Over the years I have had my fair share of falls off horses and I have been fortunate enough to never be seriously injured. My most serious fall resulted in me spending a night in hospital with a concussion. Thankfully I was wearing my helmet and was very lucky as it could have been a lot worse. Whenever I ride I always wear my helmet and I instill the same rules on my little girls and my husband (although sometimes he doesn’t listen).
Wearing a helmet is so important when riding as it can save your life. Did you know that when compared to other sports in Australia, equestrian activities have one of the highest risks of serious injury or death. I guess it probably isn’t that surprising when you take into consideration factors like; when you fall from a horse your head could be up to 4m of the ground, or that a lot of the dangers, like the horse spooking or misbehaving, can actually be out of your control. It is important to remember that no matter how quiet or well trained a horse is or how good a rider you are, every time you get on a horse there is some risk involved. Horses have their own brains and instincts and what they do with these can be out of your control.
So why not control what you can and lessen the chance of serious injury by wearing a helmet.
Riders4Helmets is a fantastic campaign that aims to get more equestrians wearing helmets and educate them on the importance of wearing certified, properly fitting and secure helmets. The Riders4Helmets campaign came about soon after Courtney King-Dye, an olympic dressage rider, suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall from a horse when she wasn’t wearing a helmet. Courtney works with Riders4Helmets and strongly endorses wearing a helmet and helmet education. They have a great website, www.riders4helmets.com filled with information, helmet education, head injury prevention tips, statistics and much more. Every equestrian should check out the website as the information there could help prevent serious injury or even save a life.
Saturday June 22nd 2013 is International Helmet Awareness Day, so what better time to start thinking about how to protect your most valuable asset, your brain. Visit the Riders4Helmets website for information on the day and see some of the great supporters of the cause.
Happy and safe riding everyone.
Until next time,