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You Can Lead someone to Water but You Canít Make Them Think

This is a discussion on You Can Lead someone to Water but You Canít Make Them Think within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        04-24-2014, 11:20 AM
      #21
    Weanling
    I find bsms' post odd because he says no one can quantify the risk because there are too many variables, but on every other helmet thread he has quoted numbers.
         
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        04-24-2014, 11:41 AM
      #22
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jaydee    
    I always wear a helmet and I am non-judgmental too - however you will not see me posting anything that sounds as if I'm trying to justify other peoples decisions to not wear one...
    I don't rock climb. I wouldn't consider it. But I also don't call people idiots for loving something I wouldn't think of doing. My brother-in-law rides motorcycles in city traffic daily, and will pass thru Phoenix on the weekend for the sheer FUN of riding a motorcycle...knowing that a single fall could cost him his life. He refuses to get on a horse, however, because 'horses are dangerous'!

    I think too many people think helmet=safety. It is just one item, and maybe not the most important. Riding bareback increases risk, so why do it? Because it is fun? So what - it isn't as safe! People jump, and let their kids learn to jump, but statistically, jumping is probably the most dangerous thing you can do with horses. The risk of injury during jumping is far greater than the protection one receives from a helmet, so everyone who is jumping with a helmet is taking more risk than someone riding the flats without a helmet...yet how many post threads here saying no kid should be allowed to jump?

    I like my helmet. It fits me fine, and is cool enough (in temperature, at least) for me to wear on a 1 hour ride. If I rode 3+ hours in the Arizona sun, I'd probably grab a cowboy hat instead. But if folks want others to convert, maybe they should simply explain why they like using a helmet instead of calling people 'idiots' and saying all kids should be required to wear one. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to make a sale to someone when you start by calling him an idiot!

    But if we are going to be serious about safety and horses, then we need to look at where and how people are injured using statistics. That is the only way to see if doing X will help, or if it helps, how much it helps. In 6 years of riding, I've had one fall & one jump off my horse's back from a standstill - that being when my saddle slipped and I knew things were not going to get better. During the fall, I was wearing a cloth ball cap and didn't hurt my head. During the jump, I was wearing a helmet and didn't hurt my head. Yet that anecdotal evidence is worthless for analyzing risk. I've also been sent flying, and hit the ground hard in places with things that could hurt me, while trying to deal with a horse FROM THE GROUND. I've had 4 of those, so for me, it seems I would be better off taking my helmet off when I get ON, instead of removing it when I get OFF! And yes, there are studies that indicate we may be at greater risk when handling horses than we are in some types of riding.

    When I see threads saying you need to fall 12 times to be an experienced rider, I cringe. ANY fall can be your last. There is an element of luck to every fall. I think too many people put a helmet on and then accept falling, when they would be better off to analyze each fall and figure out what the cause was and how to avoid another one.

    And when people want to jump, I'm fine with it. I just find it very hypocritical for jumpers to then complain about the low safety standards of the typical western rider. I think everyone who rides should THINK about the dangers and decide for themselves how much risk they will accept in return for how much fun.

    And since I rarely post without getting a picture of Mia in ( )...this was on a day when I forgot my helmet:


         
        04-24-2014, 11:43 AM
      #23
    Weanling
    I have broken an arm, a leg, a tailbone, and several ribs playing on horses. So understand I know all well the risk involved in riding. I have also suffered a few concussions between HS, and Collegiate football (guess who was wearing a helmet....)

    My daughter wears a helmet because she is 28mo, and as a parent I feel obligated to make her wear it. In 10yrs Im not sure how I will feel about it. I will say however, that though I have seen a few TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injury) related to horse falls, I worry more about a broken neck, and no helmet on the planet will stop that.

    I would never give some one a hard time about wearing a helmet even though I do not, but at the same time I know all to well that most parents feel like they are doing an adequate job of raising their kids and sometimes they need to learn the hard way that S^!# happens.

    All you can do is voice your opinion, and let it ride.....

    Also..... If I were a barn manager/owner I would require helmets for anyone under 18. From a liability standpoint I feel like you would be a fool not to. But to call someone an idiot because their kid doesn't wear a helmet is silly.

