All of us here at Nayborly Farms wear helmets when we ride. Always! We don't need to read safety articles or check out horse accident statistics to know why it's important to wear a helmet, we've all had experiences that proved the point.
One day back when Nayborly Farms was located in Olympia, we were all riding alongside the Chehalis Western bike trail, a concrete pedestrian path. Kelsy was riding Arron, who at the time was 20 years old. Arron doesn't buck, he doesn't often spook, and as far as horses go he is the safest one on our property. Grandmas, children and dead beginners can ride him. Anyways, we were trotting single file on the grassy area next to the concrete and out of the blue Arron tripped and fell over. Kelsy fell next to him. Cheryl was riding next in line behind Arron on Gus, her 16.2 hand Thoroughbred. Everything happened so fast that Gus (who was in a forward extended trot) had absolutely no time to steer around Kelsy. I watched from behind as he trotted directly over the top of her, trying his best not step on her.
Miraculously, both Arron and Kelsy got up off the ground apparently no worse for the wear. It wasn't until a few minutes later that we all noticed the big hole in the back of Kelsy's riding helmet. At some point during the accident one of Gus' hooves must have smacked directly into the back of Kelsy's head. If she hadn't been wearing the helmet, the hole on the helmet would've been a hole in her head!
All three of us have had experiences where helmets helped or saved us. We have all fallen off, and we have all had horses fall under us on more than one occasion. It doesn't matter if you're jumping, riding in the arena, or out on the trail, unpredictable things can happen. You may be the most experienced rider on the most experienced horse, but that doesn't guarantee you will be 100% safe in every situation. Do yourself a favor and put on your helmet!