Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I always get complaints for not wearing a helmet, but I can't bring myself to start riding with one. When I first started riding I wore one, only because I couldn't sign the waiver myself (still technically can't, even though I do). My mum and dad don't bother anymore, so it's been less and less aggravating to me. I completely understand that I can kill myself just by handling horses, but how often does it happen? I'm pretty experienced for only being almost 17, and I'm rather mature as well. I know there's the chance of serious injury, but when I think about it, I have a bigger chance coming off and getting hurt -with- a helmet on. I'm sure if I took 2+ years out of my current riding of only riding well-broke horses ith a helmet, I could get use to it. I don't think it's the most practical thing for me to do. I encourage everyone I teach to ride and people that are less experienced to wear a helmet, but I won't do it unless it's absolutely necessary for myself. Helmets cause me to become claustrophobic and I concentrate more on the helmet than the horse I'm on and what I'm doing myself; thus, making it more dangerous for the both of us. I'm more than willing to hop on a rearing/bucking/bolting/any other issue horse without a helmet, I'm a whole lot more hesitant to do so with a helmet-just for the fact that I'd be paying more attention to it than the horse I should be focused on.
I've hopped on a completely unbroke, barely touched 15.1-15.3hh paint gelding my friend just bought, and if I wasn't paying as much attention as I was to the horse, I would've came off and possibly hurt myself pretty bad. I had to hop off a 16.1hh, galloping draft horse last summer-wouldn't have watched how I came off if I had the helmet on. I would've been thinking about how I should watch everything -but- my head, since I had a helmet on-you know?
I'm all for helmets, but they're just not for me. It'll be hard enough to get used to a cowboy hat for shows, let alone a giant plastic thing on my head.
I've heard/read many stories of horse related injuries, but the way I think about it, it's not the helmet that necessarily helped, but more how the rider fell. A cut on my head isn't going to kill me, if I fall on my head and snap my neck-a helmet isn't going to do anything for me. That's just my 2 cents though. (:
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