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Helmet Or No Helmet?

This is a discussion on Helmet Or No Helmet? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        12-19-2013, 11:07 PM
      #81
    Foal
    If you had asked me 3 months ago, I would've said that I would choose not to wear one when I could. Now, after a trip to emergency, and completely smashed helmet and a little bit of a headache, I won't ride without one. I was on a really quiet horse too, that happened to take fright and proceed to bronc across the paddock.
         
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        12-20-2013, 12:03 AM
      #82
    Yearling
    My best friend had three brain bleeds and a fractured from not wearing a helmet while riding a bike, and now she can't canter, jump, etc for the rest of her life. My mom had four concussions from riding without one (she never learned!), and has now been taking seizure meds for 20 years. Helmets are absolutely, no questions asked, mandatory in my family. I'm also looking into purchasing a vest since I want to get into cross country :)

    In any case, I absolutely adore my GPA helmet. It's also very lightweight and comfortable, so there is really no reason for me not to wear it!
         
        12-20-2013, 12:29 AM
      #83
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Faye83    
    This may have been asked before and if so I am sorry!
    I would like to know how many people wear a helmet when they ride and if Y/N, why or why not?
    For me, I do not wear one unless my horse has been acting up and I feel I need one. I don't because I am very claustrophobic, also with a helmet I feel like I can't hear or see what is all around me, I know I know its weird.
    I don't wear one, because for the riding I do they don't provide what I need (e.g. Protection from sun, rain, tree limbs, etc....). So I either wear a hat with a sufficient brim around my head or a keffiyeh when it's cold and not raining.
    I do own 3 helmets for anyone who wants to wear one. I would never discourage anyone from wearing one, although if it's a sunny day and they wear a helmet I strongly advise them to put on plenty of sunblock.
    Rain doesn't damage the skin, but I still dislike having it running down the base of my neck (mostly on the sides and back) before it continues under my shirt.

    Of course I know I'm playing the odds. The head accounts for the smallest % horse related injuries almost always less then 20 % (unless you include the neck into the statistics) depending on the year and location.

    In my personal experience I've only recently met one person who suffered a severe head injury (i.e. Concussion) from riding. I've known people get facial injuries that a helmet didn't prevent, but then a helmet isn't designed to protect the face. The people who's deaths I'm personally acquainted with were wearing helmets, but were killed by broken necks. Probably accounts for why I worry more about my back and my neck.

    The head does (again depending on year and location) usually account for the greatest number of actual fatal horse related injuries (even though the it's a relatively low % when compared to all horse related injuries). The neck and back (i.e. The spine) accounts for the most crippling and permanently disabling injuries (but again, relative low % when compared to all other horse related injuries).

    So like everything else in life, I'm play the odds (as does almost everyone in some way). While my odds of being injured are pretty good (been there and done that with various cracked ribs, sprained wrists and ankles, deep tissue bruises, pulled groins, etc, etc, etc....), but so far it's been 45 years and not even a pump on the head or a broken arm/leg/hand/foot bone (which are some of the more common injuries). I'm beating the odds on some of the more common injuries (so far) but have gotten my fair share of the other types of injuries.
         
        12-20-2013, 12:37 AM
      #84
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EliRose    
    My best friend had three brain bleeds and a fractured from not wearing a helmet while riding a bike, and now she can't canter, jump, etc for the rest of her life. My mom had four concussions from riding without one (she never learned!), and has now been taking seizure meds for 20 years. Helmets are absolutely, no questions asked, mandatory in my family. I'm also looking into purchasing a vest since I want to get into cross country :)

    In any case, I absolutely adore my GPA helmet. It's also very lightweight and comfortable, so there is really no reason for me not to wear it!

    You might want to look into the inflatable collars too (sort of an "airbag" for the neck). I've never seen one in action, but it's suppose to protect the neck by inflating before you hit the ground. The concept appears sound, I just haven't had experience around them yet or know anyone who has actually used them. So all I can do is repeat things I've heard or read.
         
        12-20-2013, 12:48 AM
      #85
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
    You might want to look into the inflatable collars too (sort of an "airbag" for the neck). I've never seen one in action, but it's suppose to protect the neck by inflating before you hit the ground. The concept appears sound, I just haven't had experience around them yet or know anyone who has actually used them. So all I can do is repeat things I've heard or read.
    My trainer and I were just talking about them last week, actually. They sound like a really good idea, considering how common neck injuries are.

    Inflatable helmets: Could they be the future of riding? - Featured, Focus, Riding & Safety - Horsetalk.co.nz
         
        12-20-2013, 01:07 AM
      #86
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EliRose    
    My trainer and I were just talking about them last week, actually. They sound like a really good idea, considering how common neck injuries are.

    Inflatable helmets: Could they be the future of riding? - Featured, Focus, Riding & Safety - Horsetalk.co.nz
    Especially if you're going to be doing cross country. What most of the basic stats don't point out is that even though the overall % of head injuries is low the majority of head and neck injuries happen while jumping. If you remove the injuries that happen from jumping from the equation the % of head and neck drops dramatically and the numbers that result in severe injury drops even more. But then that's because it's the distance from the ground that contributes the most to the potential for a head injury to be serious (and you can actually get a concussion from just 2 or 3 feet). Even jogging can pose a risk is you trip and fall. You already relative high up just being on the horse. Even more so when you're making the jump. An average person's head on a 15 hand horse is going to be in the area of 8 feet off the ground. Jumping 3 feet will put you close to 11 feet (proper positioning should drop you head some, but still close to that). That's a long way. Climb up an 8 foot step ladder so you're about 11 up and think about falling from there. Something is going to hurt even if it's not (hopefully) the head or neck. But jumping does lend itself to head injuries just because of the positioning while making the jump.
    dbarabians likes this.
         
        12-20-2013, 04:42 AM
      #87
    Yearling
    Never worn a helmet while riding. When I was very young was riding behind my sister cantering up long graveled driveway, cinch broke and I landed on my head in the gravel. Another time fell off and hit my head on a cement block, another time I was along a fence and when I came off my foot hung up in the fence and slammed my forehead on the ground. I did get a cut on forehead with that last one but even then I slapped a piece of gauze on it to catch the blood and went and got back on the horse (getting back on after a fall has been drummed into me all my life) but the other two times not even a headache. So you can fall on your head and walk away without injury even if you don't have a helmet on.

    I love to watch bull riding. Some of the riders wear helmets and some don't. I think in the years I've been watching just as many of the helmeted riders have suffered from concussions as those who don't wear them.

    I'm a believer in fate and if it's in the cards for you to suffer an injury or illness it's going to happen no matter how many precautions you take. I can't even begin to count how many times I've hit the ground and the worst injury I've had was a saddle horn digging into my leg when a mare reared over backwards with me. Thankfully just in the fat & muscle right above and to the side of my knee. My best friend severed her spinal cord the very first time she fell off and she landed on her butt not her back.

    Really, it's a matter of personal choice. If it makes you feel better to wear one, then do. Just don't think because you've got a helmet on that you can take all kinds of crazy chances though.
         
        12-20-2013, 08:15 AM
      #88
    Started
    Only at the shows or if I'm on a young horse. Helmets are like seatbelts, they can save your life in certain accidents and they can less than helpful in other accidents. An EMT friend had to hear a man scream to death in a burning car because the seatbelt would not engage and the flames were too hot to get close enough to rescue him.
         

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