SubscribeGift a Sub
Enable cache 100
Horse Safety

Importance of Wearing a Horse Riding Helmet So You Can Walk Away

How one mother has instilled the importance of helmet wearing to her sons while horseback riding.

Photo Courtesy Jen Robertson

Jen Robertson has been riding horses all her life. A well-versed equestrienne from riding Arabians and Quarter Horses to now competing and training in hunter/jumpers, she can barely recall a day without riding. She and her husband, Brody Robertson, manage their farm, Altamonte Show Stable, in Ocala, Fla. Brody is an accomplished third generation Grand Prix rider and jump designer in his own respect.

For the Robertsons, wearing a helmet is as natural as slipping on breeches and a pair of boots. It’s something that just happens, and they’ve passed that along to their two sons, Saer and Flynn.

Jen credits helmets to saving her life on more than one occasion. Most recently, she was showing a young jumper as his first rated show at Lamplight in Elgin, Ill. “He had jumped great all week,” she recalls. “We were going into his last class of the show.”

The young horse had bulged out toward the out gate as he came around a corner. Jen tried to straighten the horse up as they approached the next jump. “I don’t think he was able to read it correctly,” she explains. “The white jump rail blended into the white fencing behind it, so he misjudged the top pole.”

Jen remembers taking off for the jump, then hitting the dirt head first. “I remember seeing my horse’s ears upside down in the sand with me,” she says.

Photo Courtesy Jen Robertson

Jen says that because of the centrifugal force and landing head first, she can’t imagine where she would be if she hadn’t worn her helmet. “I walked away from what could have been a devastating accident,” she says.

“I made the decision to wear a helmet every ride after I became a mother, because I want my children to see me wear one and it be normal to them,” Jen says. “It’s simple: You ride, you wear a helmet. The boys are horrified when they see cowboys or riders without helmets, and really it seems insane to me as well not to have one on.”

Her story is not unlike any other riders all across the country. It’s because of that that Riders4Helmets is proud to offer International Helmet Awareness Day (IHAD) once again, taking place September 12-13, 2020. The goal of IHAD is to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitted and secured, certified helmet. Many helmet manufacturers and tack stores from across the globe are participating with deals on new helmets and increased education on fitting and buying helmets.

For Jen and her family, the IHAD campaign is a good time to remind their fellow equestrians to check their helmet ages and look into purchasing a new helmet to finish out the show season, no matter your riding level.

“Most upper level riders have as many freak accidents at the walk as they do in competition,” she points out. “With the immense research done on TBIs leading to dementia, severe depression and Alzheimer’s, there really is no reason to ever take the chance by riding without a helmet. As much as we love them, horses are extremely unpredictable!”

For more information on International Helmet Awareness Day or Riders4Helmets, see, and follow them on social media.

Further Reading on Importance of Riding Helmets

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman is a freelance writer based in Indiana, where she’s learning to balance motherhood with horses, dogs and writing.

Recent Posts

Vet Adventures: How Not to Treat a Horse’s Wound

I’d been treating my patient, a sweet Quarter Horse mare named Maizey, for almost two weeks. Maizey had been running…

7 hours ago

Underdog Horses Become Champions

Aubrey Torrez, 29, is the first to confess that she’s always been an advocate for the underdog. “In this sport,…

1 day ago

8 Horse Feeding Mistakes to Avoid

Informed horse owners would never intentionally do something that could cause their horse to colic. Yet many owners unwittingly follow…

2 days ago

Tips to Keep Your Horse from Bucking

It’s a scene riders dread: A tense, strong horse ignores your cues, moves straight ahead then begins bucking and kicking…

4 days ago

ASPCA Right Horse Summit: Rescue Intake Exams

The 2023 ASPCA Right Horse Summit in Lexington Kentucky, kicked off with a discussion about intake and assessment best practices.…

1 week ago

Vet Adventures: Prolonging a Procedure

I wasn’t worried about performing the actual mass removal; it was a procedure I’d done on many horses and wasn’t…

1 week ago