Helmets, To Wear or Not to Wear..
.I wrote this article somewhere around 1999. There always seems to be some who do and some who don't.
I am one of the ones who always does. :)
I have now been riding since I was 9 years old. This is quite a long time, Not sure that I even want to disclose how long.. During that time I have certainly had my share of falls and mishaps on horseback as we all do. I reached a point about 30 years ago when I reverted back to what I had been taught as a child, and began to wear my helmet every time that I rode. I don't know whether it was advancing age that prompted my doing that or whether it was to try and set a good example for my teenaged boarders of the time.
There is something that prompts you to really wish that you were wearing a helmet when your horse does a somersault and you find yourself flying through the air thinking "I don't have my helmet on! Ooops!" Fortunately the horse did not land on, or kick my unprotected head in that instance and, it was only the rest of me that was sore from having a 900 lb arab land on me.
When I first began to ride we were not allowed to get on the horse without helmets, and would be sent back to the barn to get it if we forgot. I must say that I never really have felt comfortable without one but went through a period as a young adult where you think you are quite invincible and a helmet is no longer of any use! Plus at some barns the adults and even the Pros go out with out them. I must admit that I felt like a wimp wearing one when some of the others didn't. That of course is a very foolish way to think because, no matter how good a rider you may be STUFF HAPPENS!
Unforeseen things like the mare that fell as we were happily cantering along or the branch that you don't notice on the trail cause you are talking to your friend and turn to late. Even if you fall away from your horse it could be the jump pole on the ground or the arena wall that you hit with your head. Not nice!
Gremlins! Arena gremlins, road gremlins, trail gremlins! Those little guys that hang out in places just waiting for an unsuspecting horse to walk past. Boo! All of a sudden you are facing the other way, hopefully on the horse but, sometimes not.
Those things happen! So it is always a really good idea to wear your helmet no matter how short a ride you are going to take or how hot it is! Your future riding days depend on it! Your head is your most valuable asset so please protect it, every time you ride, and make sure that you have a happy and safe riding days ahead of you.