Helmet importance - Why?
I’m a 20 year-old college student, trying for veterinary school. I’ve been riding for 12 years now. I just want to talk about the importance of helmets. I heard of people riding without helmets (or with cowboy hats) and it drives me crazy. Here’s why:
In 2006, I didn’t have my horse yet, and I was riding a school horse. A very, hard-mouthed school horse. I was having my lesson with my coach, and we were going straight for a jump stand. I tried to turn left; he decided that we were turning right. Of course, I fell. Head first on a jumping pole. My foot caught in the stirrup so the horse then dragged me for about 20 feet when my parents were finally able to stop him. My coach and I went inside for the rest of the lesson because she didn’t want me to continue. So we had the rest of the lesson as a theory class. Well, I was babbling about horses in the prehistoric times and how they came to have only one toe. My dad was looking at my helmet and he realized that my helmet was split open. Completely. They brought me to the hospital, worried about my condition. I was diagnosed with a minor concussion and broken neck vertebrae. It took 4 weeks for the vertebrae to heal. Do you realize, if I didn’t have that helmet, it would have been my head that would have split open? Until this day, I don’t remember what happened.
In 2009, I had my horse, and I was at my first ever eventing competition. My coach wasn’t there since all her other students were at another competition. So, I’m entering the jumping ring, really stressed. I start the course, everything was fine. Until, I came to an oxer with the poles set at an angle. My mare and I had never jumped that. So, of course, she jumped it higher. I wasn’t ready for that. So I fell after the jump. I lost consciousness. The officials called the paramedics and I was put on an ambulance. They put me on the backboard because they thought my mare might have stepped on my back. I had regained consciousness but I wasn’t aware of anything. At the hospital, they diagnosed me with another concussion. It took me 2 months to rehabilitate. And, to this day, I have trouble with my memory, my concentration, and my eyes are very sensitive to the light. Before, I was a top class student, able to remember everything. Now, I have trouble remembering why I went up the stairs. All that because I had 2 concussions. And I was wearing a helmet both times. Now, because of this, I will probably have trouble with my memory and my concentration for the rest of my life. So please, put a helmet on. It WILL save your life.