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Which equestrian sport helmet is best for riders?

Equestrian sports helmets for riders

Equestrian sport helmets are essential for safe horseback riding. They can mean the difference between life and death in a nasty fall, so you must choose one that's up to the job. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which to buy. 

Whether you're new to horseback riding or were practically born in the saddle, there are options for you. Novice riders usually need less from their helmets than experienced riders who need extra protection when engaging in higher-risk activities.

Safety standards

The first thing you should check about a riding helmet is that it meets the appropriate safety standards. In the U.S., all equestrian helmets should be ASTM/SEI certified. This means it not only meets the American Society for Testing and Materials F1163 safety standards but has undergone independent testing by the Safety Equipment Institute. Any helmets that don't have these certifications could be unsafe and might not offer adequate protection if you fall from your horse and hit your head. 


Some equestrian sport helmets use standard hat sizes from roughly six to eight, while others use named sizes, such as small, medium and large. However, most manufacturers have sizing charts that list the numerical hat size, named size and head circumference measurements. So, if you don't know which size to buy, measure around your head with a cloth tape measure and consult the sizing chart. 

Best equestrian sport helmets

Troxel Sport Horseback Riding Helmet

This lightweight helmet is well-ventilated and breathable. It's a perfect choice for novice riders, though more experienced equestrians may prefer something a bit more advanced. It's ASTM/SEI certified so you can be sure of its safety credentials. The headliner is removable and washable. It's available in four sizes to suit most riders and in two colors: black and white.

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Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet

This is a great choice for young riders due to the horse design on the side of the helmet. With a dial fit system, you can slightly adjust the sizing to get a secure fit. The vents and mesh liner help keep the head cool while wearing it. This helmet is ASTM/SEI certified and has a flex-tip visor that bends safely out of the way if you fall.

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Ovation Deluxe Schooler Equestrian Helmet

A step up from the most basic helmets, this is a great mid-range choice for intermediate horseback riders. The breakaway visor is removable in case you prefer to go without or use a helmet cover with its own peak. Not only is it ASTM/SEI-certified, it's also certified to European EN1384 standards, which some consider superior. Thanks to the high-flow vents, your head will stay cooler and the liner is removable and washable if it starts to get sweaty and stinky.

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Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding Helmet

You can choose from four sizes with this helmet, all of which have a Gps II dial fit system to get a secure fit. There's also a choice of six colors, perfect for riders who are bored of the basic black and white helmets usually offered. The low-profile design with large mesh-covered vents helps keep your head cooler while on horseback. As you'd expect from Troxel, it's ASTM/SEI-certified.

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One K Defender Rose Gold Stripe Helmet

With its rose gold stripe, this high-end helmet looks great, but it also performs well. It's ASTM/SEI certified and has a highly durable outer shell made from polycarbonate and advanced ABS composite. The ventilation holes are covered with a stainless steel mesh for added durability. The fastex buckle is quick and easy to fasten, unfasten and adjust.

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International Riding Helmets IR4G XLT Helmet

This top-notch equestrian sport helmet is of high enough quality for competing. It is ASTM/SEI-certified with advanced engineering that exceeds ASTM standards in many areas. It also has a sleek design that won't look out of place in the ring. It has ventilation points to keep your head cool and comes in a range of colors so you can match it to your show jacket.

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TuffRider Show Time Helmet

Thanks to the ventilation slots around the top and the moisture-wicking lining, this helmet keeps you feeling cool and comfortable while riding. The lining is removable and washable, so it stays fresh. It's ASTM/SEI-certified, so you get the safety you need from a helmet without a huge price tag.

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Tipperary Royal Helmet

This stylish ASTM/SEI-certified helmet looks good enough for the arena, but you can also use it for everyday riding. It's perfect for intermediate and experienced riders who need helmets that perform even when cross country jumping and show jumping. The high-density ABS shell offers exceptional shock absorption while remaining lightweight. It has small, reinforced ventilation points to prevent your head from overheating while still maintaining full structural integrity. The comfort liner is removable and washable.

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Troxel ES Horseback Riding Helmet

Made using high-quality materials with a slim, low-profile design, this ASTM/SEI-certified helmet is the ideal choice for riders who need top-tier protection and want to look good. The open-cell foam air-channel technology helps keep your head cool without any open vents. It's available in five sizes, all with the SureFit Elite system to perfect the fit.

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Tipperary Windsor MIPS Matte Helmet

With its Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, this helmet reduces the stress of impact on the brain in the event of a fall. So, if you're looking for the latest safety technology, this is a great helmet, but the price reflects this. Of course, it's ASTM/SEI-certified and has other excellent safety features, such as an advanced molded ABS outer shell and crush-resistant fiberglass banding.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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