In my brilliant youth, I have ridden without a helmet.
Like, a lot.
At first it was because I got a western saddle for Elvis, and “western riders don’t need to wear helmets.” Of course, that rule should get thrown out the window when you get really smart and start jumping around in a western saddle.
But now that I am older and slightly less stupid, I always wear a helmet when I ride. I’d like to say that it’s because I know I only have one brain. That I know when I ride I am partaking in a dangerous activity. That I know if I were to get seriously injured because I wasn’t wearing a helmet, I would jeopardize my career and put my loved ones at a huge burden to take care of me.
Those are the reasons I should have for wearing a helmet, but my head gets really hot and sweaty and if it weren’t for this person I would probably still hack without one… often.
What makes her relative to this post is her undying support and steadfast rules about helmets. No one under 18 gets on without a helmet at any of her barns, period. Barns being the key word here, because while this rule might seem normal to use hunter princesses at our English barns – I can tell you it is not the same in the western world. Even though it’s against the status quo, her Western clients can thank the safety of their brains to her and her helmet initiative in the western penning/sorting world.
We’re even more proud of her, because this past weekend she participated as a speaker in the Riders 4 Helmets Safety Symposium and also was awarded a Dr. Craig Ferrell MD Equestrian Safety Award.
Maybe one day I’ll be mature enough to wear a helmet because of my own good decisions, but until then I’m quite comfortable with the knowledge that she’s really going to give me the stink eye if I hop on without one… even when I think Simon wants to try western puddle jumping.