By Troxel product ambassador: Robin Shen
Robin shares concepts of Enlightened Horsemanship (http://www.robinshen.com/) as taught by Robin Shen and shared by those in pursuit of a deeper relationship with our best friend.
In keeping with the goal of partnership, the use of equipment should be focused on the development of a better relationship and better communication. Ironically, this will not only be more enjoyable for both horse and rider, it will also be substantially safer. It is no secret that the vast majority of injuries associated with horses, whether to the horse, or to the rider, are directly proportional to the level of restraint applied to the horse. This is revealed by the fact that whenever people talk about an equine related injury, it almost always involves a lead rope, tying, hitching, cross ties, trailers, a stall or some other form of restraint.
It is clear that an animal whose survival depends on his ability to flee is most dangerous to itself and to others when it is restrained. It is therefore incumbent upon us to provide a horse with as much freedom as possible. But safety is not the only reason we should avoid restraining a horse. The best reason to minimize restraints is to maximize freedom which is very heart of the matter. The relationship you have with your horse should be a partnership. A partnership cannot exist without dialogue. A dialogue cannot exist without honesty, and honesty cannot exist without freedom.
When a horse is restrained, he lacks the freedom to engage in dialogue. All his responses will be forced reactions compelled by the restraints. They will not be the honest responses that reflect the horse’s true state of mind or level of training. Without honesty, the rider is forced to content himself with the illusion of compliance provided by the restraints or equipment. The rider in turn is restrained. Instead of someone who enjoys the freedom of riding a horse, he becomes someone who rides a saddle, and steers a bridle.
Finally, restraints mock the very reason we ride horses. I contend that no child dreamed of riding a horse in little patterns around an arena. He dreamed of the freedom of riding a horse in the wide open spaces. And yet, we expect to get this at the expense of the horse’s freedom. If you will consider the logic of being free while connected to something that is not, you will begin to see the absurdity of it all. After all, if the horse is restrained, how can he carry us to freedom? A well trained horse has self restraint, self discipline, and self carriage. These virtues are meaningless where he is not at liberty to engage in misconduct and where he is reduced to nothing more than a slave, constrained by mechanical devices and an unrelenting hand.
Disclaimer: Guest blog posts are not the opinions and recommendations of Troxel, LLC.
Troxel’s new Rebel model incorporates western fashion on a sporty helmet ideal for adventurous riders in and out of the arena. The new Rebel line introduces the next level of western helmets with three edgy graphics: Rocker, Cross and Star.
Built for exceptional performance and comfort, the Rebel arms riders with high-end features that make this helmet ideal for a little rebellious riding.
Let us know which style is your favorite by leaving a comment below and be entered to win your own Rocker, Cross or Star!
This contest is closed. Congrats to lucky winner Christen H who picked a Rebel Rocker!
Troxel’s product ambassador, 14 year-old Megan Sparks, has been running barrels from the age of 3. She is a 4-time state youth champion and a 2012 IBRA National Finals 1D money winner. She exclusively shares her experiences of wearing a helmet in a rodeo world known for its “rough-around-the edges” persona.
Who or what influenced you to wear a helmet?
My parents. The rule was always “Wear your helmet or get off the horse.” Nowadays it is my choice, and of course I do. I love my helmet and I feel safer with it on. You never know with horses, they’re unpredictable animals.
Why do you think so many western riders are resistant to wearing helmets? Do you see this changing?
Cowboy hats have always been the tradition and there are still so many people wearing hats nowadays. So everyone gets the impression that if you’re wearing a helmet, you are a bad rider, and fall off a lot. This is not true. Those people are uneducated as to why you should wear a helmet. I don’t see this changing for older generations, but for the younger generation, yes.
Do you think wearing a helmet makes you more confident?
Yes. Wearing my helmet makes any fear I might have of falling off, or getting thrown off, go away. If I had to ride without my helmet, I don’t believe I could be as aggressive as I am now in a race.
What does it feel like to wear a helmet at the Western shows? Do you feel like others think differently of you because you wear a helmet?
I don’t pay attention to what anyone else thinks about my helmet. If they want to judge me, they can judge by my riding, not my helmet. If I were to say others think differently of me it would be one of two things: Some people tell me they are so glad to see that I am wearing a helmet and that I am setting a good example for younger contestants. On the other hand, some people that are not very helmet educated will think a person is wearing a helmet because they cannot ride. Either way, I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, I’m going to wear my helmet. I feel incomplete running without it.
Do you feel like you have influenced others to wear a helmet?
Yes, I do feel that I have influenced some. I’ve actually had some people tell me that before, that I have influenced and inspired their child to start wearing a helmet because that’s what the "big girls" are doing. I have two students now that I work with and my rule was that they have to wear a helmet or I will not teach them. They both ordered Troxel helmets and are loving them.
What do you think about Troxel’s western helmets?
I love the new Rebel helmets! I think you guys did an awesome job designing it. I like the Rebel Star slightly more than the others because of the star design. I love stars :) And also the color, I like the natural earthy colors. I love the colors you put together in the Rebel Rocker, the pink and black. Also the fit, the new CinchFit is great because all I have to do is put the helmet it on, no adjustments needed! And it’s really comfortable, very important for those long days in the saddle.
You can see Megan at her next big show, the Josey Jr. World in May, where Megan was the 1D Go Round Champion last year.
Troxel’s new Rebel helmet is the latest addition to its very successful and popular line of western helmets. The new series incorporates western fashion graphics on a sporty helmet ideal for riders in and out of the arena. The new Rebel series introduces the next level of western helmets with three edgy graphics: Rocker, Cross and Star. See it here »
Do you wear a helmet when you ride? Please leave a comment below!
By Troxel product ambassador: Robin Shen
Many might get the impression that I do not believe in the use of tack. This is NOT true. There is a time for such things as there is for almost everything. I firmly believe that there are no bad horses, only bad riders. And there are no bad techniques, only bad timing, and no bad equipment, only bad applications.
What about you? Do you test these aspects of your horsemanship? Tell us by leaving a comment below!
