true helmet story by Patricia
No one was allowed to ride without a helmet at my barn. Since I thought I was a good enough rider to ride without one, I would leave the property for a trail ride and hide my helmet somewhere along the way. One day after this routine I was riding through an apple orchard when my horse took off. He began running under the apple trees to try and brush me off. It wasn't long before my head ran straight into a tree branch at a dead gallop. I passed out and when I came to, I noticed that part of the branch was imbedded in my head. I pulled it out and headed home. I suffered from severe headaches and dizziness, but because I wasn't wearing my helmet as I should have, I was too ashamed to tell my parents. Eventually I had to though, because the wound in my head began to drain pus. Apparently, part of the branch was still in my head and an abcess had formed around it. I ended up having to have surgery on it and not being able to ride for a whole month. The thing my parents were most angry about was that I did not tell them what had happened right away. It is twenty years later and I NEVER EVER ride without a helmet. I am currently teaching my little girl to ride and I have had her feel the big lumpy scar on my head to emphasize what can happen when you don't wear one.
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