Readers Sound Off on Riding Helmet Regulations

More than 1,900 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Do you think riding helmets should be required by law?"

results of poll on requiring helmets to be worn

Results were as follows: 
  • No 40.18% (798)
  • Yes 30.26% (601)
  • Only for youth (18 and under) 26.18% (520)
  • Only while on public land 2.17% (43)
  • Only while showing 1.21% (24)

Readers shared their feelings about helmet laws in the comments below.

Poll sponsored by Troxel Helmets.

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  • No way !
  • Safety of all riders
  • Young or no experiance and all bull riders!
  • Not governments' business
  • only if you have a brain to protect.
  • Stay the heck out of my business
  • Head injuries are no fun - ask anyone who has had one. Horses are horses. Better safe than sorry.
  • The unpredictability of a horse's reactions requires that riders protect themselves from head injury
  • because its very safe, and horses can spook and it'll give you brain injury
  • I think it's a good idea but I'm tired of laws, regulations and infringement on my rights
  • Because accidents happen even to professionals and you don't recover from a brian injury as easily a
  • Anything can spook your horse and even the best of riders can fall and land on their head.
  • We hang liability signs for visitors...we should read and apply them to Ourselves. Duh.
  • to each their own--freedom of choice!
  • nightmare to enforce
  • I think everyone should wear one, but not because the big government requires it.
  • good idea, but difficult to enforce
  • Helmets are a very good idea, however the government is way to involved and invasive in our lives.
  • Let the parents raise their own kids.
  • safety
  • No. Don't turn people into criminals because they didn't wear helmets. Allow choice to be smart.
  • Let's keep the government out of personal decision making.
  • Simple - For safety. Head injuries can be life threatening or a person can become wheel chair bound
  • Because they prevent serious head injuries
  • protects the head which ususally hits first
  • because whether not you know a lot about horses thats how alot of people get injured or die
  • While wearing helmets is important, I don't think a mandate should exist for adults.
  • this is still a free country
  • Everyone has the right to be stupid.
  • We all bear the cost in medical insurance, disability programs, welfare programs,special ed programs
  • To large an effort to enforce a law like that.
  • its each indivudals right to choose to wear a helmet or not
  • it would save lives!
  • we are regulated enough. People should be free to use their good sense or not
  • Head injuries are often forever! They can create major disabilites that create problems for all .
  • I believe adults have the right to choose to wear a helmet
  • Once you've landed on your head and can tell about it, thank a helmet, I can.
  • I always wear a helmet but am reluctant to force other adults to do so by law.
  • America is *suposed* to be a free country. We don't need anymore laws than we already have.
  • I personally wear a helmet every time I ride, but I am not going to tell you you must.
  • Some people or childere do not know how to ride that well
  • IT'S A PERSONAL CHOICE
  • Too many unenforceable laws now; common sense should be practiced.
  • Head injuries affect more than just the rider. They affect families, employers and co-workers.
  • Because they can save your life
  • Because maybe people don't wanna ride with helmets
  • because otherwise you could fall off and break you head open!
  • America, Land of the free. There are to many "I want to control my neighbor and their children" laws
  • Because no matter the age a fall from a horse can land you on your head, and the result a headwound
  • It simply another way to protect against a horrible injury
  • people should have the free choice to decide for themselves and/or thier children
  • I'm an RN I've see helmets save several lives.
  • as an adult rider, I know the risks I take
  • not waraign one is stupid, but we don't need laws to protect stupid people.
  • Just one more control of our personal preferences.
  • i think people should be smart enough to wear helmets, but i don't think it should be a law
  • It's my body, and like motorcycle helments I should have a choice.
  • government not needed to legislate common sense
  • A relatively cheap life insurance or even worse being braindamage.
  • they are strong and unpredictable animals ridden at times by inexperienced people
  • I think people should have a choice in their actions. But I do wear a helmet myself, every ride.
  • People are too stupid to choose a simple safety item that can prevent horrible injuries
  • in Ohio any 4-h event requires 18yrs and under to wear one or they are not allowed to participate
  • Some people are detered from wearing helmets because their barn-mates don't wear them.
  • I "now" wear a helmet; I did not require that my kids wear one; now I definately would.
  • Why should this be dictated by someone else?
  • riding helmet should be worn regardless of age and type of riding SAFETY should be always number#1
  • There are certin places where helmets should worn. Stables. ect. Christorher Reeves had a helmet.
  • I always ride with a helmet and so do my kids. It's required at shows, but to make it law? No
  • We were falling off of horses long before these liberal jerks decided that we need babysitters.
  • If you ride a motorcyle or snowbile you wear a helmet; why not on a horse?
  • There are enough laws, we need to wear them because we have been taught the benefit of the helment.
  • We can't and shouldn't make ever behavior mandated by law
  • We don't need more of government telling us how to live.
  • another infringement
  • I still believe it is a personal choice.
  • It is too dangerous nowadays t ride without a hat.
  • I think the laws should be similar to those for kids and bicycling. Adults can decide for themselves
  • Needs to remain a matter of personal choice.
  • You should be smart enough to know it is safer to wear a helmet. Should be in club rules also.
