Just look through any horsey magazine and you will see pages of clothing and fashion advertisements for equestrians. What is appropriate when riding and what is acceptable?
When riding, safety is the primary consideration. Whether you are out hacking or taking a clinic from a national level coach safety should be your prime consideration. Remeber your helmet is your friend. It should be safety approved and have an ASTM approved or SEI approved sticker or identification on it. The ASTM and SEI identification is easy to see and new helmets sold are required to have approvals. Un approved helmets should be tossed and removed from the stable and not worn for protection.
Fitting your helmet should not take too long but a proper fit is necessary to ensure that you will be protected in the case of a fall. To fit a helmet properly it must be snug on your head. Not so tight that it cuts off circulation but snug enough that it has little or no movement when you grab the brim.
The helmet itself should fit just above your eyebrows. You should be able to fit 2 fingers between the bottom of the helmet and the top of your eye brows. If you can fit more than this then your helmet is too high on your head and will not protect the necessary areas. If your helmet is to high it will sit on the top of your head and not protect your head properly. This may also be an indication that the helmet is too small.
A too big helmet will appear to float on your head. This is oftenseen in dangerous situations when parents give children a “pony ride” and place an adults size helmet on their child’s head in hopes to provide some protection. Get a helmet that fits properly and offers protection.
The classic color is black, but there are several choices that offer protection and come in comfortable colors for summer hot weather riding. Tan, white or even trendy covers are available to add some flash to an otherwise drab necessity.
Price can vary from $60 to $500 so some investigation can be necessary.
The GPA Speed Air Evolution Riding Helmet clocked in at $569. The Troxel brand also offers a western option and offers proven protection for around $100. In any event a protective helmet should be worn.