Equestrian Life is an online community for horse people.
We bring together horse people across all disciplines, breeds and sports.
We invite you to connect with others who love horses as much as you do.
By: Brice Smith
on January 07, 2009
in General Questions
ok, my parents make me wear a helmet any time i am on the back of a horse, about 4 months ago (b4 aspen got hurt) one of my parents friends was riding a very very green broke horse, and got thrown, and the horse was running free in an open area with all the tack on, so i hoped on my horse aspen (bareback and only with a hlater and lead rope) and galloped towards the horse, after about an hour of pretty much cutting and running around like a mad man a caught the horse (all the while without a helmet) well my parents are'nt budging, even tho i have proved i am a good rider (i am the only one in the family who even knows how to ride) who do you think is right?? i wear a helmet when i jump and tuff but i think if i am just palying around that i should be aloud to not wear one, your opinions?
I am a parent and I ride as well as two of my daughters. We all wear helmets when we ride. I know some people don't feel that they should wear a helmet when they are just hacking, but that is when I had my worst accident. I was on a horse in the barn (not a good idea) and he reared and I hit my head on a steel beam in the barn. Thank God I was wearing my helmet. Today the helmets are very comfortable and I see no reason not to wear one.
I ALWAYS wear a helmet! With or with out a helmet you just NEVER know what the horse(s) will do or spook at, but most likely that helmet will save your life. Ive seen some of the best so called "bomb proof" horses be crazy or do something stupid, like trip and then buck. With a helmet your most likely to be saved from something like hitting your head on a jump or the ground if you were to get bucked or reared off. All horses are unpredictable, weather you know the horse or not. WEAR ONE, EVERY TIME- EVERY RIDE
i think you should always wear a helmet. what if something went wrong? you can always fall off and one fall is all it takes? what if u fall off and get a head injury and cant ride? besides i dont think its a big deal putting a helmet on its comfortable and helps keep your head warm in the winter
lol i know how you feel, but i cant remember all the times my helmet has saved my life. I am a good rider too, but even the most trained horses have bad days or are afraid of something. When i turned 18 i decided i wasnt going to wear my helmet when i just do dressage with the more trained horses. Big mistake. I was riding the last horse for the day, he was my horse too, so i thought i was perfectly safe because my horse is seriously bomb/gun proof. We were just cantering on a loose rein along the long side and as we passed the entrance to the arena a cat started to run in then turned and ran out my horse scooted to the side but then tripped flinging me over him and landing on me. This was an eye opener for safety on me. No one was there and i didnt call a friend to tell themi was riding, and i wasnt wearing my helmet. I lost my sight for a while, i had a concussion and memory loss. Idk how long i was there before the night check people found me and took me to the hospital. I can sit spooky horses but when the horse trips that bad you cant really stay on. Listen to your parents and learn from other people's mistakes. Its not worth the days/weeks/months you loose of riding from one stupid,preventable injury. Ask for a new helmet or buy your own. But dont risk your head, its just stupid.
hey Brice I know what you mean but I can see wear wearing a helmet is good idea for barrel racing and jumping if your helmet is so dorky as you say why don’t you get a new one then? I know that troxel makes a cow boy/girl hat helmet that look like hats but are as safe as a helmet when I start to show western pleasure nobody wears their helmets but in the ring is where some of the most horrible accidents happen so I’m thinking about getting this style helmets I know helmets are dorky but I rather be looking dorky then laying in the hospital with brain damage lol well here is the link to that cow boy/girl hat helmet
You can find them cheaper in different places just do a little web searching
They are called Troxel Western Hat Helmet System for the Cowboy
(But girls can wear them too!!)
Hi all... I understand how you feel, but your life is worth more than anything... I am a professional rider, and always wear my helmet... especially when I was riding a very reliable grand prix horse who just tripped when I was in the indoor. He fell completely down and into the kick boards... My helmet was smashed but I WAS UNTOUCHED!! Statistics show that most riding accidents happen while on the buckle, and when you least expect it... WEAR IT!!!
i know how you feel! but how dorky with it look when ur in the ER from head trauma from falling off not wearing a helmet?. I fell off ince and broke my arm, i went to the ER, and first thing they asked was "were you wearing a helemt?"
