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aussiemum 09-03-2013 11:30 PM

First fall - should I replace helmet
Hi, ive been riding about a year of so now, generally a lesson once a week and occasionally on a friends horse on a trail ride.
I had my first fall yesterday when coming back from canter to trot, lost my right stirrup coming into left hand turn, so ended up on the ground. I've hurt my coccyx and hit my head hard enough that it is still a bit tender today 24 hours later. I'm not even sure if I hit it on the ground or the rails as I fell off on the outside of the horse. It happened so quickly.
So my question is, should I replace my helmet? I'm guessing the answer is yes even though its only been used probably less than a dozen times as I only bought it a few months ago. My husband was like, nah, you'll be right (although he rides motorbikes and would always replace his helmet after a fall).
What do you all think?

Delfina 09-03-2013 11:41 PM

Replace it!

Helmets are plastic and foam and one whack only. Although there may be no visible damage, the last thing you want is to discover that your helmet was compromised when you fall again and it fails to protect you.

I fell a few weeks ago hard enough that my helmet cracked open and I had a mild concussion. In a compromised helmet who knows if I might still have been ok afterwards.

Horsesdontlie 09-03-2013 11:43 PM

The general rule of thumb is you should replace your helmet after any fall in which you hit your head. They are made to take damage once, they can often crack where you can't see it which in a way helps protect your head, but may render it less effect iveor completely useless in another fall.

AZRJ 09-03-2013 11:43 PM

This was a great question. I want to get a helmet before I go from ground work to riding. Any suggestions for type of helmet and best place to get one?

Tracer 09-03-2013 11:44 PM

If you hit your head hard, definitely replace it. I replaced mine as soon as possible after a bad fall where I practically landed on my head, and I really should replace my new one too because I've fallen 3 times in it, twice with little bumps to the head. It'll go on the list with new joddies and boots.

Delfina 09-03-2013 11:48 PM

Any local tack shop will carry helmets. Go try them on because if you're going to be wearing something for extended periods of time, you want one that is comfortable enough that you don't mind wearing it, as opposed to dreading having to put it on.

WesternRider88 09-03-2013 11:55 PM

I've never hit my head and I've had my helmet for 6 years lol. But since you hit your head I would definitely change it.

aussiemum 09-03-2013 11:59 PM

Thanks all. I do have another cheaper helmet I got when I first started riding, but I know they all have to meet the standards anyway. Its just not as 'attractive' as my newer one. Think i'll just buy a new one the same as my old one and hubby need never know :wink:

to AZRJ, as Delfina said, go and try some one. Some will fit you better than others. Different brands fit different size heads differently! Make sure when you get one though that you take into consideration that the foam/padding inside will compact a little once you start wearing, so get it a bit snug to start with, otherwise you'll quickly end up with a helmet that is too loose. (Learnt that one the expensive way!!)

tinyliny 09-04-2013 12:17 AM

If you are not able to make it to a tack shop, and must order online, I have found that in general, Troxel has a shape that fits a rounder head, whereas Tipperary fits a more elongated head. most of the helmets now have tensioning dials in the back , so very adjustable. I only mention Troxel and Tippearary because those are the only two I have any experience with . They are both fair in quality and price, though I MUCH prefere Tipperary.

I have had mine for about 4 years, had 4 falls, but none of them entailed having my head smack the ground. I always seem to land on my tush or my back.

Samstead 09-04-2013 12:19 AM


Originally Posted by WesternRider88 (Post 3543354)
I've never hit my head and I've had my helmet for 6 years lol. But since you hit your head I would definitely change it.

you're also supposed replace it every five years

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