Okay - here's the helmet part:
I ride alone most of the time way out in the woods and have had my share of crashes in the past. My husband often would come looking for me and in heavy woods a visual was sometimes difficult. So, I finally put my thinking hat on and bought a bright neon pink helmet and now anyone can see where the heck I am because it shows up easily. It's also convenient when people are looking to find you while riding. The same goes for a white helmet. Just something to mull over.
Now for the toes part:
Many horse riders work really hard at keeping their heels down and toes up. They end up getting leg cramps or stress in their joints, lots of weight in the stirrups, - and, of course, the discomfort transfers to the horse. Also, if there is a gait change, there is a change in foot position which messes up your balance and puts your feet way too far forward and down in the stirrup. So, here is a great trick: instead of heels down, simply do TOES UP.
It's much easier to do, uses a totally different set of muscles, and keeps your feet from changing position in the stirrup. On top of all that, you won't get muslce cramps and stressed joints and you won't have to concentrate so hard. Both you and your little darling will be much more comfortable. So, why not give it a try?