Riding Helmets: They're Hot, But They're Not Hot Enough
Reading through commentary in Horse.com's helmet law polls, most horseback riders were opposed to a helmet law, often citing things like "Helmets are too hot," but others claiming, "I would wear one if it was more stylish," aka "if it looked hotter."
Here is a nice new style by well-reputed helmet maker Troxel. It's called the Spirit Helmet and it has nice wide air vents, a Flip-Fold headliner and a Troxel proprietary GPS II Dial Fit System, for those who complain that they can't get a good fit in a helmet. What's more, it's about as sleek and modern a helmet as you'll find. It's a very highly rated helmet for safety and Troxel gets many letters of appreciation from those who've fallen and got up again to ride.
There are other models of the Troxel, like the Troxel Western Sierra Helmet...
And for you guys who would not be caught alive with a helmet, we'll hide it in this Western Hat Helmet System for the Cowboy (Update: No longer available)
Oh, and black velvet, every romantic's favorite in the Troxel's Grand Prix Classic Helmet,
And Troxel makes even more stylish riding helmets.... Nice and airy, as well as rather stunning riding helmets. And there are other helmet making companies that share Troxel's aims of making a safe, stylish, and comfortable riding helmet.
Some Facts About Riding Helmets
Research has demonstrated that wearing riding helmets dramatically reduces head trauma from horseback riding, but in a March 20, 2009 survey conducted by Horse.com, 40 percent of riders who took the poll said that helmets should not be required by law, 30 percent said they should be required, and 26 percent said they should only be required for youth (18 and younger).
This week's Horse.com poll asked responders what would make riders change their minds and wear helmets?' Here are the responses:
- Witnessing/experiencing an injury: 66 percent
- Nothing: 20 percent
- Cooler looking helmets: 8 percent
- More education on dangers: 6 percent
The above survey suggests that, if I'm lucky, I may persuade six percent of you with facts, but that's better than nothing. Here are just four facts based on a ten year study of major equestrian injury just released in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes.
1. "Horseback riding is considered more dangerous than motorcycle riding, skiing, automobile racing, football and rugby."
2. Right along with skiing and outdoor soccer, horseback riding accidents are likely to result in serious trauma, requiring rehabilitation for four years or longer.
3. A major reason for such trauma has to do with horseback riding itself. "The riding position itself creates this high-risk situation. Horseback riding elevates the rider's head 3 meters above the ground on an animal that can easily weigh 500 kg or more, kick with a force of nearly 1 ton, and run at speeds of 65–75 km/h. In addition, horses are less predictable than either a motorcycle or a racecar."
4. The average age of injured persons from horseback riding, or from kicks, or stomping by a horse, over a 10-year period was 47... not 18 or younger.
Though the above study covered all injuries resulting from a horse, other research has looked at just riding incidents, and those studies indicated that head injuries outnumbered other bodily injuries by five to one.
Horse.com poll 2
Ten years of major equestrian injury: are we addressing functional outcomes?
Spinal Injuries Resulting From Horse Riding Accidents
Injuries Due to Falls From Horses
Non-fatal horse related injuries treated in emergency departments in the U.S. 2001 - 2003
Long-term outcome of equestrian injuries in children