Revealing the 11 Best Horseback Riding Helmets

Are you planning to learn how to ride a horse? Or maybe you’re already an experienced rider looking for the best horseback riding helmet!

Whatever your reason, we’re here to help! Besides providing a guide on buying equestrian helmets, we’ve selected 11 of the best products and shared some details about each.

Remember that your safety directly depends on your helmet. We strongly advise you to avoid buying a helmet if you have second thoughts about it!

Woman with helmet horseback riding

The Importance of Horseback Riding Helmets

Wearing a horseback riding helmet is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from unwanted injuries.

However, choosing an equestrian helmet isn’t as easy as selecting a hat. You must follow certain instructions on how to get a perfect fit, check the materials and ventilation system, and the helmet certification.

So, without further ado, let’s discuss everything you need to know about buying horseback riding helmets!

How do I Measure Myself for an Equestrian Helmet?

One of the most important things when looking for the best horseback riding helmet is establishing the size you need so that it perfectly fits your head. This will keep you safe and healthy. If the equestrian helmet is too large, you’ll feel very uncomfortable, and it may even fall off. If it’s too small, the helmet can cause headaches and discomfort.

So here’s what you need to do to measure yourself for an equestrian helmet:

  • Find a soft fabric measuring tape.
  • Arrange your hair as you usually arrange it for your equestrian sessions.
  • Wrap the tape around the widest part of your head. Generally, the helmet goes just above the ear line, around the bump at the back of your head, and around 0.75 inches (1.9 centimeters) above the eyebrows.
  • Repeat the measurement several times to ensure you’ve got everything right.

However, we’d like to highlight that these are general guidelines for measuring yourself for an equestrian helmet. If you’re unsure how to do this correctly, it’s best to ask a professional for help, as your safety depends on this.

Once you get the measurement, you can check it with the size chart of the helmet brand you want to purchase it from and try it on to see if it fits.

How Does One Fit for a Horseback Riding Helmet?

Once you’ve gone through the best horseback riding helmets and chosen one, you should check if it indeed fits you.

First, you should place the helmet on your head. The helmet should be secure but not too tight. Moreover, it shouldn’t be too close or far from your eyes.

Here are some things to check if you suspect an incorrect fit:

  • If it squeezes your forehead and moves from side to side – it might be too round.
  • If it’s tight on the sides but moves from front to back – it might be too oval.
  • Undo the strips and turn your head upside down. If the helmet fits your head, it won’t fall off. If it slips, you should get a smaller size.
  • The helmet shouldn’t move if you nod your head. So if it moves, it’s too big.

These are only some methods to help you check if a helmet fits your head. As we’ve already mentioned, since choosing a perfect fit is essential, you should consult a professional if you’re unsure whether your helmet is a good choice.

Why Do Western Riders Not Wear Helmets?

You’ve probably noticed that almost no western riders wear helmets – they’d rather put on a cowboy hat or a baseball hat or be brave enough to wear no hat at all, right?! So why do they do that?

There’s no medical or professional reasoning behind this; unfortunately, nobody knows for sure why they do that. Some people believe it’s related to fashion. Others say it’s for comfort and heat tolerance, as helmets can indeed be very hot and do not provide the shade cowboy hats offer. Moreover, many people lack safety concerns.

Still, horseback riding without a helmet is hazardous, as most injuries related to this sport are head injuries.

So if you’ve ever thought about riding a horse without a helmet, forget about it! Check the best helmets for horseback riding we’ve listed below and buy one for your safety.

Can I Wear a Bike Helmet Instead?

While you can, at times, wear a bike helmet instead of an equestrian helmet, it won’t protect you just as well. Moreover, most horse facilities may not even allow riding with a bike helmet because they require certified horse riding helmets.

So why shouldn’t you ride with a bike helmet instead of an equestrian helmet? Easy! Because manufacturers created them for different sports! They have different shapes meant to protect you in different ways.

First, while bike helmets are aerodynamic and protect the front and side parts better, equestrian ones are more curved and cover your head’s lower back portion. Besides, bike helmets aren’t as durable as to “survive” and protect you if you fall from 8-foot (2.4 meters) heights, for instance.

Your Horseback Riding Helmet Buying Guide

Choosing the best helmet for horseback riding is crucial to enjoying the most pleasant equestrian experience!

Moreover, one that suits you best will keep you safe and secure. So, without further ado, let’s discuss some things you might want to consider before buying an equestrian helmet!

Material

Although numerous horseback riding helmets are on the market nowadays, most riders prefer wearing products having smooth plastic or thin microfiber exteriors because they are excellent at repelling dirt and dust. As such, they’re easy to clean.

The inner shell of the helmet usually consists of polystyrene. Besides, the foam padding improves the riding experience by providing comfort. The internal fabric lining has the goal of absorbing moisture.

Style

After all, horseback riding is undoubtedly an elegant sport! So the style of the helmet you’re buying is fundamental!

