Tuesdays with Tony – Highs and Lows of Helmets
Let’s talk brains. I know that cats have an overabundance of them and I understand you humans have been given some as well. The thing about brains is what you got is what you got so you better take care of what you got. Today we talk helmets. Yep helmets.
All day long I have to listen to how great these horses are. Some people even describe their horses as bomb-proof so they don’t need a helmet. Personally if a bomb goes near me you will see this black cat running faster than you ever thought a black cat could so I’m not sure why this is a good thing but I digress. Then I sit around at night reading the horse magazines and find out that Courtney King-Dye went to the Olympics in Dressage and fell off her horse at a WALK! A WALK! Her horse tripped and she fell off, landed on her head, and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Courtney is permanently debilitated from her injuries. A helmet would have meant she was a little sore and, maybe, a little bit of a headache and that’s it. Just a few weeks ago barrel racer, Lara Dewees, lost her life. Sure you can argue there were other factors involved there but a helmet may have helped. What I’m saying here is you guys have decided to sit on top of these crazy things called horses and accidents happen, so wear a helmet.
Now that I have convinced you to wear a helmet: let’s talk about helmet shopping. There are a ton of different brands out there. Try lots of them on. Some people have round heads, some people have oval heads, some people have long, oval heads. There’s dial-a-fit, adjust-a-fit, just fits on your head fit, shims, and more to get your hat to fit perfectly. Be sure the helmet you pick has a harness to keep it on your head and adjust said harness to keep the helmet on your head. It drives this cat crazy to see people with an excellent helmet on and a harness so loose even I could walk through the gap. A helmet must stay on your head when you hit the ground for it to work. Check the ASTM rating for your helmet. You will have to work hard to find a helmet that is not ASTM certified these days but just in case make sure the one you are looking at is tested. This means no helmets for other sports. Bike helmets don’t work the same as riding helmets!
If you need even more information on helmets there are some really great resources available: Riders4Helmets, ASTM.org, and SEInet.org. You only get one coconut, mind your melon, and value your head. In other words: Wear a helmet!