Horse riding helmets are one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can invest in. They can potentially save your life if an accident happens.
This is a lot of pressure and responsibility placed on one small helmet. We are here to make the process a bit easier for you.
In this article, we review some of the best horse riding helmets out there. We also feature a buyer’s guide so that you know exactly what you need to be looking out for.
8 Best Horse Riding Helmets (Our Review)
Ovation Schooler Deluxe Riding Helmet (Best Overall)
The Ovation Schooler Deluxe Riding Helmet is our top pick for the overall best riding helmet for all riders from the age of 12 years old and up. These helmets come in various different sizes, ranging from double extra small up to large.
This helmet is more entry level, but can be used for all different types of horse riding. It is easily adjustable thanks to its YKK adjuster clip and buckle. This ensures a snug and comfortable fit, no matter what your head shape is.
The Ovation Schooler Deluxe helmet makes sure that your head remains cool, as it has high flow vents that promote constant airflow. The inner liner is also removable and washable.
So, if you feel like you sweat quite a bit when riding, you can wash it afterwards and it will be fresh for your next ride.
It is a very lightweight helmet, so it won’t interfere with you riding, or be uncomfortable on your head. The helmet also comes with a removable visor. This is handy if you feel like it is getting in the way of your view, and you would rather not have it on.
The price of this helmet differs based on what size you get. The starting price for it is about $60.
- Great for all types of riders
- Easily adjustable
- Has good ventilation
- Since the visor is removable, it is not so sturdy when on
Tipperary Sportage Hybrid Helmet (Best For Toddlers)
The Tipperary Sportage Hybrid Helmet is one of the best horse riding helmets for toddlers. The reason for this is that it is very easy to use, and it is incredibly safe.
This helmet has been ASTM F1163-15 and SEI Certified and has passed all the necessary tests to show that this safety helmet is very reliable.
It is made with a high-impact ABS plastic shell that provides added protection. There is also a foam liner that helps to absorb impact and shock in case an accident does happen.
Tipperary has an Accident Replacement policy for two years after purchase. So if there is an accident, they will replace the helmet.
The interior foam padding makes for a comfortable fit. The padding can be removed and washed, to ensure the freshness of the riding helmet.
The helmet comes with a magnetic hook clip which is very easy for toddlers to use themselves. There is also a four-point retention harness that allows you to adjust the straps so that the helmet meets the needs of your child.
There are air vents in the front and back of the riding helmet to ensure your child’s head stays cool while they are riding.
Some people have reported that the adjustable buckle tends to slip and needs constant refastening, otherwise it’s one of the best kids helmets available.
This riding helmet can be bought for about $145.
- Great for children
- Reliable safety features
- Removable and washable liner
- Good ventilation
- The buckle might loosen by itself
Charles Owen AYR8® Plus Helmet (Best Ventilation)
The Charles Owen AYR8® Plus Helmet provides horse riders with the best ventilation possible.
This helmet is designed to keep your head cool. It has 12 ventilation holes that provide complete front to rear ventilation and maximize airflow through the helmet.
The AYR8® has a GRpx® technology harness. This ensures maximum stability of the helmet thanks to the grippers that have been scientifically designed. This means that your helmet will not shift around while you are riding, and will instead offer a snug fit.
In addition to the other features, this riding helmet offers a removable and washable headband that keeps the helmet looking clean and fresh. Replacement headbands can also be bought if you feel that yours is starting to wear out.
This helmet is ASTM F1163-15/SEI Certified and will provide you the maximum safety possible, while still being sleek and comfortable.
Although this is one of the best helmets around, it is also quite an expensive helmet. It can be purchased for approximately $520.
- Incredible ventilation systems
- Removable and washable headband
- Very sturdy
- Might be too expensive for some people
Troxel Sport Horseback Riding Helmet (Best Budget)
The Troxel Sport Horseback Riding Helmet is our best budget riding helmet. Although it comes at a good price, it still covers all the necessary safety features needed.
It is all-purpose and lightweight and makes for a comfortable fit on your head. Sizes range from extra small to large, so it is suitable for a variety of different people.
This durable helmet is ASTM/SEI-certified and is a reliable, safe option for you to use.
The Troxel Sport comes with a headliner that is removable and washable. It is also well vented to ensure your head stays nice and cool for the duration of your ride.
This helmet comes with a visor to protect your face from the sun and help you to see properly.
The downside to this helmet is that there is no dial to adjust the size, you have to insert or remove the padding in the helmet to do this. There have also been some complaints about the sizing of it.
This helmet can be bought for a very affordable price of around $40.
- Cheap price
- Well ventilated
- Removable and washable headliner
- Might have some sizing issues
- No dial to adjust the helmet
Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet (Best For Beginners)
The Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet is a great helmet to use for beginner horse riders.
The Spirit has recently been redesigned to offer more coverage across your head, and as a result, enhances the comfort and safety of the helmet.
These helmets are mostly black but come with different strips of color across the top. This provides a bit more of a fun and unique element and allows you to get a different one for the whole family.
The helmet has a dial-fit system to make adjusting it quick and easy. This helps you to personalize it to your own head and get maximum comfort out of it.
Various mesh zones on the helmet allow it to be very well ventilated and provide maximum airflow. Ensuring your head stays cool and comfortable throughout the ride.
The Troxel Spirit is very safe and reliable and is ASTM-SEI certified.
It can be purchased for about $55.
- Great for beginners of all ages
- Adjustable straps and dials make for a snug fit
- Meets all the required safety requirements
- Available in a variety of different colors and patterns
- The ventilation could be improved
One K™ Defender Matte Helmet (Best Safety)
The One K™ Defender Matte Helmet offers some of the best safety features that you can find in a horse riding helmet.
This helmet provides the perfect combination of an aesthetically pleasing, sleek, design, and the use of advanced, protective technology.
The outer shell is made out of matte Polycarbonate and Advanced ABS composite for maximum protection against impact. The outer shell has a lining that is quick-drying, easily washable, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial to the helmet fresh and clean.
The helmet’s harness is made out of synthetic suede material. This material is easy to clean, is stylish, and is padded to provide maximum comfort.
In addition to this, it has a Fastex buckle and a hook and loop strap, which makes taking it on and off very quick and easy.
There are a total of seven different vents around the helmet which ensure that you don’t get too hot while riding.
The One K™ Defender Matte Helmet is ASTM/SEI F1163-15 certified, so it is one of the safest helmets out there, and you can feel at ease knowing you will be protected if something happens.
This helmet comes at a fairly decent price of around $270.
- Provides excellent safety to the horse rider
- Seven different ventilation slots
- The harness is comfortable and easy to take off
- Might be too expensive for some people
Charles Owen SP8 Plus Suede Helmet (Best For Show Jumping)
The Charles Owen SP8 Plus Suede Helmet is our favorite pick for show jumping.
The SP8 Plus has a brim that is specifically designed to shade most of your face and upper neck. This enhanced sun protection makes it perfect for show jumping, as it means that you won’t get distracted by the sun’s glare, or too sunburnt.
A bonus is that not only does the wide brim offer so much sun protection, but it also looks incredibly flattering and sleek. This makes it even more of a reason to compete with it.
This helmet is kitted with a total of 10 front and back ventilation holes that are coupled with a Free Fit system. This system pairs the front vents with a Coolmax® mesh. This mesh helps to increase the evaporation of perspiration, and enhance the cooling effects.
There is a headband that is removable and machine washable. This helps to keep your helmet clean and fresh for every ride.
The harness is made using GRpx® technology and provides an incredible fit and comfort for the rider.
The SP8 Plus meets all the necessary safety measurements and is ASTM F1163-15/SEI Certified.
Overall, this is a very decent, aesthetically pleasing, safe, and reliable helmet that can serve very well for show jumpers. The price is slightly expensive though, as it can be purchased for roughly $550.