This is just my experience but I would suggest that you always wear a helmet. Anything can happen at any time on any horse! My story for example: 5 yrs. ago I was riding a lesson horse that I had ridden a thousand times. He was one of my favorite horses and one of the smoothest rides I've ever had. Also, he was very well behaved and knew his job. We weren't jumping or doing anything out of the ordinary...we were just finishing up a pattern. He is an OTTB and picked up on my excitement and started flying away on me. He was going very fast and he wouldn't stop no matter what I did. We started heading towards the other lesson horses that were lined up at the other end of the arena and I got freaked out that we were going to run into them. One of the other riders was my sister and I got really scared that she was going to get hurt so I tried my best to handle the situation but I ended up falling off of him and hitting my head REALLY hard. I fell on regular arena footing but the impact was so hard that it knocked me unconscious and I ended up having a seizure. Turns out I had hit my head so hard that it cracked the helmet right down the middle!!! I can't even imagine what would've happened to me if I had fallen on a trail and hit my head on a rock or something harder than the dirt in the arena. The fall ended up affecting my memory and to this day I still have "good memory days" and "bad memory days". I get headaches all the time too and I never had headaches before my accident. Although the helmet didn't survive that day, I did, and it's because of that one incident that I will wear a helmet every time for the rest of my life.
This is just my experience but I would suggest that you always wear a helmet. Anything can happen at any time on any horse! My story for example: 5 yrs. ago I was riding a lesson horse that I had ridden a thousand times. He was one of my favorite horses and one of the smoothest rides I've ever had. Also, he was very well behaved and knew his job. We weren't jumping or doing anything out of the ordinary...we were just finishing up a pattern. He is an OTTB and picked up on my excitement and started flying away on me. He was going very fast and he wouldn't stop no matter what I did. We started heading towards the other lesson horses that were lined up at the other end of the arena and I got freaked out that we were going to run into them. One of the other riders was my sister and I got really scared that she was going to get hurt so I tried my best to handle the situation but I ended up falling off of him and hitting my head REALLY hard. I fell on regular arena footing but the impact was so hard that it knocked me unconscious and I ended up having a seizure. Turns out I had hit my head so hard that it cracked the helmet right down the middle!!! I can't even imagine what would've happened to me if I had fallen on a trail and hit my head on a rock or something harder than the dirt in the arena. The fall ended up affecting my memory and to this day I still have
Read my article on "Why is a riding helmet bad?" It may give you a different view point, but if your parents provide a horse and give you the ability to enjoy and have horses in your life, a helmet is a small price to pay! Besides they do it becasue they love you, not to make you look dorky! :) If you crack your head and could never ride your horse again, think how much your horse would miss you. Rick
i agree! i always think i look soooo weird with my helmet on, but i have always ridden with one on. like Ruth said, accidents happen when you lease expect it- like just riding in the indoor arena or out on a trail. its better to be safe then sorry
Now 50, I wouldn't be if I hadn't had my helmet on that day. A weekend warrior, doing gymkhana my most trusted BTDT mare tripped, almost went down doing permanent damage to herself and fligging me off in the process. I was told she tried to dive underneath and save, being an ex-cutter. I was knocked out cold for more than 3 hours, amazingly unhurt until getting the hospital bill, I'm grateful Troxel makes such a good product. AND when the manuf. calls you, you know it was a hard landing!
Organizations like 4H because of insurance regulations require all kids on horses, whether in the ring or not wear their helmets. My stepdaughter Paige whinned everytime and she puts the F in Fast! Get over it, find a nicely styled, comfortable helmet. Wear it! Take care of it! Oh by the way the life expectancy of a helmet is about 2-3 years, especially the way kids throw them around. Your head is the heaviest and most important part of your body don't you want to protect it?
Mu question is.. WHY NOT WEAR ONE? Okay, maybe it looks kinda dorky, or some people are just plain lazy and don't want to put it on their heads.. but ANYTHING can happen. I was riding a dead broke horse who has never done anything wrong at all... we were cantering up a hill, he tripped and fell right on top of me, and my head got hit with the horn. One of my best friends was hanging out with her horse in the field..she was sitting on his bareback with just a halter, a rabbit ran under him and he spooked..he is usually a very quiet horse. she went flying, and hit her head, hard.
Then there was my one bad fall, where I was wearing a helmet and got thrown, hit my head on the ground and I now have amnesia.. this was in the summer, and my memories are just starting to come back.
