9 riding helmet safety tips
1. The safest helmet is the one that best fits your head.
This isn’t necessarily the most expensive helmet, and it always pays to be professionally fitted when purchasing a new one!
2. Try lots of different helmets on when shopping for a new one.
Even within the same brand, each model will fit differently depending on head shape and size.
3. Always buy a snugly fit helmet.
A new helmet should give a snug, even pressure around your entire head as it will mold to your head shape the first few times you wear it.
4. Keep your helmet clean and out of the heat.
Extreme heat will melt the high-grade polystyrene layer in the helmet, so be sure to never put it in the dishwasher, store it in a hot car, or let it sit out in direct sunlight. Only use products specifically made for helmets to keep it clean.
5. Helmets should be replaced after a fall in which you hit your head.
Every impact causes the microbubbles in the expanded polystyrene layer of the helmet to burst. This is what protects your head in the event of a fall, but it means that part of the helmet won’t offer the same protection if you fall on it again.
6. Don’t borrow or lend your riding helmets.
Your helmet is designed to mold exactly to your head, so if another rider wears it, it will break in to fit theirs and might be too loose once you have it back.
7. Putting your hair up under your helmet will affect the fit.
If you have long hair and ride with it up only occasionally, you might need a second helmet. Otherwise, your helmet will be too big for your head when your hair is down. When you do put your hair up, make sure that the hair tie is low on your head and not inside the helmet to avoid any pressure points.
8. Only wear a certified equestrian helmet.
Helmets designed for other sports, such as bicycle riding, don’t offer the same type or area of protection that a riding helmet does. Riding helmets are certified to equestrian safety standards, and the more standards a helmet is certified to, the wider range of accident scnearios it protects against.
9. Wear your helmet while handling horses at all times.
Horses can be unpredictable and you are at risk of head injury while handling them on the ground as well as in the saddle. Wearing a helmet while turning horses out, lunging, and grooming can provide an extra degree of safety for all equestrians.