Frequently asked questions about Riding Helmets
There is no blanket answer to this question, because depending on the different visual and functional desires and demands, opinions vary. The first thing to look out for is the current European safety standard and the perfect fit for your head. A riding helmet, which possibly pinches and tweaks on the head of a third person, may fit optimally on your own. Fit and safety should always be the first priority.
The answer to this question is highly dependent on your head shape and preferred look. Whether oval, round, small or large, there are suitable riding helmets for every head. It is advisable to try the helmet before the purchase in order to find out which brand is the most suitable for you. Depending on the riding discipline, the visual factor is of course a decisive point, even if it should only play a minor role. There is now a wide selection of simple to fancy decorated and sparkling riding helmets in all colors.
Depending on the intensity of use, as well as the area of application, even damage-free riding helmets should be replaced after a few years. Usually, a period of 3 to 5 years at the most applies. Riding helmets used by children in particular are often exposed to greater stresses, as they have to absorb more shocks even when they are not being ridden. After a fall or a heavy blow, the helmet should be replaced immediately, as 100% protection can no longer be guaranteed. Likewise, a newer model should be considered if the old helmet no longer fits perfectly. Especially for young adolescents, the fit should be checked regularly with regard to the size and the riding helmet or the inlay should be replaced in time.
The prices for riding helmets are as varied as their designs and versions. The prices range from affordable riding helmets starting at about 50 € to standard models at about 300 € to luxury models for about 1,600 €. The quality does not always have anything to do with the price. What is a "good" riding helmet is also a subjective perception, as not every head fits every brand and every model and the designs do not appeal to everyone equally. Therefore, price should only play a subordinate role when buying a riding helmet. However, the test seal, the fit, the functions and, last but not least, the individual's own visual preference play a considerable role when purchasing a riding helmet.
The correct riding helmet size can be determined by simply measuring with a tape measure. The tape measure is placed in the middle of the skull so that the tape lies directly above the ears and ends on the forehead - approx. 1.5 cm above the eyebrows. The measurements of an adult person are typically between 50 and 60 cm. If you are unsure, it is advisable to order two sizes (or two different large inlays) or to have your head measured by an employee in your local shop.
A riding helmet may under no circumstances fit too loosely. If it does, it may even do more harm than good. You can easily test whether a riding helmet is tight enough by alternately rotating your head quickly to the left and right with the chin buckle open. If the riding helmet remains firmly on the head during this test, it is tight enough. If it does not pinch or cause headaches, it is a perfect fit. If it slips or even falls off the head, the helmet is definitely too big. To be sure, it would be best to wear the riding helmet for a longer period of time when trying it on. When closing the riding helmet, the chin strap should be fastened tightly enough, otherwise you run the risk of the helmet slipping upwards and backwards in the event of a fall and strangulating yourself with the closed chin strap. Not every head shape fits every model, as the shells are shaped differently (more oval or rounder). Here, it is important to prioritise your own safety over brand affinity.
The human brain is very vulnerable to shocks, knocks or even rotations. Even slight impacts can quickly lead to headaches. In the case of a fall from a horse, the oblique direction of the fall, the high speed, as well as the strong impact of the rider often cause severe, lasting damage. Craniocerebral trauma, lacerations or even fractures of the skull are unfortunately not uncommon as a result of such riding accidents. A riding helmet offers the necessary safety to be able to pursue the passion for equestrian sport for a lifetime. Riding helmets are part of the standard equipment of every rider. Manufacturers have specialised in offering their customers the greatest possible variety of products with many customisation options. In this way, the helmet has already developed into a real fashion accessory.
Beginners should consider a well-fitting, safe riding helmet. Since falling cannot be completely ruled out, especially at the beginning of the riding career, the riding helmet should meet the highest safety standards. If the beginner is still growing, a size-adjustable riding helmet with an adjustment wheel or a riding helmet with a replaceable inlay is a good choice, as this allows the riding helmet to "grow" from day to day.
Of course, it is generally possible to buy a used riding helmet from a third party or to take over the old one from friends or acquaintances. However, there are some factors that must be taken into account, which are usually difficult to fulfil and make the purchase of a new riding helmet unavoidable in most cases. On the one hand, the riding helmet must be absolutely fall- and impact-free. Secondly, the riding helmet must fit snugly enough on the head so that it neither pinches nor slips. If these conditions are not met, protection cannot be guaranteed. In addition, the general replacement period of 3-5 years must be observed. The shock-absorbing effect of every helmet decreases over the years, so that a new purchase should be considered after only 5 years. If the used helmet you have bought is too old, you should consider buying a new one.
When cleaning a helmet, one must differentiate between internal and external cleaning. The helmet shell is best cleaned with a damp, soft cloth. No scratchy or hard objects should come into contact with the shell, otherwise scratches may occur. As far as internal cleaning is concerned, many riding helmets are now equipped with inlays. These can be easily removed thanks to integrated Velcro fasteners or several press studs, making them easier and more efficient to wash. Depending on the manufacturer's specifications, some can even be cleaned in the washing machine.
Currently there is the European standard (EN 1384:2012) and the somewhat newer transitional standard: VG01.40 2014-12 2014-12. These standards indicate that the respective riding helmet meets the latest safety standards. The previous standard was already superseded in 2014. If an older standard than the above mentioned can be seen on the riding helmet, it should be replaced immediately with a new helmet after the usual period of use of 3-5 years. Before a helmet can be awarded the newer transitional standard (VG01), it needs to pass five more tests than the factors tested in EN 1384.