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Let's talk helmets!

This is a discussion on Let's talk helmets! within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Girl died horse no helmet
  • Kid stuck in jungle gym

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    09-20-2012, 08:02 AM
  #21
Weanling
My daughter always wears a helmet when she rides. She even wears one in her WP classes. We have had judges refuse to place her because of it. It's awful that there are people who condem others for being safe, but we knew the "risks" and chose safety over ribbons.

I also will not get on a horse without a helmet. I don't care if it's that dead broke 30 year old arthritic gelding who just shuffles along the trail...I have a helmet on my head.

We have been to two shows where children were seriously hurt. Those injuries would have been greatly reduced had they been wearing helmets. The first child was strapped onto a nutty gelding who bolted into the arena, tore around twice and threw her into a wall. Concussion, cracked skull and broken ribs for that 7 year old. The second was on a very sweet horse, walking across the parking lot when he was stung by a bee and suddenly bucked. His rider struck her head on the pavement and immediately had a seizure. She is 14 and now has seizures regularly when she never had them before.

Those are my reasons. I tell everyone that it is their choice...unless it is my daughter or any of the children tht I claim as "mine" (Godsons, girls in my troop, or kids we invite to ride with us).
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    09-20-2012, 08:39 AM
  #22
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
I think I just got called stupid...
Lol, no, my comment was directed towards people who make fun of people who wear helmets. You (and the other person who got offended) said you don't make fun of people who wear them, therefore you do have brain cells, lol!

For those who are so darn confident about staying on, what happens if the horse goes down? My QH reared up and over with me. No staying on that. A young horse was hit by ground bees and dropped to the ground, pinning my leg underneath. While I was yelling at him to get up (he was going to roll) and trying to get off, he sprang up and started bucking. I landed in a pile of rocks, actually splitting my helmet. My pony tripped and fell while my cousin was riding him.

It is certainly everyone's choice to make and their risk to take. I'm not calling people stupid for not wearing helmets, but I do think perhaps they are a bit delusional if they feel nothing will ever happen, egotistical if they think they are so awesome they'll never fall off, or perhaps just plain old reckless.

Sure we take risks every day but usually try to minimize those risks (seat belts in cars, etc.).
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    09-20-2012, 09:09 AM
  #23
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheatermay    
I actually didnt know they have body protectors for horsesback riding! LOL... I could have used that a few months ago, bwahaha!
They can feel awkward at first but I feel really wrong and naked riding without a helmet and vest. I get worried that I'll crack my head open without the helmet (maybe I'd feel different if I didn't have a hot flighty Arab..?). I can't even drive a short ways without putting my seatbelt on - it feels wrong.

Not wearing a helmet is your (general you) choice but your choice can affect other people, and that's where I think it's not right. Sure it won't protect every injury but only abstaining does. I don't think that's a reasonable argument. A couple of concussions can scar your brain forever, forcig your spouse or child to have to look after a young but brain damaged person who just took one too many knocks on the head.
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    09-20-2012, 09:50 AM
  #24
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
... A couple of concussions can scar your brain forever, forcig your spouse or child to have to look after a young but brain damaged person who just took one too many knocks on the head.
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By that standard, no kid should be allowed on a 'Jungle Gym' without a helmet. We used to play 'King of the Hill' on these...the goal being to stand at the top and last as long as possible before another kid knocks you off. I spent a few moments on the ground at times, staring up and wondering what happened:



Except when I was young, the earth hadn't formed enough sand yet so we had hard ground underneath.

I wear a helmet for 90-95% of my riding. I don't tease others who wear them, and I don't make fun of those who do not...



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    09-20-2012, 10:13 AM
  #25
Trained
Can't relate. Never played on a jungle gym :)

I don't tease people for wearing or not wearing a helmet but I won't ride with someone who isn't.

There are plenty of things that are dangerous. I imagine a mother would stop children from pushing each other off the top of the jungle gym. Why does the stupidity and innate meanness of children translate into a grown adult making an informed choice to take a risk that can be mitigated with a helmet? How does that same example translate into the riders choice effectively demonstrating a lack of concern that the helmet may prevent an injury that leaves them as a burden on their loved ones?
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    09-20-2012, 10:25 AM
  #26
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
...I imagine a mother would stop children from pushing each other off the top of the jungle gym. Why does the stupidity and innate meanness of children translate into a grown adult making an informed choice to take a risk that can be mitigated with a helmet? How does that same example translate into the riders choice effectively demonstrating a lack of concern that the helmet may prevent an injury that leaves them as a burden on their loved ones?
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Well, life is full of risks. I know of mothers who wouldn't consider letting their child on a horse even if the child was wearing a suit of armor and the horse was lame.

Back when the earth & I were young, we kids thought we were having fun. Knew a few kids who broke an arm or rib, but I'm glad we didn't have teachers or parents running over to save us from ourselves. Of course, we used to practice throwing knives on the playground at school too. My goodness! We could have poked someone's eye out! We were so stupid and innately mean...

