Are helmets Mandatory? - Page 4
 
 

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Are helmets Mandatory?

This is a discussion on Are helmets Mandatory? within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    05-05-2012, 08:20 AM
  #31
Trained
To each his own.
I asked a simple question.
It seems those who wear helmets think everyone else should do so. It is a personal desicion as far as I am concerned.
I might compete in rides that do not require them and would never wear a helmet at home so I have no use for a helmet. Shalom
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    05-05-2012, 10:07 AM
  #32
Trained
Any organization sponsoring an endurance ride, trail ride, show, etc should be free to set the rules they believe make sense. And if someone doesn't like those rules, they don't have to compete in the event.

From the statistics I've seen, wearing a helmet reduces one's risk of head injury by around 50% in a fall. There are so many variables in the real world that precise numbers aren't possible.

A jumping competition has greater risk WITH helmet use than most other events do without them. That is because jumping competitions have a much higher rate of falls - anywhere from 5-80 times.

However, it remains up to each rider , family and event organizer to decide how much risk they are willing to accept, and how they reduce the risk. I can easily see how an endurance race organizer would require helmets. They just don't want to accept liability or take a chance in court if someone gets hit in the head with a branch, or takes a tumble on a rocky trail.

Equine liability laws are not absolute. Every one I've read so far has exceptions for accidents caused by not following normal safety practices. In my home state of Arizona, the law includes:

"B. Subsection A does not apply to an equine owner or agent of the equine owner who is grossly negligent or commits wilful, wanton or intentional acts or omissions."

"D. Subsection C does not apply to an owner, lessor or agent of any riding stable, rodeo ground, training or boarding stable or other private property that is used by a rider or handler of an equine if either of the following applies:

1. The owner, lessor or agent knows or should know that a hazardous condition exists and the owner, lessor or agent fails to disclose the hazardous condition to a rider or handler of an equine.

2. The owner, lessor or agent is grossly negligent or commits wilful, wanton or intentional acts or omissions."

Those are loopholes a lawyer can drive a truck thru.

I sometimes wear a cowboy hat instead of a helmet. Why? Because the sun is so intense in southern Arizona that I sometimes feel a wide brim improves my vision enough that it makes me safer than I would be half-blind in my helmet.

But I do understand why some event organizers make helmets mandatory. Even if they won in court, their bills could still put them out of business.
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    05-05-2012, 11:09 AM
  #33
Banned
Bsms, I'm glad you brought some reality to the silliness about equine liability laws.

I was thinking about doing it last night but was too tired to go find the statute from Texas and show how, like you say, any good lawyer can drive a truck through the exceptions.
     
    05-05-2012, 11:18 AM
  #34
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians    
It seems those who wear helmets think everyone else should do so.
I think everyone should. But I'm not going to make everyone do so. There's a huge difference there that some people just miss.

Now this isn't directed at you personally, but I am going to say it since it relates to this whole discussion:

I do have a problem with statements that "no one should impose a helmet requirement" or that "helmets are unsafe/cause neck injuries/don't prevent broken bones" or the like. They are nonsense. If we're going to debate this, do so from a rational position. Not wanting to wear one while knowing that your risk for head injuries is greater is a rational position to take. Making up silly excuses like the ones that have been mentioned here is not. Saying that no private organization should force their choice on members is also nonsense. If you don't like the rules of a particular group, fine, go someplace else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians    
I might compete in rides that do not require them and would never wear a helmet at home so I have no use for a helmet. Shalom
And that's fine. Just be aware that outside of the western and casual trail rider world, your opportunities are going to be severely limited. Even though it appears that the national endurance orgs only require helmets for juniors, that does not mean that regional and local organizers will not require them from everyone.

I just hope, for your family's sake, that you never have to experience a head injury that leaves you having to re-learn everything you used to know how to do, including how to speak. That's what happened to Courtney King-Dye and she ain't no beginner.
     
    05-05-2012, 01:02 PM
  #35
Trained
Bsms, in the state of Texas section 87 was specifically written to protect all livestock owners.
Equine professionals are very well covered in texas.
I own 27 horses and over 100 head of cattle. MY families farm is protected and insured to the hilt.
Our insurance agent was not concerned with the horses or cattle. Or even the fact that there is a stallion here. He was concerned about the breed and size of the dogs though.
He only suggested that if I let others ride that I post a sign explaining section 87 and have them sign a waiver stating that they understood the law.
Helmets are good for things like jumping and especially cross country that I fully understand.
Those riders who compete in reining in national and international events wear western hats not helmets.
Even those that compete in the Olympics. This makes sense. The risk of a head injury is low.
Thanks to all that gave answers to my question without lecturing.
Giving advice and opinions is always good.
People listen when the debate is civil and without judgement. Shalom
     
    05-05-2012, 01:18 PM
  #36
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians    
bsms, in the state of Texas section 87 was specifically written to protect all livestock owners.
Did you read 87.004 and not see how your immunity is not absolute?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians    
Helmets are good for things like jumping and especially cross country that I fully understand. Even those that compete in the Olympics. This makes sense. The risk of a head injury is low.
Are you ignoring Courtney King-Dye's injury and the countless others like hers that had nothing to do with speed or jumps because it doesn't fit your world view?
     
