A No Helmet Sport discussion - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: Vaulting with no helmet
Ok with it and understand the hazards of wearing one in this sport 15 60.00%
It's ok 2 8.00%
No, it's a safety hazard 5 20.00%
Other, 3 12.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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post #21 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 12:07 PM
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As someone who grew up running 'wild' as in going off formthe day, tree climbing and swinging from lianas trying to emulate Tarzan, I feel sorry for children of today who have little chance to learn about sensible risks.

What does astound me is the sport of Bull Riding where the riders know they are going to bite the dirt every time they get on a bull - even if they make the 8 seconds they are still going to hit the ground hard yet there is no rule that riders have to wear a helmet.
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post #22 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 01:52 PM
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Just for curiosity I looked up YouTube videos on accidents in gymnastics and some are horrendous even with the mats. Often the performers miss the mats and land face down.

This lead to ice skating, especially the Pairs where there is both higher and more lifting. That could easily be classed as a severe risk to health and safety.

Psychogists are finding that lyoung adults are more prone to accidents because they were not allowed to discover evaluating a risk as a child.

A small child climbing a tree is not going to get very high there fore when they falls it is more likely to bounce. They learn the risk of climbing. So as they get bigger they know. The teen who hasn't learned from an early age will get higher and not recognise a to thin or weak branch and fall from a significant height.
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post #23 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 01:59 PM
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I think there has been some sort of change @Foxhunter . When I was little I was raised differently. A woman I know called the other day for help with a gymkhana the girls will compete at. I told her I didnít quite feel they were prepared, although they would show up with what we have.

Anyways, I asked her how our parents did it. I remembered her always being highly competitive and myself as well. I rode hot young horses and it was fine. Now, both of us find ourselves overprotective of our children. Horses our parents wouldnít have even second guessed throwing us on we donít allow. She responded, ďI donít know. I donít think they cared. They threw us up there, slapped him on the butt and said good luck.Ē

Thatís how I remember it too, but I want to be more that way. Granted I am more that way than most, but I still hesitate when I shouldnít. I micromanage half of the time. Everyone seems to. I donít understand what happened. Why are we all so unwilling to take risks?
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post #24 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 02:29 PM
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Vaulters are also very agile and trained in body control, which goes a long ways toward protecting you in a fall. They ride at a controlled pace on proven horses in soft sand or tanbark arenas. A helmet affects balance and field of vision. I can completely see why they aren't worn by vaulters, and I also agree that whether or not to wear a helmet is a personal choice. If we go too far down the 'if it saves one' bandwagon, we'll all be putting on helmets when we get up in the morning...
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post #25 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
As someone who grew up running 'wild' as in going off formthe day, tree climbing and swinging from lianas trying to emulate Tarzan, I feel sorry for children of today who have little chance to learn about sensible risks.

What does astound me is the sport of Bull Riding where the riders know they are going to bite the dirt every time they get on a bull - even if they make the 8 seconds they are still going to hit the ground hard yet there is no rule that riders have to wear a helmet.

Forced helmet use in a western sport is still a long way off. You do see a lot more bull riders wearing helmets/face protectors, mouth guards, and body vests than you used to. Those who don't wear them usually have found their timing is affected and they don't ride as well (thus don't win money) wearing a helmet as without. It does change your center of gravity. A couple of guys used to wear helmets and have chosen not to anymore. It's their choice. They know the risks and if they don't want to wear one, so be it.
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post #26 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone thus far for keeping this a civil debate.

So as someone who has been vaulting for several years now, I can personally say, I would stick to the no helmets in vaulting. As a vaulter we are trained to be quick on our feet. We literally practice emergency dismounts on the horses and barrels for being able to save our selves from landing hard/ sticking a landing. We practice being able to roll out if need be in all directions on the horse. Since we aren't sitting on the horse the majority of the time, this gives us a better chance of rotating a landing or fall.

Yes, I understand the risks, but from the research I have found so far on the rules of no helmets is that there are many concerns when a helmet is in play. If a vaulter were to fall in a way that they may face a spine injuries, a helmet could actually cause more damage to the neck/spine area. The head is protected but the helmet may cause a more serious injury to occur in the neck.