I don't see why anybody wouldn't wear a helmet.. I wear one barrell racing in competition..no cowboy hat for me. And for all schooling with my horses, even though some are "bombproof", my head is always protected.
Sorry for the rant, but my head injury was pretty scary and I don't want it to happen to anybody else.
Mu question is.. WHY NOT WEAR ONE? Okay, maybe it looks kinda dorky, or some people are just plain lazy and don't want to put it on their heads.. but ANYTHING can happen. I was riding a dead broke horse who has never done anything wrong at all... we were cantering up a hill, he tripped and fell right on top of me, and my head got hit with the horn. One of my best friends was hanging out with her horse in the field..she was sitting on his bareback with just a halter, a rabbit ran under him and he spooked..he is usually a very quiet horse. she went flying, and hit her head, hard. Then there was my one bad fall, where I was wearing a helmet and got thrown, hit my head on the ground and I now have amnesia.. this was in the summer, and my memories are just starting to come back. I don't see why anybody wouldn't wear a helmet.. I wear one barrell racing in competition..no cowboy hat for me. And for all schooling with my horses, even though some are
I've ridden for ten years and never used a helmet unless someone else made me, for example, if it was a barn rule. The helmet is not the only thing that will keep you safe. You must have common sense with it, such as not riding in short-shorts and bareback late at night. Also keep in mind that in some rare situations, the helmet can be more dangerous than it is safe. A couple years ago, my uncle's horse spooked, and he fell landing on his collar bone. In his neck, he broke the same vertebrae as Christopher Reeves. If he would've been wearing a helmet, he would've been parylized or killed.
In your situation, I'd suggest having a conversation with your mom. Ask what she thinks makes a helmet safe and what else she thinks will keep you safe, such as common sense. Do some research to find how many times helmets have been safer than they've been dangerous. If your mom is a strong believer in helmets, just wear one; when you leave your home for college you can always stop wearing it then if you still feel the same way after research and discussion.
just stop weakring the helmet. How old are you? I was about 10 when I stopped wearing mine because, I did not care, And eventually they just said well if you fall and hurt yourself you will pay! lol the only time I fell was when I was riding an arab with a helmet lol.
lol i never ever wear a helmet! i hate how they look and i think theyre uncomfortable...my parents bought me a brand new helmet and it just sits in my room collecting dust but i still refuse to wear it lol
i know i feel like a dork when i wear my helmet too and i'm an english rider its part of my out fit! but you should wear one unless like in the example you gave you were in a rush and didn't have time to grab it. my reasoning is chances are i'd probably be dead right now if i hadent been a helmet on one of my rides on the quietest horse i have ever owned. and you have to think about it from your parent point of view too if you were seriously hurt or killed it would be the end of the world to them. and it dosn't matter how good you are amazing riders die all the time from riding accidents.
unless your doing something really dangerous there is no point it just makes you stronger every time you fall i have rode in a helmet like 20 times MAX (and that was because i had to in my riding lesons before i quit going there for lessons) and i find it makes it hard to consintrate cause i find them so uncomfortable so I think there is all most no point when your just goofing around with your horse
my mom always makes me wear a helmet too. i used to only wear it when i was jumping but no dressage. Once I was on my pony and he was in one of his moods and bucked then immediatly reared up. his skull hit my mouth and the braces i had on then ripped up my lips. My helmet saved me from a lot of damage to my face.
Another time a helmet came in handy was when my friend was riding one of her horses and the horse spooked really bad. she came off and her helmet struck a ground pole. She doesn't even remember taking the horse back to the barn and tying him up. Luckily her mom is a nurse and knew what to do. She still doesn't remember what happened and it could have been a lot worse if she wasn't wearing the helmet, which now has an impressive dent in it.
I know helmets look dorky sometimes but even the pros come off. Check out all the 4-star eventers. A lot of them have had life-threatening accidents that would have killed them if they weren't wearing helmets. Stats also show that most of riding accidents happen on the flat because people don't think that its as dangerous. Horses spook anytime anywhere even those who are claimed to be "bomb proof". First of all there is no such thing as bomb proof horses, they are flight animals and they WILL take flight! It's our job to be prepared for accidents and take precautions. My little sis even has to wear a safety vest when she jumps and I have to wear it if I'm jumping cross country or jumping three foot or higher. Ya, it's uncomfortable, bulky and dorky but if it saves my life it is worth it.
wear one. even when your just going for a little ride, or you think you have complete control over everything, you don't. anything could happen at any time with a horse. a helmet is your best pritection against the unexpected
I'm amazed at the folks who said just stop wearing one, or that helmets can be more dangerous. Before making assumptions like these, it is important to do your research. Sure one freak accident can result in a death or permanent injury, but there is no way that helmets cause more bad than good. It's the same thing like people argue that seatbelts can kill. Sure they can, but the chances of getting killed without a helmet and without wearing a seatbelt, are MUCH greater.