    Jim

    Jim
    bsms and Incitatus32 like this.
         
        04-24-2014, 11:43 AM
      #24
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by updownrider    
    I find bsms' post odd because he says no one can quantify the risk because there are too many variables, but on every other helmet thread he has quoted numbers.
    No one can quantify the risk on any given ride. No one can quantify the risk on a future ride. But with statistics, you can see where the risks are greatest, and how effective certain measures are at reducing overall risks.

    But no - for a given horse and a given rider on a given day, no one can give a hard number about the risk.
         
        04-24-2014, 12:18 PM
      #25
    Foal
    For some reason this makes me think of motorcyclists debating helmets.

    Both my Mom and Dad ride motorcycles. They are very safety conscious and always have protective gear.
    Helmets are a good safety measure but is only part of what a person needs when riding.
    A awesome, breathable, Teflon jacket saves a motorcyclists hide if the bike drops and they are sent sliding down the road. Thick blue jeans a must for this reason as well. Biker boots are designed to protect feet n ankles. Good gloves to protect hands.

    I cringe seeing folks on bikes with loose tank shorts and flip flops.

    Yeah it is their choice and yes they are playing with fire by thumbing their noses up at safety. The best us safety conscious folks can do is politely and respectfully explain our view at the same time respecting that it is their choice to do as they choose.

    With kids involved it changes though. Kids do what is fun and are not grasping the consequences until after the fact. It is the responsibility of the adults in charge to make sure the kids are following safety when riding.

    I agree with most of the posts. I also agree that it is rude to call someone an idiotic for having a different view even if it is dumbbell ad that just makes them shut you out.
    Sorry for any misspell as I am on my ornery phone.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    horseluvr2524 likes this.
         
        04-24-2014, 12:23 PM
      #26
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    During the fall, I was wearing a cloth ball cap and didn't hurt my head. During the jump, I was wearing a helmet and didn't hurt my head. Yet that anecdotal evidence is worthless for analyzing risk.
    Your missing one very important piece of information bsms:

    Your helmet can possibly prevent your skull from cracking against a rock, in the event your skull hits a rock. Your soft ball cap cannot. Neither will a cowboy hat.

    Plain and simple FACT to reduce risk, that cannot be disputed.

    Whether or not someone chooses to reduce their risk with a helmet, well that's their call.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    And yes, there are studies that indicate we may be at greater risk when handling horses than we are in some types of riding.
    Hence why the first thing I do when I get to my trailer is put on my helmet. And it's the last thing I do (take it off) when I leave.

    You can very easily get kicked in the head when bending over to pick a rock out of a hoof (for example). My helmet stays on, even when I am just on the ground around horses.
         
        04-24-2014, 12:23 PM
      #27
    Super Moderator
    The people who avoided serious injury and a hospital visit because they were wearing a helmet don't appear on statistic lists therefore they are unreliable
    The same goes for people who escaped injury because they were wearing a safety vest
    Respecting someone's choice to not wear a helmet is one thing and I support that - but doing or saying anything to persuade them not to wear one IMO is irresponsible
    Glenknock and horseluvr2524 like this.
         
        04-24-2014, 12:51 PM
      #28
    Yearling
    LOL that's more like bsms!
    Posted via Mobile Device
    updownrider likes this.
         
        04-24-2014, 01:11 PM
      #29
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    
    Your missing one very important piece of information bsms:

    Your helmet can possibly prevent your skull from cracking against a rock, in the event your skull hits a rock. Your soft ball cap cannot. Neither will a cowboy hat.

    Plain and simple FACT to reduce risk, that cannot be disputed...
    I've not disputed it. However, how much you have reduced your risk depends on how likely you are to fall. From the statistics I've seen, it is likely a helmet reduces the chance of injury in a fall by 50-80%. However, if you do something that increases the chance of falling by more than 5 fold - such as jumping - then you are accepting a greater risk of head injury while wearing a helmet than you have on the flat without one.

