Equestrian Helmets – What You Need to Know

Equestrian helmets are not just for kids or inexperienced riders. When I was a kid, we didn’t know that even small head traumas from a riding fall could be dangerous. With all the concussion data that has been collected over the years, we definitely know better now and it is so easy to reduce the chances of serious injury.

I try not to get preachy about helmets — after all, I am a third generation cowgirl.  However, over the decades I’ve seen many bloody accidents that would’ve turned out much better if a helmet had been worn.

I’ve seen lives saved because of a $30 helmet.


Equestrian Helmets: The Research

equestrian helmets riding without one
Lori on Shamrock 1978

In the late 1980s, the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) and Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) developed a standard of equestrian helmet testing to increase rider safety. They found that bicycle or other types of helmets were inadequate to protect the rider from a head injury due to a fall from a horse or kick in the head.

Certified Horsemanship Association’s Every Time, Every Ride Video


Sara Mastellar, a South Dakota State University Equine Instructor for the Department of Animal Science, has written several articles on equestrians and injuries. Mastellar’s articles on horseback riding helmets (listed below) use the many scientific studies on riding safety to answer questions riders have.



Riding safety doesn’t have to be boring

Today’s equestrian helmets are lightweight, fun, and fashionable.  Styles range from extremely colorful to basic black or brown.

Prices range from schooling helmets starting under $30, all the way to English helmets that can go as high as $500.

Regardless of price, all helmets should have the ASTM/SEI logo on the inside tag.


At Rockin’ L&D Ranch, we take riding safety seriously

Looking to start riding lessons?

Hwre at Rockin’ L&D Ranch, we require and provide equestrian helmets and riding boots for our horseback riding students.

Of course, as in any sport — if you find that you enjoy riding, you should buy your own safety equipment (link to Hawthorne Country Store)

The brain you save could be your own. Ride safe. Wear a helmet.


equestrian helmets increase rider safetyequestrian helmets increase rider safety