Jessica Jahiel's HORSE-SENSE
True Helmet Stories from HORSE-SENSE Readers

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Grateful for just a concussion and a raspberry on my back! by Diana

I have been riding all of my life, I have ridden Western since I was a tiny kid and started riding English when I was about 7. I have had falls here and there, none of them were very serious, until this last one. I was jumping a mare over some small gymnastics. She is 4 and I have been working with her for six months and never had problems. Recently, some less experienced girls had been riding her and she had been pushing her limits trying to get away with things she cannot with me. So I was working with her trying to get rid of her habit of running to the side of the jumps. After a while, she was cooperating very well and doing what I asked. Then, she unexpectedly ran to the right, which knocked me a little off balance. She got scared and started to run. I totally lost my balance and landed on her rump, which really frightened her, making her buck. I flew in the air, my trainer estimated around 10 feet off the ground, and landed hard. I first hit my back and sommersaulted over my head. My trainer called 911 because I was unconcious and having a seizure (or so she thought). I don't remember anything from the time she ran to the right until I was being lifted into the ambulance. I stayed in the hospital for hours, had numerous scans taken of my neck, head and pelvis. The doctor came in to the room to discuss everything with me and asked why I was not wearing a helmet. Well, I was, but my trainer took it off for it was in two pieces. I was lucky that I ended up in the emergency room for only seven hours as opposed to intensive care for days if I hadn't been wearing my helmet. Three weeks later, I was allowed to ride again after all my headaches left. I am just so grateful that I am okay because of my helmet. The bruise is almost gone, it was about the size of my shoes (9). I am riding again at almost the same level as before. I am always going to wear my helmet from now on, it saved my life.

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