Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!) - Page 2
 
 

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Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!)

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    03-21-2011, 09:18 PM
  #11
Trained
I wear a helmet at home when I'm training. It's not compulsory, but I do "just because". I know a few people who also train at home every day in a helmet, however have sustained some life altering injuries. One woman I know broke her neck. So I don't expect to be excluded from all injuries, as no one should. The second you are on the driveway to the barn, your chances of injury compared to a "normal" person go up at least ten fold. Such is the nature of dealing with a wild animal ten times your own weight. The same way cat owners are more susceptible to being scratched.

I really think that helmets don't serve to protect people as well as everyone might think. Nor to back protectors. Many people think if they wear these devices they become somehow more safe and do things they wouldn't otherwise. Infact, especially after being involved in vaulting, I am more and more of the belief that these safety devices serve to unbalance the rider and make them more prone to a fall of they are not used to the equipment. The most important thing we can teach our riders is how to fall and this - not my helmet - is what has saved me from any catastophic injuries in the past decade.

Education is what prevents injury. Education on how to fall, education on your limits as a rider, education on correct conditioning and maintenance of the horse, education on basic riding skills and equipment adjustment.
Having a basic liscencing program for equestrians would greatly mitigate the risks associated with horses. As well encouraging helmet use, yes, but driving down a highway going 100mph without a liscence with your seat belt on does not make you "safe".

As far as in competitions - again for those in flat work disciplines over the age of 18, it should remain a personal choice if one should wear a helmet. I feel like with correct education, people should be able to make their own informed choices. I for one am not about to ride a 4 y/o in his first show with a top hat.
     
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    03-21-2011, 09:28 PM
  #12
Trained
Some more info is presented here:

http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_100057126.pdf

It has charts the other link misses. The h stands for hours, which seems high to me. I signed up for an account at thehorse.com, but it seems the cited paper no longer exists there.

To be honest, the very symmetry of the numbers (* 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) also seems very suspicious. 100/5/1? Not 98 / 5.7 / 1.3? The roundness of the numbers is very unusual.

Still, the figures from other studies seems to support that jumping (and possibly the jump seat) involves a huge increase in risk over level riding. But I haven't found anything else that tries to quantify HOW MUCH riskier it is...everyone seems content to cite the paper that is no longer there. At least, not where the citation has it!
     
    03-21-2011, 09:38 PM
  #13
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
...I really think that helmets don't serve to protect people as well as everyone might think. Nor to back protectors. Many people think if they wear these devices they become somehow more safe and do things they wouldn't otherwise. Infact, especially after being involved in vaulting, I am more and more of the belief that these safety devices serve to unbalance the rider and make them more prone to a fall of they are not used to the equipment. The most important thing we can teach our riders is how to fall and this - not my helmet - is what has saved me from any catastophic injuries in the past decade...
I agree. Perceived risk. If I think gear X protects me, I perceive that I can do something more dangerous with equal risk. I did a little time as a safety officer in a flying squadron, and this concept was well known. The USAF would improve the equipment, and the pilots would respond by flying in higher risk environments.

I also thought this was interesting: "The proximity of other horses seems to be the major problem for jockeys as their tuck and roll technique seems to ameliorate quite a lot of injuries." Part of me would love to learn how to fall off the horse and roll, while another part of me worries the learning may leave me with more sore spots than I currently have! And I don't know anyone who could teach it to me anyways...
     
    03-21-2011, 10:09 PM
  #14
Trained
It's mostly vaulting people that teach stuff like that - another reason why it's really great to expand your horizons as a rider!!
I'm quite small and there was a children's vaulting club that needed someone to do some horse testing for them so I got some basic vaulting training in exchange for riding/vaulting on some horses - definitely a valuable experience!!

Before that, way back when, I started riding at a local school and they actually did more safety training than I'm now realizing is "normal" - so I did get some basic tuck and roll procedure training there (considering the amount that kids were falling off around there it was probably a good thing!).
     
    03-21-2011, 11:41 PM
  #15
Green Broke
The number of injuries per hours DOES seem very high. At least, I hope they are not really that high!

I trail ride all year long, and do 4-5 hour rides in the summer and (knock on wood) I have never had to be hospitalized for a horse related injury. ( I have been riding 17 years). Heck, I don't even think I have shown a doctor a horse-related injury, although there were a few I probably should have. (Some of them still ache time to time, so they were probably serious enough that they should have been looked at).

