Do you wear a helmet every time you ride?

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12 Years
Nov 21, 2007
Honest answers only please!
I will be honest, up until about 2 years ago, I only put on a helmet when I had to, like on trail rides that required me to for liability reasons. But now I always where one, every time, every ride. I think what brought me to it was that all my friends always do, and then a light came on and I realized I didn't look so dorky. Beginning last year, our county fair made a rule that every 4-H member must wear a helmet anytime they ride or drive a horse. I think it is great. There is no excuse, IMHO, that anyone shouldn't wear one. You can buy a troxel sport for $25 at virtually any tack shop and in any catalog. I have taken about 6 fall since I started riding 6 yrs ago, and I never know if I could fall off one day and bust my head open and die, it is worth looking a little dorky if it could save my life. It is also a rule at my farm that if anyone come over, friends or family, they must wear a helmet. And I absoluetly HATE it when parent have their little children on horses and the kids have no helmets on and if you ask the parents about it, they say ''Oh, that horse is so safe and level headed, he would never do anything to hurt her, blah, blah, blah''. Accidents happen. Even a ''bomb proof'' horse may bolt at things like plastic bags, etc. I was cantering my horse Kirby about last winter, and I didn't realize there was mud underneath the grass, and as I turned he completely fell down on my leg. He was uninjured, and other than a sore leg and a broken toe, I got back on and continued riding, but he didn't mean to do it and he could have hurt my head. I have also fallen off before while jumping, it wasn't the horse's fault, I just fell off. It also bugs me how all those professional horse trainers, other than Julie Goodnight, don't wear helmets. Do they think they are invincible? I just wonder what they have to say about helmets. So, do you wear a helmet every ride?


Wild Egg!
12 Years
Oct 13, 2007
Yes. Everytime, no matter how dumb it looks, my head is worth it.

I was bucked off about two years ago, on our dirt and rock driveway. My head hit HARD! The helmet saved me from a lot of pain and expense and possibly death! I had whiplash from how hard that hit was.


11 Years
Jun 29, 2008
New Hampshire
They dont make helmets big enough for what I seem to land on.
I rode just about every class there was to ride in and never was it mandatory to wear a helmet.
You could if you chose and more than a few chose the helmet.
Helmets started out with the English version of riding and it was for pure looks, it made the rider less messy in appearence.

Take your helmet apart and see what is in there, there isnt much between you and the dirt, rock, gravel etc.

Personally I have seen as many disasterous head injurys with a helmet as with out one, its not where the helmet sits but where your head actually hits and unless its a full head enclosure you are not as safe as you think.
then go to full head enclosed helmets and instead of a concussion you have a broken neck due in part to weight and motion.

would I make my child wear a helmet No I would not, would I teach her reflex landings yes I would.


11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Endless Mts, NE PA
Absolutely. Children absolutely should, no exception. We ride with a lot of folks that don't ... they are 'cowboys' and can't phantom sitting on a horse without a cowboy hat. Ask any EMT whether they think helmets are a good thing. Nothing will prevent all injury (we all know the story of the ONE car accident that would have turned out differently if they HAD NOT worn seat belts), but helmets go a LONG way to preventing serious head trauma.

I have a friend who lost a niece on a trailride by a silly accident. The horse stumbled while WALKING across a road, she fell off and died. She was only 16.

My husband teampenning ... nothing DORKY about him~~!


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Absolutely without exception.

A friend, and an acquaintance, both were killed by head injuries from stupid falls while helmetless. One just hopped on to walk down to the mailbox and the horse tripped; another was cooling her horse off after a ride and a bee stung him.

I won't ride with anyone helmetless either. Of course it is totally their choice what to do, I do not think people should necessarily be forced to wear helmets when riding 'privately' if they don't want to (except I think all children should always have to wear properly fitting helmets with chinstraps); but I do not want to be there when another person is killed or permanently incapacitated by such a preventable injury.




12 Years
Aug 30, 2007
When I was younger and rode English I wore a helmet every single time I rode. Then I moved here and switched to Western, and to be honest helmets have a far dorkier reputation for Western riders. I've rarely seen an English rider without one. Many Western events simply don't allow it. Now I ride in a good cowboy hat, but that will change when I get my two year old back. The chances of me taking a spill off her are going to be far greater, and I don't care what anyone says i'm getting myself a helmet.

Buff Hooligans

12 Years
Jun 11, 2007
I guess "tradition" holds a lot of power in the west. Individuals with brain injuries don't...

I was with a friend whose horse jumped a culvert. She landed on her back and the back of her head hit a ROCK. She had on a helmet and lived to ride home. That's all I'm saying.


10 Years
Sep 1, 2009
Norco, CA
I always try to remember to wear my helmet when riding. In the past 4 years, I've forgotten my helmet twice and didn't go back to get it - so I'm not perfect...but the past 4 years I've not fallen off my horse either. I LOVE riding without a helmet, but I've learnt from experience that I *should* wear my helmet. I used to race motorcycles and those helmets have literally saved my life several times. So I KNOW that helmets work and are worth it. Each of my race helmets were $700.00+ a piece and I have about 10 of em. My race leathers were $1500.00 a piece and I have two of those. I'm a firm believer that there are "right tools for the job"...and that goes with the right safety gear as well. So although I don't wear as much gear when riding my horse that I did when I rode my motorcycles, I do wear my helmet when riding. To illustrate how much force helmets absorb: In one of my race crashes I crashed and slammed 120mph into a concrete wall. My jaw was crushed and broken from the force, a couple teeth broken, skull fractured and the strap cut into the underside of my chin - without a helmet, I would have been dead, no doubt.

My pet peeve about people and helmets is that MOST people don't know that helmets have a shelf life of 5 years and once worn, should be replaced every 3 years - if it was NEVER crashed/fallen in. Once it takes a fall/crash - it should be replaced immediately. I see 20 year old helmets still in circulation and the foam in them are hard and will not absorb any force, they will just crack under impact - yet people still wear them thinking they are protected - it drives me nuts.'s better than nothing, but.... People are always surprised when I tell them this, yet it's in the safety instructions that Troxel includes with every new helmet...I'm sure the other reputable brands include the same instructions with their helmets. Oh...wait - who ever reads instructions?
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