Friday, September 18, 2009

More on helmets

I've posted a few times about helmets — on why you should wear them, my borrowed helmet, and, more recently, forgetting one (oops).

Today, Fugly Horse of the Day trumped all of my posts with this post, in which a woman who had suffered a major head injury while riding (falling) wrote to Parelli about their riders never wearing helmets — and received an absolutely atrocious response claiming that their training eliminates the need for helmets. (WTF?!)

Although Fugs wrote the post, the woman who'd forwarded the email to her left a chilling comment:

For those who do not wear a helmet, I just request that it is for a good, honest reason. If it doesn’t fit right, it will be uncomfortable and not do the job intended. If it fits and you think it is uncomfortable I can tell you what uncomfortable is and remember that I am lucky in that I will probably get back close to 90-100% of "me".

Uncomfortable is waking in the ambulance being told you had a horse accident and thinking they made a mistake. In and out of consciousness they tell you at the hospital that even though you are just outside of Seattle, they are flying you to the trauma hospital in Seattle, an ambulance will take too long. Waking up in ICU asking for pain meds and they want you to give a number representing the level of pain and you can’t give a number because you can’t count to 10. You wake up and think all is fine but you can’t understand sentences you are reading. You can’t find words to use. You are delayed in responding and changing subjects midstream. It has been 2 months and I am still dizzy at times and unbalanced when walking. Again, I am lucky in the amount of damage as therapy has helped a lot. I could go on but I think that is enough "uncomfortable" for an adult to make a decision or at least not use that as an excuse.

That woman is lucky to be alive. How many people never even wake up from a fall like that? Her comment definitely is reinforcing my decision to at least wear a helmet when I'm out on the trail and when I start doing more challenging stuff such as jumping. (Though who knows — maybe when I get my own helmet, I'll like it so much I'll start wearing it more often!)



At September 18, 2009 at 5:24 PM, Blogger Reddunappy said...

I always wear my helmet.

A few years ago, at a local stable a woman in her 30's, who had ridden all her life, decided not to wear her helmet one day and go out on the road riding.
They found her
in the middle of the road, when her horse ran back to the stable.If she had only CHOSEN to wear her helmet that day, she would probably be alive today.

I distictly remember the newspaper article, it happened less that 10 miles from where I live. I cut our that article and posted it on the feed store bulletin board where I worked at the time, it was there for years.
In a nutshell, to everyone,
Wear the damn helmet!

At September 18, 2009 at 7:18 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Every time I think that we as bloggers have got the message out about wearing helmets, I find another website with pictures of someone riding a horse without a helmet. I never see people riding motorcycles without helmets anymore. Perhaps it's only because it's illegal, but it would be nice if horseback riders would catch on as fast a motorcyclists.

I'm actually thinking of going to the extreme of wearing a face mask too. That's would a great piece of armor for when I'm working around a horse's legs and cleaning out hooves.

At September 18, 2009 at 10:19 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Pam, that is very scary -- and a good reality check. I definitely need to get better about wearing mine!

NM, motorcycle helmets aren't required in Colorado. By law eye protection is, though -- isn't that ironic! You see people riding motorcycles and scooters without helmets here all the time. So I'm not sure they've all caught on...


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