Laure’s Ah-Helmet Moment

Laure emailed from Lexington, Virginia, of  “The Day I Wasn’t a Turkey”

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ah-helmet-300x235Laure writes:

Okay, I’ll admit it, having begun my riding career at 40 (I’m now 52), in India of all places, I have NEVER ridden without a helmet, and Troxel is the brand I wear.  Despite coming to riding late in life, I decided I wanted to learn to jump, so I’d be able to manage the steep, and often challenging, up and down creek-laced terrain here in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.  Learning to jump in my 40s gave me plenty of opportunities to be thankful for my helmet, but my real “ah-ha” moment came a couple of years ago, after I had become a fairly competent rider.  I was out riding in the mountains with a friend, on her quarter horse, Nelson, who has a bad habit of bucking (hard) when left behind.  Up until this point however, Nelson had never bucked me off.

laure 1We were cantering along a somewhat rocky trail when we flushed a flock of turkeys, causing both horses to leap sideways. We checked our horses, but then my friend cantered on ahead.  Nelson slammed into a buck and I went flying off hard onto the rocky ground.  I lay there a moment dazed, then tried to get up.  I managed to crawl to my hands and knees, but couldn’t get any further.

A few moments later my head cleared.  I was lucky to have only dislocated my jaw—I now understood how a clip on the jaw knocks out boxers.  I was scratched and bruised, but no bones broken, and more importantly, my head had not turned to pulp.  We switched horses, rode 5 miles home (at a leisurely pace) and then I drove myself to the emergency room, but thanks to my helmet, after a couple scans and some ibuprofen I was cleared to go home.


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