Helmet importance - Why? - Page 9
   

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Helmet importance - Why?

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    12-13-2011, 06:27 PM
  #81
Yearling
Eventually, the government will have so much control, we won't even know how to wipe our a**.
     
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    12-13-2011, 06:39 PM
  #82
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneriding    
Eventually, the government will have so much control, we won't even know how to wipe our a**.
Then we'll really be stuck, since most of government cannot find their OWN rear end with both hands, a flashlight and a map...
     
    12-13-2011, 07:01 PM
  #83
Foal
Quote:
Then we'll really be stuck, since most of government cannot find their OWN rear end with both hands, a flashlight and a map...
Not unless they have to cover it up.
     
    12-13-2011, 08:08 PM
  #84
Trained
I always ride in a helmet, always have, always will.
My friend came off and landed head first on a rock. Her helmet absolutely shattered, and she got away with mild concussion. I would hate to have seen what would have happened to her head if she hadn't been wearing a helmet.
Then theres the young horse rider in Germany, that rides all of the super hot, crazy young horses in the auction. They have recently been made to wear helmets while warming up for these auctions, and a week later, she was thrown and hit her head. Again, helmet shattered, she has head injuries still, but can you imagine what would have happened should she have not been wearing one?
I don't even want to think about it. I think the benefits of a helmet far outweigh the cons.

As for seatbelts, my old man is an intensive care paramedic. As a kid growing up, he would show me the photo's of some of the car accidents he's been too. Seatbelts worn vs. no seatbelts worn. The injuries of those with a seatbelt was HUGELY less than those without a belt. He showed me images of wrecks where the driver had flown head first through the windscreen and into trees. Another where a driver of a Smart car hit a tree, no seatbelt and the force threw him straight into the tree, shattered his head and his brain was sprayed all over the car.

Seat belt anyone?
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    12-13-2011, 10:07 PM
  #85
Foal
Most people think helmets are a personal choice.

Sure, it is personal choice. We also actively choose to undertake the dangerous pastime of horse riding. It is one of the most dangerous sports in the world, but we love it and we all know in the grand scheme of all the riders in the world the benefits outweigh the risks.

So we choose to have a dangerous, yet fun hobby. So what about our parents? Our family? Our Kids? Our friends? Did we give them a choice? Did we ask them if it was ok if we ride? Did we give them the statistics of horse rider injuries and deaths?

Who is it that is going to nurse us while we're in hospital recovering from an accident? Who's going to care for us day in, day out if we have a life changing injury? Who's going to bury us and mourn for us if we die in a riding related accident?

People may think that wearing a helmet is a personal choice but it is a personal choice that affects many, many more people than just the rider.

I had a horrific riding accident where I broke my back and temporarily paralysed myself from the waist down. My accident meant my husband had to look after my every need until I could walk again. He had to lift me in and out of the bath. Carry me upstairs, drive me to all my appointments and not only be compassionate and understanding but also bright, cheerful and hopeful that things would get better when all I wanted to do was curl up and cry. He wasn't just my physical support, he was my emotional support and that support is still ongoing three years later as I am still affected by what happened.

I think until you live through something like that you have no idea how much your life and the decisions you make in your life, affect other people.

I have read many stories of riders dying who may have been saved wearing a helmet. I am yet to read a story where a rider would have been saved if they hadn't worn one.
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    12-13-2011, 10:22 PM
  #86
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrrhic    
...So we choose to have a dangerous, yet fun hobby. So what about our parents? Our family? Our Kids? Our friends? Did we give them a choice? Did we ask them if it was ok if we ride? Did we give them the statistics of horse rider injuries and deaths?...
OK. So stop riding. It is the only way to be safe. For the family.

Why is it so hard to conceive that some people ENJOY riding without a helmet more than with? Some enjoy riding in an English saddle instead of Western or Australian. Some enjoy breaking young horses, or training difficult horses. Some enjoy jumping. Some enjoy working cattle. Some enjoy trail riding alone. All of those involve increased risk - so should all those folks stop? For their families?

My mare is far more likely to end up killing me than either of my geldings. Should I sell her? For my family?

Risk goes way beyond helmets or not. I wear helmets. My daughter does. Others? Their decision.

BTW - I spent most of my adult life strapped into ejection seats. Flying was my love. I didn't do it for the money. I honestly didn't do it for patriotism. I did it for the love of it, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Risky, perhaps, but I sure wish there was a need for aging, bifocal-wearing, hard-of-hearing old farts to fly jet fighters (or be a WSO/EWO in one, as I was)...they could demote me to 2LT if they would let me come out of retirement and fly. Screw the risk.
     
    12-13-2011, 10:37 PM
  #87
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
OK. So stop riding. It is the only way to be safe. For the family.
That's not what I was implying. I said horse riding is a dangerous sport. So why not minimise the risks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Why is it so hard to conceive that some people ENJOY riding without a helmet more than with? Some enjoy riding in an English saddle instead of Western or Australian. Some enjoy breaking young horses, or training difficult horses. Some enjoy jumping. Some enjoy working cattle. Some enjoy trail riding alone. All of those involve increased risk - so should all those folks stop? For their families?
That's fine, enjoy riding without a hat. Individuals riding without a hat does not, in any way, affect my life. It may affect someone else's though, which was the point of my post.

If you choose not to wear a helmet, then you increase your risk of cranial injury or death depending on the type of fall. Just like if you do more dangerous type of riding...say three day eventing over trail riding. The risk gets exponentially larger with the type of activity but that risk becomes even larger with the addition of something like not wearing a helmet. People can choose to undertake more risky activities, but they can also choose to minimise the risks of the activity. For instance, three day eveners wearing body protectors. Or people using safety stirrups. Or...people wearing helmets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
My mare is far more likely to end up killing me than either of my geldings. Should I sell her? For my family?
Well, that's your decision but you might take steps to minimise your chance of injury, such as riding her differently and being more aware of how she is before riding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
BTW - I spent most of my adult life strapped into ejection seats. Flying was my love. I didn't do it for the money. I honestly didn't do it for patriotism. I did it for the love of it, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Risky, perhaps, but I sure wish there was a need for aging, bifocal-wearing, hard-of-hearing old farts to fly jet fighters (or be a WSO/EWO in one, as I was)...they could demote me to 2LT if they would let me come out of retirement and fly. Screw the risk.
I was a civilian pilot and my husband is a Tornado GR4 pilot. Yes, it's risky. Then again every pilot goes through pre flight safety check, walk arounds, etc. My husband has an ejection seat, he has a life jacket, he uses oxygen at high altitude, he has cockpit instrumentation, etc. All designed to not only keep the aircraft working but also through years of research designed to protect and possibly save his life. Not having the use of something would dramatically increase his risk of injury should he have an accident.

You could (theoretically) decide not to fly with an emmersion suit in winter, as it's hot and bulky in a cockpit. If you jet then ditches in the sea you have a much higher risk of dying than if you were wearing the emmersion suit. We undertake dangerous activities everyday, but we also find ways and means to make them safer and minimise the potential effects of an accident.
     
    12-13-2011, 10:44 PM
  #88
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrrhic    
...If you choose not to wear a helmet, then you increase your risk of cranial injury or death depending on the type of fall...
Yes. Now, how much has the risk of death while riding gone up?

From what I've read, it goes up less when wearing a cowboy hat, by itself, than it does if doing many other common equine activities, by themselves.

The difference is that people will lecture others on wearing a helmet, and not lecture them on jumping, working cattle, trail riding alone, breaking horses, riding bareback, etc.
     
    12-13-2011, 11:04 PM
  #89
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Yes. Now, how much has the risk of death while riding gone up?

From what I've read, it goes up less when wearing a cowboy hat, by itself, than it does if doing many other common equine activities, by themselves.

The difference is that people will lecture others on wearing a helmet, and not lecture them on jumping, working cattle, trail riding alone, breaking horses, riding bareback, etc.
I'm not speaking about the risk of death while riding which would be incredibly variable depending on activity, country, protective equipment, experience, etc. In fact I googled statistics of riding with and without a helmet and the first link was a thread that you posted on this forum.

Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!)

Quote:
This was followed up by a comparison 20 years later by Chitnavis et al 9 who undertook a prospective study of attendance at the Accident Department in 1991. They found a reduction in total admissions of 46% because of a fall in head injuries most likely due to the use of riding helmets.

Read more: Helmets and injuries - some studies (LONG!)
No matter what the equestrian activity, the risk of death and injury is reduced if a rider wears a helmet and possibly takes further protective steps depending on the type of activity, such as wearing a body protector in eventing.

I imagine that people don't get as lectured on all the activities you have listed because individual people take steps to minimise the risk to themselves and there are so many variables. Ie. Trail riding alone. It's not an ideal situation, but someone might tell someone in advance where they are going and when they will be back, use a map and compass, keep a charged cell phone on them, carry bottled water, etc.
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    12-14-2011, 03:16 AM
  #90
Trained
OK, so lets talk safety. For purposes of illustration, let's assume wearing a helmet cuts your risk by 50% any time you fall. Let us also assume breaking a young horse increases your risk 5-fold. Then someone wearing a helmet while breaking a horse has 2.5 times greater risk than someone wearing a cowboy hat on a trail ride.

Or to make it personal, I'll suggest my odds of falling from my mare is 5 times greater than my odds of falling from my gelding, due to her somewhat spooky nature & tendency to bolt. She is also faster and more clumsy than my gelding, so lets assume I'll hit the ground harder and increase the force of impact by 1.5 times. That reasonably means riding her on a given day increases my risk by 7.5 times.Wearing a helmet cuts the risk of a head injury by about 50%, so riding her on a given day with a helmet would mean I still had 3.75 times the risk, or an increase risk of 375%. Riding my gelding in a cowboy hat on a given day would be safer than riding my mare in a helmet - which is why I ALWAYS ride my mare with a helmet and long sleeves, and sometimes ride my gelding in my cowboy hat.

Of course, I could cut my risk further by always wearing a helmet on my gelding, but we've already established that my tolerance for risk includes nearly 4 times the danger.

Now lets complicate things further. The study showing 50% reduction was done in England, where the large majority ride in English saddles. Not all, but a comfortable majority. Although some experienced riders, including a number of moderators here, say that riding English is no more dangerous than riding western, I disagree. I think a large majority of beginners would agree with me - someone who has been riding a bit over 4 years, and has fairly current experience at having poor balance, and who has ridden about an equal amount of time in English, Australian, and Western saddle - that a western saddle improves your odds of staying on the horse.

So if I ride my mare in a western or Australian saddle, I can cut my risks. And while I rode her a lot before in a jump saddle, it will be a LONG time before I ever put another one on her back. However, I rode my gelding using an English saddle about 2 weeks ago, and would like to do so again if we get some dry weather for a while here in Arizona...

But there is at least speculation from folks who do these studies that riding in a forward seat increases your risk of landing head first in a fall, while riding on your pockets means you will be much less likely to land noggin-first. If true, then riding western not only decreases my chance of falling, but also decreases my chance of hitting my head if/when I fall. Does a pocket-sitting western rider have enough of a decreased risk to match the decrease in head injuries that a forward-seat rider gets from a helmet?

I don't know. There really aren't any good numbers that would make a good guess possible. All I can do is guess, based off of what seems likely from comparing riders that I see practicing English with riders practicing western. My guess is that it is close, but maybe not quite as good.

And my point on these threads is that people need to think about their total risk. I won't trail ride around here without a helmet - too many rocks. I won't ride my mare without a helmet - maybe ever. My gelding in an arena on a mid-afternoon summer day? Cowboy hat. Blocks the sun much better.

I wear helmets about 90% of the time because they don't bother me much, except on summer days. They are a tool, not a cure-all. They are one of the ways of reducing risk in an already dangerous sport. I will never, ever think someone wearing a helmet is a wussie.

My big objection on these threads is to those who jump and compete in eventing - the OP in this case: "In 2009, I had my horse, and I was at my first ever eventing competition. My coach wasnít there since all her other students were at another competition. So, Iím 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." - deciding to lecture those riding the flats and trail riders on how everyone needs to wear a helmet.

The scenario described by the OP already has a lot more risk than riding my mare does. Why is it OK for the OP to accept that risk, but not OK for me to take a much lower risk by riding flats with my gelding in a cowboy hat? Why is one high risk appropriate, and my lower risk unacceptable? If you offered me $1000 to jump an oxer in an eventing competition, I'd tell you my bones are too old to try that stuff. Yet the OP felt comfortable with that risk, and yet still wants to tell me how to manage mine...

I'm not buying that.
     

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