I never ever get on a horse without one! It doesn't matter if I trust my horse with my life, I still wouldn't get on her without one. She doesn't have to spook, buck, rear etc for me to fall off! What if she tripped or fell down and I came off? In this country, it is illegal to ride on the roads wtithout a helmet if you are 14 yrs or under. I don't understand it when people say they annoy them, or are uncomfortable. If they are fitted correctly, they should be comfortable. Each to their own I guess, but I would rather protect my brain and keep riding for years and years, after all you only get one life don't you
I grew up being required to wear a helmet for 4H. When we started riding barrels in rodeos and at jack pots, helmets or hats were required, and I opted for the hat. Since then, I have been out of the habit of wearing one, an therefore, do not. I wear one for englihs riding at shows, I wear a hat in western classes, but most of the time I prefer to let my head breathe. When I am on a horse that I do not particularily trust, or that I feel will be hard to handle, I wear a helmet.
I have no good reason for seldem wearing a helmet - I am definitely not against them. If there were a rule, I would wear one. I know they are helpful - though, there is nothing stopping you from breaking your neck or any other bone in your body. I require all Jr. Riders on my property or my horses to wear a helmet (hypocritical I know).
I tell the kids that when they are adults, it will be their choice of whether they want to risk their brains or not, but right now, it is not their choice. The kids are very comfortable using helmets, and consider them just like any other piece of tack.
I don't think there is any good reason not to wear a helmet other than stubborness and stupidity. So, I guess I can be a little of both. :) One day I will learn - for now, I admit my flaws. :)
I always wear a helmet, and have grown quite unused to seeing people riding without them !
For example, I was riding in an indoor arena near where you come in, and one of the most famous, if not the most famous, rider in Iceland walks in with this beautiful horse, but before I noticed all that I thought, why isnt he wearing a helmet? !