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4 Things You Should Be Doing With Your Helmet Right Now!

Posted by M. Drum on

Your horseback riding helmet is the most important piece of equipment you can buy. With so many styles, colors & add ons, you want to make sure it lasts  & keeps you safe. One of the most common places we see helmets stored is actually the WORST possibly place you can keep your helmet. 


We've all heard the phrase "compromise the integrity of your helmet" but what does it actually mean? Have you ever wondered why & exactly what that means? Sure it sounds like scientific fact but also a bit like words with no meaning to get you to buy a new helmet. That couldn't be further from the truth!


Most of the popular helmets available today are made up of several layers an outer shell, a multi layer inner core & a liner, in addition to the visor & chin strap mechanism. The most important part of your helmet aside from proper fit is the inner core. This textile is made up of multiple layers of microscopic shock absorbing bubbles. Sure it looks like simple styrofoam but in actuality it has a lot more science than that take out box Uber Eats dropped off last night.


Those layers of tiny little microscopic bubbles are what absorb the impact should you have an unscheduled dismount. How do they absorb the impact? Great question - those bubbles burst open on impact. Once they burst, that area of your helmet is no longer capable of protecting your head. These materials are very sensitive to temperature & impact.

Which leads me to my next point. STOP cooking your helmet!  Storing your helmet in your car, trunk or horse trailer although convenient is the worst possible place to store your helmet. Some tack rooms can also be considered poor storage locations for your helmet.  For instance, have you ever gotten into your freshly unlocked car or horse trailer after it's been sitting in the blazing sun all day? You're blasted with unbearable heat. 


Imagine sitting in that hot car for days on end! When stored in a location that is not temperature controlled, the overwhelming heat of summer causes the layers of the inner core begin to separate. Big deal right? Yes! Very big deal, as the layers separate the micro-bubbles burst. Thus rendering your helmet nothing more than a prop for your next halloween costume. 


In all seriousness, that beautiful new helmet you purchased needs proper care so it can do the job it's intended to. Storing it in your trailer or in your car is not the place to store this important investment. 

Another way to protect your helmet is by keeping it clean.
Have you ever seen the inside of someones helmet who wears a lot of make up - Eww.  In addition to it being unhygienic, trapping bacteria & causing acne break outs, the cosmetic compounds can facilitate an early break down of your helmet liner. Take a minute and use a gentle soap and wash that liner out before heading home. Better yet, buy a second liner so you have one to wear and one to wash. Plus this will keep odors out of your helmet. 


Don't wear make up? How about your facial sunscreen or moisturizer or maybe you sprayed yourself with some fly spray before you headed to the mounting block. Somewhere a horse loses a bell boot every time you use equine fly spray on yourself & your helmet.  Because the chemicals used in the fly spray will leave marks, spots & over time pitting in the shell of your helmet. 


It should go without saying that if you should have a fall - land on your head or not - replace your helmet. 
That said if you go more than 5 years without a fall in the same helmet- Cheers to you! But with advances of 
technology and the aging of materials you should consider replacing your helmet. 
Many helmet manufacturers may offer a crash replacement policy, check your helmets warranty for details

In Short: 

1. Don't cook your helmet, keep it some place cool, dry & out of direct sunlight. 
2. Clean The exterior of your helmet with a soft damp cloth.
3. Wash your helmet liners regularly.
4. Keep barn chemicals out of contact with your helmet.

We reached out to a few of our most popular selling helmet manufacturers for specific care instructions. Here is what they had to say. 


Samshield:
Never store your helmet in a hot car or trailer.
The removable perforated liner of your Samshield helmet will eventually bog down with sweat and dirt from use, eventually altering the fit of the helmet. We suggest removing liner the liner machine wash on delicate and air dry. will restore your liner to normal thickness. 

To clean the exterior of your Shadowmatte helmet use glycerine saddle soap with a damp cloth. If your helmet is needs a more thorough job you can use a wet Magic Eraser & massage the exterior shell. 

To clean the exterior of your Samshield Premium helmet,  use a clean soft brush to remove dirt and dust. You can also use a lint roller or light vacuum works as well.

Kask:
Storage of your helmet in temperatures under 75 degrees Fahrenheit is suggested as if the helmet is stored in warm locations, the integrity of the EPS (inner shell which absorbs shock) will wear down, which in return can change the performance of the shock absorption in an accident. Warm temperatures can also cause the ABS material on the outside of the sell (with exception of the Pure Shine and Carbon models) to expand slightly. This can cause bubbling under the fabric, ruining its sleek look

When washing the exterior of a KASK Equestrian helmet, only a soft microfiber cloth and water is necessary. Use of chemicals cause cause discoloration. We provide a cloth with all of our helmets! For washing the merino wool liner, you can hand wash or machine wash with cold water. Use of chemical products or solvents will damage the merino wool, affect sizing and thermal control capability of the liner.

KEP:
KEP Italia helmets are supplied with a KEP CLEAN cloth, which is recommended for cleaning the helmet. For daily cleaning, use a damp KEP CLEAN (or any other soft, clean cloth) and leave the helmet to dry naturally at room temperature. The internal lining, made up of one fully detachable element, can be cold washed by hand or in the washing machine. Avoid the use of all chemical detergents or solvents, especially for the shell of the helmet.


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