My son probably might have observed that I wasn't wearing my helmet in the picture on the previous post. Once while in Wyoming, I tried to get away with not wearing it and he caught me. On that day, I had a terrible headache and didn't want anything on my head. With our eyes locked, he unbuckled his helmet as if to say "if you don't wear it, I'm not," so instead I told him to fetch my hard hat. Extreme heat has been another excuse; the brim of a straw hat keeps more sun off my face. But yes, these are just excuses. I was reminded a few weeks ago at our county parade how quickly accidents happen. Before it started, Windy spooked a mule team. I got her stopped and dismounted quickly to get control from the ground. Before I had my footing, she spun around and slammed into me, knocking me to the white rocked ground, not only under her, but Butter, as well. Those hooves are pretty scary up close and personal. I need to remind myself every time, every ride why I wear a helmet.
Janet's message was titled Heavy Heart Today and it read:
Every Time, Every Ride. That is the title to an informative, educational video about helmet wearing in the equestrian world. Unfortunately, not enough people know about this video, nor would they consider wearing a helmet when horseback riding. Whatever your reason for not wearing one, it's not good enough.
"It's not what real cowboys/cowgirls do." Really? You may end up not being either without a helmet.
"I'll get hat hair." It's better to have hat hair than no hair from brain surgery.
"It's uncomfortable." It's better to be a little uncomfortable for an hour or two, than being paralyzed in an uncomfortable wheel chair the rest of your life.
"I love the feel of the wind in my hair," "I love the feel of the openness." If you have a head injury you may never feel the openness or wind again.
"It doesn't look good." Riding is not about fashion...
I could go on and on with the reasons/excuses why people decide not to wear a helmet. Oh, I know, "I would NEVER let my kids ride without a helmet." But what about YOU? Aren't YOU worth it? Do you want your kids growing up without you? Do you want to be that kind of example? Oh, and don't think that "just this once" an accident can't happen. Every time you get on any horse you should wear your helmet.
"They're too expensive." Hospital bills are too expensive!
No one is exempt from an accident when riding, no matter how well trained your horse is nor how good of a rider you might think you are.
My heart is heavy as I write this. A young man, with a wife and 2 small children, chose to ride a horse without a helmet. He is now fighting for his life with a massive brain injury. He may never recover, and if he does, he will NEVER be the same. The pain and suffering is indescribable and almost unbearable for those who love him.
I'm equally angry. I'm convinced that if he had been wearing a helmet, his injuries would not have been the same, especially his brain injury. Even if God so chooses to heal him, will he think about wearing a helmet the next time he mounts his horse? Will his extended family and friends think about wearing a helmet? Will his place of employment require helmets from now on, for EVERYONE, not just the kids?
I will continue to pray for this young family daily, hourly, and by the minute. I also hope that somehow, safety while riding horses, especially wearing helmets, will become their ministry.
I also pray that if one person is changed by all of this, it was worth the pain and suffering they've endured. OR, was it?
Thanks, Janet, for the timely reminder. (And looking at the picture above, I can tell you that is NOT how you should wear a helmet. It really needs to be tighter under my chin.)