What I wanted to say is that since I am getting older my idea about safety around horses has changed. When I was a kid it was no decision, you must wear and helmet and boots and that was that. Then as I got older I might just leave the helmet if it was hot and I was trailriding.
Now I give lessons to mostly novice riders and some people who just want to go for a "ride." I am amazed at how many people arrive with sandals even after they have been told to at least wear close toed shoes.
Some adults try to wriggle out of the helmet but for kids no way. Thank goodness. The other day a young girl (good rider) had a horse spook and her saddle slipped (horse blew up bad,it was western saddle) she fell underneath horse who turned to run back to barn and nicked her helmet with her hoof.
So glad she was wearing one!!! What I am saying is that especially if there are young riders around or students older more senior riders should really set an example. Wearing sandals while working with or around horses is not a good example (hey if no kids around do what you feel is okay for you)
Yes western riders don't usually wear helmets when they are showing at least but the show helmets I wore as English rider when I was a kid were also just for "show." No real protection.
Yes you can get hurt with all the proper gear, but better safe than sorry.
Horses are dangerous, no way around it and taking proper precautions is so important. Just had to put my opinion out there
Thanks for listening, discussion and differing opinions welcome as this is the appropriate place.