I had a young warmblood horse who could be spooky at times. I was flatting him with my trainer and he spooked and took off. I was unable to stop him before he got to the edge of our indoor arena where the sand meets brick. He stopped abruptly, dropped a shoulder and flipped me in front of him. On the way he kicked me on the back of my head and stepped on my chest and foot.
I have no memory of this or the week after. My helmet saved me, the back was completely dented in. I did sustain a skull fracture, a subdural bleed and possible compression fractures in my neck vertebrae. I had to work for almost 2 years to rebuild my short-term memory and was in physical therapy for almost 3 years. I am still nervous while riding and ride the calmest school pony my trainer has. I know without my helmet I would not be here or been able to complete an additional degree in biology after. No excuses, wear a helmet!