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A horse riding helmet is one of the most important things you can wear when horse riding as it helps to protect you from serious injury in case you fall while riding your horse. It is essential that the helmet should be well fitted and if competing up to the safety standards required for your countries federation. 

Modern technology developments mean that helmets are now lighter and more breathable then ever before, making them comfortable to wear for long days in the saddle. Some brands, such as GPA, have developed new chin strap designs for further safety, or use Carbon materials for improved protection. 

How often should I change my helmet? 

Did you know that even if your helmet hasn't been in a fall or dropped it should be replaced after 5 years? This is due to the natural wear and tear of the materials in the helmet. Even a small knock can compromise the helmets protective qualities. 

Fitting your helmet

Your helmet should fit like a snug pair of riding boots. Comfortably, with no unnecessary pressure or gaps. Firstly, you need to find a helmet that is fitted to your head shape. Most helmet brands are either oval or round shaped, but some, such as Kep Italia, have inner padding that is suited to both round or longer shaped heads. When fitting a helmet it should be a snug fit, with even pressure around the circumference of your head. The helmet should have complete contact on your head, there shouldn't be any gaps. With the chinstrap unfastened, you should be able to move without the helmet rocking backwards or forwards, it should sit securely on your head. If it moves, it is most likely a size too big or the incorrect shape for your head. When fastening the chin strap it should sit securely and comfortably, you should be able to put a finger between the strap and your chin. Be sure to wear the helmet for at least 5 minutes when trying it on to allow it to mold to your head or reveal any uncomfortable pressure points. 

What helmet is right for me? 

Most helmets can be worn for any horse riding disciplines, but some do have specific rules, such as the cross country phase of eventing, where fixed peaks cannot be worn. Show jumping riders like to wear helmets with wider brims as it helps with sunlight, allowing them to see the jumps more easily. With modern designs, you can find a helmet with or without a lot of bling, in various colours and styles. It is most important to ensure you check that the helmet carries the current safety standards for your countries federation or association. Top brands such as Kep Italia allow you to design your helmet completely your self, so you can match the colouring in your helmet to your outfit.