“The inside of the helmet is designed with both comfort and safety in mind.”
The inside of the helmet is designed with both comfort and safety in mind. Added padding makes sure that the helmet takes the brunt of the impact in case of a fall. The design is also very sport-specific: one of the reasons why an equestrian helmet is easily recognizable.
Here polo-cross riders wear a riding helmet with additional face guard.
The design of the helmet makes sure that the whole head is protected. This is unlike bicycle or skating helmets, which focus the protection in the front and back of the head. It is also designed with the comfort of the rider in mind, with ventilation and positioning factored into the overall aesthetics.
There are many variations on the equestrian helmet based on the competition. Horse-racing jockeys, for instance, wear helmets that are brimless and covered with a cloth matching the color scheme of their uniforms. Traditionalists frown upon the spreading use of brilliant colored helmets, but more and more people find the colors black, brown and gray boring.
There are also some varieties of equestrian helmets today that have been adapted to more “western” designs. These helmets, however, are yet to be embraced by riders in rodeos (where they are obviously more needed).
Dressage rider wearing a safety helmet.
“Some people may feel that equestrian helmets are uncomfortable and hot, but you should always remember that these helmets keep you safe.”
Standardization varies form country to country. However, a rider who joins a competition must have a standard helmet or that rider will not be allowed to compete. People who have performed a “conformity assessment” judge whether the helmet is up to standard.
On the picture a woman wearing a riding helmet while training a young horse, due to her chances of falling off and hit her head is a big risk at the moment.
The conformity assessment is a series of tests that show how safe the helmet is. Some assessments involve various tests that simulate a rider falling from a horse and even getting kicked by a horse in the head.
Today, the equestrian helmet is not yet required for riders. However, they are becoming common practice. In fact, riding instructors today are required by insurance companies to make their students wear riding helmets in order to get an insurance policy. Some people may feel that equestrian helmets are uncomfortable and hot, but you should always remember that these helmets keep you safe.