Just judging by this thread, the number of people who provided accidents where they would not be alive without a helmet verses those that don't feel like wearing one prove a point.
As a medic I have seen really nasty accidents with horses. Question is will you place your looks over your life. Question is, are you willing to kill your parents if you get permanently hurt or killed. As the worst thing that can happen to a parent is to lose their son/daughter.
I had a really horrible accident a year and a half ago. I just jumped on my pony bareback to trot her around (was showing her to a potential buyer). I was only getting on for a minute so didn't think to put my helmet on. After a couple times around I was just sitting on her, loose reins, talking to the woman and my mom. I have no idea what happened, we think maybe a bee sting, but the pony flipped out and started bucking. I didn't have time to regain my balance or pick up the reins and fell off. In the process my arm got caught in the reins and I was underneath the kicking legs of a very frightened animal. I got kicked in the head, broke my jaw and cheek. She also stepped on my left ankle. I was in the Trauma Unit all night doped up on drugs, getting xrays and scans. It sucked. I had major bruising and swelling all over the right side of my face. Thankfully I didn't need any surgery. But I did have to go for mnay doctors appointments for the next 3 months. I had very limited use of my jaw and it wasn't aligned properly.
I am now 100% better with no scarring or anything. I am VERY LUCKY! If I had had a helmet on though my injuried probably would have been much less. I actually don't remember much from that day, it's all really hazy even though I never technically passed out it was literally blinding pain. As in I don't remember anything of the accident or trip to the hospital whatsoever. It's like a black hole.
Please, wear your helmet, if you don't like the way it looks, buy a new one. I just got a new IRH helmet 2 weeks ago and I love it. I like my helmet and am proud to wear it. Anything can happen no matter how much you trust your horse, no matter how well trained the horse is or anything. Your life is worth more than anything in the world, don't jeopordize it just because you "don't like it".
I know you don't want to look dorky, I hated that too but now helmets are cool and you can put cool covers on them but my friend just had a serious accident this past weekend barrel racing, she and the horse didn't see the gate with the sun glare, ofcourse the worst happened, they both went through the fence coming home since she didn't see the distance to stop she thought she had more room but the horse went through the fence with her at full speed and she was thrown and the horse got stuck in the fence and then rolled on top of her and when she scrambeled to get up, she got kicked in the back of the head. She is a great racer and the horse is a professional barrel racer done it for years, just freaky they couldn't see the gate in the sun but the helmet saved her life, it was the scariest thing I have ever seen but she had only a concussion and minor scrapes and bruising, amazing for how bad it looked but the helmet saved her life!!!! the helmet is destroyed but her head is all in tack, just shows you that even the best of riders have those fluke moments you would never except, all horse accidents are not expected so playing safe all the time is just better in the long run. Take care and moms aren't really that dorky asking there kids to be safe, horses are a risky animal to begin with-make it cool!!! Add some bling and colors and get your friends too, once more do it won't seem so dorky.
For one thing, I have gone through the intimidation of having a helmet on while everyone else is galloping around without one. Unfortanetly, as good of a rider as you seem to be, if your horse started bucking and spooking like crazy (which could easily happen if your horse spooked ) , you wouldn't be able to stay on him/her. There are times when you just have to be realistic and weigh the consequences. Yeah, falling off and landing on your head MIGHT not happen, but then if it did, you could die or end up in a coma or be paralyzed. The reason I tell you this is because I had a friend die recently because of a fall, and guess why?, she wasn't wearing a helmet.
So, yeah, you might look dorky, but who cares? Don't worry about what others think. Besides nobody will think of you as a dork if you beat their time around the barrles and show them!
