Lifestyle

Helmet saves young horse rider's life after kick in face

Emma Thompson said a helmet was the only thing that prevented her losing her life when a stallion rolled on her last week.
Emma Thompson said a helmet was the only thing that prevented her losing her life when a stallion rolled on her last week. Kerri Moore

THEY'RE her passion, her work, her love and last week a horse nearly took Emma Thompson's life.

On Friday afternoon, the 18-year-old was riding a stallion when something spooked the horse - possibly a bush hitting its tail - and the animal reared up violently.

Emma stayed on the horse, but it fell and rolled on her before kicking her in the face.

Waking up in a hospital bed with no recollection not only of the accident, but the past six months of her life was a frightening experience for the Warwick woman.

"I don't remember what happened - I just remember waking up and feeling sore and sorry for myself," she said.

Initial fears of bleeding on the brain and internal bleeding were soon dismissed, but is unclear how long it will take for Emma's full memory to return - if at all.

"Things are starting to come back, but I hate going to sleep because I've been getting it in my dreams and it is exhausting," she said.

Despite it all, she is grateful to be alive and thankful she was wearing the helmet she says saved her life.

Emma - who plans to take up campdrafting and barrel racing in the near future - said she now wanted others to heed the dangers of riding and to wear protective gear.

The teenager admits she, like many others in the horse community, did not always wear a helmet when riding horses she was comfortable with - but all that has now changed.

"I was used to getting the quiet horses and going for gentle rides, but it doesn't matter how quiet a horse is or how many times you have ridden it, there could always be something to spook it," she said.

"And that one time a freak thing happens is when you will wish you had worn the helmet.

"I honestly believe I would not be here today if I wasn't wearing a helmet."

Emma wants teenagers to shy away from the perception that wearing a helmet undermines your abilities on a horse.

"I really just want to put it out there for young people that it doesn't matter how old you are, you should always wear protective gear," she said.

"All of this gear isn't cheap, but at the end of the day, can you really put a price on your life?

"If you're not prepared to buy the gear, you're not prepared to play the sport."

Despite wanting to ride, Emma is under instructions to stay off horses for six weeks, as another fall could mean permanent brain damage.

"I'm ready to get back on a horse - I would get back on right now if I was allowed to," she said.

Emma said she was extremely grateful to the staff of both the Warwick and Toowoomba Hospitals and RACQ Care Flight for taking such good care of her.

She also wants to extend her gratitude to David and Nancy Taylor and Terry Catip for their quick responses and care when she fell and Phil and Sharron Barker from Warwick Saddlery Supplies for the helmet that saved her life.

Topics:  accident, editors picks, helmet, horse riding




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

DASHCAM: Truck loses control on Cunningham Hwy

The truck narrowly avoided crashing into two oncoming cars.

Cars could have been 'decimated' by a truck which swerved

Town's favourite Santa devastated by cancer diagnosis

Ian Robertson (left), pictured with family members, is battling cancer.

For many Ian Robertson has brought some joy to their lives

New budget details federal farm support

IMPROVED MEASURES: National Farmers Federation president Brent Finlay in the woolshed on his Stanthorpe property with Sandy Smith from Cement Mills.

What do our farmers want from the next budget?

Latest deals and offers


Truck smashes into caravan on the Cunningham Hwy

Warwick police Sergeant Shane Reid at the scene of a crash between a truck and a...

ACF take Minister to Court

ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation go to court to stop Carmichael mine.

Dash Cam: Roo takes on car

Kangaroo leaps car.

Kangaroo could have kept going, jumps car instead.

Mayor: confidence is key to filling empty shops

Former Destination Southern Downs business implementation manager Tracy Dobie has announced she will be running for Mayor. Photo Contributed

Dobie to lead economic development committee

Warwick commercial property market in ‘decline’

The old Mango camping store on Albion St is for sale/lease at the moment. It's been empty since late February after housing the camping business for 10 years.

Business confidence affects commercial property sales

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.