*shudder* stories like that freak me out
I have a true story about a helmet that happened to someone at our pony club only about 6 months ago.
'Jane' was at a horse show and she got on her horse next to her float. Once 'Jane' was on, her mare turned around to bite a fly but got her teeth hooked over the stirrup iron. The mare panicked, lost her balance and fell. Jane fell off, hitting her head on the metal tyre guard of the horse float. Her helmet was smashed but Jane (apart from being freaked out!) was fine.
Other PC members have told similar stories. Needless to say, I always wear a helmet!
I think helmets should also be worn when working around horses also. Just last week, I was squatting down putting boots on my mare when a fly bothered her and she quickly stomped her front leg. She hit me hard on the head with her knee. While this was unlikely to cause serious injuries even without a helmet, there are certainly reasons to wear a helmet at all times when working with horses. However, I must be honest and say I don't ALWAYS wear a helmet when on the ground... just always when riding.
When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare