OK. So stop riding. It is the only way to be safe. For the family.
That's not what I was implying. I said horse riding is a dangerous sport. So why not minimise the risks?
Why is it so hard to conceive that some people ENJOY riding without a helmet more than with? Some enjoy riding in an English saddle instead of Western or Australian. Some enjoy breaking young horses, or training difficult horses. Some enjoy jumping. Some enjoy working cattle. Some enjoy trail riding alone. All of those involve increased risk - so should all those folks stop? For their families?
That's fine, enjoy riding without a hat. Individuals riding without a hat does not, in any way, affect my life. It may affect someone else's though, which was the point of my post.
If you choose not to wear a helmet, then you increase your risk of cranial injury or death depending on the type of fall. Just like if you do more dangerous type of riding...say three day eventing over trail riding. The risk gets exponentially larger with the type of activity but that risk becomes even larger with the addition of something like not wearing a helmet. People can choose to undertake more risky activities, but they can also choose to minimise the risks of the activity. For instance, three day eveners wearing body protectors. Or people using safety stirrups. Or...people wearing helmets.
My mare is far more likely to end up killing me than either of my geldings. Should I sell her? For my family?
Well, that's your decision but you might take steps to minimise your chance of injury, such as riding her differently and being more aware of how she is before riding.
BTW - I spent most of my adult life strapped into ejection seats. Flying was my love. I didn't do it for the money. I honestly didn't do it for patriotism. I did it for the love of it, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Risky, perhaps, but I sure wish there was a need for aging, bifocal-wearing, hard-of-hearing old farts to fly jet fighters (or be a WSO/EWO in one, as I was)...they could demote me to 2LT if they would let me come out of retirement and fly. Screw the risk.
I was a civilian pilot and my husband is a Tornado GR4 pilot. Yes, it's risky. Then again every pilot goes through pre flight safety check, walk arounds, etc. My husband has an ejection seat, he has a life jacket, he uses oxygen at high altitude, he has cockpit instrumentation, etc. All designed to not only keep the aircraft working but also through years of research designed to protect and possibly save his life. Not having the use of something would dramatically increase his risk of injury should he have an accident.
You could (theoretically) decide not to fly with an emmersion suit in winter, as it's hot and bulky in a cockpit. If you jet then ditches in the sea you have a much higher risk of dying than if you were wearing the emmersion suit. We undertake dangerous activities everyday, but we also find ways and means to make them safer and minimise the potential effects of an accident.