Helmet safety is such an important subject for all riders no matter what discipline. The jumping disciplines have already had rules into place that require approved helmets while on show grounds, and they are strongly recommended anytime you are mounted at stables were jumping is taught. Dressage has long been the discipline where helmets were optional while warming up at a show and top hats were worn for the upper levels. Coming from an eventing background this was mind boggling to me. I myself have had several accidents riding horses. This includes broken bones and concussions, and my head was protected.
I have also ridden horses that have lost their footing on flat ground while walking. Just the other day I was walking my 5 year old, unmounted, back to the barn after a ride and he spooked, before I knew it he ran into me and threw 3 feet before I landed on my head!!!
Thank goodness I had not taken my helmet off yet because I hit my head upon landing. As people read this they may think they are different, or their horse is quiet, or any other various and sundry reasons why they do not need to wear a helmet. There are still disciplines that do not make it a regular practice to encourage riders to wear approved helmets. For some it is not cool and they are worried about what their peers will say. You never know though, those same people may say something because they are not strong enough to be the trendsetter. Secretly they admire you for your smart decision, and you may even change the thinking of a whole lot of people.
In 2010 Dressage icon Courtney King Dye suffered a serious brain injury from a fall on a horse that was not being ugly in anyway but tripped and fell. It sent the Dressage community into a tailspin, and opened a lot of eyes at the same time. She went from an Olympic rider, to a person that is learning all over simple life tasks. It is unfortunate that it takes a catastrophic event, like the accident that affected Courtney King Dye, to bring such an important subject to light and make people take their own safety seriously.
Watch her video and see what a positive person she is and how she takes this calling she has been handed seriously. Courtney is trying to reach out to all riders that your safety is paramount and wearing your helmet is IMPORTANT!!
At Alabama Blue Ribbon Tack we are very safety conscious. My staff and I take helmets very seriously and will get a correct fit every time. We encourage everyone to wear a helmet every time you are mounted!!