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

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Horse takes off bucking: I was totally unprepared... by Holly

I don't know what happened; we were in an indoor arena and I had ridden this horse (a tobiano paint) twice before with no problems. He had a nice smooth canter and seemed very willing to do whatever was asked of him. On this particular November evening we had warmed up, done a little trotting, and I decided to ask him to canter...well, he put his head down, rounded his back and bucked hard, once, twice...and on the third one I went forward over his left shoulder, somersaulted and landed on my head and back. I lay in the dirt, blinking, couldn't sit up and had to turn over onto my hands and knees. I was dizzy and shaking like a leaf. My husband was off his horse in a flash and kneeling beside me - I never saw him move so fast!

Luckily the horse moved off and didn't kick or trample me. I couldn't walk and had to go for x-rays - my doc thought I had broken my pelvis, but thank goodness that wasn't the case! No concussion, though; I was wearing a helmet, and I will never ever be without one on a horse! I suffered a few startling headaches and about a month's worth of severe pain in my hips and back, but I have recovered. Only my confidence is a little shaky.

I recently bought a horse; a big 17.1 hh ex-racer, and he is a sweet boy. But I'll never get on him without a helmet!

Also - as an aside - I suffered a SEVERE concussion ten years ago when I fell backwards while skating and hit my head on the ice. I'm blessed to still be here, to make a long story short. Head injuries are nothing to play around with. ALWAYS wear a helmet!

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