It was a nice summer evening, and I had been looking forward to this day. My best friend and I trail ride almost every day, but my older brother was coming down from Worcester to join us, and see what I do every day. I put my brother on my drum horse, regardless of the fact she is young and green, she is very gentle and takes care of her rider. My friend has two horses, so I jumped on her Mare, and she was riding her Gelding. My friend has one helmet, and I have one. So I gave my brother my helmet and wanted him to be safe. I am more experienced and didn't always ride with a helmet anyways, and had always been just fine.
We had just left the barn when my friend's horse started bucking, jumping, and twisting. She was thrown and banged up her leg. She didn't want to go on the ride anymore, and told my brother and I to go ahead. We all had been looking forward to it, so I suggested her and I switch horses. I looked at my brother and said "I'm gonna need that helmet".
It was such a fun trail ride from there. We rode to the top of a summit, took some pictures, enjoyed the gorgeous views and decided to head back. We were about 20-25 minutes away from the barn on a very tight and narrow trail riding single file, my brother in front, myself in the middle, and my friend trailing. I leaned forward to pat my horse because she was taking such good care of my brother. When I leaned, the gelding dropped his head and began bucking, jumping and twisting. I leaned forward balancing my weight in effort to stay on and he jumped sideways and lunged forward. The top of my head hit a tree so hard the bark fell off. He continued to jump and buck and I fell off and landed directly on my head.
My injuries were quite extensive. I broke my neck and fractured a few vertebrae in my back. I'm in a full upper body brace, and will have a slow recovery, but will suffer very few and mild long term effects. I am 25 years old and otherwise healthy. I was told by the doctors if I was not wearing my helmet, I would not be here today.
I am extremely lucky I am not paralyzed, let alone dead. In the past, I have done a lot of riding without a helmet. That helmet saved my life, without a doubt. This accident will not prevent me from getting back in the saddle, but I can guarantee I will never ride without a helmet again. Thanks Troxel, your product saved my life.