Disclaimer: Guest blog posts are not the opinions and recommendations of Troxel, LLC.
Troxel, the largest manufacturer of western helmets in the equestrian market today, introduced the Western Hat Helmet in 2008.
Through the development process, Troxel learned that the helmet portion of the Western Hat system could not be made substantially thinner nor smaller and pass ASTM/SEI certification - even with the most advanced and innovative materials available. This posed a significant challenge as the thickness of the helmet caused the Western Hat to look significantly larger when compared to a traditional hat. Additionally, the helmet catered to riders with smaller head sizes.
As a result, the Western Hat Helmet was not accepted by the equestrian market and Troxel has decided to discontinue the helmet style at this time.
As materials advance, it may be possible to produce a hat helmet that is more similar in fit and size to a traditional western hat. In the meantime, Troxel continues to be focused on producing safe, attractive, and stylish equestrian helmets for their customers and encourages riders who are used to wearing western hats to consider helmets.
Troxel’s new Rebel is the latest addition to its very successful and popular line of western helmets. The series incorporates western fashion graphics on a sporty helmet ideal for riders in and out of the arena. The new Rebel series introduces the next level of western helmets with three edgy graphics: Rocker, Cross and Star.
Do you wear a helmet when you ride? Tell us by leaving a comment below?
Reposted from Dressage-News.com
Kenneth J. Braddick
Helmets only will be the rule for ALL United States Equestrian Federation events, including for senior riders in Grand Prix and small tour events, effective April 1 this year, though senior riders in International Equestrian Federation (FEI) CDIs will still be allowed to wear top hats.
The decision by the U.S. is the second by a major horse sport nation to require safety helmets at all levels of dressage. For national competitions–Canada was the first. The rule ends the contradictory and confusing application for seniors that requires a helmet whenever mounted while on show grounds except when warming up and in the competition arena.
Some other nations have experimented with helmet rules before the availability of fashionable but safe headgear, but modified them to exclude Grand Prix riders because of complaints from riders.
The new USEF rule requiring helmets applies also to riders who wear military or police uniforms.
The United States led the drive for adoption of safety helmets in dressage–they were already required for jumping–after American Olympians Courtney King-Dye and Günter Seidel were seriously injured in 2010.
The FEI on Jan. 1 this year implemented the rule that had been adopted by the U.S. requiring safety helmets for all dressage events, except for seniors in CDIs.
However, a growing number of international riders have switched to safety helmets.
The essence of the new USEF rule: “From the time horses are officially admitted to the competition grounds by competition management, anyone mounted on a horse at any time on the competition grounds including non-competing riders, riders on non-competing horses, and those competing in all classes and tests, including Para-Equestrian tests, must wear protective headgear as defined by this rule and otherwise in compliance with GR801. Any rider violating this rule at any time must immediately be prohibited from further riding until such headgear is properly in place. Protective headgear is defined as a riding helmet which meets or exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. The harness must be secured and properly fitted.”
(This corrects a previous version that stated the U.S. was the first major horse sport horse nation to adopt a rule requiring helmets for all national dressage levels. Canada was he first, implementing its reuirement in 2012.)
Thank you to everyone who submitted boards in our Valentine's Day Pinterest Contest. We asked fans and Pinners to create a Pinterest board titled "For The Love of Me" and pin their favorite Troxel helmet and 5 or more images of things they love doing, using the hahstag #WhyILoveMe with each pin description. We recieved so many creative boards it was hard to narrow it down to three winners!
Here are the screenshots of our winning boards:
This contest is over. See the Valentine's Day Pinterest Contest winners here!
Valentine’s Day is the day when “Love” is in the air. And while there’s so much said and written about doing things for those you LOVE, it's also a day when you should spend time to LOVE YOURSELF too.
Winning a new helmet is the perfect gift to YOU this Valentines Day. Here's how you can win:
- Log onto your Pinterest account, follow Troxelhelmets and create a board titled "For the love of ME." Boards without this title will not be eligible.
- Pin your favorite Troxel helmet & 5 (or more) images of things you really love doing - adventurous, big or small. Just identify 5 things that make you happy! (Take a look at our example)
- Use hashtag #WhyILoveMe for each pin description so we can find your boards! Include @troxelhelmets on each of your descriptions for an added bonus!
- Finally, re-pin this image & paste a link to you board in a comment beneath this image on Pinterest so we know you've entered.
Then just sit tight for the winners to be picked and announced on 2/15 at 2:00 PM PST.
3 winners will receive their favorite Troxel helmet in their color of choice and will have their board featured on troxelhelmets.com!
No purchase necessary. Ends 2/14/13 at 11:59 PST.
Good luck! Be creative and have fun…you deserve it.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” — Buddha
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The popular helmet awareness campaign Riders4Helmets will be hosting the 4th Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium on Saturday February 2nd, 2013 at the Alltech Arena, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY from 8.30am to 5pm. The symposium is being sponsored by Tipperary, Charles Owen, Troxel, GPA, One K, Ovation and High Visibility USA (Equisafety). Contributing companies include Adequan and Triple Crown. For those who cannot attend the symposium in person, videoed sessions will be available on www.riders4helmets.com following the event. Attendance to the symposium is open to any member of the public, but individuals who plan to attend must pre-register in advance in order to avoid the $10 on the day entrance fee. To pre-register, please visit www.riders4helmets.com/helmet-safety-symposium-registration/.
The Helmet Safety Symposium will bring together representatives from various corners of the equestrian world to discuss the importance of wearing helmets, rider safety and education, and to improve helmet designs and more. The event will provide a series of short lectures and panel discussions throughout the day. Many in attendance will also sit on the panels, including equestrians, helmet manufacturers, equestrian organizations, and neurosurgeons. The chair of the meeting will be Lyndsey White of Riders4Helmets.
