Dave Rabe Accident - wear a helmet!
Just in case any of you were unaware, last mont Dave Rabe, a legend in the endurance world, one of the top lifetime mileage earners, and a personal inspiration of mine, had a major accident at an endurance ride. You can't miss Dave - he's always wearing his cuttoff shorts, tank top (if he's not shirtless!), and ball cap - never a helmet. As he was getting on his horse, it started bucking and Dave ended on the business end a traumatic brain injury. It was a very scary few days in the endurance world as we awaited news of his condition. After hospitalization and many tests, he is now going through rehab and recovering. You can read more about Dave and get updates on his condition here: Dave Rabe « XP Rides
Dave has over 60,000 miles and more experience with horses than most of us could ever hope to achieve in a lifetime. However, accidents happen - and Dave is only one of many experienced endurance riders that I know that have received major injuries that could have been prevented had they been wearing a helmet. You never know what could happen at any time, no matter what you're doing or how many times you've done it before. Plus, particularly concerning endurance, there is a lot of chaos and unfamiliar circumstances for both riders and horses, and you are usually a long way from the help you'd need if anything did happen. Please, if you think you don't want to wear a helmet, think twice about that choice.
On a side note, many riders I know are member of the Life Flight network, in case they do ever need urgent care. Something else to consider as an endurance rider.
Wow. I hope he recovers fully. That is tough.
Most head injuries can be avoided with proper helmet use. I rode without one for years but I started wearing one after a friend of mine took a spill, hit her head, and was in the hospital for a month in a coma. Interesting thing -- she recovered for the most part, but will not wear a helmet.
I never used to wear a helmet, but made myself wear one every time I rode when I got my horses last year. Now, I feel uncomfortable without it. In fact, I had my first lesson yesterday (that was interesting as I'm far from basic!) and had set my helmet down, then got caught up in the lesson and got on without it! About ten minutes into the lesson, I actually stopped it and asked my instructor to go get my helmet. Her horse was a sweetheart, but I'm not taking any more risks than I have to. I have added responsibility now because I have a husband who counts on me coming home safe and sound.
Helmets are great but don't be deceived and think that just because you wear one that you will never get hurt. They do not prevent neck or spinal injuries. Just sayin'.
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I hate helmets, but I've seen what a fall without one can do to ones' head, so yesterday I bought myself a good looking and comfortable helmet, and will try to remember using it, although my horse is very "safe" - accidents just do happen and I want to be at least partially prepared, not just to rely on my luck.
Keeping fingers crossed for Daves' fast recovery.
Accidents don't take appointments.
I'm just used to wear it. (and it keeps my long hairs out of my face! :lol:)
And we have the start of another helmet debate ;)
I had my head trodden on when young, it broke the hat in half (they were not as good as they are now), I hate to think what would have happened it I had not had one on! I always wear a riding hat.
Hope Dave Rabe recovers well.
I used to only wear a helmet once and awhile. If I was riding western I never wore one, if I was doing a flat school I wouldn't wear one and sometimes if I was just playing around bareback in the field I wouldn't wear one.
One day I was working with a green horse and he bucked me off and kicked me in the head. If I didn't have my helmet on I would have been dead. My helmet pretty much shattered like a piece of glass.
I had another fall where my horse decided I should jump for her and I went over her head, over the jump and on my head. Again thank goodness for my helmet. It was cracked.
There was also a fall off an old faithful school master who never spooked. Ice slid off the arena roof and crashed down and he went one way, I went the other not even expecting it. I hit the arena wall.
I wear a helmet pretty much all the time now, I do have times where I forget it and usually will dismount to go grab it but sometimes I don't. I know the risks of not wearing one. I never ride without a helmet on my mare now though as she tends to be unpredictable.
A lot of places require you wear a helmet at all times, and my facility will be the same way when I get it started. Most places its for insurance reasons.
However if I am out riding with friends and they don't wear one I will make a joking like comment then leave it. I can't force them to wear one and its their right and their choice to not wear one.
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