The owners of On the Rodeo Road (OTRR) and Nicole Aichele both have different stories leading them to the start of the #HelmetTough campaign - but the goals were always the same.
Both parties had been involved in the horse and rodeo industry for years and wanted to share an article based on wearing the "dreaded helmet." Anne with OTRR had suffered a injury when her horse fell during a barrel run and she knew it was time to buck up and put on a helmet. Nicole began wearing a helmet when she was 16, based on her own choice when learning about head injuries and not being able to find a good reason not to put one on.
Upon releasing a short survey to find out why other riders did or did not wear helmets, they were shocked at the overflow of responses in such a short time. More so, over 50% of respondents had stated that they wanted to wear a helmet while riding, but the stigma associated with them was too much for them to make the switch. A extremely large number also stated that they didn't wear a helmet because of "helmet myths" that they had believed. Things like they are "too heavy, throw me off balance, are not aerodynamic, hurt your head, etc."
It was the results of that survey that made OTRR and Nicole realize that a simple article was not what this industry needed and to convince people to wear a helmet was not the ultimate goal, only a bonus.
The goal of the #HelmetTough campaign is to end the stigma associated with wearing a helmet in the western and rodeo industry. HelmetTough doesn't want to hear about one more person choosing "fitting in" over personal safety. We want to make barrel racing and rodeo alike a culture that accepts everyone for who they are and not what they wear atop their head.
The second goal of the #HelmetTough campaign is to educate the riders who don't wear a helmet because of the "helmet myths" stated above. The hope is that by the end of the campaign that riders will realize how far helmets have come in fit, style, comfort and weight and in return reevaluate their decision on wearing, or not wearing, a helmet.
The coolest part of this campaign is BOTH the "helmet heads" and the "hat heads" can join in and make a difference! Whether you wear a helmet or not, doesn't matter! It's all about standing up for fellow contestants and changing your own views on helmets and what they are all about.
It's time to eliminate that dreadful stigma that's been around helmets for far too long.
To take part in this campaign, follow HelmetTough on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, share #HelmetTough on social media, start living it out in person, and Be #HelmetTough! Check out our store page for your own #HelmetTough Shirts to help spread the word and stand up for what's right!