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Do you wear a helmet?

This is a discussion on Do you wear a helmet? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

    View Poll Results: Do You Wear a Helmet?
    Yes, i would never ride with out one. 121 62.69%
    No, I never wear a helmet. 23 11.92%
    Sometimes, it depends on the horse, conditions, etc 49 25.39%
    Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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        09-04-2013, 03:58 PM
      #41
    Yearling
    Haven't up to this point and highly doubt if I'll start now. 50 plus years of riding, lots of falls including landing on my head several times and, while it may be highly debatable, I still have most of my marbles. LOL
         
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        09-04-2013, 04:31 PM
      #42
    Yearling
    No. (unless I'm in a combat zone with bullets and shrapnel )

    I'll never discourage anyone from wearing a helmet. I even require my little grandchildren to wear them as they learn to ride, but I won't always require it of them.

    On the "safety" side:
    1. Every person I've known who has died from coming off a horse was wearing a helmet (but the neck still breaks anyway). The worst injuring in my family was a cousin who went into the trees when a run-a-way stumbled and flipped (she broke an arm, broke her shoulder, cracked ribs and had a hip injury, but even without a helmet her head was fine).
    2. The head suffers the smallest % of injuries from coming off a horse (they usually put the head and neck together just to get the numbers up and even then it's the smallest %) Most injuries are to the upper extremities (hand, arms, shoulder). Next are the lower extremities (hip thru feet) and then the torso. The head comes in a distant 4th. It is true that you are more likely to die from a head injury than upper or lower extremities, but then that's true if you're walking you dog and a car hits you....do you wear a helmet to walk the dog?
    It's all about what are the odds.

    On the practical side:
    I don't ride indoors or rings unless there's the rare specific need to so I ride outdoors in the weather (rain or shine if it's not too hot) and for days when time permits. Helmets result in either a massive case of sunburn or spending time every hour reapplying sunblock to all of my head and neck. If it rains the helmet does nothing except the allow the rain to run across every inch of my head and across eyes (thus impeding my vision). I like keeping sun off and the rain channeled away from my face.

    I worry more about my back (which has a much higher chance of being injured) and my neck which the most fragile area and probably accounts for more of deaths (certainly that I'm familiar with) and crippling injuries than the head.
    rideverystride likes this.
         
        09-04-2013, 05:13 PM
      #43
    Weanling
    An interesting article about injury stats for riders:

    Spinal injuries resulting from horse riding accidents

    Of note are the following quotes:

    Injuries sustained as a result of horse riding are common. Serious injuries to the nervous system are the most dangerous. An analysis has been made of 11 papers, new figures produced by surveying Stoke Mandeville, Oswestry and Odstock spinal units and by searching the internet to determine their frequency and distribution. Head injuries outnumber spinal injuries by five to one. In contrast to other sporting accidents, there are more lumbar and thoracic than cervical injuries and more women are injured than men (though this may just be a reflection of the fact that there are more women riders than men). Of all horse riding activities, jumping is most likely to produce a spinal injury.

    And

    Horse riding carries a high participant morbidity and mortality. Whereas a motor-cyclist can expect a serious incident at the rate of 1 per 7000 h, the horse-rider can expect a serious accident once in every 350 h, ie 20 times as dangerous as motor cycling.4 This depends on the type of riding. A Cambridge University study of 1000 riding accident hospital admissions has shown:5

    One injury for 100 h of leisure riding
    One injury for 5 h for amateur racing over jumps
    One injury for 1 h of cross-country eventing

    Recent surveys have shown that 20% of injured riders attending hospital are admitted and approximately 60% of these have head injuries.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    jaydee likes this.
         
        09-04-2013, 05:24 PM
      #44
    Foal
    Yes yes yes. Always. Not only does it look more professional, but it sets a good example for the young-ins at the barn. Besides, the last thing I want is to be frothing from the mouth with permanent brain damage for the rest of my days. I'm responsible for my horse, and if I can prevent a brain injury that would require me to sell my horses by wearing a $80 helmet I'll wear it forever.
         
