Summit Helmet Policy

We had a few Summit attendees ask about helmet use at our conference last month. Here is a short synopsis of our policy:

While we recognize that always wearing a helmet is likely a best rider practice, reinforced by studies showing that helmet use decreases the chance of head injury, we allow presenters to have individual choice in this matter.

Several board members firmly believe helmets should be worn at all times. In contrast, many presenters, especially those with Western backgrounds, believe wearing a helmet is just one of many safety precautions to be considered. Wearing one should not be considered a panacea for unsafe horses or situations, they say.

Here are a few studies on the topic.

This study suggests that age and gender (young women) are greater factors in predicting head injury than helmet use. About 85 percent of those riders suffering a concussion were indeed wearing a helmet.

In another study, older men (average age, 47) were most prone to trauma. Most were not wearing helmets.

The decision to wear a helmet is personal, not mandated by law, and the Best Horse Practices Summit honors the decision of each professional invited to present at its conference.

  • Ann in NH

    A concussion, even a bad one, is not a fractured skull or shattered cheek bone. Having suffered a traumatic injury while riding, I solidly am in the “wear a helmet” camp. Always, every time.

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