One of the biggest controversy’s in the equestrian world is helmets – should we all wear them, should it be a personal choice, should people be allowed to show without them, when are they necessary, etc. It’s no secret that I’ve never worn a helmet. And honestly, I’ve never had a time that I needed one. I’ve fallen once, but it was more of an easy slide down and I landed on my butt. Nothing was even bruised, but it shook me up a little because I realized, “Oh wow. My horse can buck. He will buck.” And I’m not afraid of him in the least, because he’s a good boy and his bucks are pathetic..but it made me realize something. One time, he could do a little mini buck and I could lose my seat and fall on my head and that would be it – even if I was okay, could my anxious self handle getting hurt and then getting back on? Or would I have one injury and not want to get back on? Granted, a helmet isn’t going to help me if I fall on my leg or my back or whatever, but if I did hit my head, I’d have a much better chance of being okay.
We were at a barrel race a couple weeks ago and I watched a girl run out of the alley and her horse popped up and reared several times, she almost bashed her head into the wall. No helmet. I watched a girl’s horse go down and she fell and went down with a concussion. No helmet. I saw a girl fall and hit her head on the ground, but she wore a helmet. And she was able to collect herself, and get back on her horse.
At this point, riding and being safe and comfortable on my horse is priority number 1. If I fall and hurt myself, that could be the end of me riding whether it be from nerves or me actually hurting myself. A girl I know fell off and bashed her head so hard that she had to have surgery and wear a helmet for weeks to mold her head back into a proper shape. She almost didn’t make it. This fall happened on her bomb-proof mare that she’s worked so hard on, and there hasn’t been a fall since, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. And she doesn’t wear a helmet, even now. I’m not going to let immaturity, or lack of knowledge, stop me from making a decision for my own safety.
With that being said – y’all point me to some good helmets that wouldn’t look stupid paired with western tack 😉