“We are very excited to be hosting the 4th Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium and to see it continue to expand not only into other equestrian disciplines but all aspects of equestrian safety,” said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets. “The symposia are a fantastic opportunity to bring together many individuals, organizations and associations all in one place, to continue important discussions regarding equestrian safety. We are already planning the 1st International Equestrian Safety Summit for summer 2013 to be held in the UK, which will take the symposia concept to an even wider audience."
The Craig Ferrell M.D Equestrian Safety Awards named after former USET Physician and Chair of the FEI Medical Council Craig Ferrell, will be presented at the Safety Symposium. Mrs. Lorraine Ferrell will be in attendance to observe the recognition of individuals who have been nominated by equestrians, as being exceptional role models for helmet wearing, or equestrian safety.
Symposium topics will include the following:
• Traumatic Brain Injuries and Concussions: The Latest Research, Long Term Effects and Revolutionary Technologies
• Helmets in the Western World
• Educating Our Youth
• Helmets On The Trail
• In Memoriam: Cheryl Strong-Camilleri
• Gaining Acceptance In The Equestrian Community For Helmet Use
• We Are All Role Models: Setting An Example
• Safety Incentives: Thinking Outside The Box To Get Helmets Introduced Into Non-Helmet Wearing Disciplines
• Helmets And The Breed Organizations
• Current Helmet Rules: Clarification Across The Disciplines
• Riders4Helmets: Three-Years On
• Champion Barrel Racer: Megan Sparks
• Olympians: Courtney King-Dye (via video), Darren Chiacchia
• Multiple CMSA World & National Champion Cowgirl: Tammy Sronce
• HorseThink™ Keeping You Safe: Scot Hansen & Sandy Siegrist
• Champion Reiner: Lyndsey Jordan
• ACTHA: Caroline Scrima
• Britni Lovelace, Brooke Smith & Zane Lovelace
• Equestrian Mental Skills Coach: Tonya Johnston
• Neurosurgeon (name to be confirmed)
• RidingHorses.com: Kathy Slack
• Reserve Champion Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover: Mary Miller Jordan
• Equestrian Mental Skills Coach: Tonya Johnston
• USEF: Leigh Anne Claywell
• Tipperary: Len Clemente
The full symposium agenda and speaker list (with bios) will be available shortly, by visiting www.riders4helmets.com/category/4th-safety-symposium/
To book a discounted hotel room at the host hotel, please call the Clarion, Lexington, KY at (800) 424-6423 and use discount code “Riders4Helmets”.
The Kentucky Horse Council Round Up will also be taking place at the Alltech Arena on the same day as the safety symposium. The Round-Up will feature a number of demonstrations, activities and events, culminating in a concert on Saturday evening with country music legend John Michael Montgomery. For further details on this event please visit www.kentuckyroundup.com.
Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and continues to undergo rehabilitation. The goal of the Riders4Helmets Campaign is to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitted and secured, certified helmet.
Lausanne (SUI), 18 December 2012
The FEI has launched a global campaign to promote the use of protective headgear. The move comes two weeks before implementation of a new rule making the use of a properly fastened protective headgear mandatory while riding on the show grounds at FEI events. The campaign, which will be conducted mainly online, begins today, a fortnight before the new rule comes into effect on 1 January 2013.
An important part of the campaign will be a series of emails with strong visuals reminding athletes of the importance of safety, and particularly of helmet use. These reminders will be sent to the National Federations, athletes and officials clubs, and various FEI stakeholders on a regular basis throughout 2013. A special page outlining the protective headgear requirements specific to each of the seven FEI disciplines on the field of play and outside the competition arena has been created on the FEI website and can be accessed here. Widgets for simple access to all the relevant information can be downloaded from this page.
“The helmet rule, which was unanimously adopted by the FEI General Assembly in 2011, is a significant step forward towards the better protection of our athletes,” said FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos. “Beginning 1 January 2013, protective headgear will be compulsory at all FEI events and we strongly encourage everyone involved in international equestrian sport to familiarise themselves with the new general and sport-specific rules. The welfare of all our athletes, human and equine, must be protected.”
Helmet use has been at the forefront of several campaigns in recent years. US Dressage rider Courtney King-Dye, recent winner of the FEI Against All Odds Award, advocates educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing helmets through the Riders4Helmets campaign (www.riders4helmets.com). In 2010, King-Dye, who had represented the United States at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals 2007 and 2008, suffered a traumatic brain injury. A horse she was schooling tripped and fell and, with no helmet to protect her, she fractured her skull in the fall. After four weeks in a coma, she spent three months in hospital re-learning how to walk and talk. The after-effects of the accident still severely affect her coordination and speech. She is now aiming to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (BRA).
“I think my accident was necessary in the fight for safety because an Olympian who sustains a brain injury while riding proves that injury has nothing to do with level of skill,” Courtney King-Dye commented. “For 15 years, I was a person who only rode the young or ‘dangerous’ horses with a helmet, but my horse did nothing naughty, he just tripped over his own feet.
“And while you can’t control what people do at home, the new rules can control what people do at shows and this will go a long way to create good habits,” she added.
The Yellow Warning Card system already in place will be used for those athletes who do not comply with the new rule. A Yellow Warning Card will be given if an athlete is reminded that he or she needs to wear protective headgear and the athlete fails or refuses to comply after such reminder.
Why on earth were there 4 handsome firemen/EMTs fussing over me? What on earth was I doing on a board? Why the sirens, I was awake dang it! What happened? This is silly! I was really pissed that the trauma team cut my clothes off when we finally made it to the hospital (lol - classic me). I felt like it was an awful lot of fuss when I was just fine, dang it!
Later when talking with the trauma doctor, she told me I’d suffered a massive concussion and if I hadn’t been wearing that helmet I would have suffered severe brain trauma or death. I will miss my old school Mickey Mouse Troxel helmet. Thought you’d like the story, though I don’t remember the accident or events immediately preceding or following it. I won’t forget the day or that a helmet saved my life.
