On May 26, 2011 after 30 minutes of riding my then four-year-old breeding stock Paint mare, Rain, I was once again reminded of the importance of ALWAYS wearing a helmet.
I am your typical rider, almost deciding to not wear my helmet that day. However, I used to be director of a therapeutic riding program and set an example of wearing my helmet during all lessons. I am also setting an example to my grandchildren. How can I expect them to wear a helmet if I don't wear one myself? I will admit that there had been a few times that I almost didn't grab my helmet. I no longer EVER hesitate to wear my helmet and consistently remind others to wear theirs.
It had rained lightly the night before and as we traveled down the trail I saw a tiny water puddle. The horse was in training but I had ridden her the year before and she already knew how to cross water. I decided to not stop to use the tiny puddle as a training moment both because of its size and so that, just in case the lesson took longer than planned, no one would be held up waiting for me. However, as we walked past it I turned her head slightly toward the puddle. Big mistake! She spooked and jumped to the left. I came off and rolled toward a slight embankment and my head hit a tree which stopped me from rolling further! Everyone with me learned a valuable lesson that day also! Wear a helmet EVERY ride! I am lucky and very grateful for my Troxel helmets.
I have retired that helmet but keep it on hand to show others the lesson I learned. Now I have two new Troxel helmets ... one for me and an extra one for anyone who might need one.