Thank you all for your input, I've read everyone's comments, and you all make super good points.
If you are going to wear the hat riding and generally I am going to but this one.
Down Under Oilskin Australian Hat - Horse.com
I saw this girl at the Vermont Trail Trotter hunter pace and loved the hat and looks great. And she was English riding. Looks like a good riding and general wear english/ western hat.
VT Trotters, is this hat quite stiff, like Barry mentioned might be a decent compromise? It does like such a lovely hat, but it's just another hat if it doesn't protect your head anymore than a normal one.
I don't know if this changes much, those of you who are really up for safety will probably say it changes nothing but: I haven't fallen off for 3 years, I have never fallen off from a spooking horse (although I've ridden many spooky, spooky horses) and I'm pretty good at jumping off when my mare very rarely spooks, before things get out of hand. Also, she's not the kind to rear at things, just one of those that plant, look at it, and if it's "safe" carry on, and if it's just too menacing she will turn around haha (mares!) - which I know I shouldn't let her do but meh, that's my riding error, and there are worse sins. I think I may try riding in the arena with a stiff cowboy hat OR maybe try this How to Make a Cowboy Hat Helmet | eHow.com
Has anyone tried? Does it end up looking awful, or pretty good. I'm one of those awkward people that wants a good meet up in the middle, and would like that compromise to look darn good too.
By the way, Stan, this made me chuckle
buying the wife a chainsaw is a potential risk to any red blooded male brave enough to stand up to her who must be obeyed
Thank you all for your input