The Right Not to Wear a Helmet – Responses

11 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on The Right Not to Wear a Helmet – Responses

I am writing this email in support of USEF’s new helmet rule. I think it is about time that USEF stood up and made helmets mandatory for dressage. For all those who claim it is their right to not wear a helmet, well that is very true. It is your right to not wear a helmet AT HOME! If you wish to compete in a highly risky SPORT then yes, you will need to inconvenience yourself and cover that head. USEF is not stating that all riders must now wear helmets at their own homes and boarding facilities, THAT would be an invasion of our rights. USEF is simply saying that they do not want the risk of injuries raised at their licensed competitions, and they have every right to do so. If you don’t like it then stay home.

I also think that the people who thought they would not fit in or would be judged unfairly because they wore a helmet can now breathe a sigh of relief. Everyone at the national levels will be wearing a helmet so it will be a level playing field. I hope the FEI riders will voluntarily follow this rule, as many did in Florida recently. It IS about safety and I wear a helmet EVERY RIDE. And guess what? I make my child do the same thing, and it may one day save her life.

Heather Shanda, Port Royal, South Carolina


I ride dressage professionally in Wellington year round. Ever since Courtney had her terrible accident I decided to wear a helmet every time I am schooling a horse. Actually, my children asked me to do so and I can’t find any reasonable excuse for not following their wish.

I got myself the most comfortable helmet I could find. It has a nice airflow inside it and doesn’t even touch my forehead. I can unbutton the lining and wash it. Before, I would wear a cap in the summer to avoid the sun in my face, but I don’t miss that at all. My helmet is by far more comfortable than any cap I have ever had.

I ride about 6-8 horses outside in 85-95+ degrees Fahrenheit in Florida’s summer humidity. Please don’t tell me people will get heat stroke because of wearing a helmet at a horse show.

There are so many nice designs and comfort features in helmets today that I really don’t have a problem wearing it at a show either. Some of our top competitors are already showing FEI classes with tails and helmet together and it doesn’t look bad at all. I think we will all get used to the look down the road.

Mikala Munter Gundersen, Wellington, Florida


More responses can be found at