Monday, May 13, 2013

Bravo, Dover Saddlery

I am mentally shot after everything we have been dealing with the last week. So I will update about Winston soon, but I need a different subject for now.
That said, this Saturday is the Welsh Spring Fling. Roscoe will be doing the breed class and Comrade, after a schedule change will be too. Originally I was going to ride Comrade in the Ridden Welsh and get to redeem ourselves from last years debacle. Unfortunately, they put 9 more classes before Ridden Welsh making the day too long for us to stay. So Comrade will only be doing the in hand class. I don't know if I would be in the right frame of mind to show him to the fullest by Saturday anyway. Fingers crossed that their breeder will come to handle them, which means I can take pictures.
Next, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I noticed Dover Saddlery's summer photo contest. I did not look at them, but my mind made a note of it. A few days later I saw that Dover had put a message about this contest and future contests:

*** PLEASE NOTE: Dover Saddlery is a strong supporter of responsible riding, therefore anything that resembles a risky act or does not represent appropriate riding attire (such as riding without a helmet) will not be considered in this or any future contests. If a picture has been deleted from the contest or not posted please resubmit a photo that falls within these guidelines. ***
They received a lot of negative responses to this statement. I agree with some that they need to enforce more than just not wearing a helmet and include wearing wrong footwear for example. The debate will never end about helmets, but it is nice to see them not accepting these photos. They are not taking away a person's right to choose, they are just not promoting dangerous choices. So bravo, Dover.
Have I always worn a helmet? Nope, I have pictures of when I was a kid riding western with no helmet. That changed when the military base issued a directive that 18 and under must wear a helmet at all times. We all had to watch the video, Every Time, Every Ride that showed people who suffered injuries from falling, some just in walking between the barn and arena. Even before the mandate, if any jumping was involved a helmet must be worn. Eventers and show jumpers must wear helmets over fences. Why then do Western people who jump obstacles not have to wear a helmet? Those are not small jumps. I saw one jump a couch. We got my dad a western hat helmet, so he enjoyed the helmet better.
I am a believer in prevention, so I wear a helmet. My Aunt died from a head injury incurred from a fall when she began to ride a horse to the trail. Just that quick. So it is a hard line for me. I probably would not take lessons from someone that does not wear a helmet themselves and although I admire some big time riders, part of me loses faith when they do not wear a helmet. They set examples for younger riders and that scares me for the future.
Hopefully, I did not tick off too many people. This is just how I feel. I do believe people need to have a choice at home on their own time. But, when shows or companies like Dover put regulations in place they should be respected for their choices in the same way the person choosing not to wear a helmet wants to be.
Well, I had more to say about that than I thought.
Tonight or tomorrow, I will post some videos of Winston walking.


  1. Completely agree. I have definitely not worn a helmet a lot in the past, but now I feel like it's the only responsible choice. I saw that note from Dover too and 'liked' it.

  2. To be completely honest I dont always wear a helmet but most of the time I do.
    Good luck at the show.