Friday, September 17, 2010
NODA OPEN MEETING & EDUCATION EVENT
by Berni Moauro and Linda Cooley
Photography by Dee Liebenthal
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)
A free, fun, and informative NODA open meeting was held Friday
evening September 17 at Topline Stables at Walden.
NODA president Dee Liebenthal opened the meeting
with a review of the revised by-laws. The by-laws were approved and
voted into effect by the attending members.
After a break to enjoy
coffee, cider, and some really decadent desserts, the attendees
settled in for an informative, interesting, and entertaining
presentation on safety helmets, given by Lisa Gorretta of
The Paddock Saddlery. Riding safety is a timely and
surprisingly controversial topic.
“Safe Riding Starts with Your Head” with Lisa Gorretta
Lisa presented a
range of helmets from inexpensive to very expensive,
explaining the differences (quality, aesthetics, comfort).
Helmets come in different shapes, sizes, and quality – but they ALL
must meet or exceed the strict regulations of the
ASTM International /
SEI Standards. The ASTM (American Society for
Testing and Materials) sets standards for helmet safety, and the SEI
(Safety Equipment Institute) checks on manufacturer compliance by
testing the helmets to ensure they meet or exceed ASTM Standards.
The first wave of ASTM/SEI certified safety helmets were cumbersome
and not popular with riders. The second wave of helmet
designs is still being sold today along with the third wave of
designs, as manufacturers figure out how to provide air-flow in
helmets while meeting ASTM/SEI standards – as well as what riders
will buy and wear.
Lisa also brought helmet accessories
– hair nets, hat deodorizer, hat cleaner – which help keep helmets
more sanitary. She stated that when your helmet gets wet from
sweat or humid weather, it is important to air it out and let
the lining dry. If possible, have a second helmet available
and rotate helmets to maximize the useful life of the helmet.
lifespan of your safety helmet ranges from 3 to 5 years.
Various environmental issues such as heat, humidity, cold, sweat,
rain, mold, dirt, etc., cause helmet integrity to be compromised.
Helmets should not be stored in very hot or cold conditions (such as
your car trunk). If your helmet is dropped on concrete or if
you fall and hit your head, it is strongly recommended that you
replace the helmet. The impact of the helmet
hitting the ground compromises the safety features, and the helmet
might not be able to protect you should you have another fall.
Just because the hat looks fine on the outside, does not mean it is
fine on the inside. Most helmet manufacturers offer special
pricing for needed replacements within a year of your purchase.
Riding Injury Statistics:
Approximately 70% of injuries occur while hacking and schooling,
not in competition
Head injuries account for 60% of deaths resulting from equestrian
A fall from just 3 feet can cause traumatic brain injury resulting
in permanent damage
Pony Club head injury rates fell 29% after safety helmet use became
mandatory in the early 1980s
Risk of injury corresponds to the cumulative amount of time spent
in the saddle, not to the level of expertise.
Horseback riding (as a sport total) has about the same number of
injury accidents occurring per riding hour as does motorcycle riding
It pays to go
to Open Meetings and Education Events! The Paddock
Saddlery provided a lovely door prize, a green Paddock zippered tote
bag with a lovely soft brown Ariat blanket inside, which was won by
NODA webmaster, Linda Cooley. (see photo)
Some attendees of the Open Meeting
Back Row, L
to R: Berni Moauro, Mary Jo Keptner, Mary Dana, Dale
Gail Patton, Kathy Kirchner, Marcia Doyle, Jennifer Kick. Janeen
L to R: Pat Lightbody, Mary Dana Prescott, Linda Cooley
holding door prize, Lisa Gorretta
On behalf of NODA and the Education Committee, Marcia
and Berni extend their sincere thanks to Lisa for the gracious
donation of her time, for supplying the helmets and accessories for
the demonstration, and for the door prize. Thank you also to
Janeen Langowski-Grava and Topline Stables for providing a
picturesque setting for the meeting on a beautiful autumn evening.