How to Select Best Horse Riding Helmet: 10 Tips for Finding Your Ideal Riding Helmet
So, you’ve decided to start horseback riding, and need a helmet. Or, perhaps you’re already an equestrian, but need a new helmet. It can be hard to know how to select a horse riding helmet. Simplify the process with these 10 tips for finding your ideal riding helmet.
1. Start with the facts.
Measure your head before you start helmet shopping to determine your ideal horse riding helmet size. It will save you time and aggravation when trying them on, or ordering online. Helmet companies provide instructions for how to measure your head. Here’s an example for the Tipperary Sportage helmets. Note that different helmet manufacturers may have different measurement instructions.
2. Take care with your hair.
Hairstyle affects horse riding helmet fit. Make sure you measure your head using whatever hairstyle you’ll use when wearing a helmet.
3. Get certified.
Each country has different regulations and safety standards. For example, in USA and Canada it’s hard to find a helmet these days that isn’t ASTM-approved and SEI-certified. So it's important to be aware of required safety standards & certifications in your country and to look for the labels before making a purchase.
4. Try them on.
Go to a tack shop, horse expo, or some other place where you can try on many different styles if possible. This will help you determine the shape and style that works best for you. If that’s not possible, consider asking a couple of friends to try on their helmets before making a purchase decision.
5. Check the shape.
Speaking of shape, all of us have a unique shape to our heads, and a helmet that looks great on one person may not be ideal for another. Trying on helmets helps identify the shape that works best for you.
6. Keep it centered.
The helmet should be placed so it’s sitting straight. You should have the width of two fingers between your eyebrows and the helmet.
7. Keep it snug.
The chinstrap needs to be snug around your chin without impeding movement. Too often we see chin straps hanging loose; that won’t be helpful in an unplanned dismount.
8. Shake it out.
Shake your head back and forth while wearing the helmet. If the helmet moves, it doesn’t fit correctly.
9. Wear it for a while.
Let’s face it; you’ll be wearing the helmet for longer than two minutes when you ride. Consider wearing it for a while to determine if it will still be comfortable halfway through your ride, or give you a headache.
10. Style and color matter.
This may seem counterintuitive, but stay with us, here. If you don’t like the helmet, you are far less likely to put it on when you go riding. So pick a style and color that appeals to you, consider to match your helmet with other riding equipment you have, such as your riding boots!
The process to find a horse riding helmet should be fun! It will be less stressful if you prepare by measuring your head to help find the right helmet. Look at photos of other equestrians in their helmets and see if certain styles or types appeal to you. Finding your ideal riding helmet is an important part of the equestrian journey, and will keep you safe and able to enjoy the ride.