It was a beautiful day, a few of us got together and trailered our horses to the beach just north of the Tijuana border. It was my OTTB’s first trail ride, and I decided to wear a helmet just to be safe. Turns out it was a pretty stellar idea…
The horse in front of me spooked my big guy and my horse leapt forward and to the side, and then my left rein broke at the bit (brand new set too!) I came off - there was no hope of staying on at that point (this is what everyone tells me, the last thing I remember is taking the side trail).
Apparently I landed on my side and rolled over onto my back and stayed there, unconscious, for about 45 minutes to an hour. My Troxel helmet was still in place. Once I finally regained consciousness, they said I didn’t know where I was or how I got there, and could not recite ABCs or give phone numbers, etc. I kept asking the same questions over and over again. Hallmarks of a concussion I would later learn.
One thing we learned from this is that it was a really good thing that I’d programmed ’HOME’ in my GPS so that my friend could get my rig and horse home safely. But it would also have been helpful to have had a list of emergency contacts tacked somewhere in the cab of my rig as she couldn’t find my phone and didn’t know how to contact anyone. Thought I would pass that on. I’ll be doing that now. Thank you Troxel - I wouldn’t be here without you.
This rider asked for her story to remain anonymous, but she wanted to share it because she learned some valuable lessons that might help others. We commonly get testimonials from riders. Many share them on our safety center, some hand-write them, and all of them share a common thread; that they are so grateful they wore their helmet that possibly saved their life. Most riders say they almost didn’t wear their helmet the day they got in their accident, and they thank us profusely for making a product that did its job.
Kim makes two great points that we can learn from in case we happen to get in an accident:
- Program ‘HOME’ in your GPS so your horse and rig can get home safely.
- Be prepared with a list of emergency contacts in your vehicle. At Troxel we also suggest having one on you and programmed into your phone.
It is important to remember that horses are unpredictable animals programmed to spook at the slightest danger. Many are surprised to hear that your horse doing something unpredictable, like spooking, bucking, or bolting – is how most head injuries occur, but 20% happen when you’re simply around horses.
Kim mentioned in her original testimonial that she was wearing our old Mickey Mouse helmet, one of the first graphic equestrian helmets ever made. We found it pretty remarkable that a helmet that was made 15 years ago potentially saved a life. However, we also want to stress the importance of replacing a helmet every 5 years. This is largely based on use, exposure to the elements and treatment of the helmet.
We thank Kim for her bravery, and sharing her story with us. We strongly believe that these stories help raise awareness of the necessity of helmet safety.
Have you been in an accident? Please share your story with us!
You can’t beat the view from the back of a horse. Check out the winning stories detailing these riders’ best rides! Sponsored by Troxel!
Grand prize winner Sue shares her best ride from a two-week horse riding camp at the Girl Scout National Center West, in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Sue wins a new Troxel Venture helmet and a fleece jacket.
I turned fourteen the year my dad was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I had been active in Girl Scouts all my life, attending horse camp each summer as a camper first and then as a counselor when I was older. My local Girl Scout council awarded me a grant to attend a two week horse riding camp at the Girl Scout National Center West, in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, set at the base of the Grand Teton Mountains.
I was assigned a cute little bay gelding named Chipper. The highlight of camp was a six day pack trip up into the mountains. We learned to pack pannier boxes and how to tie them properly onto pack horses. We rode up the steep slopes, through valleys with names like Onion Gulch, and pitched our tents in mountain meadows. We cooked over open fires, explored the opening cave of an underground river and even washed our hair in an ice cold mountain stream (with biodegradable shampoo, of course). Each night all the horses except two were let loose to roam and graze. Different teams each morning had to saddle up, go out and find the "˜bell mare'. Once she was headed back to camp, all the other horses would find their way back to her and to camp.
I clearly remember my turn to round up the herd. My partner and I found the bell mare pretty quickly and got her and everyone moving back to camp. Then we rode up a hill and stood on a rocky promontory overlooking the camp, with an amazing view of the valley, trees and surrounding mountain peaks. The sun was just coming up over the horizon to the east, setting the sky aflame with orange, purple, blue and gold. We just sat there on our horses, overwhelmed at the beauty of that place, and while we stood there, a great peace settled over my heart. I thought about my dad, back home, in and out of hospitals. I thought how much he would have loved being in a place like the one where I was, and that soon he was going to an even better place, with no more suffering and pain. I wept both tears of sorrow and tears of joy in that beautiful mountain retreat.
One of the older girls at camp taught me to play backgammon. I had some money left over when I got home, so I bought a backgammon board. I taught my dad how to play, and we had several good games, although he often accused me of cheating! Daddy died a few months later, on December 2 of that year. Both events are forever tied together in my memory, the year I had the best horse adventure of my life, and the worst loss I could imagine.
Susan’s takes us on her best ride through a hillside in Portugal! Susan wins a Troxel Sierra helmet.
Everyone has a dream and mine was fulfilled when in 2007 I soloed on my first riding vacation. I signed on for a week at the Caminho dos Alentjos farm in Milfontes, Portugal. The owners were a young Dutch and English couple who not only provided a welcoming environment with outstanding horses and rides, but managed to keep the conversation going among a group of seven guests, only two of whom were native English speakers. The others were French or French Swiss. The English speakers spoke no French, the others spoke some English. Nonetheless, with Ilana and William's linguistic expertise, this international group found its base and by the end of the week we were firm friends.
To us, Ilana and William had the life: beautiful farm, exquisite horses. They had come to this rural life in Portugal from a very different place, the film and travel industries in Holland. This was their dream, a dream they worked very hard to realize, and a dream on which they had chanced everything--security, finances, family.
Our days were filled with long rides aboard the amazing and forgiving Lusitanos; Ilana guiding us through the eucalyptus and cork forests of southern Portugal, along village lanes and up flinty hillsides as William met us with refreshments for horses and riders at our scheduled stops. Gracious always, caring as much for their guests as much as for their horses, this pair offered us what I had always imagined a riding vacation would be.
My best ride? The one where I was mounted on a kind Selle Francaise/Lusitano mare named Belle, following behind our beautiful Dutch guide and friend, in the company of like-minded people. There was a golden moment when I was flying up a hillside in what they called a petit gallop, fully confident in my mount, proud of myself for overcoming middle-aged fears, and convinced that the life that Ilana and William had was perfect.
