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Discussion Starter #1
I was in the ER from 5PM last night until 1AM this morning thanks to a fall that my gelding Dakota and I had.

We went riding with some family members and a friend and on the way home, my cousin's young mare took off with her and she couldn't get her stopped. Dakota bolted on me because he wanted to catch up with the mare and refused to listen to me, and I panicked and forgot the one-rein stop because we were on pavement and gravel and were coming up to where the road turned into another one.

My cousin's mare made it, but my cousin lost her stirrups and fell off, but Dakota didn't make it. He tried to turn and his legs went one way and his body went the other. We hit the ground hard and he actually landed on top of me.

It blacked my eye, scraped my face/chin all up, bruised under my chin so badly that my stepdad thought it was broken, sprained my right ankle and right knee so badly that I am on crutches and cannot put any weight hardly on my right leg, and busted that same knee open bad enough that I had to get a few stitches. I thought my knee had been broken, but instead, thankfully, it's just a horrible sprain where I landed, full force, on my kneecap.

Dakota got off with only a few teensy scratches... though my saddle is pretty scraped up, according to my best friend (she took Dakota home with her and he is staying wth her this week since I obviously can't hardly get around).

Anyway, in the ER, I was talking to my mum, and we've came to an agreement.

This fall has been a real eye opener for me. If I had hit my skull with as much force as I hit my chin, it could have easily fractured my skull or could have possibly killed me.

I'm now on the search for a helmet. It wouldn't have done much good on this fall I've just taken, but I do not want to risk something like this again and risk skull fractures or worse.

If anyone can tell me anything about helmets... how to size them, the best brands, etc... I'd really appreciate it!
 
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Thank goodness you were not more seriously hurt! I am a hardcore helmet girl - I just dont ride without it, ever. I spent a ton on my helmet, since its protecting my brain...but I think any helmet that fits you well is going to give you the protection you need.

How to correctly fit an equestrian helmet - HorseChannel.com
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for he link! I've never worn a helmet while riding, and never thought that I would, but the more I think about how if I had hit my skull as hard as I did my chin, what could have happened, it's scary... I'm definately hopping onto the Helmet Train and hopefully I'll have a helmet sometime next month.
 

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I love International Riding Helmets, they fit really well and keep my head cool and have TONS of padding, at least the one I use, which is this one:
EQUI LITE DFS | International Riding Helmets - IRH
They also have a fitting page on there. I have Troxels, but they arent as comfotable as the IRH helmets.
 

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Britt
I know what you are going though with your knee
when I was 26, I was playing with my daughter and jumped
off a jungle gym and landed the wrong way on my knee
I went to the ER and the doctor said I tore my ligaments and it won't
heal properly he said I would have been broken and to this day I still have problems with it, I can never run again

here is the helmet i like Tipperary Sportage 8500 Series Riding Helmet CHOC BROWN | eBay
 

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I too am a hard hat girl. I NEVER ride without one. I've demolished 2 hats in falls where if it had been my head and not my hat i would have been dead.

I personaly prefer the Champion range of hats although I do love the look of the Charles owen hats.
the champion hats tend to fit better on those with a more oval head. the Charles owens fit a rounder head (and hence give me headaches!)
 

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Ooh sounds nasty, take lots of pain killers and I hope you feel better soon.

Also a hat wearer over here. I actually have a new one on order right now (I was fitted at the shop but they only had the black option so I've ordered the brown in) which I love, is SO comfy and really nice looking too, but I'm not sure if it would be available in the US.
Rider Protection Horse riding C600 riding hat brown 54-60

I think if you like that style of helmet (over the more dressage type style) the Harry Hall legend is a good choice, not too expensive, keeps your head cool and looks nice. My friend has 2 of them lol (black and brown).

ETA: Personally I think the best way to fit a riding helmet is to try on, the measurement doesn't always work. For example in the Helmet I'm buying I'm a 55cm (6 3/4) but in my old helmet which is more the dressage style I'm a 57cm (7). SO I definitely recommend trying them on.
 

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Helmets have to basically fit both the size and shape of your head.

Helmet sizes in the US are the same as hat sizes, which are the same for men and women. Some helmtes come in specific sizes (6 1/2, 7, etc) others come in S, M, L etc with the maker's size chart giving you a measurement range for each size.

Having said that, hats are soft and mold to differences in people's head shapes. Helmets on the other hand do not. So while two people may have the same size head (size is based on the circumference of your head), one may have a more rounded head and the other a more oval head.

Different helmet makers seem to prefer one shape over the other but there is no way to know until you try them on.

