Last weekend four of us decided to ride in a popular county operated park in central California. On arrival, three of of us decided we were "just going to walk the horses" and opted not to wear our helmets. My wife, who is much smarter than I, ALWAYS wears her Troxel helmet when riding. This day ride was no exception.
Off we went into the tule fog and were thoroughly enjoying our ride when we happened upon a flight of geese which had landed in the fog on the crest of a hill just out of our sight. The result of four horses riding into the grounded geese was quite predictable - all 150 or so of them decided to take off and fly right through our little group of riders. The effect and sound was similar to hundreds of the preverbial 'dreaded plastic bags' being waved in the horses faces from 10 feet away! The horses went ballistic and reared, bucked and ran for their lives tossing my wife and another rider into the dirt without hesitation.
My wife went off to the side of her spinning horse, landed on her back and struck her head on solidly the ground - the other rider went off head first and face planted in the dirt while the remaining two of us experienced a bit of a rodeo riders nightmare trying to calm our horses down.
No serious injuries (except some bruised egos and body parts) as a result of this event, but we believe that had my wife not been wearing her helmet we would have been enroute to the hospital with serious injuries to her head. Lesson learned..? Helmets - ALWAYS! We are now in the market for two Troxel Cheyenne Rowdys!