Additions. C Colwell 2012
So we all know that we need to wear helmets that are ASTM certified - pardon the pun, but it’s a no-brainer!
How do you choose a helmet?
First off, all of us have either a ‘round’ or an ‘oval’ shaped head. It is of paramount importance that your helmet fits your head shape properly.

Different brands fit oval or round, so try different styles and brands.

The safest helmet is the one that fits your head. The helmet must not rock forward, backwards or sideways on your head. Unfastened, it should not come off if you turn your head upside down and gently shake. The retention harness should fit snugly under your chin, allowing for only 1 finger to slide under.

Side straps with a joiner clip must be adjusted to make a V under your ear (this part especially helps stop the front to back movement). It should be snug enough on your head (try different styles and brands for head shape) but not cause a headache. If you have long hair and intend to wear it tucked under the helmet fit your helmet accordingly. (Note: pony club does not recommend this - if the hair were to fall out, it could affect the fit in case of impact. Better to use a hairnet and let it hang down your neck or cute braids with bows.)

Once fastened, the buckle should sit flat on the side of the face or under the chin, not on the edge of the jaw. Check the fastening clip or buckle frequently; it should not pull apart without undoing the release mechanism.

A helmet works by the use of microscopic bubbles that are built to compress and fracture to absorb impact. Depending on the manufacturer they can adjust the load at which rate this happens. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Purchase the highest quality helmet you can afford; helmets are not the place to save money. 

Local shows are looking for ASTM approved ONLY. International ratings to look for are: BSEN, PAS, Kitemark, SEI, CE Mark.


Regardless, helmets should be replaced every 3 – 5 years depending on usage.
Head injuries are the most common reason for equestrian-elated hospitalization.

Riding slowly does not necessarily make it any safer. Severity of injury is mostly influenced by your distance from the ground. A fall from only 2’ of height can cause permanent brain damage.
Don’t let this happen to you: wear a correctly fitted and fastened helmet at all times when riding.

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