    I like the idea of a 50-80% reduction, even if my risk of falling in the first place is very low. So I wear a helmet. But some people do not like wearing a helmet. If they are a western rider riding the flats, their risk of head injury is already less than that of a jumper wearing a helmet - so who is "an idiot"?

    I'd say neither. I think it is normal to accept some level of risk in return for a certain amount of pleasure. I also think it is normal for different people to be willing to accept different levels of risk, and to take pleasure from different aspects of things. I can have fun riding without jumping. I don't feel a need to barrel race to have fun either. I usually ride alone, so I have no social needs to be met. I get no pleasure out of riding without a helmet - but others do. I may not identify with them, but I can respect them.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jaydee    
    The people who avoided serious injury and a hospital visit because they were wearing a helmet don't appear on statistic lists therefore they are unreliable...
    Actually, the statistics come from reductions in injuries in things like Pony Clubs, or in sports like eventing. If you have the same number participating, but you have 50% fewer injuries when wearing helmets, then it is reasonable to guess helmets had a big part in that reduction.

    Surveys have been taken to find out what people were doing at the time they were injured, and that gives us a pretty good idea of relative risk. Folks who study riding accidents are drawn to jumping events like buzzards to carrion. In eventing, falls at the fence accounted for 96% of injuries between 2004-2008, vs 4% on the flats. That is a 24:1 ratio.

    A profile of horse riding injuries in South Africa:
    The conclusion to Sorli’s (2000) five-year study was that head injuries and other serious traumatic injuries occur with equestrian activities and the use of appropriate safety equipment, including helmets should be promoted. Abu-Zidan andRao (2003)found that those with a helmet had significantly less incidence of intracranial injuries than those not wearing one and Fantus and Fildes (2007) found a fourfold greater mortality for the non-helmeted rider compared to those wearing a helmet.

    Of all the horse riding activities, according to Silver (2002) and Paix (1999) jumping is most likely to produce an injury, and according to Paix (1999), the cross country phase of eventing is more than 70 times as dangerous as horse riding in general, with an overall injury rate of one per 14 hours of cross country riding...

    ...Table 4.9 shows that most injuries occurred whilst jumping (63.8%) and the least occurred during flatwork (10.3%). ["Hacking" was 25.9%]...

    ...Helmet use was negatively associated with head injuries. Showing that helmet use is effective in preventing head injuries. This could be due to improved helmet protective design, compulsory wearing of helmets that meet safety standards at competitions and the majority of riders wearing helmets when jumping, which is where the most severe injuries occur (Section 5.3.2.2.4). Moss, Wan and Whitlock (2002) review of findings between 1971 and 1991 found that helmet use is assisting in reducing the incidence of skull fractures and severity of the injury.

    Fantus and Fildes (2007) found a fourfold greater mortality for the non-helmeted rider and Abu-Zidan and Rao (2003) comparatively found that those with a helmet had significantly less incidence of intracranial injuries than those who did not...
    http://ir.dut.ac.za/bitstream/handle...pdf?sequence=1

    One cannot precisely quantify risks using statistics, but one can reasonably conclude both that a helmet helps protect your noggin if you fall, and that jumping is associated with a much higher risk of falling.

    Of course, most folks don't read studies. They base their risk assessment on the experiences of folks they know. I've met plenty of riders who have ridden for decades without a head injury, and who haven't known anyone who had a serious head injury. I know folks who haven't had an serious head injuries in generations of riding. So someone like myself might rate the risk of head injury as low. Frankly, I'd rather ride an Australian saddle without a helmet than an English saddle with one. That is based on my experience and the people I know. That doesn't make me stupid. And because I am actually very safety conscious, I normally ride western or Australian WITH a helmet.

    I have never encouraged anyone to stop wearing a helmet. I have argued that calling people names is not a good way to advance a cause, and that some people will cheerfully take risks that I will not.
         
        04-24-2014, 01:25 PM
      #30
    Super Moderator
    I rode for 30+ years without wearing a helmet (other than in competitions and hunting where it was compulsory) then went out one day for a quiet hack with friends and ended up in hospital with a fractured skull
    Basing any decision on the theory 'That it's never happened to me yet' is not very bright
         

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