It is so tempting in this hot weather to not wear a hat. Hats are hot and sweaty, and they smell when you have sweated too much into them, but…they will save your life. Personally I would choose being sweaty, hot and smelly over being dead any day.
It’s simply not worth the risk. Always wear a hat to ride, and if you are dealing with any horse on the ground who is unpredictable, young, sharp or you don’t know very well, wear a hat for handling as well. Teaching a young horse to have it’s feet picked up, wear a hat. Turning more than one horse out at once, wear a hat. Teaching a nervous horse to load, wear a hat. Just got a new horse? Wear a hat. Not sure whether you should wear a hat or not – wear a hat.
Wear a properly fitted hat, with a harness. Get your hat checked at least every year, and certainly after any fall or kick. Your brain is far to valuable a commodity to risk it. Brain injury causes damage not only to the individual who has been injured but also to their friends and family who have to deal with the long term consequences of brain damage.
I know it tempting in the heat not to bother, but it only takes a moment and your life, and your family’s life can change irreparably. If you are struggling in the heat, considering riding at an earlier or later time of the day, or give your horse a few days off. Please be mindful of heat exhaustion and keep you and your horses safe during the heatwave. After all being hot is a temporary state, but being brain damaged is for life.