- Protects you from the sun
- Enhanced ventilation system
- Soft and comfortable harness
- Very sleek and classy looking
- It is one of the more expensive helmets around
Troxel Sierra Horseback Riding Helmet (Best For Trail Riding)
- Low profile
- Rugged leather & nylon covering
- Mesh-covered vents
- SureFit Pro fit system
- FlipFold removable washable headliner with Air-Channel technology
The Troxel Sierra Horseback Riding Helmet is one of the best helmets to use for trail riding and is great for western riders. This helmet is specifically designed to withstand the toughest terrain thanks to its leather outer covering.
The leather covering helps to prevent any scratches from occurring on the helmet. This is great for trail rides, as you will no doubt be whacked by a tree or two if you are riding in a wooded area.
This helmet comes in three different colors of leather – black, tan, and dark brown. The tan leather color is especially great for trail rides, as it helps you blend in with the terrain and not stand out too much as black does.
Although trail riding is done at a slower pace than other codes, adequate protection is still a must-have. Luckily, this helmet’s ASTM /SEI certification provides that and makes it very safe to use on bumpy trails.
The Troxel Sierra makes use of a patented GPS III system. This system supplies one of the most advanced fit adjustment and stabilization systems.
The SureFit Pro self-adjusting system uses elastic straps that self-adjust to the size and shape of the horse rider’s head. It also makes use of ultra-plush padding, providing optimal comfort to the rider.
The headliner makes use of a FlipFold system. You can make adjustments to how snug your helmet fits by folding over the interior padding to make it thinner or thicker. This allows you to accommodate different head sizes or hairstyles.
This helmet is lightweight and extremely well ventilated. Both of which are crucial for long trails spent in the saddle.
The only downside is that leather might not do so well with the rain.
This can be bought for about $130.
- Great for trail riding
- Self-adjusting straps
- Well ventilated
- Headliner can be adjusted
- Adjusting the headliner can be a mission, especially if you have to do it so often
- Not resistant to rain
Horse Riding Helmet Buyer’s Guide
The exterior of horse riding helmets is very important, as they help absorb shock and combat impact if you land on them.
Ideally, you want the exterior to be made out of either fiberglass or very strong plastic. Some helmets do have leather or synthetic fabrics on the outer layer, but you then need to make sure that it is either fiberglass or plastic sitting under this.
When it comes to the material of the inner lining, you want this to be a soft, thick fabric. The job of this fabric is to absorb the shock of a fall and keep your skull and brain safe if this happens.
This is why you need to make sure there is a fabric on the inside, and that it is thick enough to do its job properly.
When picking a horse riding helmet, you want to choose one with as much ventilation as possible. As a horse rider, you will perform at your best if your body is at a comfortable thermal level.
If your helmet doesn’t have any ventilation, you will start to overheat, and will not perform at your optimum.
You do also want to make sure that the ventilation slots are not too big, as this will compromise the safety of the helmet.
The size of the helmet, and making sure it fits you correctly is very important.
If your helmet is too big, it will move around and not offer enough protection if you fall. If it is too small, it will be very uncomfortable and distract you from your ride, and also won’t protect you properly.
A riding helmet will literally only protect you if it is a perfect size and fits nice and snugly.
An easy test to check if the helmet is too big is to put the helmet on and roll your head around in circles of different directions a few times. If it feels like the helmet is moving around or sliding, then it is too big.
It is best to choose a helmet that is very lightweight and won’t weigh you down.
You don’t want it to feel big and bulky on your shoulders, or to pull your head in weird directions while you ride. If it is too heavy and uncomfortable, it can distract you from your ride, which you want to try and avoid from happening.
Safety is one of the most important aspects when choosing a helmet. The one thing you want to check for is if it has been certified by ASTM and SEI.
If it has been certified by both, it means that the helmet has passed all the safety tests thrown at it, and it is more than capable of keeping your head safe in the case of an accident.
While this isn’t the most important aspect to consider, it can be important. This is especially true if you are picking out a showjumping helmet or a dressage helmet.
How it looks to the judges will also leave a good mark, and is something that could give you an extra edge.