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Helmet (nearly) saved my life!

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  • Helmet (nearly) saved my life!

    As the title states, my helmet (nearly) saved my life on Friday. That's good, it's kind of why most of us wear them. However, I was NOT riding or anything related to being astride a horse!

    My horse is an outdoor boarder, he loves it and my checkbook loves it too. He has two buddies that stay out with him when the rest of the herd go to their stalls. These 3 get grain, fed outside in separate buckets. Usually I ride after work and around feeding time, so BO sets the "outside boys'" grain out for me to feed when I'm done. I feed them pretty much 5x week at night.
    Last Friday was no different, I came to the barn, rode and grabbed the grain as I led Goober back out. It was cold and I was lazy, so I left my helmet on instead of switching to my touk. Turned out Goober and the other 2 are at the gate/feeding area. Goober gets his first, he's the alpha of the 3 and then I feed his buddy, Banker. Now I guess I usually cross in front of Banker, between him and the feed bucket and move on to the last bucket. But for some reason, I went behind him at the same time as the last horse decides to goose Banker in the butt. Banker kicks out both hind feet at about cheek and eyebrow level, scares the living daylights outta me! This horse is usually not a kicker and pretty aware of people, but waaay too close for comfort!

    So I got to thinking, what if I hadn't been 5 inches away from his iron shod feet? What if he did make contact and I hadn't been wearing my helmet? Sometimes, I'm the last one to leave the barn, what if I got knocked out? Even if someone was home(BO lives on premises), would they notice if I was KO'd in the field? Of course, I also left my cell phone in my car so even if I wasn't unconscious, but unable to move I wouldn't have been able to call anyone. I can scream/yell loudly, but the field is a bit far from the barn and indoor (where one other person was riding Friday).

    Moral of the story: I think I shall keep my helmet on, keep my cell phone on me and NOT walk behind horse's during feeding time.

    I know I can't live always asking "What if...?", but for the moment I'm going to relish my new found mortality.

  • #2
    Wow, that was scary. I've felt the breeze of two hind feet going past my ears at a high rate of speed. I'm sure I would have been dead if the horse had made contact.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


    • #3
      Wowsa! I too am 90% alone most times and it's crossed my mind that if something happened to me, I could be AWOL for quite a while before anyone found me.

      Glad you're OK!

      BTW, as a proud Canadian, I can say with authority it's a "toque"!

      Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
      ...It was cold and I was lazy, so I left my helmet on instead of switching to my touk....


      • #4
        I was in an arena with a fellow rider who had a bad fall. Knocked out, very injured. If I hadn't been there who knows how long she would be laying there on the cold ground! Since then I never, ever ride alone.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
          Moral of the story: I think I shall keep my helmet on, keep my cell phone on me and NOT walk behind horse's during feeding time.
          Yes! It seems that even helmet-wearers don't buckle on the helmets till riding-time: working around horses on the ground is perhaps equally dangerous.


          • #6
            Just a question how does a "helmet (nearly) save your life? You are alive aren't you?

            I have cracked a few helmets in my life. I don't know whether it actually save my life but it sure did save me some pain and agony. Wear a helmet whenever I ride. I don't consider it wearing unless buckled. For me it's always been, don't spare the $$$$$$ money when buying a helmet and making sure it's a comfortable fit.
            The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.


            • #7
              Working with horses for decades, I'm always EXTREMELY careful and conscious of kick zones. So of course, I get kicked in the shoulder by a mare waiting for her conformation class. WHO HAD TO BACK UP 25' TO LASH OUT AT ME. Hard to say which of us was more shocked. The handler who didn't realize the mare's intent as she literally ran backward. The handler's husband, who I was talking to and saw the mare coming and pulled me the foot forward to keep it from being my head she connected with. Or me, who until that time thought 15' away was enough.