Helmets are of course designed to stay on our heads at a tight grip. Now image a group of 3 vaulters on a horse trying to perform and one vaulter accidentally catches this fingers in the helmet's harness or grabs on of the other vaulter's harnesses if they were losing balance. Right there is one major concern as we have others with us on the horse at times, and something getting caught in the straps would prove to be a dangerous situation.

And vaulters perform moves like chest stands and shoulder stands. A helmet can cause a vaulter to have less of a center of their gravity when trying to balance these moves (of course if one is used to it, it could become easier in practice), none the less the straps could become caught on the surcingle itself.

Yes, vaulters fall, yes they get hurt, but most often these are not head injuries. Most injuries are legs, arms, ankles, muscle, etc. Oddly enough vaulting is actually the safer of equestrian sports. Horses are well evaluated before becoming a full fledge vaulting horse (safe reasons are highly considered when looking for one). And they are in somewhat more of a controlled environment, as they are lunged in a circle. Sometimes a horse will spook over something, but we are trained to react as quickly as possible. Hence why we train emergency drills to help. And yes, our footing is soft. Actually much softer at most vaulting location compared to a normal riding arena footing at times.
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post #27 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 07:13 PM
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I had never heard of vaulting before. It looks amazing and something that one of my children would enjoy. As a parent, I would let her do it without a helmet if it was at a good establishment with a good trainer who knew what they were doing, well trained horses, and they had a consistent and established program of building up the strength and skill required for doing things with an increasing level of difficulty. I would not let her do it if it was with people who had no to limited experience, horses that were not trained for it, and just wanted to try it out in their backyard so to speak. So it is all about evaluating the risk.

I have seen ice skating mentioned a few times as something for comparison. My child who would like vaulting actually does beginner figure skating and they typically do not wear helmets. There are helmets available for the very beginners and the under 5's have to wear them. But once they get past the very beginner being able to balance on the ice, most stop wearing them. I am ok with my child not wearing a helmet for that because they are not going straight into doing anything at high speed or height. It builds up slowly over time so they are conditioned for it. At one point she wanted to try speed skating and that seemed too risky to me, even with all the gear that they wear (helmet and cut guards). A sport where you can slash yourself open if you fall over for me seems more risky but maybe I am being irrational and they are all risky!

For myself, I always wear a helmet when riding, but I do see how that is different. I think the difference between being in a sitting and standing position for riding vs vaulting would be particularly important as to how you can move to land better if you fell.
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post #28 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 08:07 PM
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I'm torn about it. My daughter does some vaulting for fun, but she wears a helmet. She's not at the point where she's doing it with other riders, or even doing really risky movements. It's just a fun thing she does on her horse in the winter when she doesn't jump him. He lunges well, and her jumping coach saw no reason why she shouldn't do it since it's good for her balance. She still wears a helmet every time. She wouldn't feel comfortable on a horse without a helmet.

As I've expressed in another post, I'd love to get a vaulting team started here because she really would like others to do this with her. But I would have a really hard time recruiting people and would not personally be comfortable telling them the shouldn't wear a helmet. Sure, vaulters who have become very agile and skilled are probably good enough to jump clear of a horse's hooves if (when) they fall, but on their way to becoming skilled vaulters, they are just young riders learning a new discipline, and they'll make mistakes. I couldn't, in good conscience, tell people their kids will be safe without a helmet. That's different from saying that I think all vaulters should wear helmets of course, it's just that if I were going to try to get the sport to take off, it would make me uncomfortable. I wouldn't be able to sell the idea that no helmet is safer. What adults and other parents do is their business.

I just wish they could find a way to develop a helmet for vaulters.
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post #29 of 35 Old 07-22-2019, 06:41 PM
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I also forgot to say, many may not realise, but all moves (at least where I am) are practised on a vaulting barrel before trying on the horse. And then are performed at walk before moving into a faster gait. We dont just chuck kids up at a canter and let them figure it out as they go 🙃
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post #30 of 35 Old 07-22-2019, 06:44 PM
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Our barrel at home
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