Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!) - Page 3
 
 

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Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!)

This is a discussion on Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!) within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Does stable hand have to wear body protector and helmet by law

 
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    03-22-2011, 06:58 PM
  #21
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
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.. -_-
I'm not trying to say you're wrong, just wondering the logic here.
Was it you that once said "Dressage is all about the horse. The rider is supposed to be invisible and virtually ignored." If that's the case, how come the Dressage world is getting so upset about the helmet rules? I understand that its traditional and all, but sometimes traditions have to be changed purely for safety. I can't think of an example off the top of my head, but I know it has been done before.
     
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    03-22-2011, 07:30 PM
  #22
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tymer    
...If that's the case, how come the Dressage world is getting so upset about the helmet rules? I understand that its traditional and all, but sometimes traditions have to be changed purely for safety...
Except that requiring riders to wear helmets in the dressage performance will have no measurable impact on rider safety. The study on eventing noted: " It comes as no surprise the jumping phases accounted for 86% of the injuries. Dressage accounted for only 1% and the stable area and other accounted for 12%, again indicating the surprisingly large number of unmounted injuries."

That suggests that the number of head injuries in dressage performances is so low that cutting them 50% would have no statistically significant impact for many years. Any impact it had would be lost in the background noise of arena construction, crowd behavior, steadiness of mounts, test requirements, rider training, etc.

In fact, it indicates that they would do better to require riders to wear helmets preparing their horses, and ditch them for the performance!

My suspicion is that the organization did what most organizations do - responded without thinking because they wanted to do SOMETHING, and the effectiveness of that something is immaterial. Just think about the TSA in the USA, or any number of knee-jerk reactions I saw in the US Air Force during my career. In an organization, the appearance of doing something is more important than achieving anything...
     
    03-22-2011, 08:13 PM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Except that requiring riders to wear helmets in the dressage performance will have no measurable impact on rider safety. The study on eventing noted: " It comes as no surprise the jumping phases accounted for 86% of the injuries. Dressage accounted for only 1% and the stable area and other accounted for 12%, again indicating the surprisingly large number of unmounted injuries."

That suggests that the number of head injuries in dressage performances is so low that cutting them 50% would have no statistically significant impact for many years. Any impact it had would be lost in the background noise of arena construction, crowd behavior, steadiness of mounts, test requirements, rider training, etc.

In fact, it indicates that they would do better to require riders to wear helmets preparing their horses, and ditch them for the performance!

My suspicion is that the organization did what most organizations do - responded without thinking because they wanted to do SOMETHING, and the effectiveness of that something is immaterial. Just think about the TSA in the USA, or any number of knee-jerk reactions I saw in the US Air Force during my career. In an organization, the appearance of doing something is more important than achieving anything...
That makes a lot of sense. I wonder if it would be effective, like a previous poster (I can't remember who) said, to make them required for levels 1 and 2, but optional for 3 and 4? I would imagine (I don't know, I'm not a big Dressage person) that most injuries at that level would be freak accidents. Not like level 1, where some people could be riding green horses at their first ever show.
On a side note, it's a shame that it is frowned upon to wear vests in Hunter shows. I know a girl who would be a beautiful hunter over fences rider, and could probably win like crazy. Unfortunately, she never will ever do Hunter show. She wears a vest religiously ever since it saved her life when she was thrown over a horse's head and trampled. Anyway, I just had to note that.
     
    03-22-2011, 08:22 PM
  #24
Trained
Tymer, yes you are correct the focus should be on the horse - this is why dressage attire has not changed since the beginning of competition.
As bsms has said the actual value of wearing a helmet on a confirmed dressage horse is close to nil. The last person I saw hospitalized from a fall off a particularly rank young dressage horse at a show was not wearing a helmet and suffered some pretty substantial injuries to the groin and thigh areas. She probably should have been in a helmet considering the horse she was riding, but it was her choice. People I know that have been wearing a helmet during some nasty falls riding dressage have broken their necks and backs.
The USDF should not have to hold adults' hands. Period. We are in a fairly low risk equestrian sport and traditional attire has been the norm since the inception of competition, there hasn't been a problem with rider attire that I know of until now. Go pick on bronc riders if you're really concerned about head injuries around horses and requiring helmets.

Lol bsms about the helmets in the warm up and top hats for competitions - this has been discussed in some circles and (imo) could actually be more dangerous than just allowing top hats. Imagine you're on a youngish stallion, he's out at a show and is very well behaved at home. You are campaigning him you want to show in a top hat, as he is doing 4th level to a good standard and has a good chance of winning champion. You have also paid good money for a photographer to come to the show and want nice pictures where people aren't looking at the pink stripe down the front of your helmet. You stop well away from the other horses on your way to the show ring to put on your top hat, on cement. Your groom is holding him and attempting to hold your top hat and helmet at the same time while you fix your hair (imagine you're a chick for a second). The reins slip out of her hand for a split second and he smells a nice in heat mare upwind, takes the opportunity and he spins around, whipping the reins to his poll and trots off. If you're lucky you're in balance and can reach forward to grab the reins. If not.. well you're taking a trip to the ER.
Now if you had just been allowed to warm up in the top hat, or are just grabbing the top hat from your groom and one handedly putting it on on the way.. This makes life way safer, IMO.
     
    03-22-2011, 10:04 PM
  #25
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
The USDF should not have to hold adults' hands. Period. We are in a fairly low risk equestrian sport and traditional attire has been the norm since the inception of competition, there hasn't been a problem with rider attire that I know of until now.
That's true, adults should be able to make decisions. I still think lower levels should have helmets required, especially at the children's level (is there one? Well, if not, shows that would have children in them). Then again, maybe they should leave it up to riders to be aware of the danger of their green horse and wear a helmet.

