A Chunkaroo and a New Helmet

Y’all. Frankie has upgraded from dad-bod status to straight up FAT. Homeboy has butt wrinkles. Literally he had one month of light work and his body was immediately like HAHA PACK ON THE POUNDS. This means he also immediately lost all self-carriage and impulsion. It took a solid 6-9 months of hardcore training and work to leg him up to full fitness, and 4 weeks to completely lose it all. COOL.

Remember when he was so fit and muscley and beefy in the very very distant past? Me neither.

Anyways, I don’t want a fat horse. It ain’t good for him (though he seems to be enjoying himself) and it ain’t good for me. Once we get past the wedding, I’d really like to have a competition season (albeit with less traveling than I did this year), and that will be hard if I have to spend several months legging him up basically from scratch.

Enter, the world’s best barn family. With their help, Frankie will get his 6 rides a week from a variety of sources- 2-3 from me, 1 from AT, and 2-3 from some of our TJRs (Talented Junior Riders). I can’t even express what a relief this is- I’ve been feeling so much guilt about not being able to get out as often as Frankie needs, and knowing that he’s getting exercised and groomed and loved on when I can’t be there lifts an enormous weight. I’m so eager to get back into more of a program with him, but I can breathe a sigh of relief that he’ll be ready for me when I’m able to do that. Seriously: world’s BEST barn fam.

In other news, I got myself a new helmet! I’ve had my Charles Owen GR8 for just about 4 years now- it smells like a dead animal, has little to no ventilation, and I’ve now fallen in it twice. I didn’t hit my head either time, but all those factors combined to make it definitely time for a new noggin-protector. And the timing worked out perfectly with International Helmet Awareness Day(s)! I headed over to my local Dover with the plan to buy the Samshield I had tried earlier in the year and loved.

Yeah, I didn’t walk out of there with the Samshield. The girl helping me was FANTASTIC. She knew what to look for in terms of helmet fit, told me what she was looking for, and spent a reeeeeeally long time working with me to try on every single helmet that might’ve possibly worked.

We started with the Samshield- she pretty quickly gave that a nope because they didn’t have one small enough for me #childsizedhead. We tried a Kask and she didn’t even let me look in the mirror. Then we tried a rose-gold-accented One K that I IMMEDIATELY fell in love with, which she gave a tentative thumbs up. And then she destroyed my rose gold dreams by putting me (very reluctantly) in a CO AYR8 plus. Which she then pronounced to fit me the best of everything we tried.

I then proceeded to try on an IRH, a GPA, the new TraumaVoid, and a Tipperary because UGHHHH I DIDN’T WANT ANOTHER CHARLES OWEN. Can’t tell ya why. My CO has served me faithfully for years. I also kept putting the rose gold one back on, and she kept looking at me dubiously. None of them fit nearly as well, no matter how much I tried to negotiate.

Ultimately, we agreed that the safest helmet is the one that fits the best, and it was very obvious that the CO fit the shape and size of my head the best by far. She tried to soften the blow by offering customization which I eagerly latched onto, but then we realized that this model doesn’t offer customization.


So I walked out of there with my new AYR8 Plus, and I’m really warming up to it. It has a removable washable liner, tons more ventilation than my old helmet, and it really does fit like a glove. It’s a definite upgrade.

co ayr8p.jpg
It sure is a helmet

So I’m riding less but we’re keeping Francis fit, I have a new helmet for the first time in several years, and I’m ready to just GET MARRIED ALREADY so I can get back to the barn more. Priorities.

19 thoughts on “A Chunkaroo and a New Helmet

  1. Tracy 08/20/2018 / 9:23 am

    After getting a concussion in a helmet I thought fit fine (but knew other brands fit better), I’m firmly in the camp of BUY FOR FIT FIRST. So, you’ve got that going for ya, hah


  2. the_everything_pony 08/20/2018 / 10:37 am

    OMG Frankie LOL. Amber’s finally let go of all of her fitness (after freaking 8 months of no work yeesh) and so now her fat is way more evident but also going down haha! So good that you have a support system at the barn to help you out with Frankie’s fitness! And well, I can’t wait to see those wedding pics! I’m excited for you!


