Did you know that riding helmets have a kind of best-before date? Most people probably know that a riding helmet should be replaced after a fall. Fewer people are aware of the fact that even a high-quality helmet that has never been involved in a fall should be replaced after eight years. After all, safety comes first when riding, no matter what age. At least it should, because no matter how long you've been riding or how well you know your horse, unexpected situations can always arise. Falls are simply a part of riding. There is a reason why riding helmets have become compulsory in high level dressage. Helmets are even becoming increasingly popular in western riding.
Unfortunately, when riding helmets are not compulsory, many riders tend not to wear them. Nowadays, though, a riding helmet does not have to be unsightly, uncomfortable to wear or even expensive. The latest innovations in comfort and functionality should win over even the most helmet-shy rider. On the whole, the weight and ventilation of the helmet play an important role. The general rule for riding helmets is: no matter what price range the helmet is in, they all comply with current safety standards. Some helmet models, such as the Uvex Exxential Mips or the Uvex Elexxion Tocsen, also have additional safety features. The difference in price is often due to certain extras, which mainly affect the wearing comfort of the riding helmet. Lightweight materials and good ventilation are especially in demand in summer, when temperatures rise outside. In winter, when it is quite common to wear a cap under the helmet, it is especially practical if the helmet can be adjusted in size or if the helmet lining is removable. Other special features available on certain models, such as the Uvex Suxxeed, include an antibacterial and washable inner lining. The ponytail cut is particularly suitable for riders with long hair, e.g. the Uvex Exxential, where the ponytail can be pulled through the helmet. A length-adjustable and softly padded chin strap rounds off a comfortable helmet. Like comfort features, there are hardly any limits to helmet design these days. Glittery models with either glitter or individual crystals stand out alongside helmets in matt, shiny or the classic suede look. There is something for every taste. In addition to our own brand, you can also find riding helmets from Uvex, GPA or Back on Track in our shop.
Which helmet is right for you depends on what you ride. In principle, you can use a modern helmet for any riding discipline, but certain helmets have become more common for the individual disciplines. The only thing you should not do is use an old helmet without a three-point attachment. Such a helmet offers no protection because it slips immediately in a fall or is completely loose.
A modern helmet, also called a classic riding helmet, is suitable for leisure, dressage and show jumping riders. For military or competition riding, which is nowadays also called eventing, there are special, particularly robust helmets that also protect the neck. Western riders usually prefer brown helmets with a rough surface and possibly with decorations. At show jumping, dressage riding and military competitions, wearing a helmet is compulsory.
Only a helmet that fits properly will protect the rider's head. Therefore, you should make the effort to find a helmet that is the right size for you. However, this is almost impossible without trying on the helmet. The decisive factor for the right size of helmet is your head circumference. Many manufacturers and online shops indicate the size of the helmet in either the usual hat sizes (e.g. 55) or as S, M, L etc..
However, most helmets can be adjusted slightly in size. In any case, the helmet should fit so that your ears are exactly in the side triangles where the chin strap is attached. When you shake your head, the helmet should stay in place even if the chin strap is open. On the other hand, it should not be so tight that it is uncomfortable.
There are various reasons for replacing a helmet. With children, a new helmet is usually necessary because the child has grown and the circumference of their head has increased.
The following applies to helmets for both children and adults: After a fall from a horse, the helmet should be replaced.
Even if you don't see any damage to the helmet, the material may have developed small, fine cracks - perhaps invisible under the lining. In the event of another fall, the helmet will break in these places, instead of protecting the rider's head. This can lead to additional injuries. Even without falls or with an unchanged head circumference, a riding helmet should be replaced every 10 years at most, but preferably after five. Every material wears out over time. This is especially true for helmets, which are exposed to different temperatures and weather conditions.