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Do you let other people ride your horse w/o a helmet?

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  • #21
    In general, if someone rides my horse at my house, yes, they wear a helmet. But:

    1. I don't dictate to the horse professionals in my life, so if the trainer wants to ride without a helmet, at his place or mine, it's his choice.

    2. If what we're doing is essentially a "pony ride," where I'm leading a non-rider around on a dead broke kid horse, I don't insist on a helmet, although I might offer one.
    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson


    • #22
      Due to insurance issues (horse insurance), I do not let anyone ride my horses. I have let a few people ride them in the past, but not for years now. Perhaps it is because they are pretty hot, but a lot of people see my horses running around their pasture, and they do not ask to ride them.


      • #23
        Saitou-Amaya, it is hard to say no, but stick to your guns!!! You can do it.
        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
        ¯ Oscar Wilde


        • #24
          My horse, my rules.

          No helmet, no ride - and I don't care who you are.
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


          • #25
            I voted "if its a trainer". My first reaction was NO! NEVER! But then I remembered my old trainer used to hop on my horse sans helmet often - actually, all of my old trainers would (dressage trainer, full time event coach, and H/J trainer).

            I figure, in all of these cases, it was at their facilities, and they carry all of their own insurances.

            I do not currently ride with a trainer - and at my current barn would not let any one ride my horse without a helmet
            APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


            • #26
              My MIL refuses to wear helmets, and she has many years of professional riding/training experience, (heck of a lot more than me) so I don't push the issue. This has only ever happened on her property, too.

              That's kind of my rule. If someone has more experience (years) than I do and doesn't want to wear a helmet, they are hardly ignorant of the risk. I am just honest about the horse's temperament and training level, and if they choose to get on, I'm not responsible. I'd feel bad if they were hurt on my horse, but it's not like they didn't understand the risk they took. I'd feel BAD, but I wouldn't feel responsible.

              Anyone with less experience than me doesn't get a choice. Never had an issue with someone insisting.

              Very few people ride my horses besides me. Kids don't ride my horses at all. Most of the time, I'm at a facility that requires helmets for riders, no exceptions. Pretty easy.
              Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


              • #27
                Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                1. I don't dictate to the horse professionals in my life, so if the trainer wants to ride without a helmet, at his place or mine, it's his choice.
                Don't mean to sound snarky but I hope you have good liability insurance because you can be sued, helmet required or not. That "they should have known better" is not a defense against a lawsuit.

                And for those who believe they'll only be sued for a head injury, all I can say is, "are you kidding me?" Repairing a broken leg can easily run over $100,000 today with surgery, CT scans, MRI's, orthopedic specialists, rehab and lost wages. Ditto ruptured a spleen, broken arm, shoulder, back or neck, etc..

                Even if the person who got hurt is your best friend you honestly believe would never sue, their health insurance company (if they have one) WILL go after you. If they don't have health insurance, the hospital and doctors treating them have attorneys on retainer just for this reason. And even if a lawsuit is bogus and you "win" the case, plan on spending thousands for a good lawyer defending yourself.

                Waivers literally aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Talk to any attorney.

                Best not to let anyone ride your horses without a really good, high dollar liability policy in place or you could literally lose your farm.


                • #28
                  Even if the person who got hurt is your best friend you honestly believe would never sue, their health insurance company (if they have one) WILL go after you. If they don't have health insurance, the hospital and doctors treating them have attorneys on retainer just for this reason. And even if a lawsuit is bogus and you "win" the case, plan on spending thousands for a good lawyer defending yourself.
                  Making them wear a helmet will not prevent any of that. Particularly not the broken leg. Making them wear a helmet is a GOOD SIGN that you weren't negligent...but it isn't a get-out-of-court-free pass, not by any stretch. You can be found liable for injuries even if you did insist on a helmet. Heck, you might be found MORE negligent, if a helmet could not have prevented/mitigated the injury (like a broken leg) because it stands to reason that the person assumed they were "safe" by following your rule, and took more risk on board than they would have without a helmet. Honestly, rules are not a protection against ridiculous claims in court.

                  Obviously, I think that wearing a helmet is a good idea, and I recognize the risks that horses pose. On the infrequent occasions where someone else DOES ride my horse, I make sure that they are competent to understand the risks of the activity and aware of my recommendations for safety. Someone more experienced than I am with horses will have a hard time proving that I am CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT if they chose to mount my horse without a helmet.

                  It is disingenuous to speak as though insisting on helmets will somehow protect/limit the liability of the horse owner in an injury case. It won't. It can be part of a risk mitigation strategy, it may be dictated by your insurance, and it may not protect you WHATSOEVER from being sued. While it is important to understand the risks associated with NOT wearing a helmet, it is also vitally important to recognize the risks of horses that helmets do NOTHING to mitigate.
                  Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


                  • #29
                    I voted that I always require a helmet, but I made an exception for my 85+ father who was quite deep into Alzheimers. He didn't want to wear a helmet, and it didn't seem worth the fight...
                    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                    • #30
                      I don't let people ride my horses except my trainer and a good family friend may once in a blue moon but both wear helmets. I don't even have to tell them they just do because well it's safer. Even on my amazing, safe, easy boy that my trainer said he'd be one of the only she would ride preggers if she did ever decide to have a baby still puts on a helmet. If she has to jump on a minute and hers is in her trunk she takes mine. Horses are on my property which really makes the nobody on my horse stick as well. To much of a risk. Yet, then we have a state law that in lay mans terms says if your dumb enough to be around a 1200lb animal then it's your risk but that doesn't mean someone or their insurance company won't try to sue and cost me lots of money.

                      Those that think someone won't sue have to realize that maybe they won't but when they have tons of medical bills for injuries that their insurance company has to pay out you best believe that insurance company is coming after you for those bills. I know someone that this happened to on atvs. Two girls crashed both injured badly. Close close family friends but the passengers insurance company went after the driver of the atv and guess what they won.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                      • #31
                        Well, since I've bought my boy, only trainer and I have ridden him, and i've never seen her w/o a helmet (one of the many many reasons I love and respect her ) but no, definitely no helmet=no ride! He is too young and can spook at the most random times so I wouldn't let anyone take the chance. And even the horses you think wouldn't do anything could always spook at something-- you never know what will happen!
                        Follow my instagram @snafflesandwellies for all things horses + fashion!


                        • #32
                          No, I wouldn't demand for them too. I really only allow my trainer to ride my horse, and virtually only when I am out of town. My trainers have sometimes gotten on my horse (and jumped it) without a helmet, if they just hop on quick during a lesson to show me something.


                          • #33
                            I can only think of 3 times that someone other than me or one of my trainers has been on my horse. My trainers always wear helmets, and so did the other 3 people. I would not allow anyone - trainer, friend, Olympian, it doesn't matter who - on my horse without a helmet. I am not giving my umbrella policy insurer an excuse to try to avoid coverage in case of an accident.

                            From a personal perspective, I never ride without a helmet. And I would not employ a trainer foolish enough to ride without a helmet. I am pretty sure Courtney King Dye would agree with that position.
                            Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                            • #34
                              I voted only the trainer to be truthful. I am mostly a stickler for helmets, and I never get on an unfamiliar animal without full & proper attire. However, I am guilty of getting on the beginner pony to school a canter depart with no helmet. (I would fail USDF certification I guess!), and I do own the pony. But in my world no one, but my assistant on the beginner animal may mount a horse that I own with no helmet, and we should even be more attentive to that.