Its amazing how quickly you hear about a bad experience and all too often we forget to stop and give thanks to those who provide a good experience, product or service. The good can sometimes be overshadowed by the less savoury side of life. Today I would like to thank IRH for providing such stirling helmets that no doubt saved my life.
I have been in a few scraps throughout my life. I played international rugby for my country, have ridden horses all my life, I have taken part in the usual daredevil antics of youth, but never before have I been moved to actually transcribe any of those experiences. Those hours spent staring at a bland ceiling clears the brain and makes you sit up, excuse the pun, and take stock of your life. I feel it is something that I need to say, and to express my heartfelt gratitude that I am here to tell my story.
This is my account.
March 13th 2015, an exceptional Friday, as the day was almost like a summer’s day, arriving at the tail end of some wet and wild wintery days. I had no idea how this day was about to unfold nor did I know how grateful I would be for purchasing of an International Riding helmet.
Most of the animals that I ride are my own Irish Sport Horses, very athletic and very capable. The day in question my mount was a 17hh ISH. A super chap who had won the Novice Western Ireland division cross country, on this very ground a year previous. Today he was only a wet week in off grass after his winter holidays.
As my mount warmed up I felt he was not as confident at his obstacles as I had remembered and it was somewhat frustrating to send him in to inferior obstacles by his standard and have him refuse to jump. I was bitterly disappointed. I remembered the horse he was before his time off, remembered all the highs of competing in cross country, and show jumping, out hunting with our local pack.
I wish I had the words of my dad in my head as I started the cross country course. He, being a very wise horse man would have said; “cool your jets – to much too soon.”
We started well but on the fifth fence I had another refusal. I thought this was unacceptable so I made a second approach. Somewhere in the middle of the jump I got too far forward of the saddle became unseated and my head was hurled from a height of 9 foot, nine yards from the jump. The crown of my head contacted the surface first and instantly my life changed.
Anyone who knows me knows how “hard” I am. I have taken falls over the years to get up dust off and remount and continue with my day. I played rugby for my country so I know what a hit can do to your body. I was speared into the ground with nothing to break my fall but my helmet. As I lay on the ground I knew this hit was very different. I had lost the power in my right hand and had pins and needles in the whole arm down to the tips of my fingers. I knew I was in serious trouble. I am an Exercise Physiologist by profession and I knew that this was the most serious hit I had ever taken. An ambulance was called to take me to the emergency room for assessment. Until then I had to lie still. I wasn’t hopeful. I didn’t get up from this one and I was not about to try.
A good friend Martin was riding with me that day, a trainee Paramedic almost fully certified, he cradled my head and informed emergency services of my predicament. The team arrived with spinal board where I remained for the next five hours. In the Emergency Room medical staff came to my aid taking x-rays and conducting physical exams. As I waited anxiously I made all sorts of personal promises to do this, to do that, and to never do the other again if I get out of this predicament.
The hours with no movement on the spinal board seemed like an eternity. I could not see what was going on in the ER all I was staring at was the ceiling of the ER department. But I heard some words that I could not believe. I heard the words “the fellow that took the horse fall his x-rays are all clear, he’s fine“. I didn’t
believe it, I couldn’t! I waited for a doctor to tell me the news. He said; “its good news everything is fine“. To say I was relieved is an understatement. I didn’t wait another second I sat up after being unlashed from the mounts that were keeping me stable and proceed to remove the IV from my arm. I was groggy and very sore but I took a look towards the man above and said “I will take a bit of pain over a broken neck any day of the week“.
How does a 260 lb man get fired 27 feet to land on his head from a height of 9 feet and survive. I did so because I spared no expense when buying an International Riding Helmet and it was this wise choice that saved my life. I would like to thank IRH, as I get teary eyed and emotional while writing this, for producing a lifesaving piece of equipment that is allowing me to write this letter of gratitude. Thank God for your excellent work. I am standing again and reordering the very same helmet that saved my life.
Keep up Gods work. Thank you!