I ride without a helmet 99% of the time. IMO - I'm skilled enough now to know when to bail if I'm REALLY going to be in that much trouble. Of course freak things always happen, but that's just a chance you take when you ride horses.
I used to ride without a helmet when I was younger. I always wear one now, and l was lucky after riding my friend's pony who had been previously shot at by some kids with an air gun bolted when a tree branch touched her along a bridle path. I was chucked at lightning speed head first into a dry stone wall and still suffer from migraines to this day. If it wasn't for the helmet, it would have been a lot worse. So each to their own but I would always wear one.
Sure, we take a chance every time we ride. I could fall and the horse could fall on me and crush me. I could break an arm or pull a shoulder. I could land on my head. So I try to minimise those things where I can: by riding as safely as possible, and by wearing suitable clothing and protective equipment. I wear boots that will not get caught in the stirrup, jodhpurs to prevent my legs getting rubbed and so nothing catches on the saddle. If I'm riding outside the arena I wear a reflective jacket so cars and people can see me. And I wear a helmet so that if I do fall on my head, I will have some protection. When I start jumping, I will buy a body protector.
Why take the risk? Wearing a helmet is such a simple thing and you don't even notice it while you're riding. It's just so silly not to take such an easy precaution, especially when broken arms can heal nicely but head injuries are usually pretty drastic.
I don't normally Wear a Helmet, But however I do ride with my helmet on when we have my horse at my trainers barn, since its a liabilty issue there. And Judged Trail rides, since im underage I have too.but normal everyday riding I don't, but I still am very careful.
I never wore a helmet riding western til we were going up the side of a highway and a vehicle chose not to slow down or get over spooking my mare. I remember hoping I wouldn't hit the asphalt with my head. I didn't but broke 3 ribs. My mare had never spooked before! Now I wear one although no one else does because I won't ever take that chance again.
As a lawyer, I know all too well the risks, but have to admit that I rarely ever put my helmet on. At least I bought one -- that must be my subconscious telling me that it's the right thing to do.
I do think that it's what you're used to -- we're from north Texas and I never see anyone wear a helmet. But, our family hosts a lot of exchange students and all of the equestrian girls from Europe wear one (they all bring their helmets). I'm always glad they wear their helmets and I know (and admit) that I should do so more often myself.
Maybe y'all will be a good influence on me! :)
I do make all of the guest riders at our ranch wear a helmet though (that's to avoid the liability involved in failing to do so). Guess I should be so careful with myself, eh?
I don't always wear a helmet, but if I think my horse is extra excited today or I'm going for crazy ride (galloping a lot, jumping) then I'll wear one. I'll also never get on a horse that I've never been on before without a helmet.
Sometimes I wear a helmet and sometimes I don't, it depends on my mood I guess:) Sure you always hear stories about how a helmet saved somebody's life, but I have fallen with a helmet and still had a concussion. And I also got thrown off and kicked in the back of the head once and there was a chunck of my helmet gone. Would I have died without the helmet, no. I think it depends what you are doing and the horse, and sometimes helmets get in the way. As long as your a good enough rider, it is not necessary. In my opinion, it is either break your head or snap your neck..
Mine is a very quick response.
If you want your brain to be the same at the end of the ride. Wear a helmet.
No, don't take this seriously. I know if you have a bad fall wearing a helmet, you still might get brain damage or something. But wearing a helmet will protect you and give you less of a chance for your brain to be damaged if something bad happens.
However, if you are just mucking around with your horse and you are lying on it's back or something and not riding it...go ahead. Don't wear a helmet.
Otherwise, I would always wear a helmet, also because I am young and do not want anything happening to me. I am sure though some time in my life I will not wear a helmet when I am riding.
But bareback riding. Wow, I so would. I feel I have more of a chance to fall off because I am not on a saddle or have stirrups!