Helmets. Enough Said.

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 πŸ˜‰

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10 thoughts on “Helmets. Enough Said.”

  1. I personally like wearing a helmet simply because it keeps the sun out of my eyes while I ride. I’d wear a hat anyway so I might as well wear a helmet! And I actually think they look nice too.

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    1. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. Welcome to the helmet club! I love my Ovation schooler. I had Troxel helmets my whole life but they never fit my head well…that being said, Troxel does have helmets that are much more “western” looking!

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  2. This is so great to read!!!! Thinking about your safety and realizing horses are inheritly dangerous to some degree is a huge sign of maturity πŸ™‚

    I love the Ovation Schooler helmet. They are a very reasonable price point and come in fun colors. Plus, a lot of us hunter/jumper folk like to put a fun monogram on there in a cute color. I bet you could find something a little western feeling to match a bright color on your saddle pad?

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  3. I also have the Ovation schooling helmet. It’s lightweight and looks good.

    By the way, I’m really happy you’re heading the helmet direction. I fell off my HALTED horse and ended up with a concussion. It was a fluke. He was standing nicely and then he spooked–not even a big spook, but I wasn’t prepared and landed equally on my back and head at the same time. I had a helmet on and got back up to ride more. When my vision started blurring I realized things weren’t right and so I then had a friend pick me up and take me to the ER.

    It was very scary. I wasn’t galloping, jumping, or on a wild trail ride. I was at a halt in an arena. So freak things can happen and that’s why helmets are so important.

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  4. I watched my best friend in high school barrel racing on her super-seasoned horse and he slipped and threw her into the fence. Her head broke the fence, and then in his scramble to get up, her horse accidentally kicked her in the head. She would have died instantly without a helmet. But thankfully she was wearing one and while she suffered a concussion and went to the hospital, a few days later she was just fine and back to riding.

    Sometimes, you just never know what could happen. People wear seatbelts because of OTHER drivers. I wear a helmet because at any moment there could be an accident — whether its my fault, my horse’s, someone else’s or just a freak moment.

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  5. I didn’t wear a helmet from ages 18 to 22. I did the highest number of STUPID things riding then and it is an absolute miracle I didn’t get hurt. When I started riding with kids and mentoring them, their mom wanted me in a helmet. I’d originally stopped because they always gave me headaches – I had no idea there were other brands beyond Troxel out there! This family used Tipperary, so I tried them on (everyone had a different sized head so I got to test the whole gambit!) and fell in love.

    Tipperary fits a different shaped head from what Troxel does (or at least used to) and the price point is similar. I will forget I’m wearing my helmet now when I leave the barn and drive home in it! lol It sure is a good thing I wear my helmet so much now, as I’ve had at least two mild concussions WITH MY HELMET ON since I began wearing a helmet again. One was directly due to the horse acting up and the other was my fault and the horse reacted to my error – we were exiting the round pen and rode just a incident ended up being the worse incident as without my helmet I’d have likely blacked out in the mud and cold. x_x

    Tipperary helmets come in a LOT of colors now which is great. I love my chocolate colored one, though it does get hotter in the summer due to the nature of a dark color in the sun!

    If you’re able to get to a tack shop and try on a variety of helmets, I’d highly recommend it. Finding something that feels the best on your head is paramount! I know I still wouldn’t wear one if I hadn’t found one that fit so well! …and I’d likely have suffered grave injury as a result.

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    1. …something in that second paragraph got botched. Whoops.

      …we were exiting the round pen and rode just a little too close to the panel where the gate latched down into and my pants caught on it in a weird way and got caught which pulled me from the horses’ back, startling the horse who bolted a little in her surprise which spun me enough that my head cracked against the ground in *just* the right way to cause immediate headache. That incident ended up being the worst…

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