Concussions In Horseback Riding Savannah, tara, ashlyne, tori, alex

CTE- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy


  • Repetitive brain traumas
  • Symptomatic concussions
  • Asymptomatc subconcussive hits to the head
  • Trauma triggers progressive degeneration of brain tissue
  • Build up of the abnormal protein TAU


  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Imulsive behavior
  • Emotional Instability
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Progressive Dementia
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Diagnosis

There is no way to test if a person has CTE, until an autopsy report has been done. During an autopsy report, the brain is inspected for degeneration in relation towards proteins like tau. Neurological tests can be done to examine patients who seem to be suffering from this. That test include balance and coordination, as well as speech and cognition. There are also tests like MRI’s that can help with understanding a patient's brain. SWI, DTI, MRS, and PET are all exams that allow for a picture to be captured of the brain.


CTE is progressive and does not have a cure. Although there are some medications which can relieve some symptoms they are not guaranteed to work and do not prevent further deterioration.


It is a gradual and continual deterioration of the brain which is untreatable. A patient with CTE will continue to worsen as deterioration increases.

Brain Structure

  • Cerebrum (largest part of the brain), associated with through and action, and contains four lobes.
  • Cerebellum (has two hemispheres), associated with balance and coordination
  • Limbic System (within the cerebrum), associated with emotions. (thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus)
  • Brain Stem (underneath the limbic system), associated with basic life functions like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Also contains the midbrain, pons and medulla

Brain Function

  • The largest part of the brain is the cerebrum, which is divided into two hemispheres.
  • The cortex is the outer layer of brain cells
  • Breathing, blood pressure and heart rate are controlled in the brain stem
  • The cerebellum is responsible for coordination and balance


Concussions greatly affects equestrian riders. However, a study released today by the journal Neurological Focus found that the sport that causes most traumatic brain injuries isn't even a contact sport, it's horseback riding. Looking at data from the National Trauma Data Bank between 2003 and 2012, the researchers found that equestrian sports contributed to the highest percentage of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) for adults.

In the database, 45.2 percent of TBI among adults were related to horseback riding, dwarfing the other causes. The second-leading cause of sports-related traumatic brain injury was falls or hits from contact sports like football and soccer, but that accounted for just 20.2 percent of TBIs.

Current helmet standards:

  • ASTM/SEI approved -
  • Hard outer shell
  • Padding inside
  • Comes down lower on the back of the head

Because a riding helmet will absorb the force of a blow or fall, the foam padding is destructible. Once a helmet has absorbed an impact, the foam padding condenses and never regains its original shape. It will no longer provide adequate protection. A destructible impact could be a fall from a horse or simply being dropped onto a hard surface. For this reason once a helmet has been through a fall or direct impact of any sort, it must be replaced. It also needs to be replaced at least every five years as the foam deteriorates over time and becomes less effective. All ASTM/SEI helmets contain a manufacturer’s date with the SEI seal.

Adjustments to make to current helmets:

  • Better neck support
  • A foam piece that fits the neck coming from the cross country vest
  • More flexible brim
  • Better shock absorption on the outer shell
  • More padding and foam on the inside of the helmet on the forehead

Work Cited

"Brain (Human Anatomy): Picture, Function, Parts, Conditions, and More." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.