Saturday, 12 July 2014

International Helmet Awareness Day 2014

Today, July 12th, is International Helmet Awareness Day. To me, this is one of the most important dates for equestrians as I feel that there are still too many people who believe they are invincible and that they trust their horse, believing they will be fine to ride without a helmet, even if it's just to the field bareback. It is one of my biggest pet hates within the industry to see people riding without a helmet, even more so when I see pictures of people jumping without anything on their head, or a baseball cap - I mean seriously, what's a baseball cap going to protect?! 

Horses are so unpredictable, that no matter how long you've had them, or even if they're 'bombproof' there could always be a time when something unexpected happens. I remember years ago hearing about a girl local to me being killed because she went to ride her horse bareback into the stable from it being tied up outside, just a few meters away, but the horse ended up spooking and she fell off onto concrete, dying instantly. As much as it's a sad tale, it could have easily been prevented by simply putting a riding hat on. 

There are so many riding hats available now to buy - and I mean suitable ones which have the proper kitemarking and safety procedures having been performed before they are available to be sold. It's another annoyance of mine when I see supermarkets selling 'riding hats' cheap, these are not going to protect your head from a nasty fall! I would love to know how they get away with selling them because surely they are not suitable? I remember last year, seeing photos of Laura Collett's helmet when she suffered her nasty fall at Tweseldown and it makes you realise that if that's the damage done by a hat, imagine the damage your head could go through without one on! 

So, my advice is, please don't think you're 'invincible' or that your horse is '100% safe' because accidents do happen, and chances are they're more likely to happen when you decide not to put your hat on! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

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