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Riding Hats

Riding Hats

Riding hats – helmets or caps – are an essential piece of safety equipment that are designed to reduce the risk of head injuries in case of falls or accidents.

But while safety is universal, style is individual. Here are a few to choose from:

  • Classic riding hat – a low-profile design with a rounded shape and a velvet covering;

  • Modern General Purpose Riding Hat – available in many different styles and colours, the world is your oyster when buying a hat. You can now have them fully blinged, vented or even personalised. These hats all have a fixed peak, some of which are now available in a bigger size to keep the sun out of your eyes. They also have a harness strap, to keep the hat safely in place. The harness comes in different materials and fixing points;

  • Skull Cap: commonly used in horse racing and eventing, this hat is basically a hard shell with no brim or peak that provides a snug fit and enhanced protection;

  • Show Helmet: these hats tend to be seen in dressage competitions and have a more formal appearance, often featuring a deeper brim and a sleeker profile;

  • Western Hat: this combines the traditional cowboy hat appearance with modern safety features, such as a reinforced shell and chin strap.

Of course, you should never choose style over substance, so always go for a hat that meets the required safety standards. For example, in the UK, riding hats that meet safety standards are certified with the BSI Kitemark. However, it's worth noting that there are different standards set that relate to a hat's performance during safety tests.

Photo courtesy of Emilie Hardy

Another point to note is that even though you can determine the size of hat you need - by measuring the circumference of your head at its widest part, typically above the eyebrows, and then checking that measurement against a manufacturer’s sizing chart - we would strongly recommend that you get a professional to measure you. Many tack shops will have a member of staff trained to do this, and they will also be able to advise you on the safety standards of the hats they have in store.

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