"The better you ride, the harder you fall. Beginners fall off; good riders get launched." - Jean White
Saturday, June 22th is International Helmet Awareness Day. While we like to have fun with it, make silly videos and have a sale on helmets, the fact is: wearing a helmet - every time you ride - could save your life, or at the very least, millions of dollars in medical bills and years relearning to walk and talk.
Here are some staggering facts...
78,279 people visited the emergency room in 2007 as a result of horse-riding-related injuries.
11,759 of those were head injuries, the number one reason for hospital admissions and the leading cause of death.
Equestrian related concussions account for about 5% of ER visits, more than double that of other major sports.
The average cost of medical bills for a TBI (traumatic brain injury) is $1.5 - $3 million.
Over 100 deaths per year are estimated to result from equestrian related activities.
"I've learned ... to expect the unexpected. Safety has nothing to do with level of skill. It's a shame that it took my accident to exemplify that, but I intend to make a terrible brain injury into something great by increasing helmet use, and hence safety" - 2008 Olympian Courtney King-Dye
You're probably wondering why we would fill this space with such grim statistics and not a big flashy ad selling helmets. Well, even if you were to buy a helmet because of some big flashy ad, you might stick it in the barn or laundry room and use it on a semi-regular basis. But if one horrible statistic makes you believe that it is NEVER safe to be on a horse without a helmet, then this space was well used.
We now return to our regularly scheduled program of fun and frivolity...
These are actual employees of JeffersEquine including Ruth Jeffers, "riding" stick horses, last year, on a course we made from stuff around the warehouse and barn. We aren't sure who won, but we all survived.
The music in the background is "Flight of the Bumblebee".
No stick horses were harmed in the making of this video.