At dinner our last night at the Caminho dos Alentjos, William confessed that this would be their last group. They could no longer sustain the farm and the program. Even without a common language, we seven expressed our shock and dismay. For a full week Ilana and William had kept this news to themselves, making sure that their guests had nothing but pleasure and a carefree riding holiday; but, on this last evening in Portugal, they let their disappointment and grief show. It seems as though, sometimes, what seems perfect simply costs too much.
Soon after, the horses were dispersed across Europe and the farm was sold. Our hosts picked up their lives in Holland again, their dream, like Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa, now just a memory. Once they had a farm.
Joy share hers story of a close call she experienced at her ranch Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center. Joy wins a Sierra helmet.
Hi, my name is Joy I am 23 years old and I am about to turn 24 in a couple of months and my mares name is Athena. My favorite ride of all times happened not too long ago in fact right in the beginning of summer with a group of my fellow boarders from our ranch Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center. We did this ride later in the day when it was finally cooling down from our dry California heat.
That day we took the golf course trail, which meant that most of the trail was primarily shaded and level, not to many hills to go up and down. I was leader and I had told everyone come and follow the "Joy Ride" everyone laughed. It was beautiful, absolute perfect ride and all the horses were so well behaved on that particular day, it was amazing. Towards the end of the ride there was one final hill and I decided to lope up it, I remember everyone saying are you sure Joy, we don't have too? And I said yeah, come on. Well I never made it to the top of that hill, because I didn't check my cinch and my saddle slipped to the side of Athena's body and I fell straight on my back, hitting my head on the hard ground and, watching from ground level thundering hooves pass me by. I was lucky for one I wasn't wearing a helmet and two I didn't break anything. I was grateful because I got up and I wasn't seriously injured. The only thing that was truly hurting inside me was my ego.
I told myself it's time for a helmet next time you won't be as lucky and Joy if you're going to canter up a hill check your cinch first to make sure its tight and not loose. As I got up and brushed all the dirt off my body, put my saddle back on Athena made a point to check the cinch not once but twice before I got back on, I felt like an idiot I had been riding 15 + years I knew better.
Once we started getting closer to the ranch I had realized what a fantastic ride that truly was. I had a smile on my face and I was shocked how much I really did enjoy my "Joy Ride" and so did everyone else who had tagged along. "Thanks for the great ride Joy, hope your okay!" Yeah I was very sore and my pride had been shaken up but I was extremely happy! After I was undone tacking my mare, I told myself that was a perfect ride but it's time to invest in a helmet.
Thank you to everyone who submitted boards in our first ever Pinterest contest! We asked fans and Pinners to create a Pinterest board with all the things that inspire them to wear a helmet, and to pin their favorite NEW Troxel helmet using the hashtag #WhyIWearATroxel for each pin. We received so many great entries it was hard to limit it down to three winners! Here are the screenshots of our winning boards!
whos fiance would be pretty upset with her if anything happened to her before her wedding! The skeleton wearing a helmet won us over as well!
who pinned just about everything that made us laugh and cry. Such creativity involved!
who charmed us with a generous amount of classic prints that to her, portray helmets being symbolic of history, strength, precision, and endurance.
Each winner will receive their favorite Troxel helmet of choice and a Troxel fleece helmet bag!
Thanks again to everyone who participated! Stay tuned for future contest by signing up for our email newsletter! Sign up here »
Is there a reason you wear a helmet? Oftentimes there is a deep reason behind it for some - a scary fall or a close call. We want to know why you wear a Troxel helmet and which ones are your favorites from our new 2013 line! We are picking three winners!
Here's how it works:
What is Pinterest?
It's a place to bookmark images and videos you love from around the web. In Pinterest terms, these bookmarks are called "pins." Your "pins" (think, pinning things to a virtual bulletin board) are visible to other Pinterest users and you can see the boards of others as well. Learn more here!
Questions? Just leave a comment below!
We are so thrilled at Troxel helmets to hear about Jacqueline Brooks making history at the 2012 London Olympics by being the first competitor to wear a helmet instead of the usual top hat historically worn by dressage competitors. Read the press release below via http://www.horse-canada.com
Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON, is currently the top placed member of the Canadian Olympic Team for Dressage following the first day of competition on Thursday, August 2, at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
As the third competitor into the stadium at the Olympic equestrian venue in Greenwich Park, Brooks, 44, of Cedar Valley, ON, earned a score of 68.52 percent. She is currently ranked 18th in the individual standings with D Niro.
With the elimination of Marcus, the Canadian Olympic Team for Dressage is also eliminated from competition. Brooks and Holzer are eligible to continue as individuals, if qualified, in the Grand Prix Special on Tuesday, August 7.
- Hides unseemly bald spot
- Helmets are more effective at repelling angry swooping birds
- Just in case the jump that you jumped two days ago has suddenly grown horns and is going to attack your horse, you’re covered
- Helmets don’t make your butt look big! (it’s true!)
- Practicing ‘flying dismounts’ (unplanned) … have been known to cause headaches
- You did enough brain damage in your college days
- Safe is the new sexy
- It’s so much fun to try to scratch that horrible itch on your head!
- “Altered level of consciousness related to subarachnoid hemorrhage” is not a cool Facebook Status.
- Perfect solution for a bad hair day, just strap that bad boy on and ride!
Do you have some funny reasons of your own? Please leave a comment below!
Guest Blog post by Amy Hamlet of Dover Saddlery
With much of the nation locked in a heat wave, riders should take precautions to ensure their health and the health of their horses. Long, hot summer days and high humidity increase the risk of dehydration, heat stress and other heat-related health issues for horse and rider.