  • too many laws already
  • I think it is important to point out reasons and benefits BUT it is wrong to impose will upon everyo
  • No matter how good a rider you are or how calm your horse is, all horses are unpredictable.
  • I beleve in helmets, however, let's keep "Big Brother" out of it!
  • Even the best horse can buck.
  • while I wear one, it is personal choice, not government regulation.
  • One can never be too careful.
  • You decide, there is an inherant risk when riding anytime
  • helmets save money and lives. I've never understood why youth should wear one but not adults. DUMB
  • its a free country
  • For youth, while showing and on public land.
  • FREE COUNTRY
  • The governmant has too much control over us allready!
  • personal choice
  • health care and insurance is expensive enough with out having to pay for preventable injuries
  • NO! Last time i checked cowboys never used helmets!
  • You can't (unfortunately) legislate good sense. I've ridden for well over 50 yrs but wear a helmet.
  • another way of harrassing the tax paying Public
  • It should be a choice-Im not hurting anyone else if i don't ware one
  • adults should be able to choose but I think anyone is crazy not too.
  • Goverment doesn't need to be involved, it's common sense to wear a helmet
  • Laws need to be enforced. People need to look after their own brains
  • No more laws!
  • It should be left as a personal choice.
  • we need the current equine lovers to keep what's between their ears and under their skulls protected
  • People dont need to be told what to do "for their own good"
  • Youth under 16, is more like it. No need for more laws. Use common sense.
  • Better safe than brain injured.
  • I suffered a crushed vertebra in a fall but head and brain were ok because I wore a helmet
  • save your brain.
  • People need to be protected from their own stupidity when it costs us money
  • I had an accident once--completely outside of my control--I was wearing a helmet at the time. If I h
  • People should use common sense about their health in all things. I always wear mine.
  • because it can save their life
  • We can't regulate eveything in this country. People still have the right to be stupid.
  • It's like wearing a seatbelt, its needed for protection if something should happen.
  • To prevent brain injuries in case of a fall
  • for the safety
  • If you don't wear a helmet you're stupid
  • you are a fool if you don't wear a helmet
  • No! I always wear one but I don't need more gov't in my life! Who would even want to enforce it?
  • choice
  • There are more and more head injuries from falling off horses or horses falling that helmets can sav
  • I can't say that a helmet would have ever prevented the injuries I have had...it should be a choice
  • Adults will never be smart enought to use helmets all the time, but we can protect the youth.
  • Not a topic for gov't. Ranch work vs. pleasure riding?
  • This should be enforced by breed and discipline competition associations and parents, hopefully.
  • This is not a law that can be enforced or policed 24/7/365 ! Brains should win, but not always !
  • Helmet is not a substitute for learning to ride
  • For safety sake, people should use helmets, but I don't feel the government should make you do it.
  • It's safer
  • for youth, yes
  • because I don't want the government ruling everything I do. I do wear a helmet.
  • way to risky not to wear one
  • Because I feel if you regulate everything, it takes your freedom to decide away.
  • safety
  • Its an individual choice
  • anything could happen!
  • It's your own responsibility to protect yourself. It's a free country, or so we think.
  • Its your own body
  • my body, my choice !
  • Won't fly, impossible to enforce, helmets are the smart choice, I use them every time I ride.
  • we need more individual responsibility in NZ not being told what and where we can do this or that
  • helmets save lives, it's that simple
  • All people *should* wear helmets, but youths are more prone to skull fractures.
  • safety head injuries number 1
  • More legislation is not the answer. Better education is much better than a fine and a criminal recor
  • We already have too much government interference in our lives.
  • all youth should; for adults it should be up to the individual's discretion.
  • It should be the adult rider's decision to wear a helmet or not.
  • people should have the freedom to make their own decisions without the government
  • head injuries are expensive for people and for society, and helmets make a great difference in sever
  • yes, no more cowboy hats
  • i think we are lawed and taxed to the extremem it is your horse and your choice
  • Everyone should, but motorcycle riders can splatter their brains, so can stupid equestrians.
  • There should not be a law to prevent people from doing every single stupid thing to themselves
  • The difference a helmet makes is amazing, it's so simple to wear one.
  • But I think riders should use them
  • i wear one but how could you enforce it effectively?
  • People should be free to choose
  • I feel it is a personal choice and I always wear one, usually only adult at breed show as example
  • I feel that the government has enough this to worry about with out setting up regulations on helmet
  • prevent devastating injury
  • If adults are stupid enough to ride without a helmet, let them. But kids are different.
  • It should stay being a personal choice
  • I don't believe government should be allowed to dictate control over our own bodies.
  • It's my head!
  • How would it EVER be enforced?
  • too many stupid people go without them
  • We have enough too many laws
  • no more regulations, please!
  • We do not need yet another example of govt. intrusion on our private lives.
  • reduce severity of injuries and decrease cost to public of long term care for head injured
  • no, but good sense tells me to wear one, it's a risky hobby
  • Because we will pay for the injuries in insurance and health care costs.
  • people are stupid if they don't wear a helmet no matter who what where when
  • brain buckets save lives
  • the consequences of head injuries affect us all
  • I feel once a person is 18 they can make the decision to protect their brain or not
  • FREEDOM OF CHOICE
  • our heads are important!