I am not gonna be rude about this but so im just going to tell a little story to get everyone thinking about wearing helmets. The barn I ride at is western, and english, I am an english girl and I have been teaching one of my bestfriens, kaylan, how to ride english, more like correct form, well yesterday we were out on the trails and our horses can be kind of lazy, so we like to strech them out and teach them the cues for it on the trails, I trotted down a piece of trail and galloped back, well my mare Baily, was going a bit fast and a mud puddle was coming up, and she slipped, and tripped, the changed leads and freaked a little and kept running, well she was fine, but after I thought about it, that could have been a nasty fall, and she could have broken a leg and squashed me if she flipped, so I was kind of weary about running so we were going back to the barn, and Kaylan and her horse, poke, started running through one of the fields and Baily was like PLEASE and the ground wasn't wet here, so I let her open up into a nice hand-gallop, and the poke rocked back and flung/jumped across the trail then threw his head down, crow hopped, and kaylan and her saddle pads flew off, he rear, got scared, and ran into the field, well it scared the crap out of me, and thank god Kaylan was wearing a helmet with the little visor nose protector on it, and she still hit her face and the visor thing had came off, but all in all it saved her life, if she hadn't of been wearing a helmet, her nose bone would have been pushed up into her brain, and she would have died, and I would be the last person to see it, she hates wearing helmets too, and I was scared when it happened, almost seeing your best friend die right infront of you because the girth broke and her horse flipped out, so please guys, don't argue with your parents about wearing a helmet, do the right thing, and wear one, I was so glad she had one on, I almost lost my bestfriend, all over a helmet saving her life.. and yes it is as bad as it sounds, so please, it could be your life your risking if you don't wear a helmet, I just hope this gets you thinking, and yeah we never thought somthing like that would happen and it did. thanks for reading --Cicely(:
ok well i am Kaylan(Andy). i hate wearing helmets but then this accidenet happened yesterday and i could have easily died because of it. my girth broke the saddle pads flew off and i wouldnt have been able to say goodbye to anyone. it has to happen to you to get you thinking. and yes i know there are really great riders out there that dont ride with helmets. but let me tell you, that little piece of whatever they are made of saved my life. my nose bone could have been pushed up into my brain. but it didnt happen because the visor on the helmet hit the ground first, broke off, but it saved me from dying.
some things have to actually happen to you to get you thinking about it. you cant just not worry about it. you have to realize that everyday you are near a horse you are risking your life.
just like i knew this vet right? well he was out giving horses shots and there was a horse in a running gate thing. he gave this really nice looking horse a shot for rabbies. just as he stuck the needle in the horse, it kicked and hit the vet right in the chest. this kick killed him. and though it has nothing to do with helmets it should make you think about the fact that horses are very dangerous and im sure your parents dont want to lose you ever. so they try to make everything for you as safe as it can be.
I have to say that wearing the helmet all the time is the best thing to do. I also truly hate wearing my helmet. But I always wear it. No matter how good anyone thinks they are at riding, there is always that chance for everything to go wrong. I have had to watch videos on wearing helmets and it is truly horrible what can happen to people by not wearing helmets. One person didn't wear their helmet and was thrown off and ended up becoming paralyzed for the rest of their life. I would rather die than have to be paralyzed, knowing I could never ride a horse like I used to. So in my opinion, helmets are needed all the time, no matter what discipline of riding or what horse, how it makes you look. They help to prevent the worst from happening.
i got on a horse that was being rude to one of my campers. i almost didnt put a helmet on, the horse ended up tripping and falling almost on me. if i hadnt bee wearing a helmet i would have had to go to the hospital. Now i always think its a good idea to wear a helmet.
you should ALWAYS wear a helmet
you never know what random bad event might occur that could cause u to get thrown and seriously injure yourself
ive been riding for 12 years and have never once gotten on a horse without my helmet
if i were you i'd be asking how i didnt fall off and cripple myself. not wearing a helmet is the worst idea anyone could ever think of in their life. so what if the native americans didnt wear helmets and the soldiers and stuff way back. you can still fall off and hurt yourself really really badly if you dont wear one. i wouldnt go on a horse even if i was one of the best riders and the horse was one of the best trained and unexpected to throw me without wearing a helmet. so be a good girl and listen to your parents cause i really dont think anyone would wana be crippled for life and know that it was their own fault.
Id wear a helmet whenever you ride, your horse could get spoked or get a bug up its butt and have a fit either bucking or bolting. Its happened to me and its not fun. If i wasnt wearing my helmet I woulda gotten badly hurt.
