Ride Safe - Riding hat Essentials

16 Feb 2018

It’s the law for children to wear a riding hat, and it’s strongly recommended that all riders wear a correctly fitted and up to standard helmet. There’s no correlation between skill level and injury likelihood which means that professional riders are just as at risk from injuries sustained in a fall as amateur riders. Don’t take chances just because you’re no longer a novice even a fall from a standing horse can be disastrous and 20% of head injuries occur when on the ground, so always keep your helmet firmly in place until you have finished your session and stabled your horse.

When choosing a helmet, look for a BETA-trained (British Equestrian Trade Association) retailer who can advise you about fit and maintenance. While checking the fit of the helmet make sure you wear your hair in a style that you would normally ride in, and wear glasses if you need them when you’re out on your horse. A well-fitting hat should sit firmly on your head, above the eyebrows and ears. It shouldn’t rock from side to side or forward and back. It should be snug without being uncomfortable, with a small gap at the temples. It’s best to invest in your own new helmet, even if you don’t own your own horse, as a borrowed or second hand hat won’t necessarily fit and you won’t know its accident history.

You should replace your riding hat at least every 5 years, and immediately after a fall. Even if the helmet looks fine, there may be hidden damage to the polystyrene liner not visible to the naked eye. Helmets deteriorate over time due to exposure to heat, moisture and dust. Small knocks and drops can weaken the structure, even if they seem inconsequential at the time.

 

 

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