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diff. sport helmets tested differently
Just passing this along from a seminar I attended at one Equine Affaire:
Bike helmets are tested and certified by dropping them, weighted, onto
curb-shaped anvils because that is the most likely shape for them to be
crashed against. Bumpers of cars are sort of rounded, too. Frontal impact
is much more likely with bikes than with horses.
For equestrian helmets the test anvils are pointed, however, like hoof edges
(and post corners?). I think I remember him saying that more surface area
is tested, not just the frontal area. There are lots of head injuries
caused by hooves hitting peoples' heads, like during grooming. A common one
seen in emergency rooms, I was shown by one emt, is the skull depression
fracture, wherein a round hoof-shaped section of skull is kicked into the
head. It was pretty clear on an x-ray he showed. That one was just above
the temporal area. Anyway, these helmets usually have shells over the foam,
and cover more of your brain-bucket than bike helmets, because kicks come
from all directions.
Why use different tests? Insurance statistics on injury types of equestrian
accidents (these were on a slide in the seminar too) deemed it necessary.
It made sense to me. If your bike crashes, it doesn't usually impact (step
on) you afterwards, even so, it doesn't weigh as much as a horse, and it
won't beat you up in a panic to escape tethers, water, or to get back to its
buddies. Plus, even though lots of us do go over the "handlebars" like
bikers, we fall off and get impacted in more often other ways than they
(dragged, squashed, and tree-poked).
other safety tips he had: don't put your digits in lead rope clips, don't
loop your lead or longe rope in circles (instead, learn to use butterfly
loops across your palm so the rope can play out--this twists less anyway),
avoid riding double, do use vests and helmets during grooming and other
handling, and don't kiss your horse on the lips, even if you "trust" it.
These tips were accompanied by slide illustrations of real injuries that he
had been involved with treating.
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