The reasons why I am not wearing a helmet…

It had been two years since my last rodeo run. Something was different this time.

Photo by Cary Frye.
First rodeo as a helmet wearer.        Photo by Cary Frye.

It wasn’t my young horse, the different saddle or a new pen that seemed different to me. It was the fact I traded in my cowboy hat for a helmet. When you think of cowboys and cowgirls you think of starched jeans, boots and cowboy hats. Helmets are not on that list. Over the last couple years, helmets have become more and more popular, but there are some reasons why I’m not wearing a helmet.

 

I’m not wearing one because they come in cool colors and trendy patterns not. I’m not wearing one because I’m scared of my horse. I’m not wearing a helmet because a famous barrel racer made it cool (Although thanks to her, I look less like an alien and don’t get very many funny looks). I’m not wearing one because I had a bad accident.  

Photo by Carlyon Photography.
Photo by Carlyon Photography.

 

For years I made excuses and reasons in my head for not wearing a helmet like so many others have. “I just don’t feel like a cowgirl without my hat.” “They make my head look giant.” “They are too hot to wear all the time.” “They are uncomfortable.” Well, I found a helmet that doesn’t fit too shabby. It sits pretty close to my head, its comfortable, AND it is well vented. Now, the hat thing, I’m not going to lie, it will take some time to get over that one. I look at the pictures from the rodeo a couple weeks ago and barrel race this weekend and seeing a helmet on my head still looks a little weird to me. At least I don’t have to worry about hat fines, right?

 

Wearing a helmet is a choice, just like buckling your seatbelt when you get in a car. I know that a helmet will not protect me from all harms. I know that it isn’t a 100%guarantee that I won’t get hurt. I know that every time I swing my leg over my horse and make a run down the alleyway there are risks, but putting on a helmet might just be the one thing that saves my life one day.

I’m wearing one because I don’t want to miss out on anything life has to offer. I am wearing a helmet because I love being an aunt and want to see my niece and nephew

Photo by Carlyon Photography.
Photo by Carlyon Photography.

graduate from high school and chase their dreams. I’m wearing one because my dad drives a race car with a full cage, wears a helmet and a fire suit to be safe. I wear a helmet because I plead with my friends who ride motorcycles to wear theirs. I decided to put on a helmet because I can think of some close calls where I would have needed one if the scale was tipped the other way. I wear a helmet because I know my hobby and lifestyle is dangerous. I choose to wear a helmet because I know how much I worry about my big brother on his motorcycle without one. I put on a helmet because I don’t want someone to ever have to say “if only she was wearing a helmet.” I choose to wear a helmet because I have said goodbye to too many friends from freak accidents and circumstances out of their control. I wear a helmet because if there is one thing I can do that can prevent my friends from having to go to my funeral, I’m going to do it.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Dee Dee says:

    AMEN, SISTER!!!

  2. ginalynn80 says:

    We lost an uncle to a freak accident on a horse where a helmet would have saved his life. He was on the sheriff’s posse and working a parade. His well broke, bomb proof horse Holly slipped and fell. He hit his head on the pavement and spent 14 days on life support before he passed. Thank you for speaking up! As a former barrel racer I HATED helmets until the day I had to walk up to my Uncle’s casket. Sending up a prayer that you are never in a situation where you need a helmet to save your life, and that if you ever are you have it on!

  3. Equus spirit says:

    Reblogged this on The Sports Model Jackass and commented:
    I can’t think of any good reasons not to wear one quite honestly.

  4. Cindy Crowl says:

    I’ve ridden horses for 50+ years without my helmet fine until that one day… and if on that day my head would not have hit that huge rock on our favorite trail in front of my daughter. She thought I died in front of her less than 500 feet away from our house. She wasn’t even a teenager. My brain gets confused now & I forgot so much… if only I had worn my helmet like I made her wear hers since she started riding. We are not invincible!!!

  5. Cindy Crowl says:

    I’ve ridden horses for 50+ years without my helmet fine until that one day… and if on that day my head would not have hit that huge rock on our favorite trail in front of my daughter. She thought I died in front of her less than 500 feet away from our house. She wasn’t even a teenager. My brain gets confused now & I forgot so much… if only I had worn my helmet like I made her wear hers since she started riding. We are not invincible!!!

  6. Dawn says:

    I started wearing a helmet about 3 yrs ago. The very first time I wore it I rode a new horse for the first time. Next thing I was on the ground and shook up. So glad I was wearing a helmet. I now use one every time I ride. Even with my 26 yr old Morgan. I have rode all my life and never wore one until now. I am a believer

  7. torque851 says:

    Well said, young lady. Sharing – as a testimonial. Congratulations on taking a stand on this important issue (and by the way – beautiful horse!) Dr. Rebecca Gimenez

  8. Jean Thuflarsham says:

    Bravo for you! You are a smart person. My daughter grew up in an eventing world , where helmets are required. Every time we would attend a rodeo or western show, she would ask me why they weren’t wearing helmets. I would tell her they either honestly don’t understand the dangers of riding, or they choose to ignore all they’ve been told. Then, if I spotted any riders with helmets on their heads, I would the go out of my way to introduce myself and applaud them for being smart equestrians.

  9. I wore a helmet every time I rode my horse, Two and a half years ago I had my accident. It resulted in a Traumatic Brain Injury, bleeding in 5 areas of my brain, after falling from my 16H Belgian/Saddlebred gelding. But my helmet saved me from an open head wound, I laid on the ground for an estimated 5-6 hours, I was riding alone, until the barn owner came home. Life flighted to a trauma center I was lucky to be alive, I credit my helmet, which has some broken internal parts. I expect to ride again as soon asI come up with the money to invest in another great helmet. I am now disabled but I get up and live every day the best that I can. I still love my horse and we will be a team again.

  10. Terrie Dawson says:

    Back in 1971, I was a girl scout working on my Horsemanship badge with my troop. That was before helmets were required. This was not the first trip out, maybe it was the last since I know I received the badge. But, I don’t remember anything about that day until the next morning when I wike up with my Mom in my bed. Confused, I asked her why she was sleeping with me and not my sister whom I shared a double bed with. She asked if I remember what happened. I said no. My Mom, and a few co-participants reluctantly told me what happened. “We were on a trail ride. There was a girl kicking her horse to go because he was wanting a snack, and a tree branch got under the saddle somehow. That horse reared and ran. There were 3 girls who fell off their horse that day. I never could get an answer if I was the girl kicking the horse. I was also told that it looked like one girl was dead. Don’t know if that was me, but I do have 2 foggy memories. One of me looking down on a girl crumpled on the ground and me hearing a girl crying and being told ‘it will be alright’. Was I both those girls? Was me looking down on the crumpled girl an out of body ecperience? My Mom had told me that next morning that the doctors told her she had to wake me every two hours and if I did not wake, my parents would have to take me back to the hospital. To this day I have a good sized indentation on the crown of my head. Despite this, I am still horse crazy as ever, and I am very pro helmets. I would mot have this dent on my head IF I would have had a helmet on.

  11. Susan Dorris says:

    I keep my very old bloodstained helmet in my closet, right next to the nice (and expensive) helmet that I wear every time I ride. The old one saved me from serious injury when my horse slipped and fell, with me on his back, on a patch of ice covered with mud. I hit hard, and needed a couple of stitches. My horse was uninjured. But, I know what might have been, and never ride without a helmet.

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