Barrel Racers Hear Importance Of All Horse Riders Wearing Helmets For Head Protection

For the Love of Horses


“Helmets need to be worn by horseback riders whatever the discipline.”
Ann White spoke at the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Kansas District 5 yearend awards banquet in Clay Center.
She discussed importance of wearing helmets to decrease severity of head injury to riders when falling from horses.
Owner of The Basement Tack Shop in Wamego, White said, “Safety is utmost important when riding horses. A helmet doesn’t necessarily prevent injury, but every safety precaution is important.”
Lifetime equestrian and trainer of horses and riders, White operates the Vermillion Valley Equine Center east of Wamego near Belvue.
“Specializing in hunters, jumpers, equitation, and eventing, we offer riding lessons and horse training for all ages and skill levels,” she explained.
“Everybody must wear a helmet when they are riding horses at our facilities,” White emphasized. “I don’t get on a horse without a helmet, and neither does anybody working, training, or taking lessons.”
Although White specializes in English riding, she pointed out that head protection is equally important for Western riders.
“Regardless of a person’s riding ability and level of the horse’s training, accidents happen,” she said. “It’s best to do what you can to protect yourself in every way possible.”
From a display case, White showed a variety of helmet styles including several designed for those riding in Western tack.
Helmets generally come in small, medium, and large sizes, long oval and round, for various head shapes.
Different kinds of helmet liners are available according to rider preferences. Dials on the back of the helmets can be readily maneuvered to fit helmets for individual riders.
Certain helmets are solid head cover while others provide ventilation for when riding in hot weather conditions.
Cost of helmets is widely varied ranging from $75 up to $1,000, depending on brand and specific details, White said.
“However, the most expensive helmets don’t always have the highest test ratings,” she explained. “You must select a helmet that is comfortable to wear and also provides adequate head protection.”
Color of helmets also varies according to rider preference with some riders even wanting shiny sparkles embossed on their helmets.
“The chin strap must be fastened tight for the helmet to stay in place for best protection,” White said. “Riders in certain English classes will be excused when the chin strap isn’t tightened in place.”
Hairnets must be worn by riders with long hair to keep hair in place under the helmet. “In our classes, we cannot have long hair hanging out down the back from under the helmet,” White explained.
The audience was quite attentive to White’s discussion, asking questions about helmet differences, and even trying on certain helmets.
“I will be happy to help find you a helmet that is comfortable to wear while providing protection,” she said.
“I encourage all horseback riders to wear helmets,” White summarized. “Horse accidents do happen, and severity of head injuring can often be reduced by wearing a helmet.”
Ann White, owner of The Basement Tack Shop and Vermillion Valley Equine Center, discussed the importance of horseback riders wearing helmets for head protection.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here