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International Helmet Awareness week

Post from accident victim Penny Newbold

I need your help.

This weekend is International Helmet Awareness Day. I’m asking that you please read this and then like/share/tag anyone (& everyone!) to get this message out there.

I wouldn’t normally post pics like these on FB – too personal, too raw. But I’ve decided that if my story saves even one life, it’s worth it. And it makes the last few hellish months, worth it too.

I’m not posting these pics to shock, pressure or attempt to scare you into wearing a helmet…..honestly chances are that I don’t really know you, probably won’t and won’t be effected by your decision to wear a helmet or not.

These are my children at 7 and 9.

They’re just kids. (They are now 8 and 10 – both spent

their birthdays in my hospital room). When the first pic was taken they didn’t know whether their mum was going to wake up. The second pic was taken on my son’s 10th birthday, 2 days after I woke up, 14 days after my accident. Not a great way to spend your birthday! My gift to him – and his birthday wish – was being awake and able to say “hello, happy birthday, I love you”.Do you have kids? Do you have friends? Family? Work mates? People who love you? Rely on you? Most people do. Do you ride horses – at any level, in any discipline? Do you wear a helmet every time you ride?

If your answer to that question is no, then this message is for you.

Common excuses are “they’re too hot/uncomfortable”, “I’m experienced, I know what I’m doing”, “I trust my horse”, “it’s sending the message to my horse that I’m not confident” – sorry but I’m calling bullshit on every excuse.

Every. Single. One.

Why? I was experienced (30+ years of riding, competition, breaking, training in a semi-professional capacity). When I fell, I was riding gentle flatwork (“safe”) at home, on a sane 8yo horse that I bred, broke in, educated and competed. Something went wrong – an accident happened. And two young kids (not to mention a husband!) nearly lost their mum and wife forever.

I should have died that day. That’s what the doctors told me. But I didn’t. Because – wholly and solely because – I was wearing my helmet. End of story.

Whether you choose to wear one or not is a matter for you, but I wanted to take advantage of this day to share my story and remind you that the decision to wear one or not won’t impact just you.

It’s not about you, because if you’re dead, you honestly won’t care anymore. It’s about everyone else.

Let’s get the message out there – it’s not about you. It’s about everyone else. #riders4helmets