08 August 2012

Equestrian Safety Program

Thoroughbred mare - photo by Riley 2012

If you want to start a heated discussion in the horse world, here are two topics to get you going in a big hurry: Rollkur and helmets. If you really wanted to take your life in your own hands, perhaps both of those in the same discussion.

On my Facebook page I commented about a young boy riding without a helmet and got quite a lively conversation -- although some of it was via direct messages so not everyone was comfortable sharing their opinions publicly, bet certainly felt comfy sharing nasty messages. Thanks for that, you've provided fodder for my blog.

When I started riding, helmets were only worn at the hunter-jumper barns I rode at -- I do recall strapping one on and going out on a big pinto horse leaping over fences in a field and climbing up and down giant hills. Yes, there were big even to a non-child eye when I look at the flickering 8mm home movies. (Note to self -- get the rest of the movies transferred to DVD.)

Digression... how does that happen? Anyway, I support children wearing helmets when riding. I am surprised when parents put helmets on children on bicycles and then don't use them with horses. That logic -- or lack thereof -- escapes me. In a cranky moment, if your child rides without a helmet and survives a head injury I hope you have enough insurance to cover all the subsequent costs. Yes, I said it, I do not want to have my money paying for your child. (If you don't like that, please share your thoughts in the comments.)

If you are an adult and chose to skip the helmet, go right ahead. (The insurance thoughts apply there too...) For those that want to share the "dead-broke" horse, bull riding, sky diving, alpine skiing, motorcycle, "Superman" (Christopher Reeves) comparisons -- don't waste your time, adults participating in sports and children participating is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Some interesting facts about heads:
Did you Know?
  • A horse elevates a rider eight feet or more above the ground? - A fall from as little as two feet can cause permanent brain damage.
  • Horses gallop at 40 mph. -  A human skull can be shattered by impact at 4-6 mph.
  • Head injuries account for 60 percent of deaths due to equestrian accidents. *Equestrian Medical Safety Association

Thanks to Craig T. Roberts, DVM for sharing the safety information on Facebook this morning -- yes I do get some of my information from Facebook, doesn't everyone? You may read the entire story here: Equestrian Safety Program | Parker Adventist Hospital | Parker

Thanks for stopping past and hope you have a great day.

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