Horse Master Julie Goodnight has more than a quarter-century of horse training experience. Her varied background ranges from dressage and jumping to racing, reining, colt-starting, and wilderness riding. She teaches "Classic Skills for a Natural Ride" and travels coast-to-coast and beyond to film her television show, Horse Master, as well as to appear at horse expos, conferences and clinics. Her training and teaching techniques are frequent features of Horse & Rider, The Trail Rider and America's Horse. In 2008 she was named Equine Affaire's Exceptional Equestrian Educator, one of only three awards ever given. Learn more about Julie Goodnight on her website or check-out her blog.
A long time ago, with the gentle persuasion of my good friend Polly, I made the decision to always wear a helmet when riding in public such as expos and clinics. It wasn’t an easy decision to make when I was a young clinician. Certainly none of my peers rode in a helmet and I was concerned about being accepted and having the right image. But then I realized that no one was going to dislike me just because I wore a helmet—after all who really cares? And more importantly, I realized that wearing a helmet was a small but significant thing I could do to set a good example and be a good role model to youth and adults alike.
I don’t demand that everyone wears a helmet—unless they are riding in one of my expo demos and on my TV show. I think adults (but not children) should be free to make their own decisions on that score. But I feel that setting a good example is likely to encourage the use of helmets and may even possibly save a life one day. At every expo I do, people come up and thank me for that. I’ve yet to have someone comment negatively on it or tell me I was uncool because I wore a helmet.
The Sierra helmet has long been my favorite because of its unique Western style. I'm so excited it is now available in a low profile shape—the same great aesthetics in an updated profile. Plus, the new fit system is such a great addition. It's cushioned and comfortable! I strongly believe in the importance of wearing a helmet while riding and it's great to be stylish too!
What about you? Do you wear a helmet when you ride? Tell us in the comments below!