        09-05-2013, 08:59 AM
      #45
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
    No. (unless I'm in a combat zone with bullets and shrapnel )

    I'll never discourage anyone from wearing a helmet. I even require my little grandchildren to wear them as they learn to ride, but I won't always require it of them.

    On the "safety" side:
    1. Every person I've known who has died from coming off a horse was wearing a helmet (but the neck still breaks anyway). The worst injuring in my family was a cousin who went into the trees when a run-a-way stumbled and flipped (she broke an arm, broke her shoulder, cracked ribs and had a hip injury, but even without a helmet her head was fine).
    2. The head suffers the smallest % of injuries from coming off a horse (they usually put the head and neck together just to get the numbers up and even then it's the smallest %) Most injuries are to the upper extremities (hand, arms, shoulder). Next are the lower extremities (hip thru feet) and then the torso. The head comes in a distant 4th. It is true that you are more likely to die from a head injury than upper or lower extremities, but then that's true if you're walking you dog and a car hits you....do you wear a helmet to walk the dog?
    It's all about what are the odds.

    On the practical side:
    I don't ride indoors or rings unless there's the rare specific need to so I ride outdoors in the weather (rain or shine if it's not too hot) and for days when time permits. Helmets result in either a massive case of sunburn or spending time every hour reapplying sunblock to all of my head and neck. If it rains the helmet does nothing except the allow the rain to run across every inch of my head and across eyes (thus impeding my vision). I like keeping sun off and the rain channeled away from my face.

    I worry more about my back (which has a much higher chance of being injured) and my neck which the most fragile area and probably accounts for more of deaths (certainly that I'm familiar with) and crippling injuries than the head.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HorseMom1025    
    An interesting article about injury stats for riders:

    Spinal injuries resulting from horse riding accidents

    Of note are the following quotes:

    Injuries sustained as a result of horse riding are common. Serious injuries to the nervous system are the most dangerous. An analysis has been made of 11 papers, new figures produced by surveying Stoke Mandeville, Oswestry and Odstock spinal units and by searching the internet to determine their frequency and distribution. Head injuries outnumber spinal injuries by five to one. In contrast to other sporting accidents, there are more lumbar and thoracic than cervical injuries and more women are injured than men (though this may just be a reflection of the fact that there are more women riders than men). Of all horse riding activities, jumping is most likely to produce a spinal injury.

    And

    Horse riding carries a high participant morbidity and mortality. Whereas a motor-cyclist can expect a serious incident at the rate of 1 per 7000 h, the horse-rider can expect a serious accident once in every 350 h, ie 20 times as dangerous as motor cycling.4 This depends on the type of riding. A Cambridge University study of 1000 riding accident hospital admissions has shown:5

    One injury for 100 h of leisure riding
    One injury for 5 h for amateur racing over jumps
    One injury for 1 h of cross-country eventing

    Recent surveys have shown that 20% of injured riders attending hospital are admitted and approximately 60% of these have head injuries.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    I think its really how you land when you get bucked(,etc) off your horse. When I get bucked off my horse, I always fall off the left side. My first attempt in the process is hanging on to her neck and if I am slipping, I just let go. I usually fall onto my side/ back which lead to my head slamming into the ground. So in my case, a helmet helps because I would hit my head almost every time I got bucked off. With all horses it is different. But I still think it is how you "take" the fall. So some people would hit their head more often and others won't. Being a trail rider, I think that wearing a helmet for falling is 3rd reason I wear a helmet (because my horse is very good on the trails). 1st reason is for all the low thin branches I run through when riding, some of them would be a stinging "slap in the face (or head)" if I didnt have a helmet because I put my head down when I run into them so my helmet takes the beating. My 2nd reason is due to cantering and galloping in areas with loose rocks and stones. Of course when rocks are being flung from the horse in front, there is not a huge chance that they will hit my helmet but, when they do, its better than them hitting my head.
         
        09-05-2013, 09:30 AM
      #46
    Foal
    Every time.
    BlueHoney5775 likes this.
         
