Today I decided to ride Cloud, a rescue mare I have had for a year. The thought of not wearing a helmet actually crossed my mind, but I put my trusty older Troxel on before mounting. Admittedly, I haven't ridden this horse in 6 months and she has a lot of emotional baggage. She was quiet tacking up and willingly flexed her neck to both sides and backed when asked. She also let me lead her to the arena with no problem.
I got on the mounting block and put weight in one stirrup, quiet horse. Laid my weight across her back and she didn't move. I eased into the saddle and she stood still. As we walked off, she reared and then became a rodeo bronc.
I knew emergency dismount was called for and I landed a full frontal body plant in the muddy arena. The horse went over me and stepped on the back of my head. I have a sore elbow and a bump on my head and my helmet has a hoof print and a scrape. Better the helmet than my head! Head injury averted thanks to my Troxel!