  • We can police ourselves.
  • You can't legislate common sense. Children, though should be protected even if adults are stupid.
  • You only have one head and brain
  • a helmet may not save every life but it is a positive start!
  • keep your laws off my body
  • you have to protect the idiots from themselves - a horse is an animal, and you never know
  • ive been a instuctor for over 40 years. Arms and legs will heal brain do not heal well.
  • It should be an individuals right to choose, whether they want to wear a helmet or not!!!!
  • Vanity seems to outweigh common sense in most people. Like motorcycles..a helmet is a necessity
  • Ethier having a Concussion and being paralyzed or dead...I choose helmet.
  • Just as in motorcycle helmet use, which has documented wearing helmets lessens brain injury.
  • Only in showing is the idea controllable. On private land it's impossible.
  • Are you kidding me? EXACTLY how much government do we need in our lives?
  • It is the choice of the rider to ride in a helmet and if they don't want to they shouldn't have to.
  • Prevent costly head injuries and rehab. Ask any ER doctor.
  • Most of the time you land on your head. Head over heels !!!!
  • It should be up to the rider to exercise good judgement, NOT THE GOVERNMENT!
  • common sense!
  • Brain Damage is not pleasant!
  • Already case in Ont.Canada - as brain injury survivor wouldn't think of not using one
  • Continued support for Darwinism!
  • brains dummy, brains!
  • Personal choice to get injured or not.
  • we have enough laws
  • It's a smart idea and I wear one, and insist that minors who ride with me do too. But enough laws!!!
  • I've never seen a motorcyle make a disicion on it's own....until your an adult, brain-buckets = YES
  • I believe that is most things, commom sense should dictate when and where to wear a helmet.
  • Government needs to stay out of our business!
  • Accidents happen - protect yourself
  • we are already nannied by the government, freedom to decide whether we endanger our own lives
  • I think children you always where a helmet, I choose to for my safety.
  • Would you have the helmet police to enforce that?
  • I don't think that the goverment should have to tell people the right thing to do! I
  • Because many serious closed-head injuries are soooooo preventable!
  • I always wear one but we do not need any more laws-gun laws-horse laws or any other laws.
  • I ride arabs and used to ride endurance and I wear helmets ALL THE TIME! It's like putting socks on.
  • If you have every fallen off a horse you would not ask the importance of a helmet.
  • Think of those who may have to care for you should you get seriously injured.
  • Brain trauma can be reduced and ultimately public monies saved (disability payments)
  • it should be up to the individual, you accept a risk being around horses.
  • For youth to protect them. Adults make their own choices
  • It is our job to protect our children, adults may make their own decisions
  • we don't need govt. to tell us how or what we have to do to enjoy our horses. STUPID IDEA
  • Keeps reckless people from incurring permanent brain injury which the taxpayer may have to support.
  • because horses can be unpredictable..its for safety
  • No, because some sports like Barrel Racing, (18+) you wear a hat. ;)
  • There's too much goverment involved in our lives. I've rode and trained all my life w/o a helmet.
  • It's is the persons choice on private land. But I think riders at (12 or younger) should at shows.
  • Under 18 persons are under parential care, non-adult and are carefree like in nature
  • Unenforceable. People should be smart enough to wear one. Killing off the dumb ones helps us all.
  • helmets prevent head injuries.
  • Helmets should be kept a personal preference and highly recommended for youth.
  • I hope we still live in a free country
  • Should be a personal choice for adults
  • Personnel Choice
  • individual rights to assess for ones self
  • i think it should be up to the individual and/or parent
  • It's best to wear one but should be matter of choice.
  • So everyone is safe.
  • It should be an individual choice. There are enough gov't regs without adding more
  • That would be stupid, it hasn't even been proven to protect.
  • I can choose when it is effective to wear one
  • everything has a law now. there will be no freedom of choice if this keeps up
  • The last thing we need is more government intervention
  • you start that, then they will want to charge a fee to ride, or need a lic.. NO way
  • it is MY right to choose!!
  • It is still a free country, isn't it. Who is going to enforce this law?
  • Yes unless rider has full medical and liability insurance. Why should the public pay for stupidity
  • I don't think our goverments job is to mandate helmets.
  • We have too many laws "protecting" us now.
  • children under 18 are under the care of parents, 18 and over are adults,government stay out of it!
  • So you don't fall off and crack your head
  • nO MORE GOVERNMENT
  • No, but should be highly recommended. And I use one religiously.
  • Protect your head from brain injuries
  • Yes! All minors definitely.
  • would be uniform law make it safer for everyone.
  • similar to a seatbelt law in a car.
  • It's another freedom
  • You can't legislate stupidity and it would be an unenforceable law for the most part.
  • A head injury is forever!!
  • While I think everyone should wear a helmet, I do NOT think it should be a law.
  • should be personal choice. we don't need the government telling us what we can or can't do in all fa
  • We can't expect our kidsto wearhelmets if we don't set a good example.
  • It could potentially save your life.
  • I have been paralyzed twice and if I had been wearing a helmet while riding I wouldnt have had that.