Go pick on bronc riders if you're really concerned about head injuries around horses and requiring helmets.
Actually, I believe many have started using both helmets and body protectors. Looking good and seeming tough just doesn't seem worth potential death to many riders.
I'm just a big helmet person. Never ridden without one because I've never had the opportunity. But at the same time I'm not going to stretch to the ridiculous, like it should be federal law that all riders must wear helmets all the time...That's just silly.
     
    03-22-2011, 10:21 PM
  #26
Foal
Woaw there is a lot of opinions on here, and I have to agree with several of you guys.
In France I believe horse backriding was considered the most dangerous sport of all time, for quite a while, if it isn't still the case? Not sure, but we all have to remember horse back riding deals with horses, prey animals, so even the top of the top rider CAN have an accident do to the nature of the horse. They are still consider wild animals afterall. WE, as humans, decided we were going to ride them, does not mean there are no risks. But I have to say I am more scare in my car than on a horse, because we also have to add that people driving ( car OR motorcycles) have no respect for rules. No respect for others. No respect for limits. Maybe horse back riding has higher percent of death than motorcycles, what about car accident? When we have to take into account that most car accidents happens because people are too stupid or careless to understand there are risks. Most car accidents could be avoid if people would think twice before speeding, passing a car to close, drinking and driving, ect...
Horse back riding accident are different and as I said, based on the horse's nature, or just Luck ? Maybe?

Now back to the helmets, in France it is mandatory until you are 18, where you can choose to wear one. I always have been and always will, which does not mean I have less chances to get hurt pretty badly. The vest protector are mostly for the important organs we have between neck and hips. Wearing one does not mean you are safe as neck, spine, head injuries are as scary as well. Counting that you can also break an arm or leg, (still not the same degree of accident but still)
Helmets can help in certain situation which you can not predict obviously.

All these are based on percentage and previous falls, but does it mean the percentages will be the same few years later? Not really, most falls happens because of the rider's fault or the horse's nature as I said before, but that does not stop humans. Well, what will? Look at our race nowadays, we jump off airplane, climb mountains, dive in the ocean, ect... everything we do have risks and it is a matter of luck in my opinion. We can easily died just stepping out of our door and getting hit by a car ( bad luck) or jumping off an airplane where the harness brakes off ( well, bad luck too) BUT WE CHOOSE TO DO ALL THESE THINGS. What if we were not taking risks? We would all be in our house, padded from everywhere, never coming out !
You know what is even worse than that ? GUNS and again, humans choose to use them and kill people.

I feel like I have more chance to get shot, or hit by a car than having a really bad fall from a horse. But again, we choose to do it
     
    03-22-2011, 11:11 PM
  #27
Trained
When people talk about helmet requirements, or laws, or requiring them for children, it is almost always done without any reference to the odds involved, and how riding style and activity impacts risk.

Tossing a helmet in the trash doubles your risk. Taking up jumping increases it 20-100 times. It is illogical to require helmets for children, either by rule or by law, and yet allow them to jump with horses.

The odds of a western rider having a head injury while wearing a cowboy hat is only a small fraction of the odds a jump rider faces while wearing a helmet and any other protective gear one can think of wearing. A law that requires helmets but allows jumping is stupid, but then, I think most lawmakers are far to ignorant to have any business passing any restrictions on horses and riding.

Having seen these studies, if I knew a kid who wanted to take up jumping, I'd strongly encourage them to take up dressage or western riding first, and learn jumping when they were old enough to accept the risk. And being 52, I wouldn't be surprised when they ignored me!

And when I ride in a western or Australian saddle? I'll wear a helmet. I've spent a fair bit of time recently dealing with a screaming 6 month old granddaughter who explodes when Mommy isn't present, and I dearly want to live long enough to see HER dealing with a screaming 6 month old monster...

Oldest daughter on the left, holding my son's baby - the screamer. Daughter-in-law on the right, holding oldest daughter's QUIET baby. Very quiet Australian Shepherd looking up at the bottom.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
...Your groom is holding him and attempting to hold your top hat and helmet at the same time while you fix your hair (imagine you're a chick for a second)...
While both are a huge leap, imagining I'm a chick is probably easier than imagining me as a competent dressage rider - and I'm sure Mia would agree! Or are there old, slouching, chubby bifocal wearing dressage riders who bounce like a sack of potatoes in the saddle?
     
    03-23-2011, 06:05 AM
  #28
Guest
Grand Ma used to say to me when I was a kid - "do what I say it is for your own good". She has been dead for 40 years but her words still occasionally ring in my ears.
     
    03-23-2011, 06:10 AM
  #29
Guest
There have been several suggestions that we should practice falling off a horse. Now I do have a stunt man friend who once owned a very sparky chestnut cob which regularly went out of control and bolted off. When things got out of hand my friend often bailed out - deliberately.
I thought he was mad.

With this thread in mind I phoned him up and asked him how he did it.
He asked why - so I told him.
He said I was mad.
     
    03-23-2011, 08:11 AM
  #30
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Godden    
There have been several suggestions that we should practice falling off a horse. Now I do have a stunt man friend who once owned a very sparky chestnut cob which regularly went out of control and bolted off. When things got out of hand my friend often bailed out - deliberately.
I thought he was mad.

With this thread in mind I phoned him up and asked him how he did it.
He asked why - so I told him.
He said I was mad.
i think it would actually be a good idea, if more riders would know how to fall correctly, maybe the percentage of injuries would drop ?
I'm curious to know now
     

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