We can honestly say that a riding helmet is the most important piece of riding equipment as it saves our lives by preventing injury and death. Riding without your helmet can cost you much more than just a nice ride as head injuries are one of the biggest risks a rider is taking when riding without it. Whether you’re an amateur rider or a professional, you should never ride without equipment that is keeping you and your horse safe.
However, you can’t just grab any riding helmet and believe you’ll be safe from dangerous and potentially fatal head injuries. To be sure you’ve chosen the right helmet, check if it’s ASTM/SEI certified which means it passed rigorous guidelines for the protection of the human skull. The air bubbles in these type of helmet will help you reduce the force and damage in case of a fall. By choosing helmets that are not ASTM/SEI certified, you will not be provided with that level of protection.
So, wearing a high-quality helmet is a must! Here is what you have to know when talking about riding helmets.
Riding helmets tips
Learn everything about the risk of injuries. Knowing that not wearing a helmet all the time is risky is simply not enough, you have to know why. In other words, you have to be aware of what you are actually risking. In case of a head injury, there’s a possibility of cracking a skull or sustaining a gash if a horse’s hoof hits your head. Sound horrible, right? Well, there’s more. Many head injuries can actually injure your brain which means it can cause severe neurological problems and an extremely long recovery. The good thing is that all of this can be avoided if you just wear an appropriate helmet.
Make sure your helmet fits. It seems very simple to find a helmet that fits your head. However, there are several sizes of helmets and we all have heads with different shapes so it will take a helmet or two, or maybe three until you find the right one. That helmet you’ve been eyeing maybe doesn’t fit you at all. When trying it out, the helmet should sit comfortably on your head. In case your head is actually between two sizes, replace the pads inside with the thinner ones. Usually, you can find them with the same manufacturer.
Wear your hair down. If you have long hair, don’t put it under the helmet as it will make you feel uncomfortable. Also, if you put your hair under the helmet it can affect its safety function. Instead, fasten it at the nape of your neck so you can fully enjoy your riding moments.
Fasten your harness strap. Your helmet should have a sturdy harness strap bolted on so your helmet is secured to your head. Always properly latch your harness strap because if the helmet flies off your head, you will end up without your protective equipment. FIt it under your chin so it feels comfortable yet snugly.
Replace your helmet when necessary. If your helmet has fallen to the ground or you’ve tripped over it and it rolled over several times, it’s time to buy a new one. Don’t think of these situations as little, harmless accidents. They can cause you plenty of harm later when you’re horseback riding. When talking about the safety of your head and brain, you should never assume or ignore a thing. After all, a cost for your new helmet is definitely lower than all the therapy and treatment followed after an injury. Make sure you buy a new helmet every 4-5 years.
Keep your helmet away from the sun. Your helmet should be stored away from the direct sunlight or extreme heat or cold. Humidity is something you should avoid as well! Try to store your helmet at room temperature if you want to keep it safe and not to negatively impact its function. A helmet which doesn’t seem right anymore shouldn’t be used ever again. Also, this implies that when you store your helmet, you clean it as well.
All in all, you can’t put a price on your health and safety. Accidents that end in head or brain injuries can easily be avoided with the appropriate gear. As passionate riders, it’s our duty to take care of ourselves the same way we take care of our horses. Remember, it’s more than just sports, it’s a partnership!
Check our web store to shop helmets and let us know if we can assist you while shopping.
Remember to check out Oakford Stockfeeds for all your equestrian needs!