  • no!its a personal choice,we all have our reasons for doin the things we do, you go figure
  • I would normally say no; however, the law allows me to be sued if one gets hurt.
  • People should have a say so in their own well being.
  • wearing a helmet has saved my life as well a wearing a vest.
  • people should be able to make their individual choice
  • Freedom of choice... Parents can make responsible decisions for their children.
  • I think that it should be your own choice not the GOVERNMENT telling me I have to do something.
  • Health and safty is getting out of control!
  • Nobody is immune from accidents, no matter the age of the person. Even the quietest horse can spook.
  • rider's safety
  • We need to protect our kids, as for stupid adults, there's natural selection
  • TBI injury is a very costly. Helmets can reduce injury and associated costs
  • Thy are required by law for bicycles and horses are a bigger risk of injury
  • everyone should where a helmet while riding but it should not be mandatory.
  • because it will be safer.
  • Adults can be as smart of stupid as they like, but we are obligated to protect children.
  • People need to be respoonsible for their own actions. Strongly recommended is ok.
  • to prevent unecessary injuries that could occur
  • already have enough laws protecting us from ourselves. use common sense
  • to help with health care costs and you only have one head why chance it?
  • They can cause whiplash and every rider knows the risk associated with horses.
  • better be safe than sorry
  • if you trust your horse, there is no need to wear a helmet
  • TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT!!
  • YES! they are important and save lives!!
  • Free choice in a free country. I always wear a helmet.
  • Adults can crack their skull if they want to( I wear mine ALWAYS)
  • Accident prevention is a good practice.
  • They are required for most vehicles which react only to our input, horses are exposed to a lot more
  • It is the smartiest thing to wear Would like a chioce
  • Go to any trama unit and you will understand why the ans. is absolutely
  • it could make the difference between life and death
  • everyone needs saftey. What is your brain worth to you?
  • They are just as important as seat belts. You are not riding a bike,but an animal with its own mind
  • riding without a helmet is dangerous!
  • Attempts to make stupidity illegal usually fail
  • This should be a matter of choice for adults, and mandatory for children under 16
  • After anyone is 18, it should be personal choice.
  • becuase the government should not have the right to infringe on personal choice.
  • Laws don't make people compliant. Education is best!
  • i question who will enforce it & if that department has the ability to
  • You can not rely on people's commensense to safeguard themselves or their children.
  • I agree we should wear them but disagree the government tells me what to do. So No.
  • Riders should wear helmets, but we don't need the government enforcing this.
  • Head Injuries are costly to society
  • I get severe headaches wearing anything on my head so wearing a helmet is out of the question for me
  • Yes, it saves lives.
  • I am more concerned about the neck... NASA has many lightweight material protect the neck !
  • better to be safe than sorry later
  • We don't need more laws, we need more responsible parents and riders.
  • Riding is not a safe sport. There should be mandatory laws to help make it safer.
  • Ride without a helmet, accept any bad consequences - just waive your right to sue somebody
  • save lives
  • This is a PERSONAL choice for an adult to make - not the freaking government !
  • Adults should be able to make their own decisions.
  • I don't think we need any more laws! If you want a helmet wear one.
  • Because most people are too stupid to wear a helmet voluntarily.
  • Safety of riders, and to get rid of helmet "uncoolness"
  • i think it should be up to the individual rider.
  • i'm tired of everyone trying to save me from myself!!!!
  • Must we have laws for everything that COULD be hazardous? Freedom to choose.
  • society has to pay the price when you become a vegetable
  • We are not responsible for individual choices that involve personal safety
  • Yes, though it would be nearly impossible to enforce.
  • That would be going a little to far. Rider beware!
  • It should be MY choice, stupid or not
  • keep gov out of our choices
  • Adults can make their own choices, children should be able to grow up safely.
  • I am a nurse and have seen the result of even a small head injury!
  • impossible to enforce. Helmet Police ?
  • Everyone should wear a helmet, but a child should be protected by law.
  • Common sense should not become a law...who will enforce it? Crazy!
  • it should be the riders choice.
  • The more the government gets into our everyday lives, the more our freedom in America gets limited.
  • WE all have freedom of choice, but helmets should be mandatory if you are not on your own property.
  • plain and simple accidents happen
  • I always wear my helmet, I think people need to start thinking for themselves & be responsible.
  • If young riders learn the pluses to using helmets, they will continue as adults.
  • Helmets save lives. It's logical. Saved mine from serious injury four times.
  • Not a law but I won't ride without one and I wouldn't let children either.
  • Halmets with a secure chin srtap are the safest to wear to protect your head
  • we have enough government intervention in our lives already adults can decide for themselves
  • Severe head injury can be mitigated in accidents. Probably cannot mandate on private property.
  • Well, both on public land and for 18 & under. You can't make someone do something on their own land.
  • only for business to help protect the owner from lawsuits
  • too many laws on the books already.
  • who is going to police it? I wear a helmit but I believe it is a personal choice.
  • I have been riding for 45 years and have been dumped many times, but I never fell on my head yet.
  • Individual responsibilitiy. It is NOT the Government's job to protect us from ourselves!
