If you ride, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
You will take a tumble. It’s inevitable.
It happens to everyone from newbies to Olympians. Suddenly, instead of having a view between the ears, you will get close and personal with the ground. By wearing a properly fitting riding helmet you’re doing your part to be as safe as possible given equestrianism’s risks.
I’m probably preaching to the choir, but in case you needed a little reminder of the merits of helmet wearing, here you go. These are my seven reasons to always wear a riding helmet when you ride.
1. You can fall off, even from a halt. I know this one from first-hand experience when my horse of several years did a quick sideways spook (not sure what set him off). Even though it wasn’t at high speed and I didn’t land directly on my head, I had a mild concussion. Mild, but about a week later I had a hard time remembering certain words during a parent-teacher conference. It was scary and I returned to the ER because I felt like an older, slower version of myself.
How bad would my fall have been without a helmet?
2. Even trustworthy, reliable equine good citizens can have a bad day or moment. Why gamble with your one and only noggin? Horses are animals. And big. And they don’t think like us. Accidents happen.
3. You can be join in the International Helmet Awareness Day excitement with Riders 4 Helmets. It’s like a free club! With exclusive discounts (on riding helmets for one day). One year there were Twitterific pictures circulating of people wearing their riding helmets with swimsuits (thanks to Lucinda Green instigating). Um, yes, my horse husband got really into the mayhem. I’ll spare you the image of my hubby wearing a riding helmet while wearing only a blue Speedo (that I didn’t know he even owned and he justified it saying he wears it scuba diving under a wetsuit).
4. You set a good example for others. One time in Hawaii Mark and I went on a trail ride (we got to canter which was as exciting as the gorgeous scenery). The Hawaiian cowboy told me I didn’t need to wear a riding helmet. He made a comment about it not looking as good! I said I didn’t care, I had sustained a mild concussion before and I wanted to set a good example.
During parts of our ride there were enormous rocks jutting out. Call me a pessimist or worrywart, but all I could think was that if the horse took a bad step and I ended on the ground, the rocks could do serious damage. Couple that fact with the possibility of pictures being shown to my students or ending up in a future blog post. The message I want to convey is helmets, helmets, helmets!
5. Myriad styles exist today! Some have vents, others bling! Seriously, riding helmet design has really improved in the last couple of decades. I remember when the old school hard hats were being phased out and the new certified ones were required at shows. Initially they looked like astronaut helmets with velvet. Not anymore. With so many great options, why not accessorize your ride with fabulous millinery!
6. The cool kids are wearing riding helmets. Boyd and Silva Martin wear riding helmets. (Click here to listen to Silva’s recent interview about a serious fall she had about a year ago.) Triple Crown Jockey Victor Espinoza wears one. So do fellow horse bloggers like Martine from Tales from Provence and Kristen from If the Saddle Fits (and a ton more which would make this a really, really long blog post, so I’ll spare you).
7. Your mom wants you to. Even if your mom is laissez faire about your head safety or you don’t have a mom, do it for my mom. Marlene would be very happy. And proud.
What do you think? Please share in the Comments section.
- Have you been saved by a helmet?
- Do you ride 100% of the time with a helmet? Why or why not?
- Have you replaced your helmet in the last five years?
- What’s your favorite brand/style?
Thanks for reading! You’re invited to join us on this everyday equestrian adventure by joining the Saddle Seeks Horse email list. Click here to sign up to get twice-monthly updates including product reviews, training breakthroughs, and giveaways.