Helmet Required

September 13, 2010

Last week was…unusual. I finished some writing for SheKnows early in the week, and then took my first riding lesson in a couple of months. It went pretty well, except that near the end, my horse decided there were horse-eating monsters in the woods that border our jump field. He did a nifty spin move and tossed me into the air. It wouldn’t have been too bad if it hadn’t been for that tree stump…

Nothing broken or torn, just a bruised shoulder and some whiplash. I’m pretty much recovered now.

As I lay in bed the night after the fall from the horse, evaluating what hurt and what didn’t, the thought occurred to me that falls are pretty much inevitable. (As one T-shirt I’ve seen proclaims, “The hardest thing about horseback riding is the ground.”) I don’t think much about falling off, I always wear my riding helmet, and I’m a careful rider. My horse is gentle, obedient and generally quite mellow, though like most horses, he will occasionally spook. You can minimize risk, but if you ride regularly, it’s pretty much not a matter of if you will come off the horse, but a matter of when.

That’s true of life, too, isn’t it? There’s risk in everything—driving to the grocery store, riding bikes with the kids, even eating bagged salad! If you thought too long and hard about what might happen, you wouldn’t be able to leave your home.

Falls in life are inevitable, just like they are in horseback riding. All you can do is minimize risk. Buckle your seat belt, wear your helmet, thoroughly wash the greens...live your life.

(But I especially recommend wearing your helmet.)

You Might Also Like


  1. O.U.C.H!!!!!!!

    So very glad you're okay!

    Maybe kevlar body armor, too?

  2. Oh my gosh Kathy - ouch is right! Glad you're ok!!! You're certainly right about there being risk in everything though - and I agree with you about minimizing risk. But mainly I'm really glad you're ok (I know I said that already, but still . . .).

  3. I say "ouch" too! That must have hurt! Hope you are feeling better.

    Interesting what situations cause us to pause and ponder the bigger picture in life. Your thoughts in words really resonate with me! Keep your words flowing!!

  4. Laure--you know, they do make body armor for riders! Perhaps I should look into some...

  5. Cheryl--like I just told a friend on Facebook, the bruise looks much worse now that it feels. I've been to the chiropractor twice and he's got my neck feeling much better, too. Thanks for your good wishes!

  6. Claire--this is actually the worst fall I've taken, and it did make me stop and think. As I get older, things heal more slowly...must be careful...but I'm not quite ready to give up riding!

  7. Ohhh, that looks so painful! I'm glad it doesn't feel as bad as it looks.

    When I was small I fell off horses, trees, and my bike more times than I can remember (and without a thought!). Now I consider the repercussions and would wear a helmet too - I decided I like my body and I DON'T like pain!

    So happy you are getting back to normal!

  8. Thanks, Elizabeth. I was a walking scab when I was a kid, but it's so much harder to heal now!

  9. Kathy,

    I am glad that you are okay! Sorry, but I am going to quote my girlfriend and say that when I looked at the picture of your owie, it made my butt pucker. :>)

    I have been thrown off a horse once; or maybe I just fell off. Another horse tried to scrape me off on trees as he was running full speed ahead. I tried to block branches with my arms and ended up being scraped up by that brilliant self-defense move. That was long time ago though.

    I think it is wonderful that you get out there and ride, and I am happy that you are healing up.

    Have a wonderful week!

  10. Thanks! I'm feeling much better and the bruise is almost gone. Hope your week is wonderful, too!