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the most selfish thing a rider can do

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  • the most selfish thing a rider can do

    Hi everyone....

    Yesterday I went to a "games day" type of event at a barn a few towns over. It was a bunch of fun classes of things such as egg-and-spoon, dollar bareback, barrel racing, etc. Looks like a great deal of fun! The barn was pretty, the arena was lovely and with good footing, and the event was well attended. A friend joined me and we both brought horses.

    It was a nicely organized event but something caught my eye. About half the people didn't bother to wear helmets. Many kids didn't have them, either. A few kids were leading other tiny kids around on horse back, no helmet or adult supervision. One wonders how they got insurance, but what do I know?

    Partway through the day, in the parking/warm-up area, a horse tripped and the 50something rider went off & horse went down. This woman chose to not wear a helmet. The first people rushing up to her found her not breathing. Then she slowly started to breathe but it was weak. She was unresponsive & pupils dialated. Paramedics rushed in. The med-evac helicopter came and took her away. I don't know her name or anything about her... or even if she lived. I really hope she is OK.

    It's her decision not to wear a helmet. I hear this all the time: "helmets are a personal choice and it's not hurting anyone else to go without."

    Her choice brought her adult daughter to hysterics. I cannot imagine the horror the daughter must've felt. Someone else had to hold the daughter back and comfort her so that others could work on the unconcious woman. Why don't people think about their loved ones when they make this "choice"?

    It was a chilling event. The show halted until long after the chopper left, and some classes were cancelled. Half the riders went home. I felt sick and wanted to go home but was waiting for my friend. Three vehicles full of medics and a helicopter had to visit the farm because of someone's choice. And the event will now be remembered as the one where a rider almost died.


    Her choice affected everyone.


    Put your #$%#$% helmets on, people. Whine if you need to, but wear the stupid helmet anyway. We don't want to see you hurt. We need you in one piece. Don't let your loved ones suffer because you're too cool or confident to think helmets aren't for you. Even the best riders have accidents.

    Thank you for hearing me out.


    P.S. Kudos to the 911 operator, the paramedics, and the helicopter team. They did an excellent job and arrived in a matter of minutes. Amazing!
    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

  • #2
    While I am firmly in the camp that says adult riders should have a choice, I always wear my helmet, and just recently a helmet very well could have saved my daughter's life, or at least from serious injury. She was catapoulted from a very green pony into the rail. At the time, we thought her biggest injury was her leg. Later we found a huge crack in the back of her helmet (which we replaced the next day). She hadn't even realized that she hit her head (we're thinking she hit it on the rail from the way she fell). Reaffirmed my belief in helmets and I have since bought new helmets for my younger daughters. I'll be more vigilant about replacing them now.

    And I'm also considering protective vests for them... There are too many things I want them (and me!) to live for...not wearing a helmet seems so silly to me when that is one small thing you can do to protect yourself.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MayS View Post
      Her choice affected everyone.


      Put your #$%#$% helmets on, people. Whine if you need to, but wear the stupid helmet anyway. We don't want to see you hurt. We need you in one piece. Don't let your loved ones suffer because you're too cool or confident to think helmets aren't for you. Even the best riders have accidents.
      Oh, I couldn't agree more! "Her choice affected EVERYONE." Truer words were never spoken.

      If I wind up a vegetable, not only is my family affected, but also my horses. I love them too much to see them go elsewhere, since some of them have special needs. There is no way my husband could care for me, AND 6 horses.

      Thanks for the insightful post. I hope it changes lives in a positive way.
      Barbara www.customstockties.com
      Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten

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      • #4
        I wear my helmet because I love my husband and my life very dearly. He understands I wear it for him and he really appreciates it. With a little one on the way as well... all the more important now. I used to show in an old unapproved until someone I knew got VERY hurt at a show just walking to the warm up ring. (I don't care for the woman, but it still hit home to know her and the show grounds very well.) I figured it was REALLY stupid to wear an approved helmet every time I rode, except at a show. I ordered myself a nice Charles Owen and proudly go in my classes as one of the few people wearing an approved helmet. If they would only make something suitable for western too.... *sigh*
        "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
        you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

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        • #5
          As with everything, people either choose to exercise common sense, while others don't. Lucky for me, and my family- I choose to exercise my right to flaunt my common sense, and sport a helmet every time I ride. Yes, I could still become severely dibilitated (or worse) while wearing a helmet, but at least people couldn't scoff at my lack of sense for not wearing one to begin with. For those of you who SCREAM - "It's my choice to not wear a helmet", well guess what - it's my choice to look down my nose at you for your poor decision making ability. 'Nough said.

          Comment


          • #6
            I not only choose to wear my helmet as my personal choice, but because there are a lot of kids at my barn and they watch!

