Embarking on equestrian riding requires a strong commitment to safety. As responsible adults, prioritize your well-being while mounting a horse, and a key aspect of that is selecting a well-fitted safety helmet. In this comprehensive review, we explore the world of horseback riding helmets, carefully testing and highlighting the top five options that seamlessly combine style, comfort, and, most importantly, the highest standards of protective functionality.
A helmet for horse riding serves as an essential protector of your safety when engaging in horse riding activities, whether in English or Western styles. The headgear provides a vital layer of defense, shielding your head from potential impacts and reducing the chances of serious injuries. International riding helmets play a critical role in minimizing the potential harm caused by unexpected falls or collisions.
Buying a riding helmet online for the first time may be overwhelming. There are dozens of helmet models, brands, and designs to choose from. In this article, we’ll focus on the 5 best horse riding helmets for adults.
Bestselling Horseback Riding Helmets Detailed Review 2023
After our thorough examination, we reveal the top five equestrian riding helmets that fit a range of budgets and riding styles.
1. Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding Helmet – Highly-Adjustable Gear
The Troxel Liberty is a schooling helmet that is loved for its flexible features. The product comes with a dial-fit system, so you can fit the helmet by using the twist dial and chin straps. There are some mesh vents on the helmet to provide better ventilation. Troxel helmets are ASTM-SEI certified, so it’s been protection tested. Lots of color designs and sizes are available, so you can pick the best equestrian helmet for women and men.
- Low profile helmet design.
- The padding is washable and easy to clean.
- Adjustable straps to fit a rider ideally.
- It comes with mesh-covered vents and a flexible visor.
- ASTM-SEI certified product.
- A solid sizing chart fits both adults and young riders.
The Troxel Liberty Riding Helmet could be an ace protective gear for the entire family (they produce some great horse riding helmets for kids too). Troxel is loved for its sturdy full-coverage design and adjustable straps. The mesh ventilation option makes it super cozy to wear during long rides.
- Perfect for schooling and all-purpose riding
- ASTM-SEI and CE-certified helmet
- Adjustable dial and chin straps
- Poor ventilation
2. Charles Owen MS1 Pro Skull Cap – Round-Shaped Helmet
The Charles Owen jockey helmet boasts MIPS technology, so it meets three international safety standards, which takes the gear to the frontline. The ABS outer shell provides a sleek design with a regular fit to suit a range of head sizes. A leather harness is another trinket that brings comfort while competing on a horse.
- The Charles Owen helmet features a sleek design that reduces bulkiness while providing optimal protection.
- With its 10 ventilation slots, the item guarantees optimal airflow to stay cool even during demanding rides or competitions.
- The MS1 Pro Skull Cap meets multiple safety standards, such as ASTM F1163-15, SEI certification, Kitemarks, and CE mark.
- The suede chin strap is designed with adjustability, enabling riders to achieve a customized fit.
- Charles Owen comes with a washable headband that is easy to replace when needed.
Charles Owen MS1 Pro Skull Cap stands out as an excellent option for adult riders who value safety and style. With its meticulous design, adherence to safety standards, and focus on comfort, it sets itself apart in the world of equestrian headgear. The gear is perfect for professional racers.
- Streamlined design
- Solid ventilation
- Great for English disciplines
- A bit pricey
- Doesn’t come with a cover
3. TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet – Best for Beginners
The TuffRider headwear is the best English riding helmet for those just starting out. It’s comfortable and has a low price tag, making it an excellent value for your money. The TuffRider helmet also comes in a variety of colors to match your style. The TuffRider Horse Riding Helmet comes with an ABS Outer Shell and a black EPS liner. The headgear is SEI certified, which is a great perk.
- The ABS Outer Shell is shock-resistant for added security.
- The black EPS liner provides more comfort.
- The SEI-certified helmet is tested before selling.
- The lining is easily washable.
- The gear comes with a detachable peak and an adjustable dial.
- ABS ventilation for keeping your head cool while riding.
The TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet is an outstanding option for beginner riders. The helmet is comfortable, well-ventilated, and reasonably priced. If you’re looking for a great entry-level horse riding helmet, the TuffRider headwear is an ace choice.
- Not expensive helmet
- Wearable with a ponytail
- Not certified by ASTM
4. Tipperary Equestrian Horse Riding Helmet – Enhanced Protection
The Tipperary Horse Riding Helmet is a durable jockey skull that’s designed to offer improved protection. The headgear is engineered with a high-impact ABS shell and features an EPS liner for impact absorption. The Tipperary helmet also has a quick-release buckle system and is adjustable to ensure a comfortable and snug fit. This horseback riding helmet is ASTM/SEI certified.
- The ABS shell is solid, and it comes with a lightweight design.
- The internal foam padding comes with suede pads for added comfort.
- The ventilation system is highly improved.
- The Tipperary helmet has a reflective strip and a visor.
- ASTM-SEI certified product.
- You can find a wide range of helmet sizes suitable for both men and women.