    05-05-2012, 09:22 PM
  #37
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarabians    
bsms, in the state of Texas section 87 was specifically written to protect all livestock owners.
Equine professionals are very well covered in texas...
Sec. 87.004. EXCEPTIONS TO LIMITATION ON LIABILITY.
A person, including an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional, is liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death caused by a participant in an equine activity if:

(1) the injury or death was caused by faulty equipment or tack used in the equine activity, the person provided the equipment or tack, and the person knew or should have known that the equipment or tack was faulty;

(2) the person provided the equine animal and the person did not make a reasonable and prudent effort to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity and determine the ability of the participant to safely manage the equine animal, taking into account the participant’s representations of ability;

(3) the injury or death was caused by a dangerous latent condition of land for which warning signs, written notices, or verbal warnings were not conspicuously posted or provided to the participant, and the land was owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of the person at the time of the injury or death and the person knew of the dangerous latent condition;

(4) the person committed an act or omission with wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission caused the injury; or

(5) the person intentionally caused the injury or death."
Equine Law in Texas - equine activity statute

Now go to court. No one on the jury has ever owned a horse. The lawyer argues that the event sponsor committed an act of omission with willful disregard for safety by not requiring safety equipment used in international competition. He points out that even dressage riders now need to wear helmets in an arena, so how much more should riders travelling at speed over rough trails.

Are you willing to bet your organization's future on the outcome? Mind you, if I was on the jury, I would argue an endurance rider knows enough to assess his/her own risk. But if I was an event sponsor, would I bet everything I own, and my organization's future, on the jury agreeing with bsms?

"Heck no!" is a bit milder than what my answer would be to that question.

I agree with mildot. ( )

I think wearing helmets is an individual choice. In my case, I wear a helmet about 90% of the time...but I have no objection to anyone outside my minor family members (one daughter left) wearing a cowboy hat. Their noggin, their choice.

But as an event sponsor, would I accept the risk of a court case? Nope!

I'll add that if you came and rode my horse on my property, you would wear a helmet - for the same reason.
     
    05-05-2012, 10:19 PM
  #38
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
I'll add that if you came and rode my horse on my property, you would wear a helmet - for the same reason.
I'll go one further. If someone came on MY property to ride THEIR horse, they would wear a helmet or they would leave.
     
    05-05-2012, 11:12 PM
  #39
Yearling
First let me say I am not an endurance rider, but I hope to be one as soon as my Rocky & I are trained for it.

Second, I have been a Dressage rider for many years, and most of the time did not wear a helmet, it just wasn't done to ride Dressage in a helmet.

However, one day several years ago I went on a trail ride on a friend's horse and was told clearly, "no helmet = no ride". So I put on a helmet.

I discovered that helmets had come a long way and were actually quite comfortable. They keep my head cooler than without one & the headband area keeps the sweat out of my eyes. Plus shade my eyes from the sun. So I am a convert.

I am not worried about the fashion side of things, so I really wonder why I followed the "no hardhat look" in Dressage. Luckily for me, I got wiser long before King's accident, and I was pleased to see her accident had such a positive impact on the sport. I miss watching her ride though, she was a very connected rider, making even the hardest movement look effortless. Very sad what happened to her. Everyone talked in whispers when disscussing it, the accident so shocked the Dressage community.

If I can have head protection, and be more comfortable, why not do it?

I always mde my children wear them, same as seatbelts, so why not me?

I would have more respect for an event that require safety helmets because it would mean to me that they were careful in other areas.

There will always be people that break rules just to break rules, which is why the whole court system exists. Those folks that are earning money in the court system thank those people that don't use common sense...
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    05-06-2012, 08:57 AM
  #40
Trained
I do not live in fear of either a lawsuit or severe brain trauma.
I will not wear a helmet and no one riding on my property need wear one either. EVER.
If you choose to wear one that is your decision does not bother me at all.
If you walk behind my horse or fall off one and injure yourself you CANNOT sue me in the State of Texas or any organization that sponsors an event you are injured at. That I can assure you.
There are inherent risk when handling ANY horse. If they can stand and they breathe they can kick you. If they are ridden they can and will buck. There is no such thing as a bomb proof horse.
If they are breathing they all can buck kick or bite.
Mildot and bsms when you present your opinions without lecturing people will listen. When you lecture you waste your energy spent on typing or talking because people no longer care about anything you post.
I asked a simple question. A simple answer was all that was required.
I may attend some endurance rides that do not require helmets. Most of the rides here in Texas from my research wisely do not. If I want to ride in the Tevis I will wear one then. Shalom
     

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