Not once, but twice! by Debbie
I ride English eventing, so wearing a helmet is taken for granted, especially when jumping. It would be crazy not to. I've had many falls over the years of learning to ride, but one such would have changed my life. My horse fell on cross country on the landing side of a jump and I was thrown a considerable distance head-first into the ground. I suffered a concussion and to this day only know what happened because of what I was told. I have no recollection of about a half-hour before and an hour after my fall. Now, imagine what would have happened if I wasn't wearing a helmet! I'd probably be dead, or at the very least mentally handicapped for life.
And yet still when exercising my horse in dressage or trail riding, I didn't bother wearing my helmet. I'd only ever fallen while jumping, why would I come off on the flat? I mean, I know that horses can spook and be unpredictable, and even the best riders can be thrown, but that won't happen to me!
Well it did. While trail riding we were cantering along when suddenly my horse slipped and fell. It doesn't matter who you are, you're going to get an intimate meeting with the ground. I somehow managed to avoid being crushed, but my head slammed into the ground. Fortunately it was one of those rare days when I decided to wear my helmet anyway, just in case. That experience confirmed to me how foolish it would be to ever ride without my helmet again, regardless of what I'm doing.
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