I had always been a fearless rider up until this point. It really made me realize how unpredictable horses can really be. This event made a large impact on my life. I miss her dearly even though its been almost 20 years.
When Maddie started riding there was no question as to whether she would ride with a helmet or not. If I started her young it would just become part of her tacking up routine and it is. Its always brush her horse, put pads on, put saddle on, helmet on and then bridle.
In 4-H it is a requirement for all riders to have a helmet on, but in breed shows it is optional. I think we will begin to see this change for the younger riders in the next few years. Even in English they only wear a cover and not a full helmet.
I started doing some research in helmets and the benefits of wearing one. Here's a few points a found in addition to some references for you to read yourself.
"Equestrian Helmet Facts
- Between 12 to 15 million persons in the United
States ride a horse or pony every year.
- Approximately 20 percent of horse-related injuries occur on the ground and not riding.
- Most riding injuries occur during pleasure
- The most common reason among riders for admission to hospital and death are
- A fall from two feet can cause permanent brain
damage. A horse elevates a rider eight feet or more above ground.
- A human skull can be shattered by an impact of 4-6
mph. Horses can gallop at 40 mph.
- According to the National Electronic Surveillance System figures the most likely ages for injury is at 5-14,
- and 25-44 years with each decade having about 20 percent of the injuries.
- A rider who has one head injury has a 40 percent
chance of suffering a second head injury. Children, teens and young
adults are most vulnerable to sudden death from second impact syndrome: severe
brain swelling as a result of suffering a second head injury before recovery
from the first head injury.
- Death is not the only serious outcome of unprotected head injuries. Those
who survive with brain injury may suffer epilepsy,
intellectual and memory impairment, and personality changes.
- Hospital costs for an acute head injury can be in the range of $25,000 per day. Lifetime extended care costs may easily
exceed $3 million. There is no funding for rehabilitation outside the medical
- Helmets work. Most deaths from head injury can be
prevented by wearing ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials), SEI
(Safety Equipment Institute) approved helmets that fit correctly and have the
harness firmly applied. Other types of helmets, including bike helmets, are
- Racing organizations require helmets and as a result jockeys now suffer fewer head injuries than pleasure
riders. The US Pony Club lowered their head injury rate 29 percent with
mandatory helmet use. Britain's hospital admission rate for equestrians fell 46
percent after helmet design improved and they came into routine use.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association through the Committee on Sports Medicine, Canadian Medical Association, and the American Medical Equestrian Association/Safe Riders Foundation recommend that approved, fitted and secured helmets be worn on all rides by all horseback riders. "
Here's a great article about the arguments around not wearing a safety helmet. http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-exclusives/horse-helmet-argument.aspx
Here's an articlr about concussions.
When I sent an email to Troxel about my upcoming post they generously sent a Victory helmet for Maddie. She loves it. Other english helmets she has worn were either to big or not very comfortable. The Victory is adjustable so she has a perfect fit no matter what style her hair is in or if she grows. The Vicotry helmet to very pretty and made of fine quality materials. Because of it being so light fit she will be able to wear it for her riding events as well as english showmanship.
This is the third Troxel helmet we have owned and have always been pleased with the feel of them. Troxel makes helmets to fit a young child to an adult. Check out their website at: http://www.troxelhelmets.com/
**A special thank you to Troxel!