I was just getting on my 16'3 18-year-old Thoroughbred for our weekly dressage lesson when he bolted across the arena - very uncharacteristic for him and totally unexpected. I was wearing my helmet AS ALWAYS -- I"m a nurse and I know how important that is.
As I only had 1 foot in the stirrup and no rein control I ended up launching over his right shoulder at full speed when he suddenly changed direction. According to my instructor I was knocked out for about 5 minutes. I don't remember the ambulance ride to the hospital but I ended up with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and spent 2 nights on the neuro floor of the hospital. I still have severe headaches and multiple body aches (thankfully no broken bones) but I can't ride for a while until my brain completely heals. My helmet has 2 large "squishy" spots in it and a big crack running up the back.
Thank you, Troxel, for making a quality product that probably saved my life. I will keep my old helmet around as a reminder to myself why we wear helmets, and my next helmet will also be a Troxel.