5 Safest Riding Helmets

by Michelle Drum December 15, 2020 4 min read

5 Safest Riding Helmets

While horseback riding is exhilarating, it’s also considered a dangerous sport due to the high risk of injury. But there are ways to make equestrian sports safer, and safety starts with a good horseback riding helmet

There is no more critical safety precaution than wearing a helmet while horseback riding. Head trauma is a leading cause of injury and fatality in horseback riding accidents, but a well-fitted, quality helmet significantly decreases your risk of a head injury. In this post, we’ll help you choose from the safest horse-riding helmets available.

How to Find the Right Helmet

Helmets are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s essential to know how to fit your head properly for a riding helmet. You’ll start by measuring the widest part of your head about an inch above your eyebrows. Then, you’ll compare that measurement to the helmet size charts of the helmets you’re considering.

Each brand, and even each helmet, may be slightly different when it comes to sizing. Some helmets are more rounded, and others are more oval-shaped, so you’ll want to look at a few different options to ensure the one you choose is comfortable and fits properly.

Learn more: How to Measure Your Head for a Horse Riding Helmet

Evolving Safety Technology

Equestrian helmets contain a number of safety features. They are made with an outer helmet casing designed to absorb the impact of a fall and protect the head from any sharp objects. Other key components include internal foam padding and a polystyrene or styrofoam liner. The helmet will also have an internal fabric lining that holds the safety features together. 

Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a technology currently being introduced to equestrian helmets. Though it’s not widely used yet, it’s something to keep an eye on. Designed by a neurosurgeon, MIPS aims to reduce the risk of brain injuries by protecting the brain against rotational motion from angled impacts to the head. This technology is new, and all of the helmets we offer meetAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)safety requirements. However, MIPS is an additional level of safety that will likely become standard in the future. (One of the helmets listed below features this safety technology.)

Our Recommendations for Safest Horse-Riding Helmets

Safety is a core requirement of horse-riding helmets, though not all helmets are created equal. Equestrian helmets are different from those used for bike-riding and other activities, as they are made to withstand a fall from a higher distance. Don’t make the mistake of using a helmet designed for another activity. Your horse-riding helmet must be made specifically to protect against the risks of riding horses. With that in mind, here are some of the safest horse-riding helmets that we recommend.

1. KASK Dogma Hunter Helmet ($579.50)

KASK Dogma Hunter Helmet
KASK may have gotten its start with cycling helmets, but they make some wonderful equestrian helmets as well that are known for their safety and comfort. The Dogma Hunter is part of the new KASK equestrian division of exceptional helmets. This everyday-riding helmet has a molded outer shell made with polycarbonate ABS. The inner shell has expanded polystyrene with three levels of density for total shock protection, as well as comfort and lightness. This Dogma Hunter helmet also has a smart ventilation system that provides high-volume airflow, along with a Merino wool inner lining for breathability. A stylish and elegant design compliments all of these features.

2. Custom Samshield Shadowmatt Helmet ($575)

Custom Samshield Shadowmatt Helmet

Samshield is a brand created by a motocross veteran. He was disappointed in the safety failings of an equestrian helmet he purchased and decided to start a company to do better. Samshield helmets are known for their high safety standards and their beautiful, customizable design. This custom Shadowmatt helmet offers the best of technology and attractiveness with a personal flair. The polycarbonate outer shell is crafted for protection, and the polystyrene inner shell has variable density that disperses impact energy for improved safety. The removable memory foam liner offers easy-to-maintain comfort, while the hidden front air inlet and two rear outlets keep riders cool by channeling air throughout the helmet. 

Samshield also designed helmets specifically for the safety needs of cross-country riding and show jumpers. They are a great idea to consider if you are in these English-riding disciplines.

3. One K MIPS CCS Helmet ($299.95)

One K MIPS CCS Helmet

One K designs helmets to provide the perfect synergy between design and advanced technology. This helmet also has MIPS technology for added safety, and it’s made with an advanced ABS polycarbonate shell. Additional features include a washable and moisture-wicking antimicrobial liner; a comfort padded harness; and two front, two center, and one back strip vents. This MIPS riding helmet with advanced safety technology is offered at a great price!

4. Ovation Protege Helmet ($49.95)

Ovation Protege Helmet

You can’t get a better, safer helmet at this price point, so this one is a great choice for those just starting out with equestrian sports. Made out of cutting-edge, high-density ABS, this lightweight,  low-profile helmet has a dial to adjust the fit for comfort and safety. Big mesh vents keep riders cool while keeping bugs and debris out; the liner is also washable. It may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the higher-price-point helmets, but it’s an excellent value with great safety features.

5. Charles Owen AyrBrush Helmet ($406.95)

Charles Owen Ayrbrush Helmet

Charles Owen is a brand offering the latest technology and sophisticated design. They are starting to introduce some helmets with MIPS, so keep them on your radar! This helmet uses glass-reinforced fibers to strengthen its impact-absorbing shell. They also added a technology harness for unsurpassed stability and comfort. It has front and rear ventilation to keep riders cool and comfortable and a removable cup headband for easy cleaning. The AyrBrush helmet is a solid performer.

One of the most important safety measures for riding a horse is investing in a quality helmet. These riding helmets are among the best when it comes to quality and advanced safety features, and they don’t neglect style, either. With their balance of safety, comfort, and design, you’re sure to find a helmet that you love!

Explore our full collection of helmets, which are tested by staff for performance. If you have questions about any of our products, give us a call at 864-457-3557. We’re happy to help!


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