I grew up on a cattle ranch in Texas and rodeo'd my whole life all the while dreaming of jumping. That being said, I am new to the english/eventing world and have never worn a helmet in my life. I am trying to work my way into the eventing world as cheaply as possible. I have a great mare that a good friend is letting my lease for *free* :) I just bought a used Crosby jumping saddle in great condition and am looking to buy as much of my other tack/show clothes used.
So my question is, what is a good helmet brand I can use for showing but isn't going to break the bank?
Any other tips on tack or the eventing world in the DC area (where I will be within a year) would be great!
Welcome to eventing!
You are in a fabulous location in that you have a number of big names within a few hours and lots and lots of events to choose from.
First, to address your question--a helmet is the ONE item on which I will always splurge. It's your noggin--hopefully it's worth protecting. The good news is that you no longer need lots of headgear. A single quality helmet is fine for all three phases. Until you are at a high level (and even then it's becoming more common) you can use an ordinary helmet for dressage and nobody thinks twice. So what I recommend is getting the most safe, comfortable, best-fitting helmet you can. Get it in black. Problem solved. That said, there are numerous brands out there. I personally like a Charles Owen J3 Skull cap, but that's because of the shape of my head. CO makes other helmets, too. GPA and others are also good. Look in a catalogue for ideas, but be sure to actually GO to a local tack shop. If your head is oval vs. round you may want different things, etc. You will need to try them on.
Remember that in the tack store every good helmet will look huge and bulky. Go with comfort and simple, classic lines. Obviously make sure it is certified and properly fitted. I'd steer clear of things like the old Troxels with the big vents, but they are fine, too if that's what works. My helmet was about $150, but I would spend more if needed. On the other hand I have tall boots that are 11 years old--that I bought in a clearance sale from a middle of the line brand. I just replaced my jacket (Christmas gift from mom). The previous one was older than I am and was purchased used for my sister and never fit me properly. So yes, I understand budget. I still splurge for the helmet.
Beyond that I'd say take some lessons, but a few good lessons with a good coach are worth TONS more than the cheaper lessons. You can find good instructors for cheap, but it's harder. Do your homework. You could even call up a bigger name nearby and be blunt--I am just starting out, I can't afford you, can you recommend someone that meets my needs, etc. They may or may not help you, but it can't hurt to try!
Any solid black helmet should be fine for entry levels (though I'd avoid any overly shiny ones). I ride in a Tipperary Sportage- only $70 and fits me well. The more expensive helmets don't necessarily protect your head any better; they're all required to meet the same standards, and if there's any data on there about which helmets exceed those standards, I've never seen it. More expensive helmets often have more venting, though, so if you're in a hot area that may be worth the extra $$$.
Different brands fit quite differently, so definitely go to a tack store with a wide selection of brands to get a good idea of what will work for you.
Thank you verona. I definitely need to just go try on lots of helmets and see what fits me.
If you need good eventing barns, I know a few in the DC Area! :)
It's definitely worth shelling out more money for a good helmet than going for the cheaper kinds.
I have an IRH which cost about $130ish. I love it!
Dover has a great selection of helmets. As long as it fits your head and offers good protection then go ahead and get it!
I use an Ovation Schooler Deluxe helmet. Don't forget you can use a helmet cover! And make sure the helmet is SEI/ASTM certified. As long as the helmet is certified, fits well, is comfortable, and has good ventilation, the helmet price does not make much of a difference except in style. My helmet cost $50 from Dover, I would find it but I am on my phone.
Thanks for the advice everyone! I ended up going with an IRH from Dover. It fits well. Hopefully it won't be too hot or heavy.
tippery sportage or IRH elite, depending on your skull shape. Tippery sportage fits me well I want to try the Tippery T-2. Horse Expo comes in NOV.
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