The Tipperary Equestrian Horse Riding Helmet is best for equestrians who participate in active sports and need added security. The helmet is made with a solid ABS shell and features a liner with pads for impact absorption. The handy quick-release buckle system makes it easy to take on and off. The Tipperary helmet is highly adjustable to ensure a comfortable and snug fit.
- Durable and tough
- Improved ventilation
- Carbon fiber design
- Fit dial is not adjustable
5. Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet – For Comfy Wear
The Ovation Schooler Helmet is a classic riding helmet with a modern twist. The helmet is made with a lightweight ABS shell and features an impact-absorbing foam liner. The headwear comes with an adjustable dial with a clip and a buckle. There are 11 mesh airflow vents for added comfort. Most horse riders choose this gear as their first schooling helmet.
- The Ovation helmet features a low-profile lightweight design.
- There’s an adjustable clip and a buckle for a custom fit.
- The headgear comes with 11 high-flow vents to stay cool.
- The removable liner is easily washable.
- The visor is also removable.
- ASTM-SEI certified helmet.
The Ovation Schooler Helmet is a great schooling helmet for beginner to intermediate riders. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and comes at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a certified horse riding helmet for a comfy ride, Ovation is the one.
- Rubberized helmet design
- Impact-absorbing foam liner
- Highly adjustable
- Weak visor
Top 5 Equestrian Riding Helmets Comparison
Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding Helmet
Charles Owen MS1 Pro Skull Cap
TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet
Tipperary Equestrian Horse Riding Helmet
Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Horse Riding Helmet for Adults?
Safety is of the greatest importance. Shop for sturdy headgear that will last for years. The item has to be made with durable materials. Fiberglass or plastic outer shell provides enough protection. It has a shock-absorbing feature that distributes the impact evenly in case of accidents. Besides, the outer shell protects the rider’s head from dirt, debris, and sharp objects on its way.
As for the inner padding, it makes the safety helmet more convenient to wear. Best helmets usually come with a low-profile design with little cushioning. That’s made to provide a snug fit and avoid a “mushroom head.”
Most riding hats come with a moisture-wicking lining. That’s a great feature, especially during the summer heat, to keep you comfy. The item is usually removable and washable, so you can change it at any time.
Safety is a vital aspect, but we also crave good-looking items. Lots of equestrian brands offer matching helmets, blankets, and saddles. There could be a discount if you purchase the whole set. Classy style is one of the best ways to get in the spotlight.
While choosing riding hats, make sure the size is proper. Helmet manufacturers generally provide a sizing chart. If you’re still hesitating about the shell size, you may contact customer service on their site to get help.
Proper sizing is one of the most important details. As it links to the rider’s safety directly. In case you pick the wrong helmet, it may sit tightly or loosely. The item could disturb you while riding and lead to an accident. Shop for a low-profile model with a dial-fit system. It will provide you with a sleek and snug fit.
Most headgear passes special tests to fit the safety standards. They can be approved over the country or internationally. Such items ensure the products are trusted and made with durable materials. The helmets reviewed in this article meet the US and European safety standards.
Improved airflow is a great plus while you’re in a saddle. Good ventilation will help you to withstand the summer heat. You’ll feel the difference right away when you put on gear with mesh vents for air cooling.
All the models reviewed have an easy adjustability system. You can quickly put on and take off the helmet without asking for help. Some of them even have a dial-fit system. It will provide you with a sleek and snug fit. The dial-fit system means that the best riding helmet will conform to the shape of your head.
Your riding experience is an important factor to consider when choosing the best riding helmet. If you are a starter, consider a schooling helmet that is designed for horse riding lessons. Beginners need more protection because they are more likely to fall off the horse. Experienced riders need a lighter and cooler helmet so they can ride for long periods of time without getting too hot.
The prices of horseback riding helmets vary depending on the features and brand. You can find a decent helmet for around $100. But if you want a top-notch model with the best features, you should be ready to spend over $200.
English vs Western Horse Riding Helmets
There are two main types of horse riding helmets: English and Western. English helmets are more common in dressage, show jumping, and eventing. They feature a sleek design and offer great protection for the rider’s head. Western helmets are more popular in rodeos and trail riding. They come with a wide brim that protects the rider from the sun and debris.
The Common Helmet Safety Certifications and Standards
Safety certifications for horse riding helmets are crucial to guaranteeing optimum protection while mounted. These certifications signify that the headgear has undergone meticulous testing to meet strict safety standards. Here are the most common certifications you can find when choosing a helmet.
The F1163 standard, developed by ASTM International (previously known as the American Society for Testing and Materials), is exclusively designed for equestrian helmets. This standard establishes guidelines for impact resistance, stability, retention system strength, and other crucial factors that ensure the safety of riders.
The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) is a separate entity that provides certification for helmets used in a range of sports, such as equestrian discipline. Helmets marked with SEI have successfully passed rigorous testing to meet the standards set by ASTM.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has introduced a standard for protective headgear used in horse riding. This standard, known as PAS015, outlines specific criteria, including requirements for impact resistance, retention, and penetration resistance.
