Helmet importance - Why? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Helmet importance - Why?

Hello everyone.

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.

Thank you
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post #2 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 12:28 AM
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Every ride, every time! Amen to that!
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post #3 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 12:38 AM
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Well, we horseforum folks have had a lot of threads on "do you wear a helmet and why do you or dont' you". It tends to raise the ire of a lot of folks.

However, if you wanted to, we could make this thread a "How my helmet probably saved my life" thread. Whaday think, guys?

I started riding 12 years ago, at 41 .. took a good fal at the canter in the arena and my helmet cracked in two, so hard that a listener thought I had broken a fence board, but the sound of it. "No, that was just my head in my helmet", I said. Was SOOOO sore the next day, but back in the saddle in a week.

My story isn't very dramatic, but I do wear my helmet, always.
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post #4 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 01:08 AM
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Ill admit I don't always wear a helmet on trail rides even though I know Fable could fall etc. >_>
However I ALWAYS ride with a helmet with anykind of schooling especially when jumping. I also always wear one when riding Rem even on lazy hacks, becuase he is a type A personality and green broke.
About a month ago, Rem buck 3 gigantic bucks, I was falling in front of him so I pushed back off his neck, however, he also took this moment to turn right, so I ending up not back in the saddle. My right foot got stuck in the iron as I fell off to the left, (my right foot and the iron come up over the saddle) luckly this caused me to get dragged off the side off him instead of getting pull under, however I landed completely on my head! Twice as he bucked again with me hanging before dragging. Luckly my boot slipped off and freed me.
I had a horrible headache the whole day and vomited, as well as seeing stars the rest of the day when ever I turned too fast, I can't imagina all that with out my helmet, luckly my helmet also came out of it okay lol, those are pricey, but worth it!
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post #5 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 01:15 AM
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That is a horrible description of a horrible experience! Just about my worst nightmare' being dragged by the horse with foot caugth in stirrup!

If your helmet hit the ground with any force, it may have suffereed small cracks and now be not able to protect your brain as it would if fully without cracks. Please check it out and replace if necessary. How much is your brain worth?
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post #6 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 01:23 AM
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As I always say - "You ride with me, you wear a helmet because I ain't changing your depends or holding your sippy cup when you end up with a brain injury".
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post #7 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 01:32 AM
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Yea I havnt actually checked it inside, I put a new helmet on my christmas list :)
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post #8 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 02:21 AM
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Siiiiiiigh.........I never wear a helmet. I've been riding for almost 50 years and I've come off many times and cracked my head a few times. My trainer used to say, "Musta made ya **** near normal." and that was the end of that. I know they save lives, cognition and so on, and I have a lovely brand new Troxel that's never been out of the box. I just ....forget I even have it until one of these discussions comes up.

So, for you young'uns out there, YES! Please wear your helmets! And if I ever fall off hard enough to need someone to change my Depends or hold my sippy cup, my husband had instructions to take me out back and shoot me.
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post #9 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 05:42 AM
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I am tired of threads like these.

If I don't want to wear a helmet, then I won't, no matter how many "horror" stories are told.

I'm an adult, and can make my own decisions, thanks.
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post #10 of 103 Old 11-25-2011, 05:53 AM
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AMEN!!! There's too many preachy holier-than-thou types that want to stir up trouble in these "helmet threads". They want to say I'm irresponsible for not wearing a helmet and I want to respond that I wouldn't swing a leg over half the ill-mannered dinks that are passed off as riding horses. I've had a few close calls but not many for the amount of horses and number of hours I've ridden. I guess it all comes down to "when it's your time, it's your time" there's not much that can be done about it. Nobody gets out of this life alive.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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