Friday, June 12, 2009

Helmet Safety

So I am one of those equestrians who always wears her helmet, with the exception of the show ring, since in western pleasure it is traditional that you wear a cowboy hat. I am now of the age where a helmet is not required, but I continue to wear one anyway because I really do believe and have heard many stories of how they have saved lives. This week I experienced for myself the importance of wearing a helmet. On Wednesday I was riding a friend's horse around the farm bareback with another friend. All was well until on our last canter before we were going to cool out, the horse I was riding threw a nice buck out of nowhere. He has been so good the whole time I was not expecting it and was thrown onto his neck. He started to lift his head and I thought I might be able to get back in position but he threw another buck and I popped over his head. I have fallen off quite a few times before, as has every rider, but this was the first time I landed on my head. I hit the ground head first then went onto my side. Thankfully I was wearing my helmet which absorbed the impact of the ground instead of my head. I have a bump on my head and my neck is totally out of whack, but that's the worst of it. If I wasn't wearing my helmet I would definitely have a concussion and maybe even have broken my neck at the angle in which I fell. It wasn't the horse's fault he was just feeling frisky, but every time I touch the bump on my head I thank God for my helmet. I hope those equestrians out there who don't wear helmets will consider their heads and necks next time they mount up.

In other news, I gave Satin off on Monday since we showed Sunday and Tuesday we had games day so she could have a fun day. We did pole bending, barrel dash, and a little keyhole. She was beastly, but she was loving it and so was I. Wednesday we did a little schooling and she was quick, but that was probably because she got to gallop around the day before doing games. On Thursday we had a lesson. It was good for the most part. We did some work cantering over poles during which she got a bit racy and tried jumping the poles as I knew she would. We also worked on her flying changes which were a bit sloppy in the beginning but she had some really awesome ones in the end. Her jumping was nice also. She did not over jump or race through. Her spins and sidepass were awesome. Today I did a short schooling session with her because it was really hot and she was great. I also rode the horse I fell off. He is a Kentucky Mountain Pleasure Horse named Hezzie. We just rode around for fun and played with the poles. Yesterday my friend who I will call K and I rode Bobby who is our Standardbred sort of rescue. His owner had to move back to Sweden and we could not get him into SRF in time so we are fostering him until SRF takes him or we find him a home. He has been ridden before and he did pretty good, but is still figuring things out.

The weather has been horrible, raining all week. This afternoon got nice and sunny and I hear the weekend is supposed to be nice as well, so fingers crossed. I also got my new fancy camera this week so tested that out on Tuesday and love it. I can't wait to use it more.

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