It’s been over three years now since Fallon Taylor stormed into the Thomas and Mack Arena at the WNFR in Las Vegas wearing a helmet. #WhatTheHelmet was born and Fallon Taylor made WNFR history by winning the 2014 Barrel Racing World Championship, all while wearing a helmet. Although helmets are not commonplace yet at most rodeos or western riding events, more riders are making the choice to buckle-up before they mount up.
Most bull riders are protecting themselves with helmets during their rides and more equestrians who also appreciate the western lifestyle are following suit. “When you ride a bike, motorcycle, go snowboarding or do other wild things, people don’t look at you like you are crazy for wearing a helmet. We ride 1200 pound animals on hard ground…..think about it, it doesn’t seem all that crazy to wear one!” exclaims Taylor. “Trading your cowboy hat for a helmet while you’re on your horse doesn’t make you any less of a cowboy or cowgirl” and Taylor has helped to pave the way for others in her sport to proudly wear a helmet.
So #WhatTheHelmet why isn’t everyone wearing one? Deciding to wear a helmet is a personal choice. We all understand the risks surrounding riding horses. We also understand that, for the most part, helmets are effective at preventing death and debilitating head injuries. But change isn’t easy and traditions die hard.
A recent study by the journal, Neurological Focus found that horseback riding is the leading cause of sport-related traumatic brain injuries, before football, rugby, and skiing. Additionally, an estimated 70,000 people are treated in emergency rooms because of equestrian related injuries every year.
Fallon Taylor and Troxel Helmets, the world's leading provider of ASTM / SEI certified equestrian helmets, have been helping to break the misconceptions and stigma around wearing helmets while riding western. The trend toward helmet use is continuing to grow and when you decide to try one for yourself there are various styles, fits and price ranges to choose from.