I had brain surgery in June and wanted to ride the worst, but still had the brain tumor and my Dr. said that I must wear a helmet "IF" I were to continue riding. So, I looked at them, thinking all the time that I did not like them, never had to wear them and wish that I did not at that time. I bought one and after only 6 weeks my Dr. said that if I promised him that I would wear it, he would let me ride again. This was my second brain surgery at the same place and the second time that my skull had been cut open and replaced. So, I put on the Troxel helmet and wore it, but I had a new horse that I did not really know alot about, except having owned her full sister, I thought it would be a nice ride.
I went to Birdsong Trail Ride, first day out on the trail, the same trail I had ridden many, many times before, I turned this Filly up a trail that was only about 5 minutes out of camp and went up a very steep incline up a tall hill, we had gotten up about 75' and she stopped. Not knowing what was wrong, I kicked her and she stepped on up the trail about two steps and stopped again. I went to kick her again and try to push her on up that steep hill and when I kicked I felt her rear legs folding under us! She was going down on the side of that steep hill!
I was not able to jump off, so I felt her go down and backwards, as we flew pass some oak trees my head hit one of them, right on the side of my recent surgery, but the helmet saved my life, the horse continued to go down and roll, as she did I grabbed onto a tree with both hands and came off as she rolled over backwards, but she kicked out and hit me in the lower back. Luckily it was on each side of my spine, but I thought I was in deep danger because I could not feel from my shoulders down. I did not try to panic for myself, the filly rolled on down the hill and came to rest with her side on a tree, like a dog laying on it's back, she didnot fight it or nothing. I took my arms and laid my legs out straight as I could, and just laid back and breathed and tried to calm myself, and prayed.
After a few minutes my feelings about my body came back to me. I told my riding partner to go and get the horse up and to not worry about me. I did not want him to know that I had no feelings from my shoulders. After the accident, I had to take tweasers and pick out the broken oak bark in my ear, the helmet had scratches but did not break, it protected my 6 week old brain surgery and I lived and walked away. I still ride and always wear my Helmets! I like to change my colors as I change my clothes now. I am proud to say that I wear a helmet! Thank you for such excellent workmanship!