I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am the lone equestrian in my family. Furthermore, my father knew Christopher Reeve personally. While growing up I was forbidden from doing any jumping; Papa thought it was just too dangerous. So I grew up riding at a saddleseat barn.
|Saddle optional. Helmet not!|
Coming to eventing as an adult, I get the impression that I’m more safety conscious than lots of other riders, especially as compared to people who grew up in the sport.
Here are some of the choices I make with safety in mind:
– I wear a helmet every ride.
– I wear my impact vest, and typically my air vest as well, while jumping. This includes jumping in lessons, on my own practicing, or at shows. I typically wear my impact vest for trail rides too.
– Last year I chose to do Intro level for our first few outings to help me feel more confident and therefore help ensure safe and positive experiences for both Hemie and myself.
– I listen to my body. If I’m not well enough to ride, I don’t. I also listen to my gut instincts. If something isn’t feeling right, I take a moment to figure it out instead of just plowing ahead.
– I take regular lessons with a trainer.
– I learn from my mistakes. And with the help of this blog, I don’t forget them!
|All suited up for SJ|
I wasn’t always so safety conscious. I rode without a helmet for many years in fact. But a post about Riders4Helmets from Nicku of The Polka Dot Periodical several years back inspired me to strap one on every ride.
I’d like to pay it forward and hopefully inspire someone to think more about safety. July 12, 2014 is the 5th annual International Helmet Awareness Day. Many helmet retailers and tack shops will offer great discounts on new helmets and offer helmet-fitting workshops. If you’ve been thinking of upgrading your helmet or adding one to your collection, mark your calendar for this date so you can support a great organization’s program and give your wallet a little break too.