For the record I have a more ovalish head in size 7 and both Tipperary and Charles Owen fit me very well. IRH, not so much.

I would avoid helmets with adjustable head bands. I much prefer to find one that fits properly from the get go.

Like Country Woman I'm a huge fan of the Tipperary Sportage. Very light weight, very well ventilated, doesn't make your head look like a dome, and has outstanding coverage for the back of your head (something most helmets fall short on).

One last thing, price is no indicator of the level of protection a helmet offers.

Tipperary Sportage 8500 Riding Helmet | Dover Saddlery
 

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I never get on a horse without a BSEN1384 / PAS015 International Safety Standard hat.

First and foremost check out if the hats you're considering have that safety standard. Then go for whatever you find comfortable that fits.

Here's a couple of pointers with regard to what you need to consider and with explanation of the standard:

The Kitemark - Riding Helmets

Horse Riding Hat Safety Standards
 

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The relevant equestrian helmet safety standard in the US is ASTM F1163-04a.

Helmets in the US are tested by the Safety Equipment Institute to the ASTM standard and helmets so approved will bear the tag ASTM/SEI Approved or similar wording.
 

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I don't wear a helmet all the time, but I do about 80-90%. When I do, it is a Tipperary Sportage. Two of the Troxels I've tried developed sticky surfaces, as if they were melting in the Arizona sun. The Tipperary is still going strong after 2 years.
 

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Britt, do you have either TSC or tack stores in are so you could go out and try different helmets? Personally I found it to be hard to fit one "on paper", I always have to try one on.

I'm glad you were not hurt badly! I used to ride without helmet, but after my saddle broke causing an accident (with landing) I realized that falls unfortunately don't always depend on your ability as a rider or how calm the horse is (and got a helmet very next day :D ).
 

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Do not shy away from ordering helmets online.

All the major online suppliers (Dover Saddlery, SmartPak Equine, State Line Tack, Horseloverz, etc) have easy return/exchange policies.

Order it, try it on, send it back for a different one if it doesn't fit.
 

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First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your fall. It's a shame that it took one for you to realise the importance of a helmet!
There are so many different shaped helmets that I would recommend going to a store where they can fit one professionally for you. I did and am glad as I have peace of mind I have the perfect fit.
What sort of budget do you have? A good helmet isn't overly expensive, but not cheap either.
 

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All the major online suppliers (Dover Saddlery, SmartPak Equine, State Line Tack, Horseloverz, etc) have easy return/exchange policies.
Besides the fact that shipping costs quite a bit of money (I believe $10 or so in Dover).

Just one more thing (may be it was already mentioned on thread). Do NOT buy second-hand helmet (off eBay or craigslist or any other place). You never know if it was participating in fall.
 
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No retailer in the UK will accept returns on helmets as you just dontknow if they have been dropped when they were tried on or not.

Best to get one fitted proffesionaly
 

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No retailer in the UK will accept returns on helmets as you just dontknow if they have been dropped when they were tried on or not.
Good point. I never ordered a helmet on-line, so I wonder if there is a policy on it as well.
 

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SInce it is your first time helmet shopping, I'd go to a shop that can fit you and show you ha=ow to make the proper adjustments. A helmet that is too tight will give you a headache and discourage you from wearing it. One that is too loose will come off ina fall, negating the point. Once you know how htey're supposed to fit, you can manage on your own, but for the first one, look for some guidance.

I love my IRH. It looks like a GPA and at $180, costs about $300 less. For just a good reliable hack helmet, Troxel has some nice and very affordable helmets for under $100.

The Troxell is nice because it comes in Small/med/large and can be adjusted to your specific size using a little lever on the back so you can wear your hair up in the hat or or down with no problem. The IRH is a specific hat size that cannot be adjusted, so (because it is my show helmet) I fitted it with my hair up in it and cannot wear it with my hair down. Something to consider.

My current schooling helmet is a troxel and is about two or three years old and fine. I've never hit my head, so I haven't replaced it yet.

Get something with vents so your head won't sweat in the heat as much.
 

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Just a point I should make, it is reccomended that you replace your hat every 3 years as the materials will degrade over time
 

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Just a point I should make, it is reccomended that you replace your hat every 3 years as the materials will degrade over time
Yeah, replacing my schooling helmet is is definitely on my list for this year. I got it at the beginning of 09', so it is due. I was thinking that as I was typing out that last post.

Also, if you do have a fall in a hemet, most manufacturers will take it back and credit a significant portion of its original cost toward a replacement. They are very serious about people not riding around in damaged helmets.
 
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