I have been riding for many years and have always worn a Troxel helmet. This past year, my endurance horse came up lame and had to be on stall rest for many months. When the vet finally gave me the all-clear to start light work under saddle, I was delighted. After 6 months of hand-walking, I was finally able to ride my horse again!
Sparky had always been a pasture horse with a great deal of energy. I knew that he was feeling the stress of being confined. My hope was for quiet walks until we could work up to light trot work. On a quiet morning, two weeks before Christmas, I was riding with a friend on ranch property. I heard a truck rumbling down the road and before I could think about it, Sparky tried to bolt. I kept him under control and then he threw a huge buck (which he had never done before). I was sitting in an English saddle and I flew over his head and landed on the top of my head. My neck bent, I heard a crack and considered my neck might have broken. After a trip to the E.R. and numerous xrays and a CT scan, it was conclusive there were no broken bones and no head injury of any kind. I had a very sore neck for two weeks, but there have been no residual problems. The doctors and nurses were all very relieved to hear I had been wearing my helmet.
The helmet in question (Sierra model) provided me the protection needed in an accident. I do not make a habit of coming off of horses - one cannot predict when an accident will occur. This is an elementary safety issue the horse community must embrace. I am and always will be an advocate of helmets for all riders.