When I was a kid (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) we never even thought or wearing a helmet when we were riding horses. Even if we did think about it, the helmets back them were little more than decorative cardboard fashion props that offered little or no protection to the rider at all. Fortunately, the state of things concerning head protection has greatly improved.
Today, most of us wouldn’t even think about riding a horse without a helmet, yet many people still choose to do so. Sometimes you even run into the parents who will put their young children on a horse but not put a helmet on their child. In the case of the adult who chooses to not take advantage of modern head protection while riding horses, it is their choice. But for God’s sake, put a helmet on your kid, at least.
That said, there are still a large number of riders out there who, out of either a misguided sense of machismo or a terminal attitude that ‘accidents only happen to other people’, that refuse to take full advantage of the latest technology for keeping one’s brains inside one’s skull where nature intended one’s brains to be in the first place. In this day and age there are very few justifiable reasons for not taking the proper precautions. While no amount of protective gear like helmets can entirely preclude injury, wearing a helmet while riding a horse will put you way ahead of the game statistically speaking. Your brains will someday thank you for keeping then inside your skull where they belong. Ever being the Libertarian that I am, if you want to ride without the proper protective headgear, I will support your right to do so – it’s your choice.
The use of riding helmets is just one of the many elements of safety in horsemanship. More on the subject of safety to come.