It was a beautiful sunny summer afternoon about 15 years ago. We were at a BBQ at by bosses home in Oregon. Even though it had been awhile since I had ridden, my love of horses won out and I asked to ride the horse in her field and was given the okay. No one told me he had not been ridden for about five years, but had been training to pull a wagon instead. He was balking at anything I was asking him to do. I thought he was just being stubborn so I forced him to move and he reared up on me. He flipped over and we both went down. He landed on my legs.....I landed on my head. The next few minutes I have to rely on my husband's facts as I still do not remember them. The horse got up, but I stayed down.
My husband ran to help me and said I was down for about 5 minutes. All I remember is walking back to the house feeling nauseous and saying "I need to get on again...you never stop at a fall...you have to get on again." Luckily, no one let me get back on, but took me to the hospital instead. The exam showed a concussion and I was kept over night for observation. I only suffered the concussion and a bad headache with some bruising on my legs, arms, and torso.
I was SO lucky and blessed not to have been hurt worse. It could have been a disaster for me....a woman with a husband and three kids. The next time I had an opportunity to ride, I purchased a Troxel helmet and have never ridden without one again....even for a few minutes in a soft, sandy arena. I am about the only one in my group who wears a helmet. Others say they are good riders, the helmet is hot, the helmet makes them have ugly hair, or they are too heavy. I feel that my brain is more important than any vanity I have about my hair or head. I might look like a dork, but at 56 years old, I cannot take a chance with my brain matter anymore!
I am in need of a new helmet now....as this one has about done it's duty. I have been blessed not to have really "used" the helmet for any accidents again, but you never know. My horse is older, super calm, well-trained, and pretty much what is called "bomb proof", but as we know, no horse is completely bomb proof or completely safe. Accidents still happen.
I will NEVER ride again without a helmet and I don't allow anyone to ride my horse without one either, especially my precious grandchildren! I even made my 6-year-old granddaughter wear a helmet in the Corn Festival Parade this summer in the small city where I board. I led my horse and she just rode in the saddle, but she wore a helmet! Thanks Troxel for making safety an issue with horses.