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Helmets are arguably one of the most important pieces of safety equipment for equestrians. Falls can happen anytime, even at the walk, so a helmet that meets safety requirements should be worn any time you ride. An effective helmet does not have to be the most expensive helmet. As shown in this Virginia Tech study on equestrian helmet safety, several of the highest ranking helmets in safety are some of the most cost conscious options.
The Charles Owen AYR8 Plus was ranked 7th in overall safety by the Virginia Tech study. These timeless helmets are stylish enough for schooling and shows. A mesh middle panel allows for multiple vents to keep you cool and the removeable liner makes cleaning easier.
The Tipperary Sportage Hybrid 8700 helmet is one of the more cost conscious helmets to rank high on the Virginia Tech safety study. Multiple vents, available in several colors, keep you cool while riding. Magnetic closure makes fastening the helmet one-handed easy.
Trauma Void EQ3 was 6th on the Virginia Tech equestrian helmet safety study, and comes in at a mid-range price point. The Trauma Void also includes MIPS technology, which has been shown to reduce the risk of concussion.
Helmets should be purchased in person, if possible, so you can ensure a good fit. Helmets should also be fitted with your hair how you normally wear it, as hair up or down can affect the fit, and subsequent safety, of the helmet.