Proper riding apparel can help you beat the heat, too. Here are three riding apparel suggestions to help you stay cool while riding:
We’re proud to announce the grand prize winner of the Troxel Summer Helmet Giveaway Sweepstakes! We gave away one of our all-new helmets every week for 6 weeks. This included the 2012 Venture, Liberty, Intrepid and Avalon. We received over 3,500 entries who entered the sweepstakes via our website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
We drew a name out of a helmet and without further ado, the grand prize winner of the Summer Helmet Giveaway Sweepstakes is.....Steve Whitener! Steve is a lucky winner of a 7-day trip for 2 at the HF Bar Ranch in Saddlestring, Wyoming and 2 Troxel helmets of his choice!
We want to thank everyone who participated, and would like to congratulate all the winners for entering! A special thanks to HF Bar Ranch for kindly giving away a trip for two to their wonderful ranch.
|Week #1 Winner||Karen Brooks||Troxel Venture helmet|
|Week #2 Winner||Pam Hopkins!||Troxel Venture helmet|
|Week #3 Winner||Cheryl Figures!||Troxel Venture helmet|
|Week #4 Winner||Genevieve Hammonds!||Troxel NEW Liberty helmet|
|Week #5 Winner||Shannon Hudson!||Troxel NEW Intrepid helmet|
|Week #6 Winner||Cindi Strelko!||Troxel NEW Avalon helmet|
|Grand Prize Winner||Steve Whitener||Two Troxel helmets of choice and a 7 day trip for 2 at the HF Bar Ranch.|
About the HF Bar Ranch
The HF Bar Ranch, all 7500 acres of it, is the second-oldest dude ranch in America. The Ranch also happens to be on the list of one of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” Families seeking to escape the web of computer games and theme parks and return to a classic form of summer relaxation together will fall in love with the this rustic getaway and all its fixin‘s!
This old time dude ranch has evolved over the years to offer new services to the guests. HF Bar Ranch is now offering the most popular Troxel Western helmets to their riders.
“We have over 5 generations that come to this ranch and we are constantly improving what we can offer to our guests,” says HF Bar Ranch Operations Manager, Paul Robertson. “When I saw Troxel’s line of Western helmets, I knew it would be a great opportunity to show riders how far helmets have evolved to cater to the demands of Western riders.” For more information, please visit the HF Bar Ranch website.
If you didn’t win don’t fret!
For more contests, be sure to stay tuned on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Also sign up for our email list to be the first to learn about special offers, exclusive events and the latest insider insights from Troxel.
Feel free to leave us a comment below!
The Troxel Team
Troxel and the HF Bar Ranch have teamed up for another amazing Troxel Summer Sweepstakes!
Troxel is giving away one of its all-new helmets every week for 6 weeks. This includes the 2012 Venture, Liberty, Intrepid and Avalon. The Grand Prize is a 7 day trip for 2 at the HF Bar Ranch in Saddlestring, Wyoming!
To participate in the Free Helmet Giveway, go to the Troxel Helmets fan page on Facebook, click “Like” to become a fan, and follow the instructions to enter to win a gift from Troxel and our friends at HF Bar Ranch, valued at $6000! Not on Facebook? You can also enter on Twitter and on our Website.
EVERY FRIEND WHO SUCCESSFULLY SIGNS UP GIVES YOU AN ADDITIONAL CHANCE TO WIN!
Week #1 6/12
--Congrats to winner Karen Brooks!--
Troxel Venture helmet
Approximate retail value $139.95
Week #2 6/19
--Congrats to winner Pam Hopkins!--
Troxel Venture helmet
Approximate retail value $139.95
Week #3 6/26
--Congrats to winner Cheryl Figures!--
Troxel Venture helmet
Approximate retail value $139.95
Week #4 7/03
--Congrats to winner Genevieve Hammonds!--
Troxel NEW Liberty helmet
Approximate retail value $54.95
Week #5 7/10
--Congrats to winner Shannon Hudson!--
Troxel NEW Intrepid helmet
Approximate retail value $69.95
Week #6 7/17
--Congrats to winner Cindi Strelko!--
Troxel NEW Avalon helmet
Approximate retail value $169.95
Grand Prize Final Drawing 7/17
Two Troxel helmets of choice and a 7 day trip for 2 at the HF Bar Ranch.
The HF Bar Ranch, all 7500 acres of it, is the second-oldest dude ranch in America. The Ranch also happens to be on the list of one of the "1,000 Places to See Before You Die." Families seeking to escape the web of computer games and theme parks and return to a classic form of summer relaxation together will fall in love with the this rustic getaway and all its fixin’s!
This old time dude ranch has evolved over the years to offer new services to the guests. HF Bar Ranch is now offering the most popular Troxel Western helmets to their riders.
"We have over 5 generations that come to this ranch and we are constantly improving what we can offer to our guests," says HF Bar Ranch Operations Manager, Paul Robertson. "When I saw Troxel’s line of Western helmets, I knew it would be a great opportunity to show riders how far helmets have evolved to cater to the demands of Western riders."
Troxel’s latest helmet to join the line of Western helmets is the Venture. The Venture incorporates the revolutionary CinchFit technology and showcases the next generation of helmet styling for Western riders. Check out the Venture and enter to win a trip of a lifetime.
Need more details? Read the Official Rules
Questions? Leave us a comment below.
—The Troxel Team
The Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints are to be directed to Troxel LLC, not Facebook. You understand you are providing your information to Troxel LLC and not to Facebook. The information provided will only be used in the event that Entrant is selected as a Contest winner or if the Entrant has indicated he/she would like to receive additional information from Troxel LLC. Winners selected by Random.org.
Riders4Helmets.com has teamed up with leading helmet manufacturers to host International Helmet Awareness Day 2012 on Saturday June 9th. Building on the success of National Helmet Awareness Day 2010 (USA) and International Helmet Awareness Day 2011, participating retailers all over the world will be offering discounts on helmets to equestrians on this day. “We are delighted to be in our third year of hosting and organizing International Helmet Awareness Day,” said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets. “The campaign was founded two years ago as a direct result of Olympian Courtney King-Dye’s accident with the aim of educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting, secured and certified helmet. We are proud to dedicate this years’ event to Courtney.”
