A well-fitting helmet is essential for safe horse riding. Therefore, it is important to properly measure your head for a new riding hat so that it isn’t too loose or too tight. Read this simple and quick guide to how to measure for a riding hat and ensure the perfect fit.
How to Measure & Fit a Riding Helmet
Before you start measuring your head for a riding hat, you will need a soft fabric measuring tape. Which units you use to measure your head will depend on the manufacturer you are purchasing your new riding helmet from. Some riding hat manufacturers use head circumference in centimetres for their helmet sizing, while others use inches or specific hat sizes.
Step 1: Place the tape measure snugly around your head at the widest point (usually about 1 inch about your eyebrows).
Step 2: Compare your head measurement to the helmet sizing chart provided by your chosen manufacturer and then select which riding hat you want. There are a huge variety and styles of horse riding hats to choose from, including fun patterned helmets, colourful schooling helmets and stylish show helmets. If you are planning on competing in shows, your trainer can give you some guidance in choosing the most appropriate riding hat for your given discipline.
Step 3: Once you have your horse riding helmet, you should check that it fits perfectly. You should make sure that you try on your new helmet with your hair in the same style in which you wear it to ride. To test whether your new riding hat fits, place it gently on your head so that it is level. If you have very thick or long hair then it might be a good idea to size up your riding helmet.
Step 4: As well as the size of your riding hat, you should also consider the helmet shape. Some horse riding helmets are more suited to round heads, while others are best for more oval-shaped heads. You may have to experiment with different brands of riding hats in order to find the most suitable for your head. If the helmet feels tight on your forehead but feels loose at the sides then it is too round for your head shape. Alternatively, if the riding hat comfortably fits the sides of your head but feels loose at the front and back then it is likely too oval for your head.
Things to Look for When Fitting Your Helmet:
A snug, level fit with firm pressure around the whole head
The helmet should lock onto the back of the skull
The riding hat should sit even on the head, about an inch above the eyebrows
The helmet should not rock forwards or backwards when the harness is unfastened
The chinstrap should sit just under the chin and slightly touch the bottom of the ear lobe
You should be able to fit a finger between your chin and the strap
You should keep your new helmet on for at least 5 minutes, giving it time to mould to the shape of your head and reveal any gaps or pressure points
Measuring & Fitting a Child’s Riding Helmet
When measuring and fitting a child for a riding hat, you can follow the same steps as for an adult. However, there are a few extra precautions to take when determining the perfect helmet fit for a child.
Many parents are often tempted into buying their child a riding helmet that is a size too big so that they get more wear out of it. However, this is the wrong thing to do. As with adults, a kid’s riding hat should fit snugly on their head in order to provide the necessary protection. If a children’s riding helmet is loose then it is simply not safe.
You should check that the kid’s helmet is sitting level on your child’s head and that it doesn’t rock too far forwards or backwards. Like adults, their forehead should be covered by the helmet but should be left at approximately 1 inch above the eyebrows. Ensure that the chin strap isn’t too tight or too loose so that it feels comfortable and doesn’t slide out of place. You should be able to fit a finger between their chin and the strap.
Here at Rydale, we stock a huge selection of horse riding accessories and equipment, including saddle pads, head collars, lead ropes and browbands. Go ahead and take a look at our horse accessories range.