  • horses are dangerous, so why arent western people required to wear them? kids cant always make call.
  • I believe that helmets shoud should be worn at all times riding, but it should be a choice.
  • here in canada they are required at all public stables and wavers must be signed
  • another expense for oour already overtaxed police force
  • THere are too many restrictions already in my life. I do not need another.
  • I say yes for kids and out at shows/public...you never know what is going to happen
  • Riders know the risks. It should be their decision.
  • just like riding motorcycles, why NOT prevent what head injuries you can? No one is immune to an ac
  • Very simple reason: safety
  • Never wore helmet to ride a horse!
  • I don't want someone telling me I have to wear a helmet, if I choose to or not, is my decision.
  • riding can be dangerous, why should everyone pay for the head injury when it can be prevented
  • If people choose not to wear helmets, it's natural selection (ex: motorcyclists not wearing one)
  • freedom of choice
  • I ALWAYS wear a riding helmet. I think that one saved my life in a fall many years ago.
  • I think people are fools who don't use a helmet-yet I don't think it should be law.
  • head injuries r very costly to the health care industry which can be minimized/prevented if u had 1
  • Everybody falls off, and helmets increase time of impact, lessening the force on the rider's head.
  • one cannot legislate common sense.
  • Freedom. Our lawmakers are city slickers, and don't know a dam thing about Horses, just kick-backs
  • Helmets are great - just don't want government telling me what to do.
  • I wear a helmet, but I think it's a personal decision and it would just be one more unenforced law
  • It's safer to ride with a helment than without a helment.
  • by all means! whenever on a horse...you only have 1 head/brain!
  • To save the lives of ALL riders-experienced or not!
  • preventable accidents which the taxpayer often has to bear the cost of could be avoided.
  • It's the person's RIGHT to decide!
  • preventable accidents which the taxpayer often has to bear the cost of could be avoided.
  • good idea but OH doesn't even have a helmet law for motorcycles. don't have staff to inforce either
  • Just shaking your head hard can lead to mild epilepsy, a fall does so much worse.
  • It is NOT the job of the govt to regulate private citizens. Parents should decide. My family wears.
  • Less government, more common sense. Weed out the stupid people from the gene pool.
  • Some activities, ok. General riding, no.
  • Not another d*** "law"! Leave me and my personal choices alone!!
  • Not another helmet law!
  • Helmets save lives.
  • If you think your hair is more important that your brains, you're probably right.
  • People shoulb be responsible for their own actions/choices.
  • Who would govern the law? I don't want our government up my butt all the time.
  • Adults should have the right to be stupid
  • The last thing we need is the nanny state controlling one more aspect of our lives.
  • I think the gov't already has enough say, waivers will release insurance co. and others from suits.
  • I believe everyone should wear one for safety but you can't force adults to wear one.
  • It affords protection and that is necessary
  • Yes, in public it should be a law. It is for the greater good.
  • Many riders do not carry health insurance. A helmet can prevent injury that taxpayers would have to
  • i feel that wearing helmets should be the persons choice.
  • My accident recovery took 8 yrs but my helmet saved my life.
  • Keep goverment out of it. Educate and make good choices.
  • Don'ttake away our right to choose. sometimes a helmet is not available
  • I use a helmet but it shouldn't be a law
  • should be riders choice
  • helmets have saved my daughter and me from more serious ijuries
  • It the responsible thing to do for our kids.
  • some things should be left to individual choice
  • keep the gov't out of it
  • No it's a right to be stupid-I just don't want to pay for others head injury hospital bills
  • The law of common sense should prevail that helmets are the smart way to ride.
  • Should be left to the rider's discretion. There are too many laws as is.
  • Educate riders on benefits;let them make the decision
  • I wear one 100% of the time - but I don't think the gov't should have a hand in this.
  • Riding helmets should be the choice of a horse rider and we don't need more legalities.
  • personal choice on a horse that you know particularly well.
  • in order to remove the public responsibility for the fools who don't wear them
  • 18 and under definitely and for speed events
  • What will you do, arrest people?? This is stupid--people need to decide for themselves.
  • Safety First for everyone
  • I always wear a helmet and encourage adults to, but children MUST wear a helmet when they ride with
  • It should be a choise, but very advisable
  • freedom of choice, I live in Wyoming
  • I always wear a helmet, but this law would be hard to enforce
  • Absolutely should be required. Most legit sports require them, why are we any different?!
  • Let the adult make his own choice as he is supposed to be wiser than youth
  • Darwins Law: Eliminate the stupid ones so they can't keep breeding! :0)
  • I wear one, but I choose to. A horse = Freedom. No more government intervention!
  • Helmets only help in very minor accidents.
  • Life itself is risky. Where do you stop legislating safety? How about a kill switch?
  • It's a personal choice. Who's going to enforce it anyway?
  • How can you even begin to enforce a helmet law unless it's at a show?
  • We don't need any more "nanny" laws.
  • for safety reasons, yes, but I'm not sure who would implement the law.At our barn helmets are a must
  • You only have one brain...is it not worth protecting?
  • I am responsible for myself. I do not need the government to be big brother.