              As I was just spectating I didn't even have a helmet with me. I have to say though that now that they have light ventilated helmets, I'd be in favor of having one one even in the barn while grooming, and certainly during turn out.
              ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
              Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

              "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


              • #8
                I never go into a pasture with feed buckets. I have them hung on the fence posts and feed over the fence. My grown daughter did go into a pasture with feed buckets at another farm she was working at. She had my granddaughters with her, they were age 8 at the time. They were NOT in the pasture with MOM. But luckily they had her cell phone with them, as my daughter got caught between fighting horses, got kicked in the head and was knocked out. The girls called 911 and my daughter was air lifted to emergency trauma unit. Thank the Lord she survived, but had a bad head injury.

                She knew better, but it was one of those days of being careless for whatever reason.


                • #9
                  At Pimlico there are separate stable areas on either side of the track. It is impractical to walk from side to side so the exercise riders would schedule their mounts for one side of the track then drive to the other. One morning a rider was t-boned while making a left hand turn out of the track. She did have a severe head injury but undoubtedly would have been killed had she not left her helmet on while she made the short trip.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home


                  • #10
                    I had to laugh because according to the title of this thread the OP must be dead... having been nearly, but not quite, saved by her helmet... glad that's not the case.


                    • #11
                      I've recently taken to wearing my helmet when not riding...the horse I ride has been super spooky lately (he's a TB, it's spring in New England and he's at a new barn). He's indulged in the occasional buck or rear while leading...he's usually good, but I never know when he's going to have a freak out about some non-existent monster, they seem to come out of nowhere, so I figure having my head protected is a good idea!


                      • #12
                        I wear it when I round pen. My young horse tends to get a little spunky at times in the round pen. I would rather preserve my head, than get kicked.

                        I also just recently bought a new helmet. I choked at writing out the check for it, but the helmet fits me like a glove. It doesn't move when I am jumping at all. My other helmet would fall over my face because it was so worn out.
                        Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
                        Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
                        Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                          I had to laugh because according to the title of this thread the OP must be dead... having been nearly, but not quite, saved by her helmet... glad that's not the case.
                          To quote a favorite movie of mine "I'm not quite dead yet!"

                          Thinking about the title, yeah it's not my best grammatical or logical choice, but I couldn't think of a short title on a Monday morning... then again maybe he DID kick me in the head, therefore my helmet DID save my life and my title is completely wrong!

                          Anyways, I guess I just want to share my "OMG I could have died/horribly maimed without my helmet" story as anecdotal evidence that we are not completely safe on the ground around our four legged friends.


                          • #14
                            I know of 2 people, one well-known, one just a backyard NH/PP wannabe who were found dead in a paddock/round pen. Horse in each case just standing there with a 'oooh there's a stange thing in my paddock' wide eyed stare.

                            Wearing a helmet won't protect you from a kick in the chest, but it certainly reduces the chance of a head injury.
                            ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                            Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                            "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 7HL View Post
                              Just a question how does a "helmet (nearly) save your life? You are alive aren't you?
                              I think she meant that had the horse made contact with her head (because it didn't actually kick her in the head), her helmet would have saved her life because she had it on!

                              That is scary, though! I am always weary of a horse's back end, especially if I don't know the horse... and I always feel more safe with my helmet on, even on the ground.


                              • #16
                                Having had my own scare recently, in the pen feeding my two yearlings when helpful DH threw some hay over the fence for them, they spooked and kicked out and ran, I felt the wind of small hooves as one just missed me. I'm not sure if I'm ready to wear a helmet while feeding, but it did make me think.

                                As to the title of the thread, it made me think of this


                                The world lost a gem in George
                                I'm not sure if I grew out of stupid or ran out of brave.

                                Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique


                                • #17
                                  After hearing numerous stories, here is another to add to my list when I get on my helmet soapbox! My sister rolls her eyes whenever someone mentions helmets because it is one thing I am adamant about, and I have no problem telling anyone who will listen about helmet safety.

                                  Horses are unpredictable and you never know what accidents could happen. Glad you are okay!