I must say that after the excitement of last week's new helmet rule initiative in the U.S., looking at my inspection post from yesterday makes me ponder why the U.S. events don't do the same thing (and, I'm talking about the helmet requirements that have ALREADY been in place all these years for cross-country and show jumping). They inspect bits at check-in for dressage (which, is good), but with all the fever and enthusiasm for mandating certain protective headgear be in place at all times when mounted at an event, shouldn't we also be inspecting those helmets to make sure they are the ASTM/SEI-approved helmets that are required? I bet I could pull out one of my old Dover skull caps from 1988, put a brand new black satin helmet cover on it, strap on a new rubber band, fasten the harness, and gallop onto any cross-country course out there today. The thing is, although that crash helmet was ASTM/SEI-approved 20 years ago, I bet it would crack like a walnut if my head smashed into something pretty solid....like a stone wall.
If we're going to have the new rules, then I would hope (and assume!) they will be strictly enforced. And, not just with a passing glance. There are 2 big spring events this coming weekend -- Pine Top Winter I and Galway -- so I'll be interested to hear how organizers and officials undertake the implementation of the new rule.