... _. ._ .._. .._

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                            Not biting at the bait here. I used to think like you too. Go back a few hundred threads to a discussion we had about top-hats and tails.

                            I now think it is a great rule change. NO, I do not think it is a knee jerk reaction to Courtney King. I think it is a final recognition as to the danger and the liability. This rule has been percolating as an idea for YEARS. I definitely intend to wear a harnessed ASTM helmet in dressage just like I do any time when mounted.

                            Reed
                            I'd find that a little more credible a reason on USEF's part were it also mandated for saddle seat riders...
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SilvyFilly View Post
                              I think a lot of people think the helmet issue is a personal one, and feel infringed upon to have someone MAKE you to do something.
                              As if the dress rules aren't already infringing. Stupid hunt coats. Chokers/stock ties!

                              I am glad to see that this rule was proposed by the Eventing committee, and not just a random member. I think we are ready for this change.
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                No, it doesn't. It means you have to have an approved hunt cap with a harness and top hats are not allowed. There aren't that many eventers qualified to wear tails anyway, so no biggie, unless you would enjoy being brain damaged.
                                Equibrit, go and look at the RCP in question. You stopped too soon with the changes you posted. Continue down to 5. DRESSAGE TEST. The words "hunt cap" are crossed out and replaced with the word "helmet." As they are currently used in the rules, a hunt cap and a helmet are not the same thing. A hunt cap does not have harness and may only be used for riding on the flat. Therefore, there are no hunt caps with a harness that are approved for jumping. If there were, they would be called helmets.

                                I am as safety conscious as they come. At home, I always wear an approved helmet and the harness is always firmly clasped. At an event, I will wear my helmet for dressage if I am riding a greenie or have any concern about my horse acting up on the flat. However, it would be nice of the PTB to grant me the leeway to use my hunt cap when I determine it to be okay instead of, once again, encroaching upon my responsibility as a rider to do what I think is right for me. Especially when there is no data to suggest that riders are sustaining head injuries in the dressage phase at a rate which would mandate a rule change of this nature.

                                Is this a RCP that will actually do something to lower the number of head injuries at events or is this just for show to make us look like we are being proactive about safety? At various events in the past I've seen a rider get kicked in the head trying to get her horse off the trailer, another get kicked in the head while putting studs in, a spectator sustain a concussion when she tried to help a horse tied to a trailer with its leg caught in a hay bag, and so forth. Not once have I ever witnessed any rider sustain a head injury because they weren't wearing a helmet in dressage. It seems to me that if reducing head injuries is the intent of this RCP, it would be far more effective to mandate that everyone on the show grounds wear a helmet at all times, not just while mounted.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  There is (and has been for many years) sufficient evidence that indicates that injuries to the head and neck are the most common injuries from falls off horses. Those statistics are compiled from across all equestrian disciplines.

                                  That's enough for me.

                                  And yes, I'm also waiting for the day when riders can dress like actual athletes at shows.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    As a USEF rule, would this affect FEI events or would top hats for dressage and schooling in hunt caps still be allowed at FEI competitions?
                                    I evented just for the Halibut.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by NeverTime View Post
                                      As a USEF rule, would this affect FEI events or would top hats for dressage and schooling in hunt caps still be allowed at FEI competitions?
                                      I'd like to first point out that those wearing top hats would NOT be affected by the USEF rule change. When competing in the FEI division the FEI rules are "above" the USEF rules.

                                      I think it may be up to the organizers to enforce a helmet rule during warm up. The rule would have to be a facility rule, but how often do you see people wearing an unapproved hunt cap with their shadbelly and then switch to a top hat??? At other times I think you'd have to be in a helmet unless in an official FEI warm-up being supervised by a steward, but I don't know.

                                      I don't think there are many times where the FEI rules are less strict than a USEF rule, so we don't have a lot to look back on see what was done.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by flyracing View Post
                                        I'd like to first point out that those wearing top hats would NOT be affected by the USEF rule change. When competing in the FEI division the FEI rules are "above" the USEF rules.
                                        At Intermediate and Advanced, tails are allowed, so those wearing top hats with their tails at these two levels WOULD be affected by the RCP.

                                        JER, I have no doubt that injuries to the head and neck are the most common injuries from falls off horses. What I do question is whether or not the RCP would make any significant difference in the number of head and neck injuries we see in our sport because, once again, there is no data to suggest that these injuries are happening in the dressage phase.

                                        The PTB are either trying to fix a wheel that is not broken or are doing this just so they can say they did something. Either way, it is just another example of our sport moving closer and closer to a "nanny state".

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