International Helmet Awareness Day is not just an opportunity for equestrians to purchase a helmet at a special one-time discount, more importantly it is an opportunity for equestrians to be educated.
“Riders4Helmets will therefore be live streaming “Get Educated” webinars via Riders4Helmets.com on Saturday June 9th, in which equestrians will be able to ask a variety of experts real-time” questions. The webinars will feature experts in fields such as: Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion; Psychology (why equestrians choose not to wear a helmet); Neuro Physiotherapy; Helmet Manufacturers; Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors; Leading Equestrians (including Olympians); and, Helmet Testing Agencies. Riders4Helmets will announce the confirmed line-up of participants at Riders4Helmets.comprior to June 9th. The educational aspect of International Helmet Awareness Day will be supported by participating retailers, many of whom have already made plans to offer educational events in their stores on June 9th.
Helmet brands that have committed involvement in International Helmet Awareness Day 2012 to date include: Samshield, Troxel, Charles Owen, GPA, Aegis (Devon-Aire), Pegasus, Tipperary, Ovation,IRH, One K and KEP Italia in the USA & Canada. In the UK, Charles Owen, Champion Hats,Gatehouse and LAS have all signed up. “We are grateful to the helmet manufacturers for their continued support of this important event,” said Chad Mendell, Riders4Helmets. “The Riders4Helmets campaign has continued to grow on a global level, as we hope will International Helmet Awareness Day.”
Retailers who wish to participate in the event may register by visitingwww.riders4helmets.com/ihad/retailer-information/. Retailers are encouraged to register prior to May 28th, 2012 in order to ensure that they receive educational materials in time for the event. Late registrations will however, still be accepted through June 8th.
Equestrians may visit www.riders4helmets.com/ihad/ to learn more about International Helmet Awareness Day and to search for participating retailers by “Name” or “Geographic Location.”Equestrians are encouraged to visit www.riders4helmets.com/ihad/ the morning of June 9th, 2012, to view the most current update, as participating retailers continue to be added.
Individuals or organizations wishing to hold an event to recognize International Helmet Awareness Day may email firstname.lastname@example.org for helmet awareness graphics and educational brochures. “You can participate and show your support just by wearing a helmet on June 9th, no matter whether you are trail riding, showing or competing” said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets.
Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and is still undergoing rehabilitation.
Thank you to everyone who entered our Mother's Day Helmet Giveaway! We have selected three very deserving Mothers who will soon own new Troxel helmets! Congrats to Chris Caron, Audrey Emery, and Grace Barstow:)
Your Mother has protected you your whole life, it’s time to give back with a new helmet this Mother’s Day!
Please see the comments below from everyone who entered the contest.
—The Troxel Crew
Here's a sneak peek of Horse & Rider Magazine's April Issue, featuring hot looks for Western riders. Managing Editor Jennifer Paulson shares notes from competitors to inspire your own wardrobe choices for the most popular Western events.
Check out what Laurie Shelton, Dripping Springs, Texas; finalist on “American’s Favorite Trail Horse” and ACTHA competitor wears competitive trail riding:
2. Troxel Venture performance helmet, $139.95
3. Ariat Madison shirt, $44.95
4. Justin Boots Bent Rail boots, $180.
Do you wear a helmet with your Western attire? Please leave a comment below!
In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month this March, we wanted to dedicate a blog post to this very important issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur when an external force injures the brain, and every year 1.7 million Americans sustain a TBI. A brain injury can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone – a brain injury does not discriminate. But what does this mean to you? We hope it means a greater awareness of how common brain injuries actually are – and that you will take simple steps to reduce your risk of brain injury.
In January of 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ was shot from point-blank range through the brain. There was plenty of coverage (and rightfully so) of Giffords’ remarkable early recovery, however, what was missing from the media coverage: mention of the long and grueling journey that lies ahead for her and for so many others with TBI’s.
The federal government has been involved in this issue directly since passing the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996 and several amendments to the Act, which encouraged research and innovative programs to increase awareness. On March 19th, 2012, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health looked at Federal, State and private efforts to prevent and treat traumatic brain injury and the disabilities they cause. Read more here.
In the equestrian industry, two years have passed since US Olympian Courtney King-Dye’s accident, perhaps the most high profile TBI to ever happen to a professional equestrian rider. From the comfy couches and corners of the Internet people have watched Courtney’s brave rehabilitation and slow recovery. At Troxel we received an outpouring of letters, emails and phone calls from dressage riders, trainers, judges and fans everywhere, asking for our support to the recovery of Courtney King-Dye. We were so incredibly touched by this and jumped at the opportunity to help fundraise further rider education and acceptance of helmets. This has been a commitment Troxel has been invested in since 1990, when Troxel spun off from its parent company to enter the equestrian market. At this time certified ventilated lightweight helmets did not exist. Catalyzed by the success of its first schooling helmet, and followed thereafter by the first certified show helmet, Troxel quickly emerged as the world's leading provider of ASTM / SEI certified equestrian helmets.
It was Courtney King-Dye’s accident that birthed the Riders4Helmets campaign, with a goal to “educate equestrians on the basic facts of wearing a helmet, to promote the helmet wearing campaign on a National level by involving leading equestrians in various disciplines that hopefully encourage an increased use of helmets, and, to provide important links/resources to enable riders to become further educated on the importance of wearing a helmet.” At Troxel we are so deeply proud of all the hard work of the Riders4Helmets campaign founders: Lyndsey White and Chad Mendell.
Since Courtney’s accident we have continued to further rider education and acceptance of helmets. We have also continued to see many riders shun the use of helmets and make excuses or believe some of the common myths associated with helmets.
“Only kids and amateurs need to wear helmets”
To help shed light on what it’s like to have a TBI we have gathered stories from TBI survivors.
The 2008 US Olympian Courtney King Dye opened the 3rd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium held Saturday January 14th, 2012 with an update on her current medical condition and daily issues of living with a TBI.
