Here at Eventing Nation we always have (and always will) preach the importance of minding your melon and wearing a helmet while riding. But until I heard Brianna Noble share her experience of being turned away from sitting on her horse for her lack of helmet, I admit I was shamefully ignorant of the issue that Black equestrians face when trying to reconcile a desire to wear their hair naturally with the right to wear properly fitted safety gear. It’s another obstacle that Black riders face in participating in equestrian sport and a privilege to have never experienced an issue in finding a well-fitted helmet.
Along with recent advances in increasing transparency around helmet safety and price (I see you Virginia Tech Helmet Lab), let’s also hope — and work towards making it a reality — that the industry will also take a look at the problem of inclusivity and figure out a way to ensure that riders with all hair types can find a brain bucket that will suit their safety needs and style.
If you read one thing today make it this New York Times article, which interviews numerous riders as well as helmet manufacturers. It’s heartening to see a large mainstream media outlet drawing attention to the issue. Some of the companies’ replies to the reporter’s inquries are alright (Charles Owen is reportedly working on “several solutions”) while others are actually appalling. Safety should be inclusive. Period.
U.S. Weekend Action
Links to Start Your Weekend:
Sponsor Corner: We are drooling over these Sergio Grasso boots from World Equestrian Brands. The bling! The elegance! The style! *swoon*
Morning Viewing: Just some quick highlights from yesterday’s Grand Prix Eventing show jumping We can’t wait for cross country today!