Whether you’re a child or an adult, safety is a very important part of horse riding. In the event of a fall, injuries are most likely to occur to the upper body and head. Wearing a riding hat or helmet is compulsory in horse riding centres and competitions. Here are our tips to help you choose your riding helmet and stay safe while you ride.
The Riding Helmet: Essential Protection when Horse Riding
Regardless of which riding helmet you choose, it should always comply with current regulations in your country. All Fouganza riding helmets comply with these standards and are regularly checked during production to ensure there are no defects.
The main purpose of a riding hat is to absorb shocks that can cause a head injury. The most frequently used material is expanded polystyrene, which becomes distorted in the event of an impact to best protect the protected area, similar to a car bumper.
But just because a riding helmet is mandatory, it doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable and pleasant to wear. Today, there are riding hats in a variety of designs, from traditional velvet to more technical models with modern finishes. In recent years, comfort has been placed in the front and in the centre. Today’s riding helmets feature extremely comfortable foam padding and ventilation systems to keep your head cool.
The usage of the term riding “hat” has been reduced. Today, riding “helmet” is becoming more common.
There are two basic riding helmet families based on riding style and level.
The Different Types of Riding Helmet
All riding helmet models provide the same level of protection. Prices of helmets vary depending on other criteria, such as comfort, ventilation, finish, low weight, etc. There are two basic families of riding helmets:
Adjustable head size riding helmets
Riding helmets with an adjustable head size feature a dial or an elasticated strap for adjustments. They come in sizes S, M, L etc. (e.g., S = 48 to 52 cm, M = 52 to 56 cm and so on). The size can be increased or decreased by up to 4 cm. These riding helmets are practical because children can wear them for longer as they grow. They are also a great solution for occasional riders or when several family members want to use the same riding helmet.
One-size riding helmets
One-size riding helmets are “traditional” riding helmets for which the size cannot be adjusted. You have to choose the size that corresponds to your head size in centimetres. You should choose a model that fits your head perfectly, both in terms of the shape and the size.
Different Types of Ventilation
When making your choice, consider the weather conditions in which you ride. If you tend to ride in warm weather, or your head sweats easily, choose a well-ventilated model for improved comfort. If, however, you often ride in the rain, think about how long it will need to dry and avoid fabric coverings.
Choosing the Right Size
You’ll then need to make sure the riding helmet fits your head and under your chin perfectly. It is fairly easy to determine if the size of a riding helmet is right:
– Around the head: the riding helmet should fit perfectly around your head, without any space between your head and the sides of the helmet. It should not be too tight either, but should stay in place when you move your head.
– At the forehead: the visor or rim of the riding helmet should come down to just a few centimetres above your eyebrows and your entire upper forehead should be covered.
– At the chin: the chin strap should fit snugly so that it doesn’t slip over your chin, but should be loose enough to not hinder your neck movements.
– Choose your riding helmet type: adjustable or one-size.
– Choose the model design.
– Choose your size by measuring your head circumference and refer to the size chart on each product.
– Adjust the chinstrap on your riding helmet to keep it from moving.Replace your helmet in the event of an impact to the head.
Caring for your Riding Helmet
Now that you’ve found your riding helmet, here are a few tips to help you care for it.
– To limit dirt and scratches, you should store and carry it in a carry bag for this purpose.
– Clean the inside regularly (due to perspiration). Most riding helmets have a removable inner hat or foam pads that can be machine washed at low temperatures. You can also use a spray cleanser for riding helmets.
– Do not expose your riding helmet to heat sources (e.g., the back seat of a car in the sun). This can damage the polystyrene and reduce its protective performance.
– Lastly, remember that your riding hat must be replaced after any fall or major impact. Even if the helmet appears fine on the outside, it may have been damaged on the inside which can make the helmet less or not at all effective in the event of another fall. Avoid dropping your riding helmet when you’re not wearing it and keep it in a safe place where it won’t fall or suffer an impact. when riding, you may want to opt for a body protector designed to protect your spinal column.
For more safety when you’re riding, you may want to opt for a body protector designed to protect your spinal column.