Two falls in 6 months, I wear a helmet now. by Karen Lehman
I have had two serious falls within six months, the first was in November of 2003, the second was in May of 2004. Neither were the fault of the horse, dogs were an issue in the first and I slipped off bareback in the second. I have ridden horses all my life (I am 42) and never wore a helmet. Like a lot of western riders I just considered no helmet natural, I would snicker at the english riders who devotedly wore their helmets and think "I would never need to do that". I am very humbled to say to the 'English' crowd that they are using their heads! When the first fall occured I was unconsious for at least 10 minutes, have no memory of the fall and I was laid up for a week or so; I should of never rode after that with out a helmet. The second fall I was out for over 10 minutes, luckly a friend pulled in and saw me lying in the driveway. After 24 hours of continual vomiting and not being able to lift my head off of the floor I decided to have my husband take me into the hospital. The doctor informed me that I was very lucky to be alive. I now wear a helmet and as another person mentioned they are rarely worn at western events, the people look at me funny at the barrel shows now with my helmet and I just think "beleive me, it can happen to you". I really think that the western riders should consider the helmets, we fly around barrels, race after cows, all sorts of speed events that can really cause serious injury. Not to mention just a spur of the moment bee sting or spook that can cause you to fall. I will say one of my riding buddies has started wearing her helmet now and I hope that eventually the idea will become more widespread in the western arena. Thanks so much for all your informamtion, I really enjoy your site. Karen Lehman
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