Why you should always wear a helmet when riding horses…

Cinco.  My super dependable, one time lesson horse, who lost his mind just a little.
Cinco. My super dependable, one time lesson horse, who lost his mind just a little.

You remember when I posted about wanting to go for a trail ride on my super dependable gelding but then deciding not to because I couldn’t find a helmet?

Just so you all know, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year.

On Saturday I decided to saddle up and go. I had my helmet. I had my super dependable, well-trained horse…

I mean, I had my helmet.

I really just wanted a simple stroll down the lane. All of my horses have had time off this winter. (Without an improved riding area, like an arena, we really can’t make use of them during the “icy” season…) I didn’t have huge expectations. I had no intention of asking for much.

But Bloody Hell…

Just about from the second I settled into the saddle, Cinco was a different horse. No longer my sweet tempered gelding with training out of his ears, Cinco transformed into a hell beast, destined to be ridden by one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Bucking, crow hopping, pining his ears, charging down the lane, and generally doing everything in his power to throw me off, Cinco was basically a different animal. A crazily herd bound animal.

He cried for Morana. She cried for him. He tried to charge back to their pasture, fighting me every step of the way. (Two thoughts here: It occurs to me that in horse world, that was probably the equivalent of a very romantic gesture. Also, my 6 year old Warmblood is in love with a 16 year old Arabian cross…If she were a person, I’d say she has major daddy issues.)

I’m not a horse trainer by any means, but I’m a decent rider, and this wasn’t my first rodeo.  (Side note, just realized I’ve been at this horse nonsense for almost twenty years.  Yikes.)  If I have any one particularly strong point, I have a very good natural seat. Cinco was frustrated to realize that he couldn’t throw me. He tried his damnedest. For forty minutes or so, I fought almost every step he tried to make. He couldn’t get his way. (I wasn’t coming off.) I couldn’t get my way. (He wasn’t going to do anything I asked without a fight.) We had reached an impasse.

In the back of my mind, I knew that if I could keep the fight up for another hour or so, he would eventually give in, but I was alone on the ranch, and it was getting dark.  Sometimes, you have to weigh cost against benefits.  I could win…but I could also stand to hurt myself.  I kept going until we reached a begrudged point of agreement…and I dismounted.

Here’s what Cinco doesn’t know yet:  One, I’m going to call in one of our trainer friends.  (Trainers are like owners but with Mafia connections.  Ask any horse.)  Two: He’s going to be moving away from Morana as soon as we have a few stalls set up.  From here on, my horse herds are going to rotate.  He and Morana are about to have a long distance relationship….

Things really would have been much easier for him if he had walked down the freaking lane…

 

Oh – Moral of the story: Always wear a helmet.

Side note:  Soon as we got back in the pasture, he wanted loving and attention…and maybe apples.  I love him dearly, but just then?  No way Jose…

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10 thoughts on “Why you should always wear a helmet when riding horses…

  1. Never worn a helmet in my life… but I probably should invest in one! My parents let me learn to ride by trial and error 🙂 Isn’t it funny how horses make everything so much harder on themselves. If they’d just listen, it’d be all over in minutes rather than throwing their little fits. I feel your pain on that one. Happy riding!

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    1. I’ve trained in a bunch of equine sports, everything from show jumping and cross country to reining…And I’ve seen a lot of rides go sideways, some for some of the best riders I know. Helmets are a must for me.

      Horses do make it harder on themselves, don’t they? On a greenbroke horse, or a scared, abused horse, I will put up with an awful lot. They’re learning. Cinco is neither. He was pretty much just being a butthead.

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