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Kim’s accident: Two life-saving tips that could save your life

Why on earth were there 4 handsome firemen/EMTs fussing over me? What on earth was I doing on a board? Why the sirens, I was awake dang it! What happened? This is silly! I was really pissed that the trauma team cut my clothes off when we finally made it to the hospital (lol - classic me). I felt like it was an awful lot of fuss when I was just fine, dang it!

Later when talking with the trauma doctor, she told me I’d suffered a massive concussion and if I hadn’t been wearing that helmet I would have suffered severe brain trauma or death. I will miss my old school Mickey Mouse Troxel helmet. Thought you’d like the story, though I don’t remember the accident or events immediately preceding or following it. I won’t forget the day or that a helmet saved my life.

It was a beautiful day, a few of us got together and trailered our horses to the beach just north of the Tijuana border. It was my OTTB’s first trail ride, and I decided to wear a helmet just to be safe. Turns out it was a pretty stellar idea…

The horse in front of me spooked my big guy and my horse leapt forward and to the side, and then my left rein broke at the bit (brand new set too!) I came off - there was no hope of staying on at that point (this is what everyone tells me, the last thing I remember is taking the side trail).

Apparently I landed on my side and rolled over onto my back and stayed there, unconscious, for about 45 minutes to an hour. My Troxel helmet was still in place. Once I finally regained consciousness, they said I didn’t know where I was or how I got there, and could not recite ABCs or give phone numbers, etc. I kept asking the same questions over and over again. Hallmarks of a concussion I would later learn.

One thing we learned from this is that it was a really good thing that I’d programmed ’HOME’ in my GPS so that my friend could get my rig and horse home safely. But it would also have been helpful to have had a list of emergency contacts tacked somewhere in the cab of my rig as she couldn’t find my phone and didn’t know how to contact anyone. Thought I would pass that on. I’ll be doing that now. Thank you Troxel - I wouldn’t be here without you.

This rider asked for her story to remain anonymous, but she wanted to share it because she learned some valuable lessons that might help others. We commonly get testimonials from riders. Many share them on our safety center, some hand-write them, and all of them share a common thread; that they are so grateful they wore their helmet that possibly saved their life. Most riders say they almost didn’t wear their helmet the day they got in their accident, and they thank us profusely for making a product that did its job.

Kim makes two great points that we can learn from in case we happen to get in an accident:

  1. Program ‘HOME’ in your GPS so your horse and rig can get home safely.
  2. Be prepared with a list of emergency contacts in your vehicle. At Troxel we also suggest having one on you and programmed into your phone.

Other helpful safety tips:
Tips you need to know before hitting the trail: watch the video »
Avoid 7 Types of Trail Riding Problems click here »

It is important to remember that horses are unpredictable animals programmed to spook at the slightest danger. Many are surprised to hear that your horse doing something unpredictable, like spooking, bucking, or bolting – is how most head injuries occur, but 20% happen when you’re simply around horses.

Kim mentioned in her original testimonial that she was wearing our old Mickey Mouse helmet, one of the first graphic equestrian helmets ever made. We found it pretty remarkable that a helmet that was made 15 years ago potentially saved a life. However, we also want to stress the importance of replacing a helmet every 5 years. This is largely based on use, exposure to the elements and treatment of the helmet.

We thank Kim for her bravery, and sharing her story with us. We strongly believe that these stories help raise awareness of the necessity of helmet safety.

Have you been in an accident? Please share your story with us!

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