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

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Deadman Walking by

I have always been taught to wear a helmet, and have always loved the way those soft velvet helmets look. It saved my life. I had been riding a horse I had ridden for about a month and was hoping to buy. It was my first lesson on him and I had a new trainer. Just as I asked for a canter my horse tripped and down he went on the compacted clay ground. I came off (I am not sure exactly what happened) and woke up screaming, trying to get air in my lungs. My trainer and nurse Mom were standing over me. My trainer wanted to call 911, my Mom wanted to wait and see if I would be OK. My Mom made me move my legs (to make sure I had feeling) and took off my helmet. I laid in pain for several minuets. I eventually figured I was OK and got up (I was very dizzy and confused). I caught my horse and made sure he was OK. I got in the car and cant relay remember much after that. I remember getting in the shower and dirt came poring out of my hair. Two days later (and with 4 aspirin in me) I returned to the barn and walked the ring to see what my horse had tripped on. I found something that made me feel sick to my stomach, a huge indentation was in the ground in a shape of my body, a deep hole washed from my head hitting first. Later I eventually went to the doctors and found out I had broken my back in 2 places. I am the only person I have ever heard of with a broken back at age 12. I would not be alive if I had not been wearing my helmet. You would not be reading my story in a magazine but rather an obituary. I am physically fine (despite the back pain once in a while) but mentally I am forever altered. I will never be the same and will never...ever not wear a helmet, I refuse to ride with people who wont ride with one on. Please wear a helmet, I don't want your story to have a bad ending.

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