its just that they get in the way, I focus better and I work better (i find) without a helmet.
This doesn't make sense to me. How do helmets get in your way? How would wearing one help your ability to focus?
I used to only wear a helmet when I was training young horses. One day, I was out on the trail with a green broke horse (16.2 HH)when he suddenly decided that he wanted to roll. There was no warning whatsoever. He just simply laid down. My foot was caught underneath so I yelled at him to get up and he got up bucking. Since I was trying to get off anyway, I went flying off into a pile of rocks. I cracked the back of my helmet on a sharp rock. Afterward, I thought about the fact that if I hadn't had a helmet on, that would've been my skull that cracked. I also realized that it was kind of a freak accident and accidents can happen with even the best trained horses. Now I wear a helmet every time I mount up and everyone who rides my horses does the same.
I run a county fair show and everyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet. I had heard that some judges forbade the wearing of helmets in Western pleasure classes (in lieu of a western hat) so I went up and asked the judge of our show if I was allowed to wear a helmet (as I was over 18 and it wasn't technically "required") and she told me this: "If any judge ever tells you that you are not allowed to wear a helmet, walk away from that show."