Choosing a riding hat can be tricky! And with International Helmet Awareness Day less than a month away, you may be wondering how to choose the best riding hat for your needs.
A riding hat is one of the most important pieces of horse riding equipment, the first things you need to consider are size, fit and safety standard. Keep in mind that many riding hats you'll see for sale (especially second hand) may be an outdated standard. To ensure you're buying an up to date riding hat, always purchase from an official stockist!
How to measure yourself for a riding hat?
One of our official suppliers and world renowned riding hat manufacturers Samshield, offer an excellent visual guide to getting your own measurements for a new hat!
Above is how you should place your measuring tape to get he correct measurements for any riding hat. The section below details how Samshield's own sizing works, perfect if you're considering one of their excellent riding hats.
How to tell if your riding hat is a good fit
So, your new horse riding hat is firmly on your head, but is it a good fit? The first thing to watch out for is uncomfortable tightness, and equally any loose fitting that causes the hat to move - Especially in a way that would obscure your vision!
Ideally your riding hat will have no movement, and feel comfortably snug on your head at all times. An excellent way to test the fit of your hat is by moving it gently back and forth, the riding hat should be compact enough that it moves your eyebrows without any discomfort.
What are the current safety standards?
With changes to safety standards occurring regularly, it's important to keep up to date. According to BETA UK, all protective headwear must meet the following standards:
British – All PAS 015, VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked
European – VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked
American – SEI ASTM F1163 04a onwards and SNELL E2001
Australian & New Zealand – AS/NZS 3838 2003 onwards.
This is important to remember if you're competing, but also if you're purchasing to ensure you don't unwittingly buy a hat that's outdated and unsafe.
Should you buy a riding hat online?
As with most items that require specific sizing, it's usually ideal if you can try the item on first. This won't present a problem if you have an old riding hat that you can use for reference - If this isn't the case it becomes a bit more difficult.
Since online shopping provides a lot more options in terms of style and quality, the benefits are obvious! Having an excellent measurement guide like the one shown above will give you an advantage when shopping online for your new riding hat, it's also important to ensure you're buying from an official stockist of whatever brand you would like to buy. Here at The Equestrian Store/Equeto.com, we are official stockists for all brands of riding hats advertised on site, and should you live local to our store you can always try our stock on in person!
Buying a riding hat online is a perfectly safe practice if approached sensibly, and with our 30 day returns policy, we will happily replace or refund your order if your chosen hat doesn't suit for any reason!
View all of our fantastic riding hats here