  • In Australia one has to wear a helmet due to the insurance laws, that means all forms of riding.
  • All of us with common sense should use them, but should not be a law
  • what do you think the western hat companies will have to say about taking this "chloice" away from u
  • Horse show organizations should regulate the use of helments
  • People should be able to make their own decisions.
  • in illinois there is no requirement for motorcyclist to wear a helment.
  • Until approved helmets have a release function I cannot endorse them.
  • People can have a choice BUT if they get injured, no insurance to pay their bills.
  • cost of head injuries is to high, and training youth to wear them should carry through to adults
  • i am a nurse I think everyone should tour a head trauma unit such a simple thing can prevent a tragi
  • Protect youth, let Darwin awards take care of adults
  • without one, I wouldnt be here to answer this question
  • I don't think seat belts should be required either, but I use them both.
  • It doesn't hurt anyone else if I break my skull. (I wear one)
  • And it really depends on the situation and the horse and rider.....
  • After destroying 3 helmets in falls, and still getting concussions, I realize their importance.
  • it's a very very good thing to wear a helmet but sometimes you want to feel the wind in your hair!
  • We have enough laws
  • I have seen what can happen with an excelent rider and safe horse, you never know. Why not?
  • Not a government issue, but an issue for owners of equine facilities to decide.
  • I think that the organizations that put on shows, races, etc should require helmets
  • *It should be left as a personal choice!! Gov't has too mcuh rein on our personal freedom as is!!*
  • If your an adult jumping on your 24yr old broke down horse for a walk a helmet really doesnt seem ne
  • it makes western riders look stupid when showing!!!
  • If someone doesn't value their own brain, it must not be any good.
  • Too many laws!
  • not by law by assocation rules
  • Why in the world do we need more laws to dictate how we raise our kids????
  • I've "bit the dust" MANY times, I can't imagine riding without a helmet-age 51
  • EDUCATE, don't mandate. Visited Black Hawk College 2 wks ago, not one student wearing a helmut.
  • Because many of the people that most need helmets are the last to wear them.
  • our rights are limited everyday, why would we want to add another restriction to our lives???
  • People have got to start taking responsibility for themselves and not depending upon legislation
  • laws cannot protect stupid people
  • when you get hurt it's usually not your head
  • Already too many laws. We're headed for a 'nanny state'.
  • I think shows should require them, but I wouldn't wantanother law saying so.
  • There is no real downside to wearing helmets and the risk of head injury without is not worth it.
  • I think stupid people should be allowed to die and get their genes out of the pool!
  • each individual has the right to choose
  • I'm living proof, helmets save lives.
  • theyre called accidents for a reason, no one plans on falling off
  • so they learn to learnthem and theolder riders have a choice.
  • They truly save lives; people need to be smart about wearing them.
  • decreases trauma
  • We are so overregulated now that the next steo will be banning riding " as too dangerous" Enough!
  • We need more common sense, not more laws
  • Wearing a helmet should be the rider's choice not the government's
  • #1: Too hard to enforce #2: It's not right; this is supposed to be a free country. GOSH.
  • We don't need more laws! we need to be responsible for our own choices!
  • the decision should be up to the rider whether or not they protect their head
  • Enough laws already
  • There are enough LAWS. People need to be responsible for their safety when riding.
  • Adults should make their own decisions and be responsible for the consequences, children need to be
  • Humans need help to protect themselves.
  • If it saves one person from a head injury it is worth it.
  • clud and organizations should regulate
  • Like seat belts helmets save lives.
  • no riding, ever, without one
  • People are intelligent to choose for themselves. The government doesn't have to control everything!
  • in the UK it is law to wear one
  • It should be the riders choice as to whether they wear a helmet or not.
  • horses are dangerous and children aren't mature enough or educated enough in most cases to save them
  • I always wear a helmet but you can't regulate against stupidity
  • Personal safety is optional. If a person is too stupid to wear a helmet, let him/her take the risk.
  • Helmets save lives, if you doubt the need, go visit a long term care facility for the brain injured
  • once brain damaged you stay that way.
  • People need to make decisions for themselves. The government & the lawyers need to stop controling
  • just like seatbelts... more government control!!!!!
  • Well, what ever happened to freedom to chose? What will they have us doing next, wearing them 24/7.
  • kids should wear them, but it should be up to responsible parents to mandate this!!
  • freedom of choice
  • It is up to each person on how they choise to ride and be safe.
  • I think helmets are great for all the obvious reasons--but they're not an alternative to safe handli
  • Why not? We all pay for other's preventable accidents.
  • It's our choice to wear one or not, no the lawmakers.
  • I have seen to many acidents in the last 35 years that we are in this business
  • For youth and while on public land and on roads
  • I've seen too many traumatic brain injuries without them. Helps reduce the cost of health care.
  • Should not be required by law, but common sense says, "Wear one."
  • Its supposed to be America
  • it should be personal choice. people aren't stupid and know the dangers
  • You cannot legislate safety and is an individuals choice
  • THe govt should NOT be in the job of legislating / regulating common sense.
  • People have been riding safely for thousands of years without helmets. Good rider = Safe rider
  • ABSOLUTELY NOT. I ALWAYS wear my helmet, and so do my friends. We have too many laws now!
