A properly fitted riding helmet is essential to ensure the highest level of safety for your head. We have put together some fitting tips and a handy size conversion chart will help you get the correct sizing before purchasing.
Every person has a different head shape. Some are more round, other more oval. Some need a deep fitting hat, other a more shallow fit. The Gatehouse range caters for every head shape. If one helmet model doesn’t feel quite right, then try a different model or style.
Before you purchase any safety equipment you should check which international safety standards it meets. This is also important if you are competing at affiliated level where there are minimum certification standards. All Gatehouse hats and skulls are fully certified and each certification can be viewed on each model.
How to size your head for a riding helmet
Using a soft fabric measuring tape, wrap it around the widest part of your head ensuring it also goes over your hair.
It should follow a line just above your ear, about 3/4 inch above your eyebrows, and around the bump at the back of your head.
Take the measurement in centimeters (cm) and repeat this three times for the most accurate sizing and to avoid any wrong measurements.
If you are between two sizes, round up to the larger size, or ideally try on helmets in both to determine which one gives the most snug fitting. It is worth noting that the fit should be snug, as there will be a little give once the helmet is worn for a few times.
How to put a riding helmet on
When putting a helmet on, you want it to "lock on". This is when the helmet grips onto the back of your head with a suction type effect which means it is on properly, secure and safe.
- Place your forehead into the front of the helmet
- Using a rocking/rolling motion, push backwards to feel the helmet lock into the base of the skull
- Run your finger around the rim of the helmet to check for gaps or loose points. If there is any movement or gaps you may need to try a different size or fit.
- Always adjust the chin strap first, then for skulls with laces, tie this into a bow.
How should a riding helmet fit?
A new helmet needs time to break in and as you wear it and it will mould to the shape of your head. It should have a snug fit with firm and even pressure all the way around.
Things to check for:
- A snug fit with even, firm pressure
- Locks onto the back of the skull securely
- Sits level on the head, covering the forehead leaving about an inch above the eyebrows
- With the harness unfastened, the helmet should not move backwards and forwards
- The chinstrap should have sufficient space to put your finger between the strap and your chin
- Wear the helmet for at least 10 minutes to give time for it to mould to your head and reveal any pressure points. Ideally take the helmet on and off several times.
Everyone has a different head shape. Most people have an oval shaped head but some have a rounder shape head. It is important that you have a helmet that fits the shape of your head. Our styles are all different fits, to suit all different head shapes.
Buying and fitting a child’s helmet
When measuring or fitting your child with a riding helmet please follow the same steps as outlines above. However there is an extra point to consider:
Do not buy your child a helmet that’s a size too big so that it lasts longer. As with adults, a child's riding helmet must fit snug on their head otherwise it is simply not safe. Many children do not like a snug fit, but it is important to achieve the correct size and not be tempted to get something too loose.
In the UK, children's riding helmets (55cm and below) are free from VAT.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR RIDING HAT
Painted surfaces should be cleaned with mild soap and warm water, gently wipe the areas needed to be cleaned and then use a soft cloth to dry. DO NOT SOAK.
Leather harnesses should be wiped clean with a suitable leather care product.
Webbing harnesses should be cleaned with a damp cloth. Make sure your hat is dry before storing it.
The helmet ventilation system should be kept clear of any obstruction including dirt, insects or other items which could interfere with the proper flow of air.
Remove the comfort liner by firmly pulling at the hook and loop fastenings, hand wash or gentle cycle machine wash and then line dry only. Do not use tumble dryer as over heating will change the shape. The EPS liner can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Do not soak, only air dry. The washable liner must be securely re-fastened to the hook and loop tabs inside the hat after removal for washing before the hat is used again.
HOW TO STORE YOUR HAT
Store in the original hat bag provided or similar alternative which is clean and dry and out of direct sunlight. Never leave your hat in extreme temperatures such as those found in vehicles during hot weather.
Avoid exposure to solvents, cleaning agents, adhesives, paints, fly sprays etc., which can cause damage. For example, spraying your horse with fly repellent while wearing your riding hat, may affect the external finish.
WHEN SHOULD TO REPLACE YOUR RIDING HAT
Any riding hat that has suffered an impact should always be replaced, even if you drop your hat on the floor or suffer a minor fall or knock. Even with normal use the effectiveness of the protective materials will deteriorate over time. While professionals riding a number of horses every day and in all conditions should look at replacing safety headwear every 1 to 2 years, the leisure rider could extend this to every 3 to 5 years with good care and depending on how often they ride – although they should make regular checks for signs of wear to the harness, lining and outer shell.
We want you to find the Gatehouse product most suited to your needs, so please ask our knowledgeable fitting experts by clicking here.
Please note that hats and body protectors cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase. Therefore it is essential you are confident of your size prior to purchase.