Helmet...every time by Pat
As a beginning rider, I fell off with regularity. Once, in the arena my horse spooked and I came off. I knew that I had hit my head but I did not realize until after removing my helmet that in addition to hitting the ground, my head had also been brushed with the horse's hoof. The gashes and dent on the helmet told the story.
A few years later, during a 50 mile endurance ride, four riders and I stopped at a water trough and were enjoying the warm sun while our horses drank. One of the horses attempted to step over the water trough and when reined back by his rider, the trough tipped toward my horse who was drinking. She shied, and I, holding only a loose rein came off. In the 5 minutes it took me to reach the ground, headfirst, I saw a rock that looked like a large watermellon for which my head was directly headed. The loud crack when I hit told the story. I was dizzy and my neck hurt but I continued and finished the ride. My helmet showed only a dent right on the top but what turned out to be a bit of dizzyness and a headache and sore neck could easily have been my friends frantically waiting for an airlift out for me or an even sadder outcome. I will never ride without my helmet and refuse to ride with friends who do not wear them.
Back to top.