Get my own helmet or boots for lessons? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-13-2014, 04:25 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Louisiana
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Agreed with everyone else- get your own helmet and boots! Proper head and footwear are critical for your safety, so do it as soon as you can. I don't know how serious you are about riding, but if you're not 100% sure that you're going to stick with it forever (or if you're growing, idk how old you are) then I'd suggest buying a cheaper pair to start with.

It's good for barns to keep helmets around for new students that don't want to commit to buying a helmet for a few lessons. However, you don't know who's been wearing these helmets, how old they are, and if someone's had a fall in them. You should always replace a helmet after a fall in which the helmet hits the ground, and they should be replaced at least every 5 years. Most hiking boots have thick soles and very textured tread and not necessarily a heel. They're designed to have very good traction. By this design, they aren't great for riding. If your boots don't have a heel then your foot could get caught in the stirrup in case something goes wrong. If you have a fall then the tread could prevent your foot from leaving the stirrup and you could get hung up. You've even said that you can't feel the stirrups properly in these boots, so it's time to buy something more proper for riding.

Here are a few options to get you started with your search...

This is the helmet I have. I've been riding for years and could afford to buy a more expensive helmet if I wanted, but I'm very satisfied with this one. It's attractive, low profile, inexpensive, and comfortable.
Ovation® Deluxe Schooler Helmet | Dover Saddlery

I have one of these that I keep around in case I have a friend riding with me. The quality is definitely less, but I'd rather see someone wear something like this than nothing or a sketchy helmet:
Troxel® Sport Helmet** | Dover Saddlery

These are the boots I have, and I love them! They'll last you at least a few years of weekly lessons, though there are less expensive options out there. Ariats are popular, and I'd recommend them:
Ladies' Ariat® Heritage III Zip Paddock Boot | Dover Saddlery

I also have these that I keep around as a spare. They're easy to care for and cheap, but definitely lower quality. I don't use them that frequently, but I'm not sure that they'd last forever with frequent use:
Saxon Equileather™ Zip Paddock Boots | Dover Saddlery

Have fun with your search! For under $100 you can get some basic equipment that will make your riding safer and more enjoyable. For under $200 you can get the same equipment that I use myself, and it'll last you a long time doing regular lessons.
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post #12 of 21 Old 07-13-2014, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
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Well I really have nothing new to add as I agree with the previous notes for the most part. I initially bought a Troxel helmet and then Ariat paddock boots. A bit later I picked up a pair of half-chaps. I did it primarily because I wanted to make a commitment to the sport and I simply felt better knowing that I was wearing the proper safety attire. A bit hard to explain, but I was taking this very seriously and I wanted every advantage I could. I also felt a bit better at the stable. A little over a year later, I think my investment was correct as they accomplished what I wanted and are still in fantastic shape (clean and polish). I just recently upgraded my helmet because it never really fit me properly and always caused small tension headaches.

If you know your size, then you may want to take a look at EBAY. I bought my chaps there for $40 and they were brand new.

My best to you. Stick with it and you'll love it.
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bkylem is offline  
post #13 of 21 Old 07-13-2014, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I will not ride in any boot that doesn't have at least a one inch heel and a leather sole. If you get in a jam the fact that leather will slide out of the stirrup more easily than a treaded rubber sole could prevent a foot getting hung up. My present boots are Justin paddocks with a leather sole with the pegging. Some paddocks have a neolite sole which is slippery. Get the boots first. You can always wipe out a borrowed helmet with hand sanitizer. When you shop for a helmet get the dial-adjustable type as they are much more comfortable than a sized helmet.

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post #14 of 21 Old 07-13-2014, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by ChitChatChet View Post
I got headlice once by sharing a hat with someone... so yes to the helmet. Besides then you dont have to fiddle around with adjusting it each time you ride.

Proper footware is always helpful.
Share a toy share a slide
Share the feelings deep inside
But never share a hat or comb
Or lice could make your head their home

I still remember that from elementary school.

Yes do get your own helmet as it is incredibly gross to share one that's been home to someone else's sweat or lice. And please do not use a bicycle helmet as they are not designed to sustain the impact that can occur when horseback riding.
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post #15 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: St. Louis, MO
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I would definitely recommend at least investing in your own helmet. For me it was a safety issue. You never know if anything could be off with a shared helmet. I've been involved in a bad fall that could have ended up much worse for me than if I hadn't been wearing a helmet. It saved my life. I had to replace it after even though it wasn't cracked. My instructor insisted. And you don't have to worry about catching any unwanted pests like lice-yuck.

A good pair of boots (paddock for me) also can be considered a safety item. I pair mine with half chaps and they work great. Good luck!
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post #16 of 21 Old 07-20-2014, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
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Definitely get both. There is the sanitation issue (sounds gross, but I've never seen a school that has sanitized their shared equipment, like helmets). There is also the issue of fit--helmets and boots are both items that conform to the wearer over time. It won't be safe or comfortable to use someone else's for an extended period of time if you can help it.

As far as brands... I personally think it's a little better to buy on the nicer end of the spectrum, and not have to replace it for a long time. I think you said you were taking English lessons? For a helmet brand, I would suggest Charles Owen... Again, a bit pricy, but stylish and appropriate for hacking/lessons/clinics/shows.

For paddock boots... Ariat. No question. If you can't afford it, I've heard some pretty solid things (though never owned) about Middleburg.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #17 of 21 Old 07-21-2014, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I would defiantly recommend you getting your own helmet and boots
While riding people sweat in helmets and if someone has head lice... yep
And with boots it makes a world of difference in your riding if you have boots that fit properly
I wish you the best of luck!
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-21-2014, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
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I would suggest a tipperary helmet as your first, they're comfy and very protective. For boots I would consider Ariat paddock boots.
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-21-2014, 04:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: British Columbia
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I bought my first helmet (a Troxel) for $50 as well as my first pair of riding boots (Ariat Terrain) for about $120 five years ago. As far as helmets go, although I was never grossed out by the idea of someone else wearing it, the fact that I didn't have to adjust it each time I put it on was worth the purchase price. I ride mostly western, but also some English with my Ariat Terrain boots which are basically a hiking boot without any problem. However, many of the English riders I know ride in paddock or field boots, mostly Ariat brand.

To ride or not to ride.....What a silly question!
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post #20 of 21 Old 07-24-2014, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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Definitely invest in your own boots and helmet! I started off with a Troxel helmet but wound up replacing it after a year since it was really not the quality I was looking for. (It was cheap, but definitely not nice looking on my head! Also very stuffy in hot weather.) I have a Tipperary Sportage now and I really love it. It's well ventilated and comfortable, and it's a lot sleeker than the Troxel was. It's not really that expensive either, definitely worth a look.

Tipperary Sportage Helmet - Sportage 8500 | Dover Saddlery

Paddock boots are a good choice for your first boots. I still prefer them over tall boots. Ariats are always a good choice, and I'd invest in a pair of half chaps as well. They're not usually too expensive. Depending on how much you want to spend on your gear, a cheap pair of breeches might also be in order! Good luck with your lessons.
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