As horse riders, we are all too aware of the risks associated with riding. Horse riding is a risky sport, but with risk comes reward and our mission is to help keep horse riders as safe as possible by making some of the safest riding hats and body protectors on the market today. As we all enjoy getting back out with our horses and hopefully get back out on the competition circuit, it’s important to ask the question – is your riding hat still safe?
Your riding hat is one of the most essential pieces of kit you own and thankfully the vast majority of horse riders always wear one while riding. However, what you may not always take into consideration is whether, after years of use, your riding hat still offers you the protection you need.
A crucial question we ask riders to always have in the back of their minds is ‘does my hat still provide me with maximum protection?’ If you have ever had a fall during which your riding hat sustained an impact, the answer to this question is probably no and the hat should be replaced
The reason for this is simple. The design of riding hats is such that they absorb the impact of a blow before it gets to the rider’s head. But what this means is that if a rider has a fall in which their hat sustained an impact, it’s already done its protective job. The hat may look fine on the outside, but the internal polystyrene shock absorbent liner may have been damaged and will not be able to provide the same level of protection in the future. Therefore, if your hat has suffered a severe impact, even if this is having been dropped off the top tack room shelf, this hat should be thrown away and replaced, even if there is no outward sign of damage.
It’s also important for riders to remember that riding hats should be replaced every 2 – 3 years as the protective materials they contain will gradually deteriorate with exposure to heat and repeated use. After a long time of use on a warm, sweaty head, storage in a warm tack room and exposure to the sun, your riding hat will not offer you the same level of protection. We strongly advise riders to replace their hats every 2 – 3 years and ALWAYS after a fall in which the head may have suffered an impact. After all, it’s easy to replace your hat and there should be no compromise where your safety is concerned.