Tuesday when Lance fell down with me (in very similar circumstances to Carol's), I landed on my hip; my helmet-clad head didn't bump anything. But I was acutely aware of how differently it could have played out. The various sides of Kate's arena are lined with rock retaining walls, a wooden fence, and fir trees. If Lance had fallen near any of those hard features instead of in the middle of relatively soft footing, an unhelmeted head would have faired about as well as a ripe cantaloupe.
Thanks to this wonderful blog, I was reminded that today is International Helmet Awareness Day. This annual reminder was established in the wake of US Olympian dressage rider Courtney King-Dye's traumatic brain injury. Courtney's accident resulted from a simple stumble – like Lance's – in a warm-up arena. It can happen anywhere, with any horse. Protect your head. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your loved ones. You owe it to your Creator.