Always Wear Your Helmet AND Your Boots!
My husband and I, ages 69 and 62, always wear our helmets, every ride. We believe we used up all of our good luck as youngsters! We had had a lovely little ride on the trails near the stable where we board our horses, and I'd gone around a curve on the road toward the barn. My husband's horse wanted to cut through to catch up. They had to go up a little bank, and when they did, his horse hopped up "like a deer", lost his balance and started to buck.
Randy planned to step off, but the horse's hind end came up and flipped him [Randy] on his back. My horse and I were facing away, going up the hill and I heard him cussing and yelling, "Whoa Dakota!". I looked to my right and saw his horse making like a rodeo with nobody in the saddle and I looked back to see him on the ground. I turned my horse around to get back to him, and that's really all I remember.
Apparently, she spooked to the left, and I flew to the right, hitting my shoulder and the back of my head. The bruises on the inside of my left leg and inner left arm showed where I caught the saddle horn and cantle as I went over. I'm told we walked the short way up the hill to the stable and spoke to the owner, where the horses were standing in their little places, wondering what kept us, and whether we had some hay for them.
I had a grade three concussion, and was a little messed up for a couple of days. If I hadn't worn my Troxel Sierra I wouldn't be able to write this today. My husband, who says he just "had the wind knocked out of him", would probably have been more seriously injured had he not been wearing his Troxel helmet.
As an aside, I had earlier in the season been riding in my "barn shoes" for a few weeks, and decided that I'd better start wearing my riding boots with the heels on them. Shortly thereafter, I'd had another incident before this where I had a tree limb push me nearly off, but didn't. My foot went nearly through the stirrup, but the heel caught me so I could get back upright. I think my foot was able to come out of the stirrup because I was wearing those boots. So besides the helmet, wear your boots and NOT tennis shoes!