From Endurance to Dressage
Of all of the things I am hard on - boots, breeches, riding tops ... my helmet is not one of them. I take good care of my helmets - all four of them, and they last a long time. (Yes, I know helmets have an expiration date, but none of them are there yet.) Three of them live in my trailer in helmet bags and are reserved for shows, clinics, and away from home lessons. I never set those helmets on the ground or even place them in a situation where they might hit the dirt. Also, Izzy is NOT allowed to nuzzle my head while wearing any of those three helmets.
The fourth helmet is strictly for schooling. While I take good care of it, it looks like a school helmet. It's been bashed by tree branches - I do some occasional trail riding, sweat in profusely, crunched on by Izzy - he calls it nuzzling, and baked in the Bakersfield sun. Even with all of that, I do wipe it off when it gets too grungy, and I hand wash the liner. I also lay it on a shelf when not in use so that the harness doesn't get stretched out. Recently, I've noticed that the little pad that covers the chin strap has begun to fall apart. Scratch that; it FELL apart.
Helmets are expensive, so there was no way I was buying a new helmet just because the little comfort pad had worn thin. After living with it for several weeks dangling and being rather uncomfortable, I finally took the time to dig out an old helmet with the intention of cannibalizing the chin strap covering. To my surprise, my fifth helmet, one that lives in storage - who knows how many I actually own?, actually had a chin strap covering in better shape than the one I was currently using. I stripped it off the old helmet and applied it to my schooling helmet.
While the new chin strap pad works just fine, it is rather funky. Who knows how old it is. I sat down over the weekend and did a five minute Google search for a replacement. Had I looked a bit longer, I might have found one designed specifically for equestrian helmets, but as it was, I found something on Amazon that was super cheap that should arrive tomorrow - fair warning, you get what you pay for.
I am ended up finding a four-pack of chin padding for bicycle helmets for $5.99. I took a screen shot of the pads in red so that you can see them, but I ordered mine in black so that you won't see it when it's on. Will they work? I don't know, but for six bucks I was willing to give them a try.
Since I was buying something so ridiculously cheap, I threw in a set of Dr. Scholls inserts for my new boots (which I still haven't worn - my old ones JUST WILL NOT DIE) and a set of 60 CC catheter syringes. Izzy needs some oral doses of GastroElm, but all of my syringes are broken.
Is it sad that it's the little things that float my boat? I can't help it if resourcefulness runs in my family. My parents are the same way; they won't throw out anything useful either. You just never know when something might come in handy.
Hey! Is that the UPS truck I hear? Excuse me while I check for a package.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: