I was on a trail ride with some students at the riding school where I boarded my horse. They needed someone to bring up the rear, and since I'm an avid trail rider, I said I'd go. We were having a great time! The horses were behaving just perfectly, the weather was beautiful, I was having the time of my life. It was only the third time I'd cantered my new horse on the trails, and he was a dream! The perfect rocking canter, that's so smooth you can sort of drift away and just enjoy the moment.
While my brain was drifting, thoroughly entranced by my surroundings and my wonderful new mount, everyone in front of me stopped to check the time, and see when we needed to head back. I failed to notice this. We came plowing into a group of 7 other horses who had all halted. My horse is very good at recognizing what he should be doing, and did a perfect halt, straight from this glorious canter. I, however, was not stopping. I was still cantering. Needless to say, I came off. I did a lovely tuck and roll! My childhood instructor would have been so proud.
However, on the way down, my head met with the hoof of a horse who was trying to get out of my way. The cracking sound was deafening. All the riders screamed in horror. I hit the ground with a rather soft thud. The instructor whom was riding in the front of the group, jumped off of her horse in such a fashion, that she easily could have been mistaken for an Olympian gymnast. She was by my side in a second. All I remember, is that I was still stuck in the beautiful elation that was my horse's canter.
I was smiling. She said, "What is broken?" I said, "I don't know. Why?" She said, "Can you move?" I went through the whole process of wiggling everything, starting at my toes and fingers. I said, "I'm absolutely fine." When I sat up, we discovered the source of the cracking sound. My helmet had a 7 inch crack running down the back of it. It had split my helmet almost in two, hitting that hoof.
This experience taught me that there are zero excuses to not where a helmet. I'd trail ridden tons of times with no helmet. I wanted to set a good example for the students and wear my helmet. I will forever be thankful to that powder blue, ugly helmet. I replaced it with a Troxel Rebel in Turquoise Rose and I wear one to this day.