The British Horse Society`s latest awareness promotion is all about wearing helmets.
To raise awareness for wearing helmets whilst riding they are asking people to take a selfie of themselves after riding, sporting the typical hat hair, and share it on social media with the hashtag #hathairdontcare.
The first I saw of it was a photo of Martin Clunes with his Clydesdales and it was a good show of hat hair.
Wearing hats, or not wearing hats, whilst riding is something I take seriously. It drives me mad when I see people on social media, or in real life, not wearing hats. Do they not value their brains?
I think it`s always been drilled into me. If we wanted to ride our ponies down the field bareback we had to wear our hats to walk up the field. I don’t think I would ever dream of mounting a horse without my helmet, even if it is the safest, most bombproof, most footsure horse in the world.
But lots of people do.
It looks cool? Or their head gets too hot? Or they don’t like the hat hair effect? Maybe they like a breeze through their hair? Or perhaps they’re just walking on the lead and it’s “safe”?
The closest I’ve gone to riding hatless was just before the wedding. I must’ve had a lot on my mind early one morning when I tacked Otis up. I put my boots on, my hi-vis, got my whip. And forgot my hat.
I still wonder what the drivers thought as they passed me on the lane for the thirty seconds I was out before realising there was a breeze in my hair – health and safety conscious enough to wear hi vis, arrogant enough to not wear a hat!?
In all seriousness, there are other factors that you should consider with wearing helmets. Firstly, your insurance may not be valid if you have an accident in a situation that you should have been wearing a helmet. For example, lunging. Or catching a horse. So if you had an accident either riding or on the ground you could face problems with claiming from your insurance if they feel that wearing a helmet was a recommended safety step.
So in support of the BHS, I challenge all my clients and friends to take a selfie, showing the world their hat hair, with the hashtag above. I’ve started you off, and we all know how much I hate taking selfies!