  • safety
  • If someone is comfortable riding w/o a helmet, that should be their right.
  • How ridiculous! Who would arrest the helmetless riders?
  • whatever it takes, to protect riders
  • It should be an individual's personal decision.
  • Any added government control over our lives ALWAYS turns out badly for the public.
  • Yes for youth however, only an idiot rides without a helmet.Brain injuries are not fun.
  • head injuries cost EVERYONE! Take precautions!
  • to many laws now!
  • This is another case of a person's rights; he or she should decide to wear a helmet or not.
  • A helmet should be a choice for adults, but not for children. Helmets are like carseats - necessary.
  • Because a person is stupid for taking the risk of head injuries if they choose not to wear one.
  • I think it should be by choice.
  • Absolutely positively "no" under "no" circumstances should they be required by law.
  • Just another slap against personal freedoms.
  • until people realize it's the safe thing to do
  • Government already enough say in our lives, people who are going to wear them will even w/o laws
  • Have worked ER too long - head protection critical need!
  • Like seatbelts, helmets save lives, even those who refuse to recognize it
  • It should be up to the individual.
  • Life or death!!!
  • No Brainer. Protects head.
  • It's a personal choice
  • I always wear a helmet when I ride, but I feel it is up to each person individually.
  • I don't need a gov. or law to make every choice or decision for me. I have nothing against helmets
  • We have enough govmnt control now. Helmets are not for everyone, and should be left to individual.
  • think it should be required for all youth AND for ANYONE showing or competing.
  • It needs to be a rule for horse organizations not the government. I and my children wear helmets.
  • it's a choice issue, I wear one, if I had kids now they would wear one too or not ride IMO
  • Adults must be responsible and decide for themselves.
  • Can save a riders life!
  • Once a child has reached adult age, he can be responsible for decisions he makes.
  • Dumb ones won't wear them and will disappear from the sport.
  • Even though they save lives, there will always be older horsepeople that won't wear them
  • There is already too much government intrusion in our lives!
  • We don't need any more "nanny" laws trying to protect against every possible contingency!
  • tough question...shouldnt have to legislate intelligence/good sense
  • I always wear a helmet, but I think it should be a personal choice.
  • Because I know what a brain injury feels like -- and everyone pays when people opt to get hurt
  • FREE WILL, isn't there enough govt. telling us what to do? UNBELIEVABLE!
  • I don't care how safe you think your horse is - horses are unpredictable
  • I had a very severe accident and doctors told me I would have been dead if not for my helmet.
  • people need to use their own good sense
  • I use a helmet but don't think they should be required by law.
  • It is not possible to legislate every dangerous thing people do. Let's have some freedom of choice
  • personal choice for adults
  • Helmets SHOULD be worn by ALL for safety just as seat belts are in vehicles but not mandated by law.
  • it hasn't been successful with motorcycles - just another controlling law - riders should some sense
  • We don't need any more gov't
  • Adults can make their own decisions
  • Or give me a hold harmless from having to pay their medical bills.
  • Riding helmets are like seatbelts....they save lives.
  • For youth yes, but for an adult who should know better no.
  • Government is already too controlling of people. It should be a personal decision.
  • makes good safety sense, like seat belts
  • Adults can assume their own risk but kids should be required to have helmets.
  • Too much regulation
  • there are enough laws. I ware a helmet, but that should be a choice
  • It is a personal freedom issue. We engage in certain behaviors and accept the risk.
  • it's called - freedom of choice
  • head injuries can be devastating financially for the injured person and their family
  • I don't need a gov't agency telling me what safety precautions I have to take.
  • LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY. YOU SHOULD BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN LIFE AND TAKE CHARG
  • It is up to the parents and legal adults whether or not they wear a helmet. I only wear at shows.
  • It should be the individuals choice,but I do like to see small children wearing one.
  • Absolutely. Just like seatbelts.
  • to prevent head injuries, no discussion!
  • Safety reason, blows to the head and concusions
  • We cannot legislate common sense. I beleive in helmets & vests but can't make others.
  • Helmets aren't the only consideration for safe riding.
  • perhaps on public land/roadways
  • how to enforce it and be fair to all?
  • Should be up to the person, but do recommend safety....like motorcylces and bicycles
  • Should be a personal choice, enough govt. already.
  • It is a good idea for everyone but we don't need another law!
  • it's the riders choice.
  • Youth should be protected at all times!
  • I think that should be the rider's choosing to wear a helmet or not
  • It could save your life
  • They are brain boxes for a reason
  • the goverment is never the soltion its the problem
  • People should be responsible, but not at the expense of government intrusion.
  • At least for Kids I know the consequence of riding w/out a helmet, I had to learn to walk again
  • Absolutely YES! We can't fix injured brains...
  • seat belts are required by law but in many states no helmet is required for motorcycle use. logical?
  • Not everyone understands how devastating ($$ and life) head injuries can be
  • We already have too much government involvement in everything. I wear a helmet but don't want a law
  • the government should not be involved in a daily individual decision as to whether or not to wear a
  • everyone pays when someone gets injured and seeks healthcare
  • It is ridiculous. Enforcing that law would be impossible too.
