Tuesday, April 22, 2014


We interrupt this celebration to bring you deep reflections…
I guess I never realized before how common certain blow actually is…

How often have you been hit in the face while riding? (or falling off?)  Personally, I’m really glad I have brims on my helmets.  I recall one blow that I was certain broke my nose.  I was riding a green horse, who was being very brave for me.  I mean, you have to introduce gates at some point, right?  Well, when I pulled on the bungee cord to free the gate, he spooked at it.  He lifted his head and shoulders to spin.  As he spun, he pretty much punched me in the face with his neck!  OUCH!!  Even though I was wearing a helmet with a brim, my face felt mutilated.

 Of course, I was fine.  I didn’t even end up with visible bruises.  Not even a black eye!  However, I see this happen more and more.  I’m sure it is just that I *notice* it more and more.  I put on a helmet thinking to protect my head against a blow to the ground, or a wall, or a jump standard.  I don’t usually think about protecting my head from a blow to (or from!) the horse!

I was working with another green horse that started flailing his head around.  I was on the ground!  He slammed his head into mine so hard; my glasses flew off my face and landed several feet away!  I was wearing my helmet, but it still rocked my world.

How easy is it to hit your head on your horse?  Especially the front of your face?  You lose your balance on the landing side of a jump.  You’re leaned over, making an adjustment, and your horse suddenly jerks his head up to look over the horizon.  You’re tooling along on an unfamiliar horse who seems to be pretty laid-back, cool, and relaxed before he turns into a rodeo bronco for no discernable reason.  The possibilities are endless, really.

Your helmet may not save you from concussion or brain injury, but it may lessen the damage from a severe blow.  Replacing your helmet can cost less than that emergency room visit.  It will certainly cost less than ongoing treatment for a brain injury!  Invest in a comfortable helmet that fits and wear it!

You never know who may be watching you.  You never know who is looking up to you!  You never know who wants to be Just. Like. You!  I have never finished a ride and thought, “I wish I hadn’t been wearing my helmet.”


  1. Replies
    1. The rebel in me wears my helmet even for western classes! Although, the reason I did that the first time was because all available cowboy hats were too big... ;)

  2. For some reason I have faceplanted for my last 2 or 3 most recent falls. Always glad of my helmet, and even more glad that I figured out NOT to wear the expensive helmet when trying new things. Better to replace a $40 schooling helmet than a $250 show helmet!

    1. Hah! I've had that exact same thought! Although with the limited shelf life of helmets (even when not in use), I have a hard time justifying a helmet just for shows...
      On the other hand, I am gathering quite the helmet cover collection!

  3. A friend and I were JUST having this discussion today about an almost-18yo at our barn who told us, "I can't wait until I'm legal and I don't have to wear a helmet anymore. I don't jump like you guys, so it's not like I'll ever need one."


    1. *sigh*
      The best you can do is meet people where they are and set the example you want to be known for. I hope she reconsiders!

  4. Yeah. All helmets, all the time. It's like a seat belt, people. Just put it on and forget about it.

    I mean. Tell me everyone wears seat belts now, ya?

  5. I always wear a helmet every time I get on a horse. I haven't had a terrible fall yet, and the horse I ride is usually calm, but things can happen. I fell off a couple months ago, and though I didn't hit my head, I was happy to be wearing one. I won't look down on people for not wearing one, but I support wearing one and recommend it. You never know what will happen, even on the most bombproof of horses.



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