On January 1, 2010, 6:39 pm
I think that you should wear a helmet. I don't wear one because i do not own one but i plan on buying one soon. even if all you have is a bike helmet then you should wear it. Because a bike helmet is better than nothing if you fall and hit your head.
I'm a bit biased. My mom is an ER nurse. My sister and I went to a bike helmet demonstration. They used watermelons to demonstrate what happpens to your head when you fall. I forget the exact calculation but a certain height is a certain speed and they figured the most common speed a kid could get on a bike found something to drop it off of that equals about the same damage as the spped. One had a helmet, the other didn't. The one without a helment spilled it's brain all over the ground...and it wasn't pretty. The other one just got a small crack.
Now I know this is contradictory, but I don't always wear a helmet. It's just pure laziness. just hop on bareback with just a halter to go from one pasture to the next. If I plan to do serious riding I always put one on. I know I need to get a new one because the one I have is at least 6 years old. I've had it since I was 10 or 12 years old it's my first helmet (I have a small head). Last year I was riding my crazy mare bareback and I was glad I had it on. She took off and I tried a one rein stop and got a barrel spin. Needless to say, I fell off landed on my butt/lower back and continued falling backwards. My head slammed into the hard dirt and I had a headache for a few minutes but I was able to get back up and hop on again. I was really glad I had a helmet on that day.
On November 18, 2010, 8:17 am
i think that it should be fine for u to go with out a helmet
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do what your parents say. ALWAYS! They are smarter than you! They love you and want you to be safe. (and this is coming from a 15 year old, I am)
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: 3 that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Guessing I'll be one of the "older folks" chiming in, :) I grew up wearing helmets - and boy if you could see what they used to look like! Amazing we didn't get hurt. But back to the topic, when I was in my 20s and 30s I stopped wearing a helmet due to some training I was doing at a dressage barn.
I was VERY lucky that nothing happened to me as I used to trail ride as well.
When I began working in the industry, I grudgingly began wearing a helmet as I felt like there was a responsibility to try to be an example - and after all, other than on a hot summer day when my hair would be sweaty, what was the harm?
Today, I wouldn't get on to ride 10 feet without it. While I've never had any major issue, I've taken some rough tumbles from my horse, fracturing a hip (at 44) last spring. Imagine if that had been my head (even with my helmet)?!?
I guess I just look at it this way - both of my horses are really good citizens - but it isn't them I worry about - it's EVERY other little thing that might go wrong - and a helmet is such a small price to pay for what might be a life saving difference. I mean hey, look at riders like Courtney King-Dye - you can say it was a fluke of an accident, etc. but it took her out of riding, especially at the Olympic level going on 2 years now and possibly for good.
And the list goes on - if Darren Chiacchia hadn't been wearing a helmet when his horse rolled over him, he'd probably be dead - and then even folks like Debbie McDonald, the Olympian Dressage Rider, have accidents where they say helmets were an important part of their minimal injuries.
You may not think it's "cool" and granted, I used to ski down black diamond slopes without a helmet, ride my bike without one, ride with my friends on their motorcycles without one, etc. There is something about the wind in your hair - but I'd never get in my car without my seatbelt on, why take the chance that someone texting or not paying attention will kill or injure me at no fault of my own. I guess I just look at helmets the same way - it's such a small thing that can make such a huge difference.
You will ultimately do what you think is best - and make your own decisions, as your folks won't be there forever with the edicts. But someday, you'll know someone who is gravely injured or worse, and you'll have pause to think about it again.
Wear your helmet. Even the most professional, broke, trained, horse can spook and even th most advanced and experienced rider can fall. One awesome day of riding doesn't mean you never need to wear a helmet again. Come on, think about it. Punting on a helmet takes, what, ten seconds tops? You hurt your head and the LEAST you'll be experiencing in unbearable pain for two weeks. I'm twenty one and have been wearing a helmet for my entire horse riding life, and not because my parents told me to. Honestly, it sounds like you don't want to wear it JUST because your parents told you to. Better safe than sorry.
Where it! I know how awkward and irritating it is to wear it but you have no idea how many times its saved my head. No matter how good a rider you are, or how in tune you are to your horse, you can never predict an accident. You can never predict when you're going to get caught off guard. Equestrian helmets were designed and created for a reason. They're there to protect your noggin, so let them do their job. If you think yours is too big or bulky you can get low profile streamlined ones that aren't so bad.
