When I feel like a vox crying in a helmetless wilderness, I always know there is one person on my side. Been There, Done That and I have been horsing together for, well, enough time to have the stories to show for it. (Really, my eyes weren’t covered for that long, and the road was empty.) She wears helmets. She writes about wearing helmets, The Chronicle of the Horse: It’s Only Your Brain Afterall. For International Helmet Awareness Day, I asked her to talk about her plan to wear a helmet in a discipline where I’ve never seen a competitor wearing a helmet. Ever. Welcome BTDT.
My father rode jumpers internationally. When I was a horse-crazy kid, he made me promise that I would never, ever get on a horse without a helmet. I have kept that promise for over 50 years.
I finally quit riding (that’s a long and not-very-nice story with which I shall not bore you) after 35 years as an on-again off-again professional, and discovered that I still wanted to stay involved with horses in one fashion or another. The Rodney’s Saga blogger, whom I have known for ages, lured me into the world of driving the American Saddlebred. This is a whole new world.
I got very lucky, in that her trainer has some of the nicest and most tolerant school horses I’ve ever run into (and I’ve run into quite a few), and a good many of these are ride/drive chaps. I got involved in the Academy section of ASHA shows (Academy is designed as an introduction to riders who are new to the sport, who aren’t sure if they really want to show; gives them a chance to get their toes wet without undue expense or travail).
Very few competitors in ASHA shows wear helmets. When a specific venue mandates that juniors must wear helmets, the outcry astonishes me. By the time I’d participated in a couple of shows, I was the only driver wearing a helmet consistently. Most of the women drive bare-headed, with a fascinator, or with a straw picture-hat; the gentlemen wear porkpies.
Since I am now considering moving out of the restricted and into the open ranks (where looks and presentation do count), I started looking around for a way to wear my helmet without appearing glaringly out-of-step. So I got in touch with Debbie Navelski of RodeApple Hats (she works through Etsy) and she made me this!
It fits right over my helmet and will go perfectly with my suit and dress!
Every ride, every time.
Thank you for reading,