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David O'Connor ~ Has anyone seen this?

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  • #21
    Why is this about helmets?

    The Foxfield Drill Team was a very big deal when I was a child in southern California in the '80s, and they rode impressive quadrilles that involved jumping and formations. Uniform: red shirts, white breeches, item-of-apparel hunt caps, and a neck wire. No saddles, no bridles. Just a bunch of girls riding ponies and horses in the most minimalist possible fashion. They performed everywhere, including at the 1984 Olympic Games.

    Of course, we all wanted to imitate them, so our trainer made each of us a neck ring by welding a piece of wire (I still have mine) and we worked with our horses until we, too, could ride bareback with just the neck wire, hands out to the sides, even some jumps, just like the best girls at Foxfield. It was awesome, and somewhere I have pictures of myself on my big chestnut.
    Last edited by poltroon; Jul. 13, 2008, 02:35 AM. Reason: added link
    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

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    • #22
      What are the statistics about injuries with/without helmet? Is there a higher incidence of neck injuries with helmets? Do western riders sustain more head injuries than english? It used to be that adults who grew up without helmets were told to wear them as an example for children, if for no other reason. Now it seems that children; at least the ones I know, are indoctrinated into thinking that getting hurt is the ultimate tragedy. They remind me to helmet, and buckle up. And of course insurance companies make rules about this stuff also. I only used to wear mine hunting, and at shows, now I usualy wear it when I jump at home. I suppose I will be buying a cell phone next?? Maybe get a key for the front door lock?

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      • #23
        I have ridden and jumped my horse without a bridle with a neck rope many times and still do. He prefers it which tells me a lot about the elasticity of my elbows! I always thought I learned that from Buck Brannaman, didn't realize it was a Parelli thing also.

        As far as the helmets, I sure hope I don't have to tear up all my old pictures from the 70's and 80's because I wasn't wearing a safety helmet. I do wear one all the time now, but really, are people expecting someone like DOC to go back and scrub and and all media from the past showing what is considered unsafe now?

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        • #24
          Originally posted by poltroon View Post
          Why is this about helmets?

          The Foxfield Drill Team was a very big deal when I was a child in southern California in the '80s, and they rode impressive quadrilles that involved jumping and formations. Uniform: red shirts, white breeches, item-of-apparel hunt caps, and a neck wire. No saddles, no bridles. Just a bunch of girls riding ponies and horses in the most minimalist possible fashion. They performed everywhere, including at the 1984 Olympic Games.
          They were doing the same thing when I was a kid in the late 60's/early 70's. It certainly is not a new concept. I think Jimmy Williams also used a neck rope in addition to the war bridle years ago. Susie Hutchinson did a demo with GP Jumper Woodstock at Rolex in the 80's and he was either in a neck rope or bridleless..
          It's all fun and games until someone pulls a shoe....

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          • #25
            Just to put this on some kind of timeline: I took a job teachng riding in 1974. All I had was a regular cap. I was told to get an actual helmet with a harness if I really wanted to work there. That predates the video under discussion by at least a quarter century...

            Just because an item wasn't mandatory for competition doesn't mean you shouldn't be smart and actually wear the best available.
            madeline
            * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by poltroon View Post
              Why is this about helmets?
              It wasn't meant to be. To be honest, when I first saw the video I didn't notice what kind of helmets they had on.

              I personally, haven't seen anyone jump w/o a bridle... and to me, these were jumps. Like I said before, I've only seen Stacey do the western demos.

              I just thought it was kinda neat especially being a name we all know.

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              • #27
                I think the video is fun and kids and young riders would love to see a demonstration like that.

                Yes, I have ridden some of my horses without a bridle.

                Helmets, aaaahhhh .. well, I hate them personally, BUT I do wear them.

                I grew up with the "wear your helmet while jumping" rule and have always stuck to it.

                Never used to wear one on the flat. Finally began using a jockey exercise helmet (didn't have the visor part that could get smashed and actually cause an injury ) when I got on difficult horses.

                Have many, many photos without a helmet.

                Don't teach kids unless they are wearing their helmet.

                Think adults should be able to decide for themselves.

                I avoid riding with riders that don't behave in a sensible manner. I think that helps keep the accident rate down.
                Last edited by BaroquePony; Jul. 13, 2008, 11:29 AM.

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                • #28
                  [QUOTE=ezmissg;3357230]Has anyone else here ridden without a bridle?

                  QUOTE]

                  On my wonderful OTTB mare, Dream. With my Savvy String.
                  http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f6...StringJump.jpg
                  We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                  www.dleestudio.com

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                  • #29
                    It's an old video.

                    Besides - we all grew up wearing a hunt cap. Matter of fact, sometimes we wouldn't wear them UNTIL we were jumping - then we'd put them on.

                    Certified helmets may be commonplace to the younger generation - but to many of us - the only "helmet" we ever wore was the hunt cap. Perfectly normal.

                    It has nothing to do with DOC's position now; I don't get why some of you are so damn judgmental all of a sudden.

