When Courtney came to the Syracuse Invitational to do a demonstration/clinic, one of the questions posed to her was in reference to how she felt about helmets in her sport. She skirted around that issue and I was frankly very irritated with her. In that demonstration she did wear a helmet, but she never had an honest conversation about how she felt about it, about whether she wore one all the time (most of the time, I believe, was her answer) and whether she felt they should start making an appearance in the show arena at the uppermost levels. What I'm saying is that she had the perfect opportunity -- an adoring audience, full of teens and college students -- and it was clear she just didn't want to take on the controversy. And if she wouldn't, who will? We need some young, high-profile role models in our sport willing to make that stand.
So now we hear that she was trying out a young horse at her farm, not wearing a helmet, and the horse tripped and fell; she struck her head. Seriously, why do equestrians do these things to themselves?! It takes two seconds to put a helmet on. It might save your life. The only things, I believe, that would prevent someone from putting a helmet on (especially if you opt to wear one sometimes) is either sheer laziness or fear of looking bad. I cannot think of another option, unless you are really vain enough to care about how your hair may look afterwards, but because that option is so repulsive I choose to ignore its existence.
And I never, ever want to hear another person tell me:
- A helmet may still not completely protect you -- No shit! Does this even warrant a response?! Where is the logic in disregarding a safety device just because it is not 100% effective. I'd like to ask them how they feel about their birth control plans. Maybe we should just do away with those, too, because they're only 99% effective.
- A helmet may cause you more damage -- Yes, and it is possible someone may lose control of their vehicle today and crash into the side of your house, but the probability that this will occur is likely very slim.