The Great Helmet Debate

Kaitlyn wears a helmet because she is under 18.

Kaitlyn wears a helmet because she is under 18.

If you watched the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), then you have probably saw Fallon Taylor wearing a helmet for a few rounds. It was reported the other day that AQHA is now enforcing a new rule that states that all riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when riding. I have nothing against helmets, do get me wrong, however I do have an issue with the rules forcing helmets upon people.

I believe that people should have the right to choose whether or not to wear a helmet. Now I require youth under 18 to wear a helmet, however parents can sign a waiver holding me not liable if there child falls and gets hurt. I have seen cases where helmets didn’t help prevent injury and may have cause greater harm then help. I am not against helmets whatsoever, but I am against taking away the right to choose.

If you are a beginner adult rider in my lesson program, I will ask/recommend that you wear a helmet but if you choose to sign the waiver and knowledge the risk

Dolly wears a helmet as an adult because she WANTS to. I am not making her!

involved that is YOUR choice as a grown adult. I grew up not wearing a helmet. I am not comfortable wearing a helmet. While I was in college it was a  requirement to work at the Quarter Horse Unit, but not while I was a part of the rodeo team. I wore a helmet when I started my mustangs, but once they were on the broker side, I reverted back to my baseball cap. I have started colts with and without a helmet on as I have fallen off with and without a helmet on.

I feel the best way to approach the helmet debate is:  if you want to wear one I commend you for making that choice, but DO NOT force a helmet on me if I am willing to sign a waiver releasing you of liability.


  1. heather

    In my opinion I think how Fallon Taylor wore a helmet at the NFR was a great way to raise awareness and I think anyone under the age of 18 should have to wear a helmet no matter what because since they are still learning how to ride, anything can happen. I was at an event one time and this young girl didn’t wear a helmet and her uncle who apparently was her trainer signed for her and said he would be riding with her. Well they got to the first obstacle and the young girl backed into a tree( obstacle was to back around 2 trees) and the girl kept kicking forward and the horse panicked and fell over on her in a grassy area with hidden rocks. Girl was lucky she walked away with only a concussion, but I think anyone under 18 should wear a helmet until they can make their own choice to wear a helmet or not. Its really cool seeing adults wear helmets too because horseback riding is a dangerous sport

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