If you ride horses, eventually you'll undergo an unplanned dismount.
New riders fall off because they don't know what they're doing yet.
Experienced riders often ride longer, farther, faster, and higher, and therefore are at risk of more trauma if they do the dirt dance.
No matter how often you ride, no matter how tame your horse is, no matter how soft the ground is, do your family and friends a favor, and strap a helmet on before you mount up.
This Saturday, July 10th, is National Helmet Awareness Day.
If you don't already own and wear your helmet, this is a great time to get one and wear it--lots of manufacturers are offering discounts for helmets purchased on July 10th.
Maybe you already wear a helmet. Why not encourage a friend to strap one on when you ride together?
Maybe you've got an old helmet that has already taken a few trips to the ground. Did you know that helmets work once only? When a helmet hits the ground, the compression stuff inside it compresses, which means your brain will slosh rather than splatter. Once the compression stuff compresses inside, it's done even if you can't see the damage to the helmet--so take this opportunity to treat yourself to a shiny new brain bucket--they come in lots of cool colors!
Want some more reasons to strap your helmet on?
The Washington State Extension Office has excellent short videos on topics like Examples of Potential Brain Damage, ASTM-SEI Helmet Regulations and Testing, and Properly Fitting a Helmet. Spend just a few minutes watching these videos, and I'll bet you'll be racing out to your local tack shop to get yourself a melonsaver.
When you come back safe after your ride, I'll have more photos from the trails for you to enjoy!