Your horse-riding helmet is one of the most important purchases you will make. You want peace of mind knowing that while you're horseback riding, you're as safe as you can be. If you read the head injury statistics associated with horse-riding, it will serve as a sobering reminder as to how important choosing the right helmet is.
Horse-riding safety is not the only important factor in choosing a helmet. There are other factors such as aesthetic and style considerations. All of this can be overwhelming, especially when there is so much choice.
What you need are these 7 tips for choosing the perfect horse-riding helmet. This article will help you narrow down your choice and identify what's right for you and your style of riding.
1. Start with Measurements
Your helmet is not the same as a baseball cap, where one size fits all. That's because the human head varies in size and shape. Researchers have found a positive correlation between height and weight with head circumference.
Since you’ll be wearing your helmet for hours at a time, it’s important to ensure a proper fit. We recommend having your head measured by a professional hat fitter to determine the optimal size helmet.
2. Check Certifications
Every country has its safety standards and specifications for the manufacture of helmets used in different sporting activities. In the U.S, the safety standard for horse-riding helmets is ASTM F1163-15. So whatever you choose, this standard is non-negotiable.
The '15' in the standard indicates 2015 was the last time the standard was updated. Remember that this is a minimum standard. So better quality materials and products will provide strength and protection beyond the minimum requirement.
3. Hair Matters
As much as heads differ in size and shape, so do hairstyles. It's a good idea to always style your hair the same way when wearing your helmet. When choosing a helmet, make sure your hair is styled in that same way.
Most often, the style of your hair is by your own choice. However, you should note that certain types of riding influence the dress and styling of the rider. So whatever type of riding you are doing, make sure your hairstyle is appropriate, and the helmet size takes that into account.
4. Think Head and Boots
Choosing a helmet shouldn't be all function and no style. After all, horse-riding is an expression of your style and passion for life. The color you choose will partly be dependent on the material of your helmet.
Whether you choose leather, felt, or some other material, it will also affect the look and style of your helmet. A great tip is to think about how your boots and helmet can match in color and style. This will give your overall style a sense of balance and completeness. Should you opt for a skull cap, you can fully customize your look by changing hat silk to match your riding attire.
5. Complement Your Face
To some degree, your head shape will influence your face shape. Even so, your face has many features that are not directly related to your head. The spatial relationship between these features determines your unique face.
What this means is that the same helmet matched to two similar-shaped heads will look different on those individuals. (This is why sometimes siblings will choose helmets that are quite different from each other, even though they share many genetic similarities. )
The bottom line is that you need to try on many helmets first to see how they look and if they complement your unique face shape. Aim for comfort, a good fit, and a style that suits your facial features.
6. Position and Stability
It's important to understand how your horse-riding equipment is used in harmony with its design. For example, your helmet should sit straight and evenly on your head. You should be able to fit 2 fingers above your eyebrows before coming into contact with the helmet brim.
As you ride, your head, neck, and back will be subject to a lot of movement. When you try a helmet on, make sure it is in the correct position, and then give your head a shake to see how stable it is.
7. The Air Up There
We're not talking about baseball, but we are talking about the airflow around your head. That will be affected by the type of venting that you choose in your helmet. You can opt for active venting, which will allow for greater airflow and is especially useful in hot weather.
An alternative is passive venting which tends to allow less air movement around your head. This suits a colder climate. You want to make the right choice because a hot or cold head will be a distraction.
If you like to ride in winter, then there are several important considerations for your horse as well. You may want to consider having more than one helmet so that you can make the best of all seasons.
Ideal Horse-riding Helmet
In this article, you've read about 7 Tips for Choosing the perfect horse-riding helmet. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll soon figure out what helmet styles and brands work for you. Remember that if you want your helmet to save a life, it shouldn't be worn for life.
You'll need to change your helmet every few years. This is good news in many ways, as it'll give you the opportunity to look for the next ideal horse-riding helmet. You may also need to change your helmet to align with the rules and regulations of specific disciplines.
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