A field day for the safety conscious

Oh, I'm torn over this picture. Last week's Horse and Hound had a news story about Emile Faurie, the dressage rider, who has decided (wisely in my opinion) that if you do not wear a hat, you cannot ride. Dressage riders have a tendency to go without hats, presumably thinking that as they're not going to jump or go particularly fast, they're safe. As someone who has fallen off at a standstill (don't ask) I know that's not true.

And yet.... this photograph below - all hatless dressage riders need transporting back to 1937, which is when this photograph was taken. It's of Lady Kitty Ritson, dog breeder, and later on a pony book author, who wrote a series of articles on The Middle Aged Rider for Riding Magazine.

I know I should disapprove of this, I know I should, but I can't bring myself to. Setting off for a picnic on your Arabian, complete with your tea dress, good shoes, kettle and attendant child...


I knew someone who sadly died from a fall without leaving the yard. Horse reared up, went over, and that was that. Riding is inherently dangerous, and yet I spent a huge amount of time as a child, bareback, tackless, sitting on my pony as she grazed. It's a tricky one, isn't it? Logic says one thing, romance another. But not very romantic to end up squished, I suppose.
Jane Badger said…
No, you're right. It's not romantic to end up squished, and I am manic about wearing my own hat!
Jackie said…
Surely you don't need a hat when you have that much STYLE.
As my husband is fond of pointing out, when I say 'think of the things we used to do, and we're still here'-only the ones of us who are still here are available for comment!
I let my children ride bareback across the field, hatless, when they were younger. If you slither off bareback, you are less likely to hurt yourself than hurling across country or even down the road, encumbered by tack.
Sometimes, you need a little faith.
In general, you need PAS 015, a body protector, and quite possibly a Point Two ....
Sue Howes said…
I doubt if there were such things as hard hats in 1937. When I think back to my first riding hat (1970s)it was little more than a hard shell with some cork lining it. It did have a bit of elastic to go under my chin.
Technology has moved on in so many ways. Compare it to medicine for instance. Am I right in thinking that antibiotics didn't exist in 1937? Yet now they are commonplace. How many people died from infections pre-antibiotics? probably a lot more than died from not wearing a hat I'd suspect.
This is why I feel it is foolish for some people to say they don't wear a hat, nowadays. If we as a species take advantage of one set of advances, e.g. modern medicines, it is surely sensible to take advantage of modern protective clothing, IMO.

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