Thursday, May 31, 2007

Helmet Safety

I am totally, absolutely; convinced that everyone should wear a helmet when riding horses.

It's like a seat belt, sometime it WILL be a matter of life & death.

Among the daily equine forum members I am not alone. In a recent poll an overwhelming percentage of members wear helmets. How do we convince the general public that helmets are cool?

Poll results:
I use an approved helmet every time I ride [57%] 41 votes
I use a helmet occasionally when I ride [7%] 5votes
I own a helmet but almost never use it [10%] 7 votes
I do not own a helmet but am considering getting one [17%] 12 votes
I do not own a helmet and have no interest in getting one [8%]6 votes
Helmets are only for kids [0%]0 votes
Helmets are for sissies [0%]0 votes
Real horse people do not wear helmets [1%]1 votes
Poll Status: Open »»
Total Votes: 72 counted »»

1 comment:

AppyGirl said...

Simply put, helmets save lives. Statistics have proven time and again that fatal and/or catastrophic head injuries can be prevented with the simple act of wearing a helmet when participating in any horse-related activity.

Personally, I have been witness to two incidents that clearly depicted what happens when you do or don't wear a helmet.

The first incident occurred when a horsewoman rode her inferior horse bareback into the middle of the herd. She was thrown from her horse and her head struck a rock. She required brain surgery for her head injury and is debilitated for the rest of her life. True, the accident happened because of her unsafe actions when riding her horse; however, had she been wearing a helmet, she would not have been seriously injured and now having to live her life with a disability.

The second incident occurred when an inexperienced rider was riding in a parade. Seeing that she was not a good rider and was quite intimidated by her horse, I gave her my own personal helmet to wear, stating that she needed it more than I did. Shortly after we started along the parade route, her horse took off with her, and she fell from the horse sustaining a direct impact to her head with the concrete pavement. The helmet, performing as it should based upon its design, shattered like an egg absorbing the impact of the fall. This lucky woman sustained a mild concussion, when for all intents and purposes had she not been wearing a helmet would have suffered a grievous if not fatal injury.

Certainly, while one could argue that both of these incidents occurred with inexperienced riders, which is true, you must realize that none of us regardless of our riding or horse experience is exempt from riding or handling accidents. It can happen to anyone at any time. The protection afforded to our heads with the use of helmets is one very simple yet highly important factor each of us needs to incorporate into our riding and handling regimens.

Ride smart, ride safe, and live to ride another day.

Happy trails!