            Almost all the adults at my barn now do wear helmets, and I love it. We had our very own in house fun show a couple weekends ago and my barn manager wanted to try her hand at bareback ride-a-buck on my horse, BO shouts over "hey, get your helmet and get on" and she did I just love that attitude, not saying to do it thinking she wouldn't, just because it's normal, it's like saying "turn on the engine, let's go for a drive" it's just a part of it, something you do.
            I lost count of the times I’ve given up on you
            But you make such a beautiful wreck you do

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            • #7
              !!! @ kids not REQUIRED to wear helmets.

              I know our provincial assocation requires any "junior" riders - up to age 18, I believe, to wear a helmet when riding at a provincial sanctioned event (and most are because that's the best/cheapest/only way to get the insurance to cover an event like that). I started wearing one when they instated that rule and have continued to do so into my "senior" riding years, even though I ride WESTERN!
              A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse: A Blog For Plus Sized Riders

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              • #8
                So true!! Think of all the people you have contact with everyday. What would happen to then if you were suddenly gone? If you didn't die, do you really think your family wants to spend their time doing tube feedings, suctioning traches and changing your diapers????

                PUT YOUR HELMET ON!!!!!!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not many around here wear helmets outside of Pony Club. I freely admit I never wore one until I went to college. I simply didn't know any better. All the kids who game around here. . I went to a barrel race meet a couple of years ago, there was a FOUR YEAR OLD running barrels, and she was on a big horse, not a pony. . .NO HELMET. I could not breathe while she was making her run. . how did I know her age? Two girls sitting next to me who obviously knew her were commenting on how good a rider she was for being 'not even five years old yet' (they looked to be around 7 or 8). True, her run wasn't fast and furious, but she could have easily fallen from that horse.
                  None of the kids (0r adults) had on helmets, but that kid was the youngest.

                  I wear mine. I make sure Lilli wears hers. There was a lady at the barn who had one the other day, I admired her effort. . but the helmet was so small it merely perched atop her head, it did not fit at all, it looked like it might have been a child's helmet. Sometimes I do long for the freedom I had when I did not wear a helmet, then I think of my kids and all the freak accidents I've heard of or seen and the accidents that have happened to me personally. .and I put it on. It'll be second nature to Lilli, since she will not ride without one from the start.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's like wearing a seat belt. You don't realize how much you need it until you need it!
                    Thanks for sharing your story. It re-emphasizes why I wear my helmet!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PalominoMorgan View Post
                      I wear my helmet because I love my husband and my life very dearly. He understands I wear it for him and he really appreciates it. With a little one on the way as well... all the more important now. I used to show in an old unapproved until someone I knew got VERY hurt at a show just walking to the warm up ring. (I don't care for the woman, but it still hit home to know her and the show grounds very well.) I figured it was REALLY stupid to wear an approved helmet every time I rode, except at a show. I ordered myself a nice Charles Owen and proudly go in my classes as one of the few people wearing an approved helmet. If they would only make something suitable for western too.... *sigh*
                      I'm pretty sure you can wear a helmet in Western classes and not be penalized.
                      I ride Western and always wear my Troxel. In fact I had a pretty good fall on the trails about 2 weeks ago and the back of my head was the first thing that hit the ground. I can't imagine if I wasn't wearing my helmet.
                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                      http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HappyHoppingHaffy View Post
                        It's like wearing a seat belt. You don't realize how much you need it until you need it!
                        Thanks for sharing your story. It re-emphasizes why I wear my helmet!
                        Yes, the seatbelt thing. There was a man recently not far from here. He was driving his SUV not far from home. Since he was just going a few miles he didn't put on his seatbelt. Well he T-boned a school bus and was partly ejected. He ended up dying right infront of all the kids age 5-18. The kids were all fine physically, but emotionally? Lets just say that his decision to not wear a seatbelt affected more than him and his family. They had to bring in a councellor for the kids.

                        I wear my helmet every ride, every time. I was once at a sale and wasn't planning on buying anything. I saw a great horse there that I wanted to try out, but I was sadly lacking head gear so I refused to get on! I learned a lesson that day. Always take head gear with you when going to a sale, even when you are just looking! lol. I even wear my helmet when lunging or picking out feet. How many times have you heard of people getting kicked in the head while working around their horses legs? No thanks. I have two little kids. LOL! I even wore one while halterbreaking a 3 month old foal. I also have breakaway irons and taps on my western saddle. I am so scared of being dragged!! That will kill you pretty quick.
                        My horses past and present....
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgMOjxvLMJo

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                        • #13
                          I am pretty sure that you can't be penalized for wearing a helmet in a western class, too. I always wear a helmet because all my instructors required it until I was 18 and after that I felt naked without it. Most of the big barns in my town require them of anyone under 18 and virtually everyone at my barn wears one regardless of age.

