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True Helmet Stories from HORSE-SENSE Readers

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Endurance Rider should wear helmets too!!! by Ann Mifflin

My friend and I decided one day to join a group of endurance riders out trail riding. It was a cool October day with a beautiful blue Texas skies. We were really looking forward to a pleasant ride through the Texas hill country.

There were six of us in the group. I was not wearing a helmet. Everyone else was, but as an adult I felt I could make my own decisions about whether I needed one or not.

We weren't ten minutes into the ride and coming around a clump of cedar bushes when the horse in front of me spooked and jumped sideways. He dumped his rider and took off. There were some cattle just on the other side. The gentlemen hit hard, but his helement protected his head when he came into contact with the ground. It get's worse though.

Another horse, an arab, took the opportunity to take off. It and the rider were disappearing down the trail at a dead run. The rest of us spent several seconds calming horses and checking on the man who had fell. We did have sense enough not to chase the horse and rider running down the trail. I knew immediately it was a runaway.

The gentlemen's horse did circle back and he remounted. We went looking for the other rider, but at walk. I was hoping she would have regained control and come back to us. No such luck. We were in a very large pasture, a couple of thousand acres, full of cedar clumps and trees. We ended up tracking her horse. I knew it was really moving out by the depth of the tracks in the trail.

After several minutes we came down a small hill and turn and I saw the rider afoot headed toward us with her helmet in her hand. Blood was flowing down her face. She said she tried to stay with the horse and let it run itself out, but a low hanging branch knocked her off. Again it was the helmet that saved her. It was split right down the middle, but she was okay. She was a little banged up from hitting the ground, but the helmet took the major damage.

That evening, after we got back, I went to the tack store and purchaced me a helmet. I do not ride without it. I learned even something as simple as trail riding really needs a helmet. I used to excuse using a helmet as too hot. But I got a nice white one, well ventilated. No excuse, ever, in my opinion not to wear one.

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