A Brief Guide to Horse Riding Helmets
According to various statistics, the best way to reduce the incidence of head trauma during horseback riding is to wear an equestrian riding helmet. While a helmet may seem like an encumbrance and a hassle to some riders, the protection it provides is priceless. In this article, readers can learn about the design, care, and fit of horse riding helmets.
Horse Riding Helmet Design
Equestrian helmets protect riders in two ways. The protective shell reduces penetration by harmful objects, and the foam padding increases the stopping distance of your skull and provides cushioning for the head. Riding helmets that are designed for head protection, like Troxel riding helmets, are ASTM-approved and lab-tested to ensure they meet current safety standards.
Horseback riding helmets come in a variety of sizes, and while they use similar protective foam, they are different from other sports headgear. Equestrian helmets are designed with the intention to skid over harsh terrain and to absorb the impact caused by rocks and horse hooves. Additionally, these helmets are designed to be secured to the rider’s head while being light enough to not inhibit balance.
Properly Fitting a Riding Helmet
A helmet’s fit is directly linked to its effectiveness, and riders tend to use equestrian helmets more regularly if they are comfortable. It is advisable for riders to try multiple horse riding helmets before making a selection as various models fit differently. Some basic rules for helmet fitting are:
- The helmet should sit above the rider’s eyebrows and fit around his or her entire skull.
- It should be snug, but not so much that it is uncomfortable.
- Straps should be fastened comfortably and have little play.
- If a rider needs extra padding to make a helmet fit securely, they should choose a different model or a smaller size.
- Helmets stretch a bit with use, and an initially snug fit is important.
A well-adjusted, properly fitted helmet is highly likely to stay in place during a riding accident, will give the highest level of protection, and will be comfortable for the rider to wear.
Helmet Structure After an Impact
Because the riding helmet absorbs the brunt of an impact, the padding can become permanently damaged. Once the helmet has been in an accident, the padding condenses and may never regain its full shape making it less effective. Therefore, once a horseback riding helmet has been through a direct impact or fall it should be replaced. Moreover, over time, the protective foam deteriorates and becomes less effective. It is best for riders to replace their horse riding helmets every five years.
Horseback riding, while enjoyable, can be very dangerous. However, riders can minimize the risks with training and by wearing the proper protective gear. Research proves that a properly fitted helmet can reduce the severity and risk of brain injury as long as it is used correctly and consistently. By wearing a horse riding helmet, a rider can gain additional peace of mind.
Horse Riding Helmets Online
Below are some of my favorite picks for horse riding helmets that can be purchased online through Amazon. Amazon is one of the best online sources for riding helmets. The selection and prices cannot be beat. Check them out by clicking through. Happy shopping.
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