When it comes to riding equipment, your helmet is one of the most important components.
In recent years, studies have shown that riders who fall off have much better chances of escaping serious head injuries than those riders who do not. Furthermore, most farms, shows, and lesson programs require riders to wear an approved helmet at all times when mounted.
Different Types of Helmets
Whether you just need a helmet for schooling or show, you’ll be able to find a helmet to fit your needs.
That being said, one of the most important things to keep in mind when looking for a helmet type is that a helmet is ASTM approved, which means that the helmet meets certain safety regulations that make it suitable for protecting against potential head injuries sustained while riding. In most cases, all english riding helmets are ASTM approved, with the exception of hunt caps.
- Traditional velvet/velveteen show helmets: Based on the older style of riding helmet, velvet and velveteen show helmets are classy and sophisticated, but when compared to recent helmet designs, may not be quite as well ventilated. These ageless helmets are available in a wide array of price ranges.
- Skull caps: Skull caps are most commonly used by cross country riders and jockeys. Designed to be lightweight and durable, skull caps are designed without a visor for increased visibility. While trendy for eventers and jockeys, skull caps are less common in other english disciplines.
- GPAs and others: In the last 10 years or so, helmet design has significantly improved. Helmet brands such as GPA, Troxel, Charles Owen and others, are now making helmets that are trendy, lightweight, and well-ventilated. These helmets can be found at prices as low as around $60, to helmets priced at $300 and upwards.
How to Know Which Helmet is Right For You
When trying to decide what helmet type is best for you, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration.
- Riding discipline and use of helmet: An important factor in choosing your helmet, what you’re going to use your helmet can make a big difference in what type of helmet would be right for you. For example, if you know that your primarily plan on trail riding, a simple Troxel helmet may be the right choice. On the other hand, if you plan on doing a lot of showing, you may want to look at brands such as GPA and Charles Owen.
- Size and fit: Probably the most important factor of choosing the right helmet, a comfortable fit should be the most influential factor in your decision. When sizing your helmet, the helmet should fit snuggly enough to stay in place, but not be so tight that it’s uncomfortable. Overall, your helmet should be secure and comfortable on your head.With a little time spent browsing and trying to different helmet types, you’ll be well on the way to finding your ideal helmet.