What to look for when shopping for an equestrian helmet and common questions answered.
The big question is …do you need an equestrian helmet while riding a horse?
There was a time in my life when I would’ve said no, but you know what they say. With age comes wisdom.
I think for me, personally, it’s more than that. After I became a mother, I thought a lot more about what would happen if something were to happen to me. Well, your priorities change when you have little people that depend on you.
I am a western rider and you rarely see a lot of western riders wearing helmets. Although, helmets are ubiquitous with the English riders. Why is that? I’ve always wondered. Both disciplines involve risk. While, I don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that I’ve decided it was time to get a helmet for myself.
In my research, I found a lot of helpful information that I wanted to pass on to you. So, if you are shopping for an equestrian helmet, or on the fence about getting one, then I hope this helps you in your decision.
Is an equestrian helmet really necessary?
Before we get started, I wanted to tell you a short story. I think we all have a frightening story about someone injured from riding a horse. Well, I do too, and I want to share it with you, not to frighten you, but to give you more information and another perspective.
It was a beautiful fall day. I was trail riding with my husband, my father, and a friend. We were having a great time and enjoying ourselves. You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day because the weather was perfect- sunny and warm, with a slight breeze. Everything was going great. That is- until it wasn’t.
My father had dismounted and put something in his saddlebag, and when he was mounting up again, his mule spooked and started bucking. My father must have hit his head when he hit the ground. Afterwards, he didn’t know where we were or how we got there. He didn’t even recognize our horses. He insisted he was fine, but we had to call for help. I knew he had suffered from a concussion, and luckily he was okay, but it did open my eyes to the risk of head injury.
I spent the rest of the afternoon with him in the Emergency Room where we found out he had broken his shoulder and had to have surgery. It could’ve been worse, I know that, and the most frightening part for me was how disoriented he was after it had happened. To this day, he doesn’t remember it. I don’t know what would’ve happened if he’d hit his head on a rock. I shudder to think of it.
If you’ve decided an equestrian helmet is for you, then I hope this guide helps you choose the right one.
a guide for shopping for an equestrian helmet and FAQs
Who Needs an Equestrian Helmet?
It is true, some disciplines are more dangerous than others, but anytime you are riding there is a risk of falling. Hunter jumpers and cross-country riders need more protection since they are flying over jumps. But the weekend pleasure rider needs protection as well. As do children and young people.
How to know if the helmet is safe?
You only want to purchase an equestrian helmet that is ASTM/SEI- certified.
How much money do I need to spend?
If you are pleasure riding, you can buy a certified helmet under $100. Of course, you can spend more and with more money usually comes more options such as padding, styling, and protection.
Can I ride in a bicycle helmet?
This is a legitimate question of many FAQs I found. The answer is no because they are not certified with the same guidelines.
Fitting your helmet
You want to measure your head and follow the sizing charts on the particular brand you are looking at. Troxel the brand I purchased came with two different styles of helmets.
The dialfit is just like it sounds. It has a dial in the back to adjust the fit of the helmet to your head. The nice thing about the dialfit is that you have a little more flexibility with the fit. So, if your hair is up or down, then you can adjust it depending on the day.
The surefit adjusts to the size and shape of your head for the perfect fit. It will be more comfortable for those long hours in the saddle.
All in all, it comes down to preference. I think both have pros and cons.
How long does an equestrian helmet last?
The industry standard is 5 years, but if you are in an accident, then you need to replace the helmet immediately.
what about seasonal riding?
For the warmer months the helmets are equipped with breathable mesh vents. They let air flow through and keep bugs out.
For the colder months you can purchase a winter headliner that will help keep you warmer by covering your ears.
I did a quick search on Amazon as well and I found that Ovation and Troxel were the top two most popular brands. Both brands were under $100.
If you choose to purchase the Troxel brand they have given my readers a 10% of code. Use coupon code HELMET at checkout. Visit their website here.
I hope this article answered most of your questions on how to choose an equestrian helmet.