"I'm going to put you in my position for a minute." Watch Courtney’s video from the 3rd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium >
Courtney continues to struggle to regain the ability to speak and walk with the ease that came naturally before her fall. She has been unable to return to competitive dressage, but she works diligently on her rehabilitation every day.
Anne Ricketts, owner of website and author of book “My Latent Self, Recovering My Soul After Brain Injury” shares her experience as a TBI survivor:
Many survivors of brain injury report a feeling that they have lost their ‘self’, or their soul. Their families and loved ones often feel the same way. I hope to alleviate some of the fears by sharing the many insights into what is really happening from own experience of TBI. My goal is to raise awareness about the effects that brain injury can have on our lives – both from the ‘inside’ and from the ‘outside.’
I started riding at about nine-years-old. I had always felt a desperate love for horses and a real connection with them. Here in England, I have never ridden anywhere that did not require all riders to wear safety helmets. I was wearing my own helmet with integral chin straps the day I fell on my head. I have no idea how much more severe the damage to my brain would have been without that helmet; I am here but for the grace of God. The full story is in my book, ‘My Latent Self, Recovering My Soul after Brain Injury.’
Even though I had ridden for so much of my life and had always worn a helmet, I was never really conscious of the protection it gave me. If anyone thinks that it won't happen to them then let me tell you that the World Health Organization estimates that there are currently one billion people living with some kind of brain injury across the world today. Of these, there are millions living with the effects of traumatic brain injury that is caused when the brain is smashed against itself and the inside of the skull. You don't have to have an open or visible wound to sustain damage to the brain. Brain injury affects cognitive function in almost everyone. Some people have emotional and physical problems and disabilities too.
With me, I lost all sense of who I was; I literally lost the connection to my soul…If it comes down to it and you have a choice about whether to wear a helmet or not then I would say this - ‘do you want to live without knowing who you are, perhaps with severe physical disabilities, problems with your sight, your balance, migraines, speech?’ The list is endless, and yet most people don't even know that even a simple bang to the head can lead to these kinds of very serious and severely life-changing affects. No one is immune.
What was brain injury like for me? It’s like trying to cling to the periphery of the world with broken fingers.
The bottom line is that the level of rider has nothing to do with risk when it comes to head injuries. Your level of expertise doesn’t protect you: The risk of injury is tied to cumulative riding time, not level of expertise.
Both Courtney King Dye and Gabriel Giffords’ resignation is a heartbreaking reminder that for patients both famous and ordinary, the medical story doesn’t end when the media attention fades. There is a long road ahead of them and what we can do is continue to educate ourselves and wear helmets. Prevention is vital to avoiding TBI’s.
What are some reasons you do or do not wear a helmet? Do you suffer from a TBI? Please share your thoughts and stories by leaving a comment below.
To learn more about these initiatives or to learn more about awareness and advocacy events taking place in your state during the month of March and throughout the year and how you can get involved, contact your chartered state affiliate…
One of the most frequent questions we receive are inquiries from customers wondering the appropriate age for children to start riding.
This question does not come with a precise answer, but instead, a series of guidelines for parents to consider. Physical and emotional development coupled with the ability to follow directions are key attributes to examine when considering riding lessons for your child. Parents, knowing their children best, should proceed with guidance from skilled instructors.
Horses and even ponies are very large, and potentially dangerous animals. Before purchasing one for a child, or initiating riding lessons, it’s important that parents are prepared, and more importantly that the child is prepared.
“As in all sports, children should be able to gain confidence and some independence from being involved with horses,” says EMSA President, Deborah F. Stanitski, M.D. “Since safety is such a big issue I feel that the instructor should stress this aspect in terms of horse handling, stall safety, leading, cross-tying & finally riding.”
The following information is shared with the permission of the Equestrian Safety Medical Safety Association.
A child must never be mounted on a horse without a secured, ASTM standard SEI-certified helmet.
Your child should have:
• The desire to ride
• Muscle strength to hold the proper position in the saddle
• The ability to understand instructions and follow directions
• Sufficient attention span for instruction
• Neck muscles strong enough to support a fitted, secured certified protective helmet
The horse should be:
• Suitable for children with a quiet, calm nature
• Small enough to allow the child’s legs to be under the child’s body, and the foot reaches halfway down the side of the horse
The equipment should include:
• A saddle that fits the size of the child
• A saddle that fits the size of the horse
Then you’ll need a qualified instructor who:
• Has experience and patience to work with young children
• Has appropriate discipline and control of the program
• Teaches in a fashion to all progressive development of motor skills
• Has knowledge of riding skills appropriate for the age of the child
• Has requirement for a fitted, secured ASTM/SEI-certified headgear at all times when mounted
• Knows when a helmet is well-fitted
• Has facilities with a small closed ring away from motorized traffic, other horses and disruptive activities
• Is certified by a recognized, national equestrian instruction program that includes CPR-First Aid certification as part of its program
Did you know?
• No child should ride a horse without the appropriate skills and level of development for riding
• No adult should ride double with an infant or child
This brochure is available for downloading for personal use or distribution in horse-related activities such as clinics, exhibits, shows or meetings. For more information, please visit: www.emsaonline.net
How old did your child start riding? What are your thoughts on how old children should be?
To read what some of our Facebook fans thought click here
We have compiled a list of some of our favorite Halloween entries submitted for the Riders4Helmets Troxel Venture Helmet Contest. Riders were asked to list their Top 10 Reasons to Wear a Helmet.
1. Horses think plastic bags are horse-eating ghosts…
2. The jump that you jumped two days ago has suddenly grown horns and is going to attack your horse.
3. They can’t put your head in a cast.
4. Sticks and stones may break your bones but a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) can kill you.
5. The Scarecrow could talk and dance without a brain but you can’t.
6. Unlike cats, horseback riders don’t typically land on their feet.
7. Helmets are more effective at repelling angry swooping birds.
8. You avoid all those branches, twigs, leaves & spider webs becoming entwined in your hair while trail riding, not to mention being crocked in the head by low branches.
9. Safe is the new black.
10. Even horses get spooked!