Had a horrible fall! Talk to me about helmets! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 81 Old 02-13-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
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Exclamation Had a horrible fall! Talk to me about helmets!

I was in the ER from 5PM last night until 1AM this morning thanks to a fall that my gelding Dakota and I had.

We went riding with some family members and a friend and on the way home, my cousin's young mare took off with her and she couldn't get her stopped. Dakota bolted on me because he wanted to catch up with the mare and refused to listen to me, and I panicked and forgot the one-rein stop because we were on pavement and gravel and were coming up to where the road turned into another one.

My cousin's mare made it, but my cousin lost her stirrups and fell off, but Dakota didn't make it. He tried to turn and his legs went one way and his body went the other. We hit the ground hard and he actually landed on top of me.

It blacked my eye, scraped my face/chin all up, bruised under my chin so badly that my stepdad thought it was broken, sprained my right ankle and right knee so badly that I am on crutches and cannot put any weight hardly on my right leg, and busted that same knee open bad enough that I had to get a few stitches. I thought my knee had been broken, but instead, thankfully, it's just a horrible sprain where I landed, full force, on my kneecap.

Dakota got off with only a few teensy scratches... though my saddle is pretty scraped up, according to my best friend (she took Dakota home with her and he is staying wth her this week since I obviously can't hardly get around).

Anyway, in the ER, I was talking to my mum, and we've came to an agreement.

This fall has been a real eye opener for me. If I had hit my skull with as much force as I hit my chin, it could have easily fractured my skull or could have possibly killed me.

I'm now on the search for a helmet. It wouldn't have done much good on this fall I've just taken, but I do not want to risk something like this again and risk skull fractures or worse.

If anyone can tell me anything about helmets... how to size them, the best brands, etc... I'd really appreciate it!
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Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #2 of 81 Old 02-13-2012, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Blowy Hills of the Pacific NW
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Thank goodness you were not more seriously hurt! I am a hardcore helmet girl - I just dont ride without it, ever. I spent a ton on my helmet, since its protecting my brain...but I think any helmet that fits you well is going to give you the protection you need.

How to correctly fit an equestrian helmet - HorseChannel.com
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My journal of my re-entry back to the horse world http://shelooksgoodonahorse.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 81 Old 02-13-2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
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Thanks for he link! I've never worn a helmet while riding, and never thought that I would, but the more I think about how if I had hit my skull as hard as I did my chin, what could have happened, it's scary... I'm definately hopping onto the Helmet Train and hopefully I'll have a helmet sometime next month.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #4 of 81 Old 02-13-2012, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
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I love International Riding Helmets, they fit really well and keep my head cool and have TONS of padding, at least the one I use, which is this one:
EQUI LITE DFS | International Riding Helmets - IRH
They also have a fitting page on there. I have Troxels, but they arent as comfotable as the IRH helmets.
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“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their *** and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #5 of 81 Old 02-14-2012, 01:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Surrey BC
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I know what you are going though with your knee
when I was 26, I was playing with my daughter and jumped
off a jungle gym and landed the wrong way on my knee
I went to the ER and the doctor said I tore my ligaments and it won't
heal properly he said I would have been broken and to this day I still have problems with it, I can never run again

here is the helmet i like Tipperary Sportage 8500 Series Riding Helmet CHOC BROWN | eBay

Country Woman

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post #6 of 81 Old 02-14-2012, 03:32 AM
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Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
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I too am a hard hat girl. I NEVER ride without one. I've demolished 2 hats in falls where if it had been my head and not my hat i would have been dead.

I personaly prefer the Champion range of hats although I do love the look of the Charles owen hats.
the champion hats tend to fit better on those with a more oval head. the Charles owens fit a rounder head (and hence give me headaches!)

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #7 of 81 Old 02-14-2012, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: West Midlands, UK
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Ooh sounds nasty, take lots of pain killers and I hope you feel better soon.

Also a hat wearer over here. I actually have a new one on order right now (I was fitted at the shop but they only had the black option so I've ordered the brown in) which I love, is SO comfy and really nice looking too, but I'm not sure if it would be available in the US.
Rider Protection Horse riding C600 riding hat brown 54-60

I think if you like that style of helmet (over the more dressage type style) the Harry Hall legend is a good choice, not too expensive, keeps your head cool and looks nice. My friend has 2 of them lol (black and brown).

ETA: Personally I think the best way to fit a riding helmet is to try on, the measurement doesn't always work. For example in the Helmet I'm buying I'm a 55cm (6 3/4) but in my old helmet which is more the dressage style I'm a 57cm (7). SO I definitely recommend trying them on.

Last edited by DancingWithSunny; 02-14-2012 at 04:15 AM.
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post #8 of 81 Old 02-14-2012, 05:43 AM
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Helmets have to basically fit both the size and shape of your head.

Helmet sizes in the US are the same as hat sizes, which are the same for men and women. Some helmtes come in specific sizes (6 1/2, 7, etc) others come in S, M, L etc with the maker's size chart giving you a measurement range for each size.

Having said that, hats are soft and mold to differences in people's head shapes. Helmets on the other hand do not. So while two people may have the same size head (size is based on the circumference of your head), one may have a more rounded head and the other a more oval head.

Different helmet makers seem to prefer one shape over the other but there is no way to know until you try them on.

For the record I have a more ovalish head in size 7 and both Tipperary and Charles Owen fit me very well. IRH, not so much.

I would avoid helmets with adjustable head bands. I much prefer to find one that fits properly from the get go.

Like Country Woman I'm a huge fan of the Tipperary Sportage. Very light weight, very well ventilated, doesn't make your head look like a dome, and has outstanding coverage for the back of your head (something most helmets fall short on).

One last thing, price is no indicator of the level of protection a helmet offers.

Tipperary Sportage 8500 Riding Helmet | Dover Saddlery

Last edited by mildot; 02-14-2012 at 05:48 AM.
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post #9 of 81 Old 02-14-2012, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: UK
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I never get on a horse without a BSEN1384 / PAS015 International Safety Standard hat.

First and foremost check out if the hats you're considering have that safety standard. Then go for whatever you find comfortable that fits.

Here's a couple of pointers with regard to what you need to consider and with explanation of the standard:

The Kitemark - Riding Helmets

Horse Riding Hat Safety Standards
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post #10 of 81 Old 02-14-2012, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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The relevant equestrian helmet safety standard in the US is ASTM F1163-04a.

Helmets in the US are tested by the Safety Equipment Institute to the ASTM standard and helmets so approved will bear the tag ASTM/SEI Approved or similar wording.
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