The Top Ten Reasons It's Cool To Wear A Riding Helmet
Matha McNiel


 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because the brain you’ve got is the only one you’re going to get. Take good care of it, because brain transplants don’t work.



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because if you fall and hit your (helmeted) head, you will probably still remember your horse’s name and how to ride. Most riding accidents happen during pleasure riding. Wear a helmet and remember the pleasure!



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because you get to buy a new one at least every five years. Every helmet should be replaced after a fall or sharp impact, and at least every five years, regardless of wear. Look at the label inside your helmet and you will find its "birthdate." Even if you haven’t had a spill, every five years you still get to update your look to the newest techno-color helmet trend.



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because doing so significantly lessens your chances of shelling out $3 million for lifetime care after a disabling head injury. Head injuries are related to more than 60% of all horse related deaths. People have died after bumping their heads on a door, on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. How much harder will your head hit the ground (or a standard or a fence or a tree), after you come out of the saddle of your galloping horse?



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because somebody loves you. After your next ride, put your horse away, take off your helmet, comb your hair, and go find somebody you love. Give them a big hug and promise them you will wear an approved riding helmet with the chin strap secured - "every time, every ride."



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because you can feel confident that your head is well-protected in case of an accident. Nobody wants to fall. But anyone who rides horses very much will fall from time to time. Be prepared with a properly fitted, ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet. Then enjoy the ride!


 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because doing so significantly decreases your chances of paying $25,000 per day for hospital costs following a serious brain injury. Head injuries are the most common reason for horse-related hospital admissions and deaths.



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because riding helmets work. A bicycle helmet will not adequately protect your head in a fall from a horse. People fall off bikes and horses at different angles and in different directions. A lot of scientific research has gone into producing helmets specifically designed to protect human heads in equestrian accidents. 



 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because you may help save a friend’s life. "Peer pressure" is the main reason most equestrians wear riding helmets. The people they ride with wear helmets, so they do, too. By setting an example and making helmets an expected part of "every ride - every time," you may help to save a friend from serious injury or death.


 It’s cool to wear a riding helmet because the life you save may be your own. Your life is precious. Cherish it. Live to ride another day. Got your helmet?

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Anyone who has a brain should protect it. Affordable riding helmets can be purchased at tack stores statewide or on the Internet. For more information on helmet safety, please visit:
Jessica Jahiel's True Helmet Stories from HORSE-SENSE Readers

Martha C. McNiel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley. She divides her time between working to pay the horse bills and playing with horses as much as possible. Martha is currently completing her Doctor of Psychology degree by studying how therapeutic riding helps children with emotional and psychological problems. She is a member of NARHA and the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association. Martha owns and rides a beautiful, neurotic Arabian named "Nick." She can be reached at Visit her web site at

Copyright ? 2000 Martha C. McNiel and the Bay Area Equestrian Network. All rights reserved. The above article is the property of the Author and may not be duplicated or redistributed in any way without permission.


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