Top Tips: How To Measure for a New Horse Riding Helmet

Tips to Recognise a Well Fitting Horse Riding Helmet

Whether you are a parent looking for an upgraded or new childrens horse riding helmet, or an adult after an equestrian helmet for your new horse riding passion, it is really important to make sure the helmet you choose is perfect for you. A perfectly fitting helmet is essential to your safety while riding. Every rider needs a helmet that fits perfectly, this will help to keep you safe and secure and protect you in the event of a fall. If your helmet is too small it will cause pressure and discomfort while riding, and if it is too big it will move while you ride and could even come off in the event of impact. An ill-fitting horse riding helmet is just as dangerous as wearing no helmet at all!

What you will need to measure your head for an equestrian helmet:

  • A soft fabric measuring tape.
  • A parent or friend to help.
  • That’s all!

Almost all of the horse riding helmets in UAE are sized based on your head circumference in centimeters. Remember that helmets from different manufacturers do all size and shape slightly differently, so once you have your helmet size it is still important to try your helmet on and make sure the shape and size suit you well. eQuestri does provide a fitting service for your helmet or can advise if you have any questions about the helmet. Your riding instructor is also a good help when choosing a helmet, so you can also show your instructor and get his or her advice on your new helmet.

Before we start, please note that the helmet fitting instructions we have laid out are simply a guideline. Ensuring the perfect fit is really critical to your safety while riding, so if you are at all unsure it is best to check with a representative from eQuestri that can help with advice and fitting. Or you can ask your trainers advice.

  • Ensure your hair is as flat as possible before you measure your hairstyle should be as it would be when you ride. If you have long hair we recommend tying it into a low pony tail before you measure your head.
  • Place the tape measure tightly around your head along the widest part of your head. If you are measuring by yourself start around the back of your head, but it is easier to measure if someone helps you. Make sure the tape goes over the bump at the back of your head, around above the top of your ears and around the front of your head about one inch above your eyebrows.
  • Compare the head measurement you obtain to the helmet you like – you can choose from a range of helmets on eQuestri from classic style adjustable equestrian helmets, to sparkly horse riding helmets and even horse riding helmets with MIPS technology. If you’re planning to compete in cross country, you will need to look at a helmet without a peak like this Finntack Racing Helmet. You can also add a hat silk to this.
  • Place the helmet level on your head. The helmet should slip on snugly – it should fit securely but should not feel uncomfortably tight. It should sit at the correct level – not too high off your head and not too low close to your eyes.
  • Position the front of the helmet correctly: Use your pointing and middle finger to measure. The front brim should rest nicely over your brow. It should not rest more than two fingers width above your eyebrows. And should not sit any lower than a half inch (or 125mm above your eyebrows)
  • At this stage you can take some simple actions to check yourself and feel for an incorrect fit:
    • If the helmet squeezes the front of your head but can still rock from side to side – it is not a good fit. It might be too round for your head.
    • If the helmet is tight on the sides of your head, or even fits perfectly on the sides but rocks front to back, it is too oval for your head.
    • If you nod your head back and forth or shake it side to side and the helmet moves around – it is too big.
    • If the helmet feels like it is slipping upwards or popping off the top of your head, then it is too small.
    • With the straps undone, turn your head upside down. If the helmet slips right off – then it is too big.
    • Place your hand on the top of the helmet and shift the helmet back and forward, the skin on your forehead above your eyebrows should move with the helmet. If the helmet slides freely and your skin doesn't move, then it is too large for your head.
    • Shake your head from side to side and up and down. The helmet should not pivot on your head. If it does, then the helmet is too large.
  • If you are trying an adjustable helmet and you feel the fit is quite close to being perfect, take advantage of the adjustment tools with the use of a dial in the back or different lining or ties. Adjust the size and run through the tests again.
  • Check the comfortable and safe fit. A well fitting helmet will settle down snugly on your head and cover the entire skull with equal pressure all around. There should be no big gaps around between the helmet and your head, even comfortable pressure is very important.
  • Choose a snug fit, the helmet should be able to pull onto your head. Don’t be tempted by a looser more comfortable helmet. As you ride in your new helmet the inner lining will begin to shape to your head, so if you opt for a helmet that is slightly larger in the beginning it may feel more comfortable initially, but with time it will become too large as the lining breaks in. A helmet that is too large can shift while you ride which can be very distracting and will not protect in the event of a fall.
  • Adjust the chin strap after you’re sure the helmet fits. When you are certain that the helmet will stay in place without any support from the chin strap you can adjust the straps and tighten this up. The chin strap should fit snugly under your chin to hold the helmet in place but shouldn’t be so tight that you feel discomfort. Some helmets have sliding clips that allow you to adjust the harness for comfort around the ears.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Horse riding is a very high risk sport and of the serious injuries sustained by horse riders, head trauma is the most common. Sadly, head trauma is also the leading cause of fatal horseback riding accidents – so it is really important to always wear a well-fitting and safe helmet. The helmet fitting instructions in this article are simply a guideline. If you are unsure about the fit it is best to check with a representative from eQuestri that can help with advice and fitting.