        09-05-2013, 10:26 AM
      #47
    Foal
    I always wear a helmet. I've seen what can happen if you don't. I tend to ride pretty aggressively in the woods. Above my seat, so to speak. That's dangerous and I like to minimize my risk. Plus my horse is still growing and has "baby legs" at times. One wrong foot on his part and I could fall 17+H down the side of a cliff. Having already put a nice crack in my sacrum am doing everything I can to avoid putting one in my head, too.
         
        09-05-2013, 11:48 AM
      #48
    Weanling
    how much is your brain worth?

    An instructor I rode for once said to me (when I was considering the OneK, which is about 300 bucks which I don't happen to have at this time) "how much is your brain worth?". I thought that was a pretty good question (and answer - really). Right now my brain is protected by my skull which is encased in a Tipperary, a pretty fine helmet that saved my bacon in May.

    I always wear one, although I hate the way I look and was so much happier when I didn't know s*** from shinola about riding and helmets and rode up and down mountains in my little cowgirl hat.

    I've taken some falls this year fortunately while wearing my helmet - and I think particularlly with the second fall which was pretty serious the helmet kept my skull in one piece. That's what it's about.
    BlueHoney5775 likes this.
         
        09-05-2013, 12:03 PM
      #49
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bagheera    
    I used to ride without a helmet, till I learned the hard way. I used to ride my horse and several other horses I thought were safe, without a helmet. Well, the day I learned my lesson, I was fortunate enough to have been wearing my helmet. I had a jumping lesson on my horse in the morning, and I always wore a helmet when jumping. I had three other horses to ride in the afternoon, and I didn't bother to take my helmet off, thankfully. One of the horses, a big bay gelding, was on my safe list. Thankfully, I got on him with my helmet still of from having had the jumping lesson earlier. Every thing was going fine. We were cantering around the arena when he suddenly collapsed. He didn't trip or stumble. He literally just collapsed. My head slammed into the wall and my left leg was pinned completely underneath the horse. The horse was a pretty gentle guy, and he rolled off of me onto his stomach, waited for me to shimmy out of his way, and then got up. Most any other horse would have gotten up on top of me. My helmet was dented and had to be replaced, and my left knee was absolutely shot to hell. I have arthritis in my knee now because of that incident. I would have had a severe concussion and probably brain damage if I hadn't had my helmet on. It was a heck of a lesson to learn, but since that day forward, I always ride with a helmet. You just never know.
    I think that's my greatest fear in riding - a horse collapsing or falling. My first fall when I was riding what I now know is a dopey horse who decided while we were in a nice clean trot during a trail ride to graze on some tall grass to her left. I can still see it all in slow motion - watching my Muffin slowly reach over for the grass, stumble over her hooves, fall and meanwhile I took flight over her head and hit the ground on my back, which fortunately was level, grassy and soft. I wasn't wearing my helmet.

    After that ride, I started wearing one all the time. This was on vacation in Colorado last year, my second time there riding the same horse. I had been taking lessons, so I felt more comfortable and confident riding this time around.

    So much for that. There's no telling what will happen when riding or doing anything. I'm all about the helmet, as ugly as they are.
         
        09-05-2013, 12:17 PM
      #50
    Yearling
    I learned to ride at a barn where the owner was a former cavalry officer. You didn't mount unless you had a helmet. As such, it became habit right from the start and now, I feel naked without one. I've only ridden twice without it and even then I lasted about 3 mins before I had to dismount and put one one. One was knuckling under to peer pressure at about the age of 16 (too many years ago now :)) and the second was about a year back. I was lunging my horse in hot weather so hadn't put my helmet on before leaving the barn and didn't realize I had left it in the barn on the way to the arena (I was lunging tacked). I naturally mounted immediately after lunging, got about halfway down the arena long side and realized I had a breeze blowing trough my hair. I stopped and someone was nice enough to run in the barn and grab my helmet off my trunk so I didn't have to dismount, but, neither the horse or I moved while waiting.

    I've come off and hit my head hard enough to shatter the shell of a helmet. Someone posted earlier that a helmet still allows the neck to be broken and that is true..the helmet isn't designed to protect the neck but the skull.
         

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