  • Let the insurance industry police this. Use your head, pay higher premiums or not, wear it or not.
  • Education is the key, but we don't need more "nanny-state" legislation
  • I believe the morcycle helmet laws should be applied to riding horses; just a different type of HP
  • Individual responsibility, NOT big brother!
  • Freedom of Choice! NH owner/rider
  • I am 55 and always wear a helmet when on my horse, no matter what!
  • Freedom of CHOICE
  • not all situations are alike. Not all situations require helmets. The exception is children.
  • I wear one. I think everyone should, especially children. But the government shouldn't dictate
  • Only minors, as an adult, it should be my right to be ignorant if I so choose
  • Converting riders to helmet users is nearly impossible; but public lands would cover most of it
  • I always wear one, hesitate to legislate long-time riders. Best 2 teach kids 2 make th right choices
  • I believe that it is the choice of the rider whether to wear a helmet or not.
  • I ALWAYS wear a helmet, but have reservations about making it a "law" for everyone
  • If dummies over 18 do not want to protect their head, that is their problem.
  • personal choice, parents should protect children, too much gov't regulation already
  • We are the land of the free. Don't take away another freedom. from one who does wear a helmet
  • Having had a serious head injury from a fall from a horse, I wish I'd had on a helmet.
  • Safety for everyone
  • You can't regulate people making dumb choices if they're old enough to make "sound" decisions.
  • In working horse situations rider heat exhaustion far more dangerous (farm, ranch)
  • youth are dependent on their parents to keep them safe. Parents don't alway know the risk involved.
  • But then anybody who is so dense they refuse to wear one is already braindead!!!
  • If you think its a good idea, do it, but don't force me to. No Big Brother
  • should be always required. Helmets these days are so light weight and easy to wear and and why not
  • After almost 40 years, I just can't get used to a helmet
  • Should not be a law for adults, but all adults should volunarily wear them if they're smart.
  • What we need is fewer regulations and more personal resposibility and common sense.
  • Catastrophic head injury costs huge sums of money and can be averted or minimalized with helmets
  • For kids only. With adults, you can't govern common sense.
  • For youth anywhere, on public land, and while showing.
  • I'm tired of government running my life
  • Same as with motorcycle riders - personal choice. I wear one all the time when around horses.
  • Who is going to enforce this law? Or pay for enforcement? You can't create laws to regulate everythi
  • I feel they give a false sence of security and have seen riders injured even while wearing helmets.
  • It's everybody's choice if they want to break their heads.
  • probably should be, but I don't like them
  • It's between you and your horse and the ground.
  • comparable to bicycle helemt laws, riding not as common as driving (seat belt law comparison)
  • No and no one else is responsible if you are injured.
  • Safety and expense of care for those to stupid to take care of themselves
  • Riding is dangerous and falls an inevitability. Protection/safety should outweigh inconvenience.
  • We have too many unenforced laws now...you can't mandate common sense!
  • if it's not law - helmets will be forgotten - one saved my daughter's life!!
  • The government has more then enough control of thier lives. Helmets are a personal choice
  • You'd have to wear full body protection to ensure no injury
  • I ALWAYS wear a helmet when I ride, but am opposed to this form of enforcement.
  • too dificult to enforce, infringement on personal rights
  • what,s the difference motorcycle riders dont have to an adult should be able to decide for themselve
  • Too many brain & spinal cord injuries have resulted with no helmet use
  • Ultimately the community pays for the life long disabilities due to accidents. Let's do what we can
  • we have too many laws now; people should be responsible for themselves
  • While I am a very strong proponent of helmet use, I do not favor it being required by law. The most
  • Youth - Mandatory. Adults - sign liability waiver if not riding on their own property or own horse.
  • Today's helmets are designed to be cool and light. They prevent death and or permanent disability
  • Everyone should be allowed to make their own choices - tired of rules/laws that infringe on my life.
  • People have to be responsible for their own decisions or they are no longer adults.
  • A person should be able to make that decision/choice.
  • You only have one brain
  • Head Injuries are not fair to the surviors of the person who had the accident.
  • there really is no evidence to show that helmets make that much difference
  • I never ride without one, but respect others' right to choose. Even tho it's stupid not to wear one
  • Youth -- yes, they don't know enough to make a good decision. Adults--NO. That's a personal freedom.
  • Encouraged-not required by law.
  • No more govt. regulation, but helmets should be required while showing.
  • Seat belts are, why not helmets?
  • safty first no matter what the age
  • Safety first. If your horse spooks, if you fall, it could safe your life.
  • Darwin's Theory
  • Horses = risk of injury or death. Ins. Co's. would like this law, write a ryder.
  • No matter what you are doing/where you are there is always a chance of injury
  • Poorly worded question...does it mean at all times, even on private property? No way!
  • It is a personal decision.
  • Who will enforce it?
  • Why does the government need to tell us what to do all the time?
  • My child would be dead if not for a helmet!
  • Head trauma is the number one killer of people.
  • You family will be the ones nursing you when a head injury makes you a vegetable.. think of them!
  • All SHOULD wear one, but no more gov. interference

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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