I still can't comprehend how riding is more dangerous that motorcyling. I really find that hard to believe. But maybe it is what we perceive as dangerous, and something like a motorcyle I perceive as dangerous.

But after reading the articles I think I will be content to ride western and (hopefully) land on my butt when I do fall.
     
    03-22-2011, 03:03 AM
  #16
Foal
...and it's funny that it was Courtney King-Dyes accident in the Dressage warm up that made everyone (USEA safety coordinators included) think twice about helmet rules...
     
    03-22-2011, 05:14 AM
  #17
Lis
Yearling
In Britain it's compulsory by law for children either under 16 or 18 unless they're Sikh and wear a turban but if not they're legally required to wear a hat.
Someone made a point about falling. The British Racing School have a mechanical bucking horse and now run courses to teach people how to fall correctly which when you consider they were telling us that one of their racing ponies will stop mid gallop for some grass, it's a good thing they do.
     
    03-22-2011, 06:58 AM
  #18
Guest
Anebel, your article states much more clearly what I have been trying to say.

The compulsion of needing to acquire a licence to ride, offers a route by which the risks of riding can be brought home to the aspiring novice. Education must be part of the key to reducing the incidence of accidents.
For example there is undoubtedly a need to understand why a horse bolts and what to do if it does - that's an educational and training issue in both the classroom and the training arena.

I very much agree that too much protective gear inhibits the rider's ability to respond to the forces involved in riding a horse. I own a back protector and whenever I put it on it feels as though I am wearing restrictive paddy suit.
But it still won't protect the nape of my neck nor the base of my spine, my knees or my elbows. As a result I rarely wear it. If we were to look at the use of carbon fibre or thin, light, steel plate, maybe we could gain protection without losing flexibility.

Teaching people to fall would also be beneficial - if the technique can become instinctive in the rider.

The professional jockey is worried about the fall onto soft turf, the horse falling on him and getting protection from another race horse treading on him.
For we amateurs the risks are different and arguably greater. Riders have to cope with the risk of hitting a hard surface such as the road, or a show jump or a wall, a hedge, a car etc.

I just want to see the sport as a group consider safety more actively and as routine. After all - we are all going to fall off sooner or later - I just hope that when inevitably we do fall, we are fit to mount up again.
     
    03-22-2011, 07:20 AM
  #19
Weanling
Wow scary stuff!! I have fallen off 4 times in 10 years..My first time was last year. It was when I was jumping so I was leaning forward ( Too far forward which is why I fell off) And I landed on my behind. I tore ligaments in my back. Next time I was trotting without stirrups and landed on my feet XD Then I was bucked off a tiny pony! I was not expecting it at all..And I fell on my leg..Then the last time I was jumping again and fell on my leg..

I guess I am not going by this so! Stupid body XD But hopefully I never fall on my head. Does not mean I will never jump again! I love it! Oh and I do wear a helmet. And should start wearing a back protector but they are sooo uncomfortable!

"This would be in keeping with the speculation that in horse riding accidents there are two methods of riding: either jockey style (cross country position) with the head forward, where the rider would be more likely to sustain a cervical injury accompanied inevitably by a head injury, and classical style where the head is held high and the rider would be likely to fall on to the buttocks."
     
    03-22-2011, 03:33 PM
  #20
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustbemonroe    
...and it's funny that it was Courtney King-Dyes accident in the Dressage warm up that made everyone (USEA safety coordinators included) think twice about helmet rules...
First of all, it was not in the warm up at a show.
It was at home, she got on a young horse with no prior behavior issues, the horse forgot where its legs were and fell. It was a freak accident.
Yes it is important to wear a helmet. However, adults who are showing their horses should have a personal choice as to whether they will wear a helmet or not. If Courtney's fall has had enough of an impact on the world that people are wearing helmets regardless of rules, why do we need the rules? I think it's appaling that the USDF has to hold people's hands to get them to wear a helmet. It's common sense if you are on a young horse to wear a helmet. But a Pro or Ammy on a confirmed third/fourth level horse should have the freedom to use their discression on whether or not to wear a helmet. The other 300 training days of the year I wear one, but in the show ring I should be able to wear a top hat. Hell we might as well start riding in close contact saddles and put up some jumps.. -_-
     

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