I don't think there's a choice here, if you want to ride, you'll have to respect your parents wishes. I'll tell you what, if it wasn't for wearing a helmet, I wouldn't be here right now on a few occasions. Even with my calm 20 year old gelding, any thing can happen like him slipping in bad footing, etc. There's also a rule at the barn that's in place, no helmet no riding no matter who's horse it is. I can understand and respect that from what I've experienced riding and I abide by it.
Even though im 18 now and at most places under insurance I dont have to wear a helmet you will never catch me riding without one. I don't care how good of a rider I am accidents happen. You're riding a 1000lb animal with a mind of its own, anything can happen.
I am 20 yrs old & I've been riding for about 6 years, the last 2 1/2 on a regular basis (I work at a horse barn, take lessons & ride in lessons at college). I've had about 8 or 9 falls in the last 2 1/2 years, 6 of which off my own horse whose judgement I trust about 90% of the time. But I NEVER get on him without a helmet. For 1) He's a 1300lb animal, 2)he's a prey animal with flight instincts, 3) He's an OTTB who went into training for hunter/jumpers, & 4) the most ridiculous things he sees EVERYDAY scare him (squirrels, solid white objects, white standards put in a group in the corner out of the way, etc.).
My horse is an 18 y/o, well experienced, BTDT kinda boy, but he still has his, what I like to call, "Stupid Spooks". He spooked at a coop (type of jump) he saw everyday for 2 months in the same place & I rolled off his hind end & landed on my side, & I was able to get an arm out to cushion my head. Another time we were at a schooling show, schooling a 2'6"- 2'9" course & he up & decided that he was not going to jump at the very last second possible. He spun out from underneath me, spooked another horse & left me to fall down the side of a standard, scraping my arm, helmet (luckily it wasn't damaged either lol), & landed on my tail bone on the foot of the standard.
Another time I was riding a horse in my first ever No Stirrups lesson. The horse was "bombproof", 15hh (smaller than mine), & you could put a kid on him bareback, kickin & yellin & the horse would just walk. Well that day he decided he wasn't in the mood to be bombproof, so he picked up a canter & would not stop, no matter what I did, I couldn't turn him to the fence because the ring turned pasture was lined with electric fencing & he would only spook, leaving me on the electric fencing. I managed to turn him & my trainer stepped out to grab his rein & he lead changed & I fell off onto the hard ground. It wouldn't have been as bad if I hadn't had to pull my legs to me to prevent from getting stepped on. My hip hit the ground hard & popped into the socket; my lower back had been wrenched by another horse a month+ before & was now re-injured; my shoulder landed hard & then my head hit the ground hard as well (I was wearing an Troxel helmet that wore like concrete lol). I couldn't move my legs for about 20-30 minutes, I had a headache, & both of my trainers were afraid that I had broken my pelvis.
The first thing the paramedic asked was "Was your helmet on properly?" As I was still wearing it when they got there about half an hour after my fall (there was a confusion, my trainer has two barns less than a mile down the road from each other & we learned that day that they were also in separate townships, the reason for the delay, they dispatched the wrong company). He then proceeded to check the helmet for any tell tale damage as the others put me on the stretcher. He asked me where the scuff & scratches all over the helmet had come from (mostly from me putting in on the ground outside of my lesson mounts' stalls for 2 1/2 years) & then recommended that I get a new one because the fall had been harsh enough that it could have damaged the interior structure & left the outside just fine. I ended up getting a new helmet anyway because that helmet had become too small for my head & was nearing its expiration date anyway.
Luckily, I had only been bruised: my whole right hip, part of my right thing & lower back were severely bruised all the way down to the bones & joints. My arm was a little cut up from grass & my shoulder was sore & I still had a headache because of a mild concussion, but my helmet did its job & protected my head. It was recommended that I try not to walk around too much or sit/lay for too long & I could not ride for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks (giving my head a chance to return to normal). But of course, the day I fell was the day my trainer head went to get my horse (then he was her personal horse) & I ignored the doctors' rules & I went back to my farm (opened the gate for the trailer & hobbled/limped myself down the driveway & through the barn to go see my horse, I didn't go in with him). But I did not get on or handle a horse for 2 1/2 weeks.
My helmets saved my life from death, severe brain damage & other serious injuries. Not wearing one is NOT an option for me.