EQUESTRIAN SAFETY HELMETS , by Julie I. Fershtman
Equine activities can deliver a deadly impact to your head if you get kicked or fall. Safety helmets are designed to cushion and re-distribute the force of certain blows to the head. Depending on the impact you sustain, your safety helmet might allow you to walk away unharmed from an accident that would have killed you or required costly long-term care had you not worn a helmet.
Helmets currently proven to protect you the best in equine activities are certified by both the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) and Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). Also, to work effectively, a helmet must be properly fitted and secured. Most safety helmets are designed to rest in a level position on the head with the front brim about an inch above the eyebrows.
Numerous equestrian organizations require their members to wear safety helmets in competition and/or on the grounds of an event. Some states have helmet laws, as well, including Florida and New York.
Accidents happen to even the most experienced riders. Even seasoned Olympian riders like Courtney King Dye (dressage), as well as Darren Chiacchia and Silva Martin (eventers), have sustained serious head injuries in riding accidents. Helmets can help reduce the severiity of some head injuries or prevent death as a result of a fall or other occurrences. Although there is never a guarantee that a helmet can save a life, helmets can help protect all experience levels of riders.
Learn more about helmets and follow laws and regulations that apply to you. Also, consider referencing helmets in your equine contracts.
Julie I. Fershtman, Shareholder, Farmington Hills, T: 248.785.4731
Julie Fershtman is considered to be one of the nation’s leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 200 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 28 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance.
For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.