Widely used in Europe, VG1 is a certification established by the European Equestrian Riding Helmet Standardization Committee. It establishes safety benchmarks for equestrian headgear, with a focus on impact protection, stability, and shock absorption.
Snell Equestrian Standard
The Snell Memorial Foundation has gained recognition for its stringent helmet testing criteria in numerous sports. The Snell Equestrian Standard specifically focuses on evaluating multiple impacts, replicating scenarios involving successive falls or collisions while the gear has been worn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Need a Horse Riding Helmet?
Any horse riding equipment is made in order to provide safety and extra comfort to the rider, both novice and expert. A horse riding helmet is not an exception. The gear is designed to protect your skull and brain from severe injuries in case of falling off a horse. A solid protective helmet has a shock-absorbing feature due to its design to reduce the impact on the rider’s head.
In addition, a riding helmet is made with durable and firm outer materials as well as thick inner padding to protect you from sharp and heavy objects during the ride. Moreover, in case of rainy weather, the gear can protect you from getting wet and dirty. In short, a horseriding helmet could come in handy in many cases. That’s why you should consider investing in one of them for sure.
How to Measure for a Horse Riding Helmet?
Use a common measuring tape that you usually use for taking measurements of your body. Put the tape around the widest part of your head, just above your ears, over your hair. When taking the measurement, it’s recommended to double-check it for better accuracy. Match your results with the size chart provided by the manufacturer of which helmet you’d like to order. To be totally sure you find the right helmet suitable for you, check the feedback that real people left about the gear so you can compare their experience.
How to Fit a Horse Riding Helmet?
In fact, different brands produce various riding helmet designs that fit people of different head shapes, so you have to take it into account as well. The perfect fit is the one when a helmet sits snugly, doesn’t wobble and slide, and the forehead and the back of your head are protected too. But the gear shouldn’t be placed too tight, so you can’t move your head and breath. Use straps and buckles to adjust the ideal fit of the helmet.
Moreover, when you get a brand new helmet, try to walk around with a helmet on your head for a while before you sit in a saddle. If you feel quite comfortable and nothing bothers you, it’s time to ride and check out the new garment in practice!
Why Western Riders Don’t Wear Helmets
There are two different styles of riding popular all over the world – British and Western. You can read our article on how to differentiate these two types of horse riding.
Originally, western riders wear cowboy/cowgirl hats instead of protective gear. This is an integral part of their garment, with cowboy boots and jeans on. During shows and competitions, western riders tend to perform with a classy look. Some of the riders don’t wear equestrian helmets or any hats at all because of a wide range of reasons. Somebody finds a riding helmet too heavy, hot, uncomfortable, non-fashion…The list of causes could be endless.
However, nowadays, people are getting more aware of safety guidelines and the various benefits of wearing a protective helmet. Choosing certified and trusted gear is the best way to protect yourself. For those who are keen on western riding, there’s a huge bunch of safety helmets designed as a cowboy hat, what a win-win!
Can I Wear My Bike Helmet Instead?
A bike helmet is specially designed to ride a bike with it, not a horse. Actually, bike helmets and horse riding helmets have quite various designs to serve different purposes.
Typically, a headgear for riding a horse is deeper and covers more areas of your head, including your forehead and the back of the head. Unlike the bike helmet that protects only the top of the rider’s head. That’s why horse riding helmets might be slightly heavier than bike helmets, as the first one has thicker inner padding and outer shell. But currently, lots of manufacturers produce lightweight helmets to bring more comfort when riding horses while staying safe.
How Much Does a Horse Riding Helmet Cost?
The price for a horseback riding helmet starts at around $50 and can go up to $5,000. The average price for a good quality equestrian helmet is about $200. It really depends on the brand, materials used, design, and other features that we will discuss further in this article.
Where to Buy a Horse Riding Helmet?
You can find horse riding helmets in local stores that sell equestrian supplies. If you are not sure about which size to choose, it is best to go to a store so you can try on different models and sizes. In case you opt for online shopping, use this guide on buying a solid equine helmet online.
What Is the Best Horse Riding Helmet for Adults?
The best horse riding helmet for adults is one that fits properly and meets safety standards. The headgear should also be comfortable to wear and have good ventilation. The best way to find the perfect helmet is to try on different models and brands until you find the gear that suits you best.
What Is the Safest Horse Riding Helmet?
Consider Troxel as one of the safest horse riding helmets on the market. A safe horse riding helmet is one that meets or exceeds safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The best way to make sure your headgear is secured is to buy it from a reputable retailer. All the helmets in this guide are safe and certified, so you can rest assured your head is protected while you’re mounted.
An equestrian helmet is a vital piece of safety gear for any horseback rider. In this article, we reviewed the best horse riding helmets for adults to help you make a wise decision when purchasing your next gear. We also included a buyer’s guide with some important tips to consider when choosing a helmet. With all this information, you should be able to find the perfect fit to keep you safe while enjoying your time in the saddle.
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