No doubt about it – in the event of a fall, the helmet WILL minimize damage. But wouldn’t it be better not to fall in the first place? At every horse show impetuous riders climb aboard fresh, distracted or green horses – prey animals in a busy, unfamiliar environment…yet, these riders are wearing their helmets. I guess the best overall solution would be to ride it as if you had no helmet… and then wear one.
Horses are designed to be drawn to the safe and predictable for their very survival. A place where meals and turnout come on schedule. Where he knows where he stands in the pasture hierarchy. A horse feels “at home” – safe, when the cues of his rider are clear and predictable.
Yep, horses have a homing instinct. So do we. A longing for belonging. A place of peace…
I see it in the show ring. A horse digs in his toes at the trail bridge, stalls on approach to a jump or balks to enter the ring altogether. He may plant his feet at the wash stall or get stuck at the pasture gate unwilling to leave his herd mates. Why does a horse get stuck? What are some do-able solutions?
When I began judging horse shows, I was struck by how little influence fashion trends had on my scorecard compared to performance and penalties.
After spending many years in the show ring, many hours attending to grooming details and many dollars on tack and turnout, I’m more inclined to ask “Is it a need or a want?” Will this influence the judges or impress only those outside the show ring?
Humans show pain through facial expressions. These have been coded and used to assess the discomfort of patients who can’t communicate their suffering in other ways. Now the Horse Grimace Scale has been developed. Help to guide trainers, owners and vets in the determination of equine pain and its care…