We had a good ride last night -- I was working on the usuals (forward, steady tempo, consistent soft contact) and added work on transitions between walk-halt and walk-trot, up and down, and we worked on leg yielding and bend. I was happy with Rev, for the most part, but I'm still looking for a good consistent ride. We DID have lots of happy slobber all over the new Woof boots ... heh.
As I was getting Rev untacked and groomed and whatnot, a new boarder came out to ride. She's a nice lady, and I hope she gets more comfortable with being at the barn. It's clear that her appearance is very important to her, and it's probably a big part of her job to look the part. She has very cool hair and really fancy nails -- I wish I could maintain nails like that! Anyway, at one point she came out of the tack area holding her helmet, and she looked at it, made an "ugh!" face, and gave me a rather dubious look. "So, do you always wear your helmet when you ride?"
Oh dear. I am not the right one to ask that question of if you're looking for validation for not wanting to wear your helmet. :)
"Yep, I sure do. My brain is my single greatest asset, yknow? My horse has thrown me a few times, so ... yep. Plus, it's barn rules for insurance reasons. Plus plus, helmet hair is way cuter than drooling in a hospital bed, being a vegetable. It's annoying sometimes, but still. Here, let me help you with it -- no need to make it even more uncomfortable, give you any more reason to not want to wear it."
I helped her adjust the helmet harness and showed her how to know if it's fitting right, and off we both went.
Go helmets. Seriously, even if you don't do some high-tech job, even if you think you're not all that smart, even if you think your horse is totally bombproof ... your brain is YOUR single greatest asset too. It only takes one hit to the head to completely change your life. You could lose the ability to walk, talk, use your arms, remember your family and friends, or even to be the same person you were before you hit your head.
And that's the mild end of the spectrum. Traumatic brain injury is coming more and more to the forefront of medical science awareness (incidentally, another thing we have to thank our military for; the increase in TBIs among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has spurred a lot of awareness and research -- thank you, veterans, for your sacrifices), and for very good reason. The NHL is increasing its oversight on hits to the head and instituting much stiffer penalties for elbowing, boarding, or other fouls that affect the mug-ee's head. The NFL is taking steps to prevent head injuries and research the effects of football on players' brains. It's a big deal, and everyone's becoming more aware of it. The equestrian world has Courtney Dye's example to learn from. If it can happen to all these athletes at the highest level -- Courtney Dye, Sidney Crosby, et cetera -- it can happen to us at the lower levels.
I'll get off my soapbox in a sec, but seriously. Wear your helmet. I know, you're adults and you can make your own decisions. I get that. It's your choice, unless you're in a place with specific rules about helmets, like our barn. Just understand the consequences of your choice: your loved ones might have to care for you after you're incapacitated for life; you might not be able to work again or support your family; you might never walk again, much less ride; et cetera. You matter to someone who would be devastated if you were injured or killed, and if you can prevent that by just sticking a helmet on your head, why wouldn't you?
Okay. Rant over.
Conditioning tonight; looking forward to it. :)