I have never really been a stickler for personal safety equipment when riding. However, I have always been a stickler for my horse's safety and those around my horse. Well, as I have gotten older I have been more consistent in riding with a helmet; however, I would always jump up there and take that easy quiet ride or "quick" ride and just not put one on.
Well a couple of weeks ago that all changed for me.
A fun filled camping and trail riding weekend quickly turned into more than any of us expected. One of the ladies decided to ride a friend's horse instead of her own in order to save gas on an extra trailer pickup. Well the horse had another idea!
As she mounted, the horse decided to start bucking and she held on for a good 4-5 bucks and then came crashing to the ground. When her head hit the ground it sounded like a shotgun had gone off. It was the scariest accident that I have personally witnessed and completely unexpected from this mare.
The only saving grace for the rider was that she was wearing a helmet, as 3 of the 5 riders were. Her helmet was shattered and she was really shook up. After loading up the horses and getting her to the ER to make sure she was okay we found out that she didn't even have a concussion. She did bruise her hinny pretty good and a hairline fracture to her tail bone But was ALIVE! The Doctor in the ER looked at her helmet and told her that if she had hit the ground that hard without the helmet she would be lucky to have been alive. Now there is something to think on!
Seeing her head sling shot into the ground the way it did will always be in my mind and the sound will never leave me.
So for me there is NO QUESTION! HELMET all the way! The best horse in the world is still a living creature that has a mind of its own.