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post #51 of 57 Old 04-27-2014, 02:51 PM
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I'd say at least half of the adults at my barn don't wear a helmet, including my instructor (I've seen her wear one just a few times, once when riding my horse... hmmm, maybe I should take that as a sign, lol), but I always do. The one and only time I fell off a horse in my 15 years of riding, I hit my head (helmeted) and am sure I would have been injured badly if I hadn't been wearing it. Actually, I usually wear a helmet when working with horses on the ground, too. While the risk is not higher than while riding, it is still significant. A woman at my barn was walking her horse when he slipped and fell, pulling her down and hitting her head. She was injured badly, but her doctor said her helmet saved her life. I wouldn't tell other adults what to do, but people are often bad at gauging risk and so information can help people make more informed decisions. Yes, riding in an English saddle increases the risk of injury about 70%, but I still choose to ride in an English saddle with that knowledge. If people know the risks of not wearing a helmet and choose to do so anyway, then at least they are making an informed choice.

I feel a bit differently about children, though, as our role as adults is to protect them because they are not able to make those informed choices because of the lack of a fully mature brain and abstract reasoning. Also, nobody has mentioned this yet, but children are actually more vulnerable to head injuries when they ride than adults, due to the larger size of their heads relative to their body size.

Now, as far as the statistics go, when injured in a fall where they hit their head, only 5% of people wearing helmets suffered a brain injury compared to 60% of those not wearing a helmet. That is a 12-fold increased risk of brain injury, or 1200%. Yes, there are many factors that go into safety around horses, but it seems to me like this is a huge one, especially for kids.
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post #52 of 57 Old 04-27-2014, 04:05 PM
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I let other parents determine acceptable risk for their kids in exchange for them doing likewise for me. Thus my nephew was allowed to race dirt bikes as a teen, breaking multiple bones in the process. Not my kid, not my choice.

" when injured in a fall where they hit their head, only 5% of people wearing helmets suffered a brain injury compared to 60% of those not wearing a helmet. That is a 12-fold increased risk of brain injury, or 1200%."

I hadn't seen that statistic, although it seem plausible. However, someone riding deep in the saddle, western or dressage style, is more likely to land on their back than someone jumping with a forward seat. That could explain why helmet use normally reduces injuries in the 4-fold range instead of 12 fold. I think 4-fold is still pretty good!

From my perspective, folks jump horses for the fun of it. I have no objection. It is more dangerous, but so what? Their body, their sport, their choice. Some people - not me - obviously dislike wearing helmets. For a reason I do not share, they strongly prefer to ride without a helmet. I don't think that makes them stupid or deserving of insults. It merely means their priorities and what they will risk for certain pleasures differs from my choices.

I'll go on wearing a helmet. If anyone asks why, I'll point to the pavement or the rocky trails and say my mare is a klutz. If & when I come down on that hard stuff, I want a helmet. To date, no one has ever blinked an eye or given me a lecture or laughed at me for my choice. I think a simple example, possibly combined with, "I've got a spare, would you like to try it for a couple of rides?" is a better approach than calling people idiots.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #53 of 57 Old 04-28-2014, 11:14 AM
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There are plenty of head injuries that happen when a rider is 'slopping along' and off with the fairies on a half awake horse on a loose rein, the horse trips, stumbles and goes down on its knees and the rider goes headfirst over the shoulder
Its also common for a horse's hoof to accidentally hit a rider on the head when they're lying on the ground after a fall - which is why curling up and protecting your head if you can is an instinct worth developing
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post #54 of 57 Old 04-28-2014, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
When someone does rock climbing, are they stupid? Or do they get pleasure from something I do not understand?

When jogging in the desert, I never take a cell phone with me. It could save my life someday, in case of a heart attack or a really bad fall, and it weighs almost nothing...but I would HATE jogging with a cell phone. Am I dumb as a stump, or do I find much of my pleasure in being free from modern society as I jog? It weighs almost nothing, it could potentially save my life...but hell will freeze over before I take one with me on a run! I don't even take any water with me. It seems a part of my pleasure comes from it being ME against the DESERT, without any backup.

Wearing a helmet doesn't spoil the pleasure of riding for me....but then, many runners wouldn't be bothered by having a cell phone and a pint of water with them while jogging in a desert. Why denigrate someone for taking pleasure from something that we do not?
first off, we're talking about children not wearing helmets. any parent with a child not wearing a helmet in any number of sports is dumb. as a stump. a rock. whatever. and I'll argue it in person too. kids depend on ADULTS for their cues, their safety, their lives. adults have no business being cavalier about their kid's brains.

the motorcycle riders, ya...I know...I KNOW. and's all on them. yes it is. except I'll be driving along, doing my 80 on the interstate and I'm going to be zoom passed by two kids on a motorcycle, having the best time int he world, not a care in the world, no helmets...and I look at that and I think, that egg could crack and that would be a sad state and all that carefree could be totally done.

maybe it's darwin, you know. maybe it's okay. maybe so long as it's not mine, why should I care. but i care. I see motorcycle guys and they WEAR those helmets, old as they are. they want to be riding until they can't see the road in front of them. they're not stupid. hitting the skull on a hard surface makes dents in the skull, rearranges the grey matter, sometimes in a not good way.

b, I know and you're not dumb. I get what you're saying about civilization. but I'll tell you this, if you were emergency dismounted and on your back and hurting in the glorious wilderness you might feel otherwise. if something happened to you, your family would wish you had had one with you. and I'll tell you as someone I admire, I think you shouldn't be so stubborn. but you're a grown man. far as phones - shut the **** thing off. shove it in a little case you can attach to your boot. cause if you're emergency dismounted, mia doesnt know how to use a phone if it's attached to her.

I may be right. I may be wrong. but I don't think in this I am. ERR on the side of the brain. ERR on the side of caution. it's all that stands between us and not being able to do a ****ed thing for ourselves for the rest of our lives.
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post #55 of 57 Old 05-02-2014, 11:08 PM
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At my barn everyone wears a helmet, I understand that doesn't mean we cannot be harmed but it can prevent a lot. I feel wearing a helmet sometimes and not other times is the most annoying it is like really, really, REALLY. Why should you be safe when here but it doesn't matter here?
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post #56 of 57 Old 05-03-2014, 05:09 AM
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I am sitting here today because I wore a helmet.

I will forever and forever wear helmets. It provokes me to no extent when I see young girls finding reasons not wear one, they are fragile beings and have not developed a caution for risk yet.
If a grown adult wants to ride without one, then they have made a chioce which I will respect. Even tough I can't understand why.
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post #57 of 57 Old 05-04-2014, 03:54 PM
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Simple thing to do is to put up a notice stating that Anyone under the age of 18 has to wear a helmet. when riding from this barn.
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