Helmets are of the utmost importance… and major kudos to the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) for recently amending the rule regarding helmets – effective March 1, 2011, helmets will be required for all dressage riders in national level competition.
The rider mentioned in the above article, Courtney King, suffered a fractured skull when a young horse she was schooling slipped and fell this past March. I can remember watching her in the Olympics in 2008 – I loved her horse and the pair they made, so I actually sketched a portrait of them… She was in a coma for weeks, and is still working on walking and basic skills. She has taken up riding again (on therapy horses), and has started doing a bit of coaching, but she’s still a long way from riding dressage again. She’s been doing a blog on her website since before the accident, and listening to her optimism and determination through these life-changing events is just as inspirational to me as her beautiful riding was 3 years ago.
*Courtesy of guest writer Laura Colbran
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