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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Finally, a SMART rule change for the USEF!

I know everyone has their own opinion about helmet use.  And I normally refrain from writing about it here on my blog.  Hence the reason I did not post anything about Courtney King-Dye......

But in light of recent developments, I have to say something!  Personally, I wear a helmet EVERY time, EVERY ride.  I cannot imagine a reason why I would not wear my helmet (same goes for my seat belt).  I also personally don't care for the "personal choice" argument, that it is a viable choice to NOT wear a helmet (or a seat belt for that matter).  If there is technology that can SAVE YOUR LIFE, you need to take advantage of it!!!!  (I also believe that smokers should pay MORE for their health insurance - I don't smoke - but that is another thread for another blog...LOL).

So it is with great happiness that I report that the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation), which governs all equine sports, has announced a landmark rule change!

Effective immediately, all riders at USEA (United States Eventing Association) events MUST wear an ASTM/SEI-approved helmet while mounted!  YAY!

And effective March 1, 2011, all riders at USDF (United States Dressage Federation) shows from Introductory to Fourth Level MUST wear a helmet.  All riders under 18 years at any level must now wear a helmet as well.  YAY!

This is a fantastic rule change.  I can only hope that eventually the FEI will adopt the same policy and require EVERYONE at UPPER LEVELS to wear a helmet!

I am sure the horse forums and blogs will have many different opinions regarding these new rules, but I for one am very, very pleased.

To read the official press release, click here

Comments

  1. I was also glad to see this rule change. There's no excuse not to wear a helmet -- you can get one for less than it costs to do one class at a recognized show!

    The problem with the levels above Fourth is that USDF has no jurisdiction... FEI will have to make the call.

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  2. Amen!!! I have hopped on a horse or two without a helmet (for a cute photo or to bring a loose horse back to the barn) but I fully understand the risks and wear a helmet every time I normally ride... even if it's a dead broke horse. I require that all my students and clients do the same, regardless of age or discipline. So glad to see the rule change.

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  3. Wow! That's a change for the better! I personally think that all the excuses people come up with for not wearing a helmet are complete crap. "I'm just trail riding..." or "I'm too experianced..." or whatever. Okay, I doubt you'll be saying the same thing after you fall off and sustain a life-threatening brain injury. A helmet can't always save you, but it can give you a fighting chance! Thankfully, when I learned that, it wasn't the hard way...

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  4. This is another case of the governed leading the leaders--so many of us have been wearing helmets and advocating the use of them (esp. after C K-D's accident) that *finally* the organization is waking up.

    And we can only hope that the FEI follows the rest of us!

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