The helmet cover and finish depend on the brand you’re buying it from – some have a leather look or a crocodile skin trim, others consist of matt hard plastic or heat-reflective metallic paint, while some can even be rose gold or velvety. In short, there are many options you can choose from!

However, if you still can’t find something that suits your preferences, you can find a brand that allows you to customize your helmet by creating it from scratch.

Nevertheless, besides choosing a finish you like, helmets are generally of three styles:

  • Hats with a fixed peak – perfect for show jumping or hacking
  • Velvet riding hats – perfect for showing competitions
  • Skull caps – perfect for hunting and eventing.

Size

Sizing is probably the most essential thing to consider when looking for the best helmets for horseback riding! We’ve already told you how to measure your head, so all that’s left is to choose a helmet and try it on to see if it fits! Remember that smaller or larger helmets can put your life in danger.

Certification

Checking whether the helmet has a safety standard certification is crucial for your safety.

There are several certification standards developed based on various tests that evaluate different accident scenarios involving a horse. These tests mimic the accidents, and if a helmet “survives” the test, then it’s certified under that specific standard.

The ASTM, or the American Society for Testing and Materials, creates those testing standards for manufacturers. However, this organization doesn’t do the actual testing. The organization that performs the test is the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). Ultimately, all the helmets manufacturers send for testing must meet the ASTM F1163:2015 standard.

The British Standards Institute is another organization that develops the standards and tests the helmets. Before issuing an approval level, the BSI Kitemark receives a batch of 800 to 3,200 helmets and checks one of every 200 pieces. The institute destroys all the helmets if they don’t meet the standards.

Another helmet safety standard is the SNELL E2016, which involves testing for extreme situations, such as a higher drop onto a flat surface or measuring the crush resistance using greater force.

Some helmets feature a certification for multiple standards, meaning they are less likely to break in case of an accident. Even though no testing can predict every possible injury scenario, these certifications are reassuring.

However, if you’re unsure whether your helmet has a safety certification, you should seek professional help to avoid unwanted injuries.

Ventilation

Before choosing an equestrian helmet, ensure it has vents that allow airflow over your head.

If you’re living and riding in an area with high temperatures during summer, you may want to go for a helmet that offers more ventilation than others.

Moreover, choose one that has both front and rear ventilation.

Adjustability

Adjustable helmets can fit several sizes. They are an excellent option for riding establishments or children, as they’ll be able to use the helmets as they grow.

Moreover, these helmets are great for both round and oval-shaped heads and are usually well-ventilated. They’re also easy to clean, as most adjustable helmets have removable interiors which you can wash in the washing machine.

Riding Experience

All the criteria we’ve mentioned above are essential to ponder before buying an equestrian helmet. While horseback riding isn’t as dangerous as other sports, there’s still a risk of falling and injuring yourself, especially if you’re new at this sport.

Make sure to follow the guidelines on buying an equestrian helmet, ask for professional help if you don’t know whether the helmet fits you, and enjoy your riding experience!

Budget

Helmet prices vary depending on several factors: quality of materials, the finish, whether the manufacturer followed safety standards, and where and how the manufacturer made them.

Western vs. English

As we’ve already discussed, many western riders do not wear helmets but often choose to wear cowboy hats or, which is even riskier, nothing at all. We do not recommend riding without a certified helmet protecting your head – if you’re both a beginner or an experienced rider!

Old woman with helmet riding horse

Our Preferred Brand

If you’re wondering what we think the best horseback riding helmet is, check out the Troxel Equestrian-Helmets Spirit Helmet!

Besides the fact that all Troxel helmets have the ASTM/SEI safety certification, being our top pick in terms of brand, this product has an adjustable strap, a drop-back design, and Dial-Fit technology, assuring excellent ventilation, comfort, and stability!

Moreover, it comes in different colors and designs, meaning you’ll have the liberty to choose what you like best!

A Quick Look at Our Favorites

Here’s a quick look at some excellent helmets for horseback riding. If you’ve spotted one that you think will suit your needs, keep reading to learn more about it!

ProductBest forOur rating out of five
Troxel Equestrian-Helmets Spirit HelmetBest overall5
Ovation Equestrian-Helmets DeluxeBest runner-up4.8
One K MIPS CCS HelmetBest MIPS4.5
Best adjustable strap4.5
Troxel Cheyenne Horseback Riding HelmetBest western design4.2
Troxel Rebel Horseback Riding HelmetBest style4.2
Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding HelmetBest multiple certification4.2
Troxel Performance Headgear Equestrian-Protective Gear Riding HelmetBest color variation4.5
Troxel Performance Headgear Equestrian Dakota Riding HelmetBest extended sun visor4
Best ventilation4.5
TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet with Carbon Fiber GrillBest classic4.5
Troxel Liberty Helmet, Black, Large
Troxel Spirit Purple Boho Riding Helmet Purple M
Troxel Cheyenne Leather Riding Helmet Brown S
Product name
Troxel Liberty Helmet, Black, Large
Troxel Spirit Purple Boho Riding Helmet Purple M
Troxel Cