Charles Owen lead the way in protection !

One of the most important decisions riders will ever make is the decision to wear a helmet every time they ride. Riders wear helmets for a very specific reason - to keep themselves safe in the event of a fall from their horse. In order for the helmet to do its job it needs to meet the safety standards outlined by the various international agencies, fit properly, and utilise the latest technological innovations. Choosing to wear a helmet and to wear the right one can literally save your life.

What should you look for in a helmet?

Helmet safety starts with the fit of the helmet. A helmet that doesn't stay properly fitted on your head won't be able to protect you from injury in a fall. Like people, helmets come in different shapes and sizes. With the help of a trained helmet fitter, you will be able to find the helmet that best fits your head. The new helmet should be a snug fit, as it will mould to the shape of your head as you wear it, and it should never rock backwards, forwards or sideways. The helmet needs to be comfortable because if it isn't you are less likely to wear it, and the helmet can't protect you from an injury if it isn't on your head.

Once you have found a type of helmet that fits properly, you can choose the style that bests fits in line with the type of riding you do. Different disciplines require helmets to meet or exceed certain international standards. Some companies certify their helmets to multiple standards, but it is best to check the rules of your discipline for their standards and certification mark requirements before purchasing.

In addition to the helmet meeting the standard and cerification, disciplines use different types of helmets. For example, if you are an eventer you will need a jockey skull for cross-country while if you focus on dressage a velvet or suede helmet would be most appropriate.

How does a helmet work?

Different helmet manufacturers utilise a variety of technologies in their helmets to protect your head from injury. However, there are three main parts of a helmet that protect your head from injury: the outer shell, the inner polystyrene, and how it secures to your head.

If you fall off of your horse and your head hits the ground, the energy from the speed before impact to the quick stop has to go somewhere. Without the right helmet that amount of energy transferred to your brain can cause a serious injury.

The first line of defence from injury starts with the outer surface of the helmet which deflects the energy by sliding and can be enhanced by the various textures, i.e. siliconised velvet, suede, or specially textured painted shells. The focused area of impact is spread by the hard shell and deflects the energy over the helmet's surface so you don't end up with a big bruise or worse in one location on your head. Next, the tiny bubbles in the special grade expanded polystyrene absorb as much of the remaining energy as it can; helping slow and cushion your brain so that it doesn't receive a big jolt as your head slows from very fast to zero in around five thousandths of a second. Finally, the inside of the helmet has to grip the head to ensure the helmet stays on your head and in place - that is where the proper fit and secured harness comes into play. If the helmet has done its job properly all the parts will have worked together to prevent a serious injury.

Over the past several years, helmet safety has really come to the forefront within many riding disciplines. Rules have been set in increasing amounts by organisations requiring participants to wear properly fitted and certified helmets. The focus on head injuries is not just limited to the equestrian world and is driving much research and technological innovations.

Hat fitting at Townfields Saddlers

Townfields offer a professional hat fitting service at the major shows on our tradestand and Instore.

Great care is taken over the fit and style needed. Come and see us and we can help you.

Riding Hat prices start from £53.95 for a Charles Owen Kids Own Skull. Take a look at the following link



10th June 2014

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