    • hellomylivia 08/21/2018 / 7:47 am

      Can Frankie take a page from Amber’s book and hang on to at least a LITTLE fitness?? The wedding is coming up so fast, I can’t wait!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. martidoll123 08/20/2018 / 3:22 pm

    congrats on new helmet no matter what you got 🙂 Tho i would love to see the onek rose gold too 🙂 HA I have a onek which is probably what I will get again when I get a new one because it fits me great. I hate trying on helmets and dont even have a local tack shop around here sooooooo

    LOL Frankie looks robust 🙂 Glad you have a plan to keep him in work and yay on wedding getting here soon rather than later 😉 HA


    • hellomylivia 08/21/2018 / 7:48 am

      OMG they have the rose gold one k at riding warehouse, please get it and share pics!! I had such grabby hands, so so pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. eventerinprogress 08/20/2018 / 5:47 pm

    I feel this in my soul.



  5. Bree lyons 08/20/2018 / 8:13 pm

    A new helmet is always fun, and fit is the most important. After I don’t know how many concussions, I am always super aware of my noggin.

    Weddings, so much fin to attend and so much stress to plan, which is why we had a surprise wedding and didn’t tell a soul. I hope it’s all going well, enjoy it while you can since it will be over before you know it!


    • hellomylivia 08/21/2018 / 7:49 am

      You were the smart one, more than once I’ve wished we were just eloping! I’m sure it’ll all be worth it but omg let’s just have this party already!


  6. Sleepy Equestrian 08/20/2018 / 9:44 pm

    I’m in similar boat so thanks for posting this! Not in terms of a “cushy” horse (poor Frankie haha!) but my youth size IRH helmet that I got for competing in college 4 years ago with negative ventilation also has taken two falls (like you, not on my head). When I went to try on some I was also pointed toward the AYR8, but they didn’t have any in my size at the time – I want to try the traumavoid too buuut I very well may end up with a CO haha. Glad your noggin is secured and Francis has lots of help on his fitness while you go through your own wedding season!


    • hellomylivia 08/21/2018 / 7:50 am

      The traumavoid was really comfortable! It wasn’t quite the right shape for my head, but apparently it turns out that almost no helmet really is haha. So so relieved to have help with Francis, and he loves the loving!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Centered in the Saddle 08/21/2018 / 11:13 am

    That feeling of UGH I WANT TO BE MARRIED ALREADY will not go away until you’re married already, haha. But I also PROMISE it is all worth it and when it’s all said and done you’ll probably look back and wish you could go back to the day and do it all over again. And in the meantime, it’s so wonderful to have Frankie in good hands! ❤


    • hellomylivia 08/21/2018 / 2:31 pm

      UGHHHH LET’S JUST PARTY. I know it’ll be worth it, I’m just so impatient haha

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Stacie Seidman 08/21/2018 / 3:11 pm

    Frankie and I have a lot in common.
    Sorry about the Samshield. That’s a bummer! I have a child size head too, but fortunately, I did find one in my size! Woohoo! I had to get a little fancy with exchanging liners though.
    On the bright side, the CO is a lot less expensive. So really, you’re winning!


    • hellomylivia 08/22/2018 / 10:22 am

      The ONE time I had psyched myself up to spend more money, I didn’t even need to!


  9. Rachel - For Want of a Horse 08/23/2018 / 11:41 am

    Helmet shopping is such a drag! I am hoping to keep mine for a while. **Please Winifred no more tossing me off!!** I love the Samshield but I have my IRH. It is modeled after the Samshield and fits me really well. I was still thinking about upgrading the Samshield after my 2 falls this spring (one to the front of my head and one to the back just to make sure I fully damaged the helmet) but when I saw the discount price from the IRH crash program I could not justify spending literally $400 more for a Samshield. IRH really does have a nice replacement program.


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