Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Thoughts on The Pioneer Woman and Her New Show


I still can't believe people keep commenting on this nearly two-year-old post.  I keep thinking everything that needs to be said has been said by both me and by my fellow detractors as well as her fans. 

Enough already.

For those of you who wrote supportive and encouraging comments, thank you.  I appreciate them all.  You rock. 

I have said it before. If you want to make a complaint about this post and what a terrible person I am for writing an anti-Pioneer Woman post, please go here.

For those of you who take issue with my complaints about the lack of safe headgear on the Drummond ranch, please grow up and get real.  Do you really think I'm wrong?  Do you really think it's a bad idea to be safe, particularly around large, unpredictable animals who have their own minds?  Really?  How about I use this post to show you all of the statistics insurance companies put out showing how many fatalities come from non-helmet use?

No matter how many times you say it, I really don't care if western riders/ranchers/country kids/or "good" riders just "don't" wear helmets.  Just because it's not commonly done or traditional doesn't make it right and it doesn't make it smart.  I would beg, yes get on my knees and BEG, any adult who refuses to wear a helmet because of vanity or tradition to please take up golf or tennis.  Any parents studpid enough to think their kid doesn't need a helmet because they ride western or are just really good riders, or because other kids don't wear helmets to PLEASE sign their kids up for ballet or soccer or chess club or tiddlywinks tournaments and don't put your kids on a horse. 

I have been riding over 30 years.  People tell me I'm a good rider.  I still fall. I have owed my life to my helmet on more than one occasion.  Just recently I took a horrible fall after my pony unexpectedly spooked (this can happen to ANY rider no matter how good he or she is) and she accidentally kicked me in the head when she tried to get away from my crumpled body on the ground. 

Have your ever heard of Courtney King-Dye?  I won't make you Google it if you don't know the story.  I'll tell you all about it.

She was an Olympic level dressage rider.  I don't think you can be a much better rider than an Olympic dressage rider.  Dressage riders have excellent seats and balance. They have independent hands and legs.  They exercise an amazing level of control over their horses.  It takes an extraordinarily well-trained rider and equally well-trained horse to perform advanced dressage moves. 

King-Dye was schooling and not wearing a helmet.  Her horse tripped.  Horses trip all the time.  I doubt I ever get through a ride without my horse having a little trip now and then.  She wasn't jumping 5' fences.  She wasn't riding on a spooky trail.  She wasn't barrel racing.  She was in the ring, and her horse tripped and tripped badly so that he fell on his side.

Her horse fell and so did she.  Her head injury was severe.  She survived, but she ended up seriously brain damaged.  This rider who was headed for the Olympics now rides in the Paralympics.  This wasn't a child.  This wasn't a green horse.  This wasn't an inexperienced yahoo who was doing everything wrong.  This happened to someone whom one might think of as fall-proof.

If this can happen to an Olympic level rider, what makes you think it can't happen to you or your child?  What makes you such a special snowflake that you're immune to life-threatening falls?  You say that neither you nor your child have had such injuries, so you think you never will?  How about you were just lucky?  Tell all of the parents of children who weren't so lucky that helmets don't matter.  Just because it didn't happen, doesn't mean it never will. 

While you're at it, get rid of the seat belts in your car, trash the bike helmets, throw away the car seats, and buy your kid a pack of Marlboros. 

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