Choosing a helmet is a very important decision. A good fitting helmet can prevent head injury during a fall and can even save your life.
First off, you want to make sure that you have chosen a certified equestrian helmet. Equestrian helmets are designed differently and protect more of your head than the popular bicycle helmet. A helmet should be certified by the American Standard of Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).
Fit of the helmet is also very important. Too tight and it will be uncomfortable and may not cover as much of your head as it should. Too loose and it will flop around and can shift out of place during a fall. The helmet should fit snug and secure and not move around when you shake your head, even if it is left unclasped.
Most tack stores carry a wide range of helmets in many different styles and price points. I don’t recommend shopping by price, however. While the crazy helmets that are priced upwards of $1000 are just specialty materials and somewhat of a novelty, there is a big difference between helmets priced at $30 and those priced around $100. The more expensive helmets fit more comfortably, have a sleeker design, and offer more protection, simply because they are better constructed. You can tell the difference as soon as you put one on, which I point out in the video.
My personal favorite are the GPA helmets, but these do cost more, about $300. Charles Owens and IRH are also excellent brands that make a quality built helmet in the $150 – $200 range. I would recommend going to a store and trying on several helmets, so that you can feel the difference between the price ranges and you can find one that is a great fit for you.
I actually created this video for my riding course, but I decided to pull it out and share it with you! In the video, you will see you to correctly fit a helmet and you can also see firsthand the differences between helmet types. Enjoy!