Of Horse

Created by Horse enthusiasts for Horse enthusiasts

 I Don’t Wear a Helmet Because….
Facebook Tweet Google+ Pinterest Email More Sharing Options

I Don’t Wear a Helmet Because….

We all wear helmets while riding bicycles or motorbikes, but when it comes to riding on a horseback, be it over the trails in the woods or be it on a racetrack, most of us are averse to wearing helmets. Why do we have such tendency? I can think of at least one reason, although it might sound silly, is that you immediately start thinking of a “Western” setting when you are on a horse back. You are another John Wayne or Franco Niro or Clint Eastwood; a macho man with a half smoked cigar between your lips. 

A helmet, by no standard, goes with this picture and that is why people have all kinds of excuses for not wearing a helmet during a horse ride. My favorite excuse, especially in the summer time, is that helmets are hot and uncomfortable. There are many other excuses out there that people who don’t want to wear helmets during horse ride put forward for their justifications. Following are the most common excuses from people not wanting to wear helmets on horse rides:

  • Wearing helmet may penalize me in the show ring: Judges in a show may penalize the rider(s) wearing helmet where other riders are wearing hats. However, the person wearing a helmet is purely doing it for safety reasons; there should be no penalty for that.
  • I am experienced in emergency stop and dismounting: Undoubtedly, these are significant skills to be learnt for horse riding but there is no guarantee of effectiveness. Your skill can never be an alternative to the protection a helmet is able to provide.
  • Helmet causes headaches: Apparently, it may sound legitimate as the helmet is wrapped around your skull for quite some time. Nevertheless, its not the helmet that causes headache; it is the dehydration of your body from sweating. Moreover, there are lightweight helmets available for people who are sensitive to heat.
  • Veteran riders don’t need helmets: As impressive as the statement may sound, statistics say otherwise. A team of Alberta based researchers has documented the reported injuries from horse riding and on an average, those riders have 27 years of riding experience.
  • Helmets are against the tradition of Western horse riding: This is absolutely true; traditionally there were no helmets for horse riders anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, tradition may alter as per needs and not everybody is a “Western” cowboy. The safety of the horse rider is important and that’s why helmets should be worn.
  • Helmets cost a lot of money: This not really a genuine excuse; you can buy a helmet for as little as $50.00 and what are fifty dollars compared to the hospital bill if (God forbid) you get into an accident and are hospitalized? Spending a small amount as precaution is wiser than leaving yourself vulnerable to some mishap.

Wearing a helmet during horse riding, be it recreational or competitive, is nothing but a safety measure. Some people don’t want to wear helmets and they have their reasons or excuses; however, by putting a helmet over your head, you are minimizing the risk of hurting your brain, the most important part of your body. Besides, taking a safety measure like that puts your family members at ease and the horse riding show becomes more enjoyable.

Yes! Send me a full color horse trailer brochure from Featherlite.

Thanks! Your brochure will be on its way shortly.
  1. Karin Barga
    Karin Barga
    Thank you for your post! I am a huge advocate of helmet use, as a 4-H parent first and second because my neurologist will not allow me to ride any longer without one. I've suffered from migraines for 15 years and severe vertigo accompanies those migraines, so often times my balance is tremendously out of whack. After my neurologist benched me for an entire year (worst year ever, not being able to ride) she only cleared me to mount up again if I invested in and promised to wear a helmet and learn to enjoy pleasure classes instead of contesting. I've been wearing mine for 2 years, every time I ride, no matter what I ride, from donkeys to draft horses, and I love it. I catch grief every now and then, but most people don't even notice. The ones who do are the kids and they thank me for supporting them because they "have" to wear them. I say "so do I" and it becomes an opportunity to educate them a bit further, in hopes that they will continue wearing theirs beyond the 4-H requirement. Thank you again for your post!
  2. jst4horses
    Wear a helmet. I too love to just go on, especially since my favorite way to ride is bareback in shorts with no shoes, but ............I have had a serious head injury from a high fever disease and my doctor said, you have to wear a helmet.......even on the ground. A friend gave me a bag of carrots she had bought for the horses, it was in a plastic bag, without thinking I just slipped it on the saddle horn, by the horse I was walking home from the park. That horse shoved me, and started to buck and kick, apparently he did not like plastic bags. I got kicked in the head with steel shod feet. That was the day the ER doctor told me the difference between real horsemen and riders. He said one comes in screaming and will never even watch a horse race on tv again, the other? Comes in by ambulance, and says "hey doc, will I get out of here in time to feed the horses?" IF I had done what my doctor told me to, I would not have gotten so injured, but where was my helmet? Right there, hanging off the saddle horn with those darn carrots. In competitions that say no, or take away points, at least be sure you have learned the proper way to "fall off a horse". hold the mane, NOT the saddle, and slide down the leg, if you still have a rein, pull the head gently towards you. Too fast a pull on the head and the horse may be going to fast and go down as well. And let the darn horse go! I have seen way too many people trampled at the track because they think they have to hold on to the horse they fell off.
    1. mered30
      That is just dumb to take away points for wearing a helmet and protecting yourself.
  3. Jacqui Miller
    I wear a helmet for 2 reasons 1.) I love my family and I don't want to put them through the process of taking care of me if I have a traumatic brain injury, at any level. The medical bills and the time in recovery if recovery is even possible. I simply care too much for my family to put them through that. If something happens to me I know and they know I have taken every precaution to keep myself safe and to not be a burden to them. 2.) I am a teacher first, as a professional and an instructor I feel that by setting the example of never getting on a horse without a helmet demonstrates how seriously I take this safety precaution. Hopefully my students will walk away from my farm with standards that will keep them safely riding for many years. I respect my family and the future of my students that is why I wear a helmet.
  4. mered30
    I wear a helmet because I am convinced it saved my life. You see I had a really bad fall a few years back where I was riding a horse. This horse started to canter she then spooked and I fell off. That unfortunately is not the worst part. The worst part is when I was on the ground I some how ended up underneath her. She then stepped on my leg (luckily that was not broken I had x rays) and my eye. My eye did not fair as well as my leg she tore through my lower tear duct and I had to have surgery on it. I do remember her hitting my helmet at that time I was on the ground and all I could think was what if I had not been wearing and that was my head how worse would be without it.
  5. beauty
    I recomend a helmet i used to ride in a western hat as that was what i was showing in, when i was a teen, id used helmets at a younger age but the general thinking was you ride a very quiet horsel. when i had my accident station horses were turned out where i was rideing and my horse bolted with them. he jumped a ditch, i ended up with bad concusion and a chip in my elbow. i lost a whole weekends memory. After this i always wore a hard hat. then in 2004 i had a horse sold as a horse suitable for my teenage daughter i used to ride him before her, to cut a long story short after 2 mnths i took him out to a paddock he was 16.2 h.h i went to canter he let out 3 large bucks then went to the ground, id stayed with the bucks but he ended up on top of me my hard hat saved me that day i still had bad concusion, my back was injured but i survived, im sure with out the hat i would have died. or worse been a vegetable i still had some memory problems that improved. please always wear a hard hat.
  6. arabobsession
    I had a bad fall which cracked the back of my helmet, I don't want to think of how this fall would have ended if not for my trusty helmet
  7. HorseRiderSam
    Great Post-Yes Please Wear A Helmet! We are all setting an example for younger horseman, lets show them the smarter thing to do! I always wear a helmet when riding. I am sure it has saved me a few times. Also when starting young horses, or riding a very nervous horse I wear a safety vest. Better safe then sorry, Thanks for posting this!

Sign Up to Vote!

10 second sign-up with Facebook or Google

Already a member? Log in to vote.