                    It's a helmet - not a halo. Wearing or not wearing one doesn't make you morally superior, nor does it speak well of y'all to act with disdain for those who don't think the way you do.

                    Besides - it's an old video, it's not a competition, and he doesn't have control over it being replayed on the internet. What is he supposed to do? Demand that anyone that has a picture of him without a certified helmet destroy said picture?
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling

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                    • #30
                      Well said, J Swan.

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                      • #31
                        oh good god

                        Well, gee, for a second there I thought I had accidentally stumbled into the dressage forum. . .

                        It seems lately anyone who dares to post, well, anything, runs the risk of starting a trainwreck with the helmet/thought/secret police!

                        I agree that proper headgear is a wonderful but relatively recent enforceable concept and not a topic that is at all relevant to the discussion the OP was *trying* to have.

                        I have seen this video before (I think it is part of the "Future of Eventing Parelli/O'Connor tape). It makes for interesting viewing. I don't buy "the Parelli way" as a model for event riding, but I do think the groundwork aspect can be useful for making horses more responsive and "in-tune" with a rider.

                        As far as jumping bridleless, as a pre-Smurf (Smurf in training? Smurf wanna be? Smurf-ette?), more power to anyone who has the skill and ability to make that look as controlled and effortless as they did in the video.
                        When life gives you lemons. . .say &%^# you lemons! And throw those lemons back in life's face so that it will be afraid of you and won't try that crap again!

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                        • #32
                          That is a fabulous video!

                          If it helps at all, I saw David O'Connor and Lauren Kieffer give a similar demonstration this fall at Equine Affaire in Springfield on Walk on the Moon and Tigger Too. They were both wearing approved helmets at the time. It was really amazing to see in person, and afterwards David announced that it was the first time Lauren had ever ridden without a bridle!
                          life + horses
                          beljoeor.blogspot.com

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                          • #33
                            Didnt everyone do this growing up???? (ride with neck strap/wire....no you dont need to spend $$ for a savy string...)

                            I grew up with Onadarka (predecesor to Foxfield), no saddles/bridles and plain old huntcaps (because that is all there was, and only overfences). (Ever see pix of '36 eventing team...they rode in officiers caps).
                            I.D.E.A. yoda

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                              Didnt everyone do this growing up???? (ride with neck strap/wire....no you dont need to spend $$ for a savy string...)

                              I grew up with Onadarka (predecesor to Foxfield), no saddles/bridles and plain old huntcaps (because that is all there was, and only overfences). (Ever see pix of '36 eventing team...they rode in officiers caps).
                              I only spent money for a Savvy String because I was in the program at the time. I was not inferring anyone needed to buy a savvy string. And no, even though I grew up on horseback too, not everyone I knew did that, with anything.
                              We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                              www.dleestudio.com

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                              • #35
                                I don't see anything wrong with the video.

                                They're riding trained horses and they're riding them well and wearing riding hats.

                                I teach jumping lessons with no reins and bareback

                                Have a look at this, no saddles!

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE4YU...eature=related

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmE6AmObdHg

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                                • #36
                                  No, try as you might, OP, this has turned into a helmet thread!!
                                  The video does show how easily the O'Connors ride. Also, there is very little new in horsedom so even though PP would like it to be a "Parelli thing", riding without a bridle is not new and he does not need to be given credit for such stuff.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                                  • #37
                                    Well since this has turned into a "helmet" thread...why is no one mentioning the ULRs at Rolex who were wearing hunt caps with no harness...
                                    Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                                    Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by J Swan View Post
                                      It's an old video.

                                      Besides - we all grew up wearing a hunt cap. Matter of fact, sometimes we wouldn't wear them UNTIL we were jumping - then we'd put them on.

                                      Certified helmets may be commonplace to the younger generation - but to many of us - the only "helmet" we ever wore was the hunt cap. Perfectly normal.

                                      It has nothing to do with DOC's position now; I don't get why some of you are so damn judgmental all of a sudden.

                                      It's a helmet - not a halo. Wearing or not wearing one doesn't make you morally superior, nor does it speak well of y'all to act with disdain for those who don't think the way you do.

                                      Besides - it's an old video, it's not a competition, and he doesn't have control over it being replayed on the internet. What is he supposed to do? Demand that anyone that has a picture of him without a certified helmet destroy said picture?
                                      Well said!

                                      My favorite picture of DOC is his victory gallop at the Olympics with his hard hat and the US flag in his hand, saluting the crowd.
                                      Sometimes I think we get a little rigid in our thinking about what makes a good rider

                                      http://espn.go.com/media/oly/2000/09...O_Connor_i.jpg
                                      Nina's Story
                                      Epona Comm on FB

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                                      • #39
                                        I sheepishly admit I have that poster in my tack room.
                                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                        -Rudyard Kipling

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                                        • #40
                                          I'll not even be sheepish and admit that I have that picture on another O'Connor poster in my office.

                                          It is a fantastic shot.
                                          *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
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