                          What really gets me is the NH people who do not endorse it. 90% of their followers are novice (at best) riders often with inappropriate horses, and with the exception of Frank Bell, I have never heard one even mention helmets! That combined with Linda Parelli's asinine comment that her horses are so well trained that she would never need one drives me a little nuts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ddashaq View Post
                            That combined with Linda Parelli's asinine comment that her horses are so well trained that she would never need one drives me a little nuts.

                            Does she really say that?? omg..well trained like this horse?? His head could have hit a rock or the fence. Only posting to show how easy it is to go down. No bashing of rider or horse please.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6VlGi1K40I
                            My horses past and present....
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgMOjxvLMJo

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                            • #15
                              People who don't wear a helmet drive me nuts. They are the ones who get everyone in trouble, sue the horse show for everything they got because of their stupid mistakes. I know accidents happen in the horse world, it's a risk we all take, but when there is something that give you some protection, why not use it? I always preach helmets, they have saved me from time to time, and I will make sure that they are worn when people ride my horses or around me. It is the same with with Motorcycles. My Boyfriend and I were talking about it the other night because a neighboring state doesn't require helments but our state does. So we get the other state coming into our state, police pulling them over and then the people pitch a fit. Since he races motorcycles, he preaches them all the time.
                              People, it protects you! Doesn't your safety even matter?
                              Unbridled Oaks - Champion Sport Ponies and Welsh Cobs

                              Like us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/unbridledoaks

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Rancher--

                                I also have breakaway irons and taps on my western saddle.
                                Please explain what these are--breakaways on your western saddle? I am riding western these days and would love some sort of safety stirrups, but I don't know where to buy stirrup hoods (or tapaderos, "taps," I guess?).
                                Need some advice!
                                Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
                                People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
                                "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rancher View Post
                                  Does she really say that?? omg..well trained like this horse?? His head could have hit a rock or the fence. Only posting to show how easy it is to go down. No bashing of rider or horse please.

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6VlGi1K40I
                                  Yes. I heard it in an interveiw ages ago and had to pick my jaw up off the floor. The arrogance just blew me away. Regardless of riding ability, there is not a rider alive who can make a claim like that and not sound like a twit.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Wellspotted View Post
                                    Originally posted by Rancher--



                                    Please explain what these are--breakaways on your western saddle? I am riding western these days and would love some sort of safety stirrups, but I don't know where to buy stirrup hoods (or tapaderos, "taps," I guess?).
                                    Need some advice!

                                    Sorry! I meant breakaway irons on my English saddle and taps on my western saddle. I used to work at a guest ranch and they had taps for all 56 horses. They just cut thick leather into the right shape and screwed it onto the stirrups. The bottom of the 'tap' was thick plastic, like the lid of a 5 gallon pail. You couldn't see the plastic when you were riding. After riding all summer in them and feeling safe I had to get my own pair. I actually bought a pair from the guest ranch. Now when I change saddles I move them over to the other saddle. I don't care if they don't match.
                                    My horses past and present....
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgMOjxvLMJo

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                                    • #19
                                      No, the OP is doing the most selfish thing a rider (or any human) can do -- expecting the world to conform her standards of behavior in order to assuage her quibbles and fears.

                                      If you are that easily scairt by other people's behavior, I'm sure there's an institution somewhere that can protect you from the world.

                                      The very same people who are "PREACHING" hellfire and brimstone about this perceived safety thing and expecting the world to see the light are precisely those who would be the first to raise holy hell if religious people expressed the same concern for their soul and PREACHED on how they should be doing this or that or the other thing in order to go to Heaven instead of Hell. The idea of a human soul going to hell scares the devoutly religious just as much as somebody dying of a brain injury scares the sort of person who posts threads like this one. If we aren't willing to give those fears any credence, we should get a grip on our own and leave people alone to their choices and mind our own business.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by greysandbays View Post
                                        No, the OP is doing the most selfish thing a rider (or any human) If we aren't willing to give those fears any credence, we should get a grip on our own and leave people alone to their choices and mind our own business.

                                        I'm not sure this is quite what the OP means.

                                        And although the religious folks may be scared for my soul, if I choos not to embrace their faith doesn't really affect them, since my choice doesn't mean that THEY will go to hell.

                                        So....if I take this literally, and encounter you unconscious (and for the sake of this example, helmetless, although I don't know whether you regularly wear one or not) in a parking lot after you've just fallen from your horse, should I just ignore your prone body, mind my own business, and leave you to your choice? Or would you expect me to act and perhaps summon some aid for you?

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