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Kid's Crash Helmets?

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keeperofthehorses

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Not sure if I should have put this on the Back Porch, but I feel it's horse related, so here it is.


We have new neighbors across the street. Great folks; we're lucky. They have a little boy, 8, and a little girl 10 or 11. I've been leading them around on Ripple, always holding the lead rope and staying right on top of them. The little boy would like to start taking lessons with me so he can ride on his own (always under my supervision, but off the lead line) in the arena. Now Ripple is a genuine kids pony and I do trust her, BUT... I'm not letting go of that lead rope or getting more than arms-length away until his cute little noggin is protected.

I mentioned to his mom tonight that I'm happy to help Jared go further, but I really want him to get a crash helmet first. She asked if a bike helmet was adequate. I'm not sure, but it seems to me that a riding helmet (like a Troxel)protects further down on the back of the head and has a better harness system to stay put? Am I right? I don't ride bikes, so have never really inspected a bike helmet. Would you let your kids ride with a bike helmet?

I'm also wondering about liability. I do have the Idaho Equine Liability notice hanging in the barn. It basically says this is an Equine Activity area and you could get hurt. Is there a standard release I should have them sign? I hate that our society has come to this, but I don't want to get myself in trouble or loose my farm. How do you all handle non-family riding your horses? I'm not a riding instructor by profession, but do help little ones get introduced to riding and horsekeeping. I never take money for it. I love working with the really little ones; lighting that fire that will last a lifetime.

There's a picture of Jared (who's very shy around cameras) riding Ripple on our site: http://www.geocities.com/keeperofthehorses/Eclipse_Farm.html

I think they are so cute together, and she responds really well to him.

Thanks all for your help with this,

Suzanne
 

Ferrah

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I don't know about anyone else but it has always always been my riding instructors policy to NOT let kids ride without an approved riding helemt.

Bicylce helemts are meant to protect the head froma totally different kind of impact. Bike helmets are designed to spread impact when hit with something with a large surface area...like a car. A riding helmet is designed to absorb impact from large surface area and small surface area like the crushing force of the horses toe. Bike and riding helemts are designed with different kinds of impact in mind and therefore bike helmets are not adequate as riding helmets IMO.

My riding instructor taught us this about helmets by photo copying articles from a horse magazine when they did a feature on helmets. She got us to read it because one girl at the stable refused to wear a helmet because it was messing up her hair!
Needless to say after reading the articles we knew why it was vital to wear a helmet when riding or driving and why.
 

cjacobucci

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I teach riding lessons out here in Colorado. my policy is "no helmet- no horse". Anyone who rides, including adults and myself (I think I need to set a good example) must have an appoved helmet to ride, even when warming up or cooling out. I went out and purchased a few helmets myself in various sizes, so my students couldn't say they forgot theirs, they were probably about $30 a piece. The message really hit home a few weeks back when we went to a show and a little girl, who was just walking her horse with her mother leading it, she didn't have a helmet on and the horse tripped and she came off and hit her head in the grass. She laater died of brain injuries, may the angels be with her now. It jsut scares me how fast an accident can happen. I never let anyone ride with out a helmet. I also make all parents sign a waiver saying that they understand that horses are an unpredicatable animal and that accidents do happen, etc, etc..

Hope this doesn't scare you away from giving lessons, it can be such a joy to work with young kids and horses, just be safe.
 

justjinx

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We have the same policy--no helmet and no hard shoes, no riding. We all abide by this, adults or children. I totally agree that we must set examples. jennifer
 

ChrystalPaths

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Country Supply sells a very nice child's helmet for a reasonable price. My daughter never rode with out one ever from the time she was 3. When she began jumping at 13 she invested in a vest and steel toed boots. Have them sign a waiver, I have one if you'd like it. It may or may not do in court but it let's the folks know how you feel up front.

Glacia has been kicked in the temple, fallen off and gotten her foot caught in the stirrup and drug, we immediately invested in peacocks, was bucked off countless times and once was completely covered by a saddlebred idiot who fell backwards straight up. The vest kept her chest from being crushed, the helmet kept her from being killed. Share these stories with the mom, she'll be happy to pay for a nice riding helmet. Best of luck. I love the new love and entusiasm of potential horse crazy kids.
 
L

Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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I agree helmet for sure and one made for the sport they are doing.

I would also check with your insurence... that sign is great but many people assume it protects them from all lawsuits and that just isnt true.. in this case it might be better to get a policy that covers "lessons"
 

Marty

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I had a large training stable and also gave lessons for many years, mostly to kids. In answer to your question, yes, a good riding helmut and boots were an absolute must have. I had a whole string of very well trained horses in various sizes, saddles in every size you can imagine for a proper fit and I was well set up for what I did.

I had quite a bit of insurance, plus the stupid sign, plus hold-harmless agreements which do not hold water anyway if push came to shove. If you call your insurance agent and tell them what is going on, be prepared to sit down and pour yourself a wine cooler.

I understand that you really enjoy working with these kids and you are being very generous. They are lucky to have you. But, I also understand that if an accident would occur there goes your nice neighborhood friendship out the window and possibly your farm too. I know they are only little horses vs big horses but they still can pack a punch if they want to under the right circumstances.

I also want to tell you also that as soon as these kids tell their friends about riding at your place, you are going to end up with more and more kids all the time. I love kids and loved working with kids, all kinds of kids and loved having them around me, but it's a different world now. You are leaving yourself wide open for a law suit.

If I were you, I would bail out of this whole thing gracefully and suggest to them that since they are that interested in riding lessons and it's time for them to progress further, that they go to a riding academy that is really set up for instruction.

It's a sorry world that a kid can't cross the road to ride a horse without a constantly worry about someone getting hurt on your property for fear of an accident, large or small.
 

Sterling

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I ran a riding academy from here on my property a few years ago as well. I have to agree with Marty on this one. I enjoyed it very much and once word spread that my farm gave lessons I had adults as well as kids coming out of the woodwork. My rules were (as per my insurance company) riding approved helmets, hard shoes with a heel, and long pants. Without these they were not allowed ontop of my horses.

Yes we had posted signs with the liability statue etc.....and my lawyer reminded me (as I have been a legal secretary for many years) that there was always a loophole to jump thru if something happened and someone decided to sue me. Also in the best interest of your farm and personal assets, you might want to look towards incorporating your "riding school". This way your home and farm are separate from your business and if any yoo-hoo decides they want to sue you for whatever reason, you won't lose your farm. Sooo many things to think about, and I am not trying to dissuade you in any way....just would'nt want to see you in legals troubles for doing something you enjoy. Good luck and have fun, and the meantime do protect yourself!!
 

Erin

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Well, I don't know much about this legal stuff, but I would at least have them sign a waiver so that at least they know the dangers and *hopefully* will consider getting a helmet.

Hope everything works out!

Erin
 

Sandyboy1

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Hi, Suzanne,

Sometimes Flynn's on Highway 44 has helmets that kids have outgrown as consignment sale items. Maybe that would be a good place for Jared's parents to look anyway.

Pam
 

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