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True Helmet Stories from HORSE-SENSE Readers

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ALWAYS Wear Helmet! by Aleta

My husband and I were trail riding one morning, February 28th 2004 to be exact. We went down a very steep hill that had a bit of a drop off on one side. My horse who had only been trained less then a month began to turn his rear legs to the side to help him with the steep embankment. As he did this the ground gave out from under him and he fell. I in turn fell off of him but my foot was caught in the stirrup. My husband who was in front of me looked back and saw me struggling to get free. At the same time, my horse was scared and began to dance around and in that process he crashed his hoof into the top my my head and stepped on the side of my face. The blow to the top of my head knocked me out cold even though I was wearing a helmet. My foot finally came free from the stirrup after my half-chap and shoe was pulled completely off. I lay on the ground as my husband tried to bring me around (he thought I was dead). I began to cough and spit blood which completely scared my husband, but it was from the horse stepping on the side of my face, my teeth cut into the side of my cheek and caused the bleeding. My husband got me back on my feet and we had to walk about 1 mile to the barn with our horses in weather that had turned to light snow. It turned out that I was ok, after a cat scan and complete check-up at the hospital I only had a severe concussion. However, without the helmet my head would have been cracked open and my severe concussion would have been avoided, due to death. I however, do not remember anything from that day or the day after. I do know that the accident scared my horse terribly and it took several weeks before he would let anyone mount him. It also completely destroyed my confidence and one year later I am still struggling with that issue. At the time, I was a new rider and I know realize I should not have been riding a newly trained horse on such steep terrain. So I attribute the accident to the fact that I was not responsible and lead my horse and myself into a dangerous situation. Conclusion: ALWAYS wear a helmet, become knowledgable about your ability as a rider, your horses abilities, and the situation you are getting yourself and your horse into.

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