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The GO Outdoors Guide To Horse Riding Helmets

When you’re riding you need protective headwear to protect you from falls, impact, and accidents.

 Horse riding can be particularly dangerous on roads, but helmets should be worn for all horse riding activities, from show jumping to general riding and stable work. 

Helmets comprise of: 

  • An outer shell  made from ABS plastic or glass fibre
  • A polystyrene liner
  • Foam padding
  • An internal fabric lining

The outer shell  serves 2 purposes:

1. To stop any sharp objects from penetrating the hat/skull
2. To spread the energy from an impact over a larger surface

The polystyrene liner absorbs the energy from the impact, causing the beads tocrush together and helps to reduce bruising to the brain.In simple terms, the liner becomes crushed as opposed to your head. 

The foam padding provides comfort for the wearer.

The fabric makes the hat look neat and tidy on the inside.


Fitting a Horse Riding Helmet

Make sure that the buckles of the Horse Riding Helmet are secured, but not too tight. 

Your horse riding helmet should be secure enough to allow you to look up, down,and to the side without movement, yet it should not restrict you. This snug fit should be achieved without the use of a chin strap and is focused on the forehead. 

The chin strap and the back straps should be the final stage of fitting and should provide a small amount of grip, the bulk of the fit being provided by the helmet. Hats are generally quite firm, so allow for this when you try them on. 

If there is a tough choice between two fits, pick a closer fit as opposed to a loose fit.

  1. Measure your head with a tape measure in Cm’s (Place the tape measure 1/2 an inch/13mm above the eyebrows, skim the tops of the ears and take it round to the fullest part of the head. Smooth your hand over thick hair to find the fullest part of the head).
  2. Choose a helmet in this size range
  3. (Remember when fitting styles with more padding and less vents you may need a bigger size than the size measured.)
  4. Position the helmet around 13mm above the eyebrows.Press down until it is in the correct position on the head. It may feel snug, especially if your old foam helmet had loosened and worn in. 
  5. You should be able to feel the top of the hat on the top of their head. If not, the hat/skull may be too small, therefore repeat the previous steps with the next size up.
  6. Gently rock the hat. You need to ensure there is a vacuum on the front fitting, so you feel suction as it is lifted off, or that your eyebrows move up and down when the hat is rocked back and forth. This is critical to the fit. 
  7. Check for space at the front of the temples.
  8. (A little room at this point prevents headache from occurring).
  9.  Check the space at the back of the hat/skull.There may be a little space here which is not as critical as the front area. However too much room is a negative. 
  10. Adjust the harness. Begin with the front strap ensuring a snug fit underneath the chin. (Never on the chin).Then adjust the back strap.
  11. (These two fastenings are there to ensure the hat/skull you have fitted does not fall off and also keeps it in the correct position on the head whilst riding).

Horse Riding Helmets


Measurement

riding hat size

skull cap size

49cm 6 000
50cm 6 1/8
000 1/2
51cm 6 1/4 00
52cm 6 3/8 00 1/2
53cm 6 1/2" 0
54cm 6 5/8 0 1/2
55cm 6 3/4
1
56cm 6 7/8
1 1/2
57cm 7 2
58cm 7 1/8
2 1/2
69cm 7 1/4
3
60cm 7 3/8
3 1/2
61cm 7 1/2
4
62cm 7 5/8
4 1/2
63cm 7 3/4
5


 

Riding Helmet Regulations


The Regulations created in 1992 have defined Safety Approved Horse Riding Helmets as helmets that conform to the following safety standards:

BS EN 1384:1997 
PAS 015:1994 
PAS 015:1998 
  
Helmets that meet British Standards (BSI) are marked with a design called the kite mark, their own trademark of quality assurance so you can be visually assured of it's safety. 

 European standard compliant hats are marked with the standard of BS EN 1384.

Horse Riding Helmet Care

  • Remember to wear your Horse Riding Helmet as you work with your horse or handle it as horse can kick. 
  • Replace your Horse Riding Helmet if it suffers an extreme impact as this can decrease the effectiveness of the inner protective foam.
  •  As the padding compresses through use, and factors such as sunlight can break down the construction, you should replace your Horse Riding Helmet every 3 years.
  • Dropping the hat/skull, or allowing it to roll around in the car etc. can cause damage.This damage would not be visible on the outside, however internally the polystyrene will have crushed slightly and therefore would not be protecting the wearer completely as it should.
Both Rule 34 of The Highway Code and The Horses (Protective Headgear for Young Riders) Act 1990 has specific guidelines on horse riding helmet usage and this ‘requires children under 14 years old to wear protective helmets when riding a horse on the road.’ 

 This advice should be taken for adults as well to ensure safety during a fall or a collision.
Both Rule 34 of The Highway Code and The Horses (Protective Headgear for Young Riders) Act 1990 has specific guidelines on horse riding helmet usage and this ‘requires children under 14 years old to wear protective helmets when riding a horse on the road.’ 

 This advice should be taken for adults as well to ensure safety during a fall or a collision.
Both Rule 34 of The Highway Code and The Horses (Protective Headgear for Young Riders) Act 1990 has specific guidelines on horse riding helmet usage and this ‘requires children under 14 years old to wear protective helmets when riding a horse on the road.’ 

 This advice should be taken for adults as well to ensure safety during a fall or a collision.
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