I'm proud to say that I've been riding with a helmet for 14 years now, and always advocate the use of helmets. Just over a week ago I was riding in the arena at my home, and my green-broke mare spooked and ran away with me. She fought my attemp at a one-rein stop and headed down the long side of the arena. I came off her right side and hit the panel fencing on my way down. The end result was 8 broken ribs and a punctured lung. Just yesterday I checked my helmet; it is bad ly broken, with the top separated from the rest of the helmet. Without a doubt, this helmet saved my life. Please use a helmet if you ride; there is obviously no downside to wearing one.