Some of you may remember the riding helmets of yesteryear – the hard shell, foam-lined, no ventilation, hard brimmed head protectors with an elastic chin strap and vinyl chin cup. Let’s face it, these “brain buckets” were not comfortable, nor were they stylish, and most of us dreaded wearing them.
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I can remember when I got serious about Eventing, and the community was also just getting serious about helmet safety. Most of my fellow Eventers and Pony Club friends wore the Caliente jockey helmet (skull cap) for protection.
It was a big step up from what we had before that – the elastic chin strap and the hard brim which could easily break your nose. We wore cute colorful covers with pom-poms on top for our Cross Country rounds and put a black silk cover on for Show Jumping.
The horse industry has learned so much since my time as a young Eventer, and now there are safety standards for helmets in all disciplines. All of the “stars” have their helmet stories, and helmets are more commonly worn by people across equestrian disciplines and even in the trail riding and pleasure community. Helmets are seriously cool these days!
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Riding Helmet Options for Today
Today there are many different riding helmet options for a variety of purposes. You can get really fancy (and pricey) choosing helmets with bling and decorative trim, or you can go pretty basic. Riding helmet options of today are designed for ultimate protection and comfort. Here are a few of the latest features, which really improve upon those helmets of yesteryear.
New Riding Helmets Are Lightweight with Lots of Airflow
No one wants a heavy helmet to throw you off balance, or one that makes your head so sweaty your hair gets plastered to your scalp and forehead.
The helmet of today is lightweight and designed with many air holes so air flows through your hair. The Tripperary Sporting Hybrid Riding helmet is designed with large vents to encourage air flow. Its lightweight Carbon Fiber Shell takes the concussion like a champ. Colored mesh options make this helmet fun to wear too. No more dreading putting on that helmet for a ride in the 100 degree heat!
Would you like air to flow under the visor and up through the foam to keep your head cool on hot days? The Samshield Miss Shield Shadow does just that – Samshield has bypassed the necessity for shell vents with the incorporation of their innovative ventilation system that sends air flowing under the visor and up into the space between the shell and memory foam liner, keeping you cool and keeping your focus on your horse, not the heat! This helmet is also designed with an extended brim to provide extra sun shielding for your face.
Looking for a practical helmet option that won’t break the budget? The Ovation Deluxe Schooler is lightweight, provides great airflow to the head, has a breakaway visor to help protect your nose from taking the hit from the visor in case of a fall, comes in a variety of colors and looks great too!
New Riding Helmets offer Full Coverage
The drop down design of some helmets offer more protection to the back of the head, something that was seriously lacking in the “old days”. A helmet option with the drop down design is the Ovation Protégé which comes in cool metallic colors or matte.
New Riding Helmets Have Fun Patterns
Want to stand out in the crowd and be proud of your riding helmet. World Champion Barrel Racer Fallon Taylor designed the patterns and western motif designs for Troxel to allow you to make a bold statement no matter your discipline.
Feeling a little blingy or sparkly? Evening lights and bright sunshine will help you shine during your ride with a bling dancing on your riding helmet. The Ovation Glitz Sparkly Riding Helmet is your ticket to sparkly safety!
New Riding Helmets Help Keep Your Face Shaded
Today’s helmet chocies now include the classic look of a cowboy hat. Resistol RideSafe Western Straw Cowboy Hat keeps the iconic cowboy look, while providing protection for your irreplaceable head. Adjustable straps provide you with the perfect fit. You can even alter the brim for your unique look.
Extra-wide Sun Protection for Every Helmet
We all know that sun finds any uncovered area and shines away. Be sure your face and neck get the fullest coverage possible with a helmet visor. There are many color options and designs to fit your needs and riding style. Here’s a helmet visor that works with your helmet and lifestyle.
Classic Look with a Modern Touch
Still liking the classic look of the low-profile helmet for the show ring? The IRH IR4G helmet provides that timeless look with a few modern twists. Lightweight with strategically placed vents, a snap-in liner and easy clean shell make this a superb choice for the show ring.
A sleek injection-molded outer shell with discreet stainless steel ventilation panels boasts a professional finish to appeal to even the most discerning of fashion-forward equestrians. One K Defender Riding Helmet takes advantage of modern technology to ensure maximum safety while unique user-friendly features provide optimal comfort, durability, and ease of use.
Proper Helmet Fit and Adjustment is Important
Wearing a helmet is a good decision, wearing a properly fitted and adjusted helmet is a great decision. The most common adjustment issue I see is the placement of the side strap locks.
When this lock gets all the way to the chin clip it puts the security of the helmet staying on your head in a fall at risk. The lock should slide right under the ear on each side of your head. I see this worn wrong more often then I see it worn right.
Riding Warehouse covers how to correctly fit a helmet in this video:
As you can see, riding helmets are seriously cool these days. Upgrade the one you have or get your head covered starting today.
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