Whether you’re looking to replace your existing helmet or it’s your first time buying a helmet, we’ll walk you through measuring, sizing, and fitting your riding helmet.
Helmets can reduce the risk of horse-related fatal head injuries by 70 – 80%1 so this highlights the importance of wearing a properly fitting riding helmet for all equestrian activities.
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The Horseback Riding Helmet Guide - How to Choose and Fit a Riding Helmet
Helmets can reduce the risk of horse-related fatal head injuries by 70 – 80%1. This highlights the importance of a properly fitting riding helmet for all equestrian activities. Whether you’re looking to replace your existing helmet or it’s your first time buying a helmet, we’ll walk you through measuring, sizing, and fitting your riding helmet.
With many brands and styles to choose from, the best riding helmet is one that fits properly and is certified to meet the current safety standards created by the ASTM, tested by the SEI. When evaluating helmets, look for helmets that are ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) /SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) certified.
While there are helmets with dual certifications for the US and European standards, for most riders, a single certification is all that is needed to demonstrate a helmet’s safety. Additionally, looking for specific safety features, like crash replacement programs, dial-fit, and MIPS technology can help you narrow your search for the right helmet. Learn more about the protection for rotational falls provided by MIPS helmets by reading below.
When Do I Need to Replace My Current Riding Helmet?
Every helmet has unique styling and features, with many options being developed by manufacturers every year. Helmets come in matte finish, glossy finish as well as velvet – each being appropriate in different riding disciplines and classes. Styles can be trendy in each discipline, such as bling in dressage, wide brims in hunters, and colorful designs in western helmets. Be sure to check if your helmet style will be appropriate for the type of riding you do, and if you plan to show or exhibit your horse while wearing it.
Skull caps (or jockey skulls), seen in cross country events, are designed to not have a fixed peak or brim, and cover more of the rider’s head for safety. These helmets often are worn with added silks or helmet covers, which offer a soft sun brim and stylish pom poms.
Adjustable helmets are not just for kids anymore. Brands are offering helmets that have dials that allow you to tighten or loose the helmet’s fit, helping to further customize your helmet to your head shape. If you ride with your hair up and then sometimes down, these helmets can help your helmet fit properly.</p> <p>Low profile and lightweight helmets are also on the market, allowing you a helmet that doesn’t give you a “bobble-head” appearance, and still has all the safety features. With advancements in design and materials, manufacturers are offering styles that flatter and protect every rider.
Comfort and Protection
Riding helmets come with a variety of features that help make the helmet more comfortable to wear for the rider. Wider, sun-shielding brims are popular for those needing additional UV protection. If you have a helmet without an extended visor or brim, you can add visors specifically for riding helmets, with a popular one being the EquiVisor.
Additional ventilation and cooling are features to consider as keeping your head protected and cooled in hot weather can be achieved. Helmets with larger ventilation slots help to allow heat and moisture to escape the helmet and keep the rider more comfortable, as opposed to a completely enclosed helmet shell.
MIPS Equestrian Helmets
Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), is an internationally recognized safety feature for riding helmets offering additional protection for rotational falls. This feature is in addition to ASTM/SEI certification and is available in many helmet brands and styles.
Read to learn more about equestrian helmets by visiting The SmartPak Riding Helmet Guide
Press release by SmartPak