Wanna hear any stories about life before cars had seat belts? Hmmm...probably not. What about playing football with no gear back when kids kept score and there were both winners AND losers? Stupid and mean may be no way to live life, but it has worked for me!
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    09-20-2012, 10:33 AM
  #27
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
. If you feel you need a helmet, then you should probably wear one.
I didn't want to get into this... But this is the exact mentality that needs to be nipped in the bud. Parelli has the same attitude and it drives me bonkers. His attitude is that you don't trust your horse if you wear a helmet, or your horse isn't trained enough if you "have to" wear a helmet.
I don't feel I "need" to wear my helmet. I feel that I SHOULD protect MY brain. I'm speaking for myself here, I don't care if anyone else wears a helmet or not. Anything can happen when riding. I was hacking out an old gelding who needed to be encouraged every.step.of.the.way -- until a bee stung him. No way to predict or prevent that.
Courtney King-Dye is the reason I put my helmet on in those moments of "man, I don't wanna!" She was a grand Prix dressage rider. She was riding a horse one day (who she made a point of mentioning had NEVER done anything naughty!) when he tripped. Tripped. No spooking, bucking, bolting... Nothing "naughty." She incurred a massive brain injury. She is now able to ride tests at a walk. One video I saw of her riding a test at a walk, the announcer asked for everyone to hold their applause until after she was back on a lead line.
Oh my god. I couldn't imagine going from riding (and competing successfully) to having to be on a lead line.
I still occasionally ride without a helmet, but those rides are few and far between now.

I don't care of anyone else wears a helmet or not, it's your decision. But do NOT chastise or belittle me for choosing to do so.
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    09-20-2012, 10:36 AM
  #28
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Well, life is full of risks. I know of mothers who wouldn't consider letting their child on a horse even if the child was wearing a suit of armor and the horse was lame.

Back when the earth & I were young, we kids thought we were having fun. Knew a few kids who broke an arm or rib, but I'm glad we didn't have teachers or parents running over to save us from ourselves. Of course, we used to practice throwing knives on the playground at school too. My goodness! We could have poked someone's eye out! We were so stupid and innately mean...

Wanna hear any stories about life before cars had seat belts? Hmmm...probably not. What about playing football with no gear back when kids kept score and there were both winners AND losers? Stupid and mean may be no way to live life, but it has worked for me!
You really walk around and physically knock people down when they're in your way? It doesn't seem at all mean to do that? Or stupid to knock someone off a structure high enough to cause a broken bone?

Just because something was done years ago doesn't mean it was safe or the best or even a good way to go about it. Just because it worked out well for some doesn't mean you stick with it either. Why do you think playgrounds have sand and rubber mats? Clearly someone thought it would be a good idea.

You still didn't answer my question :)
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    09-20-2012, 10:53 AM
  #29
Weanling
The playground analogy doesn't work for me at all. A jungle Jim is a stationary object that as long as it is maintained...by itself it can cause no harm. The harm comes from an individual not knowing their limits and causing harm to themselves.

With horses, bicycles, and cars we add another force...forward motion at speed. So, not only are you relying on the operators skill, you also have added the element of propulsion. And anyone with a basic understanding of physics knows tht adds another element of danger.

We can also add other riders/drivers to the equation. What are their skills? They pose a danger to you if they lose control.

Finally, with equines, we add the level of training of the horse, his or her "quirks" and the fact that they are capable of independent thought and action regardless of how well trained they are. A car or bike is not "spooked" by a snake...the driver/rider may be, but the car or bike has no opinion and takes no action. A horse, on the other hand, may have walked calmly past a snake 100x...but something about that snake today triggers his instincts and he takes off.

Personally, after calculating the risks, I have chosen helmets for myself and my daughter.
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    09-20-2012, 11:02 AM
  #30
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
I didn't want to get into this... But this is the exact mentality that needs to be nipped in the bud. Parelli has the same attitude and it drives me bonkers. His attitude is that you don't trust your horse if you wear a helmet, or your horse isn't trained enough if you "have to" wear a helmet.
I don't feel I "need" to wear my helmet. I feel that I SHOULD protect MY brain. I'm speaking for myself here, I don't care if anyone else wears a helmet or not. I couldn't imagine going from riding (and competing successfully) to having to be on a lead line.

I still occasionally ride without a helmet, but those rides are few and far between now.

I don't care of anyone else wears a helmet or not, it's your decision. But do NOT chastise or belittle me for choosing to do so.
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This! Why does my wearing a helmet make people think I'm somehow less of a rider, or afraid of my horse? I can ride without a helmet, I do it periodically, like at a rodeo performance where my drill teams uniform means I cannot. I prefer to wear it though. It does not effect those around me, why should they form silly assumptions based on its presence?
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