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

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Trail riding by Lisa

I worked as a trail guide at an equestrian resort in Vermont about 2 years ago. All day I rode horses and led trail rides of all levels. I grew up riding english and wearing a helmet. Everyday at work I would listen to my co-workers complain of having to wear helmets while riding (per the rules of the resort).

One day I was scheduled to guide a 3 hour "walk only" ride with 4 guests following behind. I was placed on a horse that had been out on trails before. As we headed up the mountain path everything seemed to be going well. All of a sudden, the horse I was riding spooked at a light colored rock on the side of the trail. He spun around to the left and then reared straight up and before I know what was happening, I could feel him going over backwards. The last thing I remember seeing was the crest of his neck smashing into my face. He fell straight back on top of me, my body broke his fall. The horse stepped on me as he got up. Luckily I opened my eyes to realize what had happened. My helmet had cracked on the rock which I fell on, I couldn't breathe, and I couldn't see.

I had to be "rescued" by other co-workers and then taken to the hospital. I ended up having a concussion, a broken nose, a blow out fracture to my right eye, a scratch on my cornea, 2 broken ribs, and muscle/tissue damage to my left leg. The doctors in the emergency room kept telling me I would probably not have been alive if it wasn't for the helmet.

I thank God every day that I was wearing a helmet. I saved the cracked helmet as a momento of that day. It saved my life! I have been riding and jumping horses since I was 8 years old. This was the worst accident EVER of my riding career, and it happened on a sunny day on the trails.

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