top of page

Wear a Helmet

I would like to tell a story of how a riding helmet saved me from a very serious injury or death. The helmet was damaged and I have a mild concussion. But it could have be a lot worse!

Onyx is a very quiet Friesian cross 10 year old mare. I been riding her since she was 4 years old. This mare has been on trail rides, has gone to clinics, has had training in dressage. I have shown her in Dressage and Working Equitation.

My husband who is handicapped can go out in her pasture on a riding mower with a lead line. Onyx will come up to him, lower her head and let him clip the lead line on her halter and then walk with the mower to the barn. She will wait until my husband gets off the mower and then go into her stall. Onyx is a very kind and gentle horse.

January 29 was cold day but calm day. I took Onyx out for a ride. I first lunged her for about 20 minutes, then got on her. I decided to ride her in the round pen for a while, then go out to the pasture to ride.

I started out in a walk then went to a trot. We trotted for about 5 minutes, then it happened. She spooked!!! Not just a little spook, a full- blown hard spook. In fact, in my 63 years of riding, I do not remember being thrown so hard.

I fell on the back of my head and rolled. I did not break any bones or go unconscious.

( But she really rang my bell ) I lay there for a minute and Onyx came over and sniffed me.I petted her and put my hand in her mane. She slowly put her head up and lifted me up onto my feet, then she just stood absolutely still. I got my phone out of my pocket to callmy husband who was in the house. He came out to help me. We put Onyx away and I felt woozy so we went to the ER.

Two weeks later I was volunteering at a horse show. My friends told me that after a fall like that I should buy a new helmet. When I got home I looked at my helmet for the first time after my accident. I found a crack and chips in the back of my helmet.

WOW!! That could have been my head. It really made me cringe.

I am writing this to encourage people tp always wear a helmet. It only takes a second to be seriously hurt.

No matter how quiet or broke a horse is, they are instinctively a flight animal.

They can be frightened at any time. I hope that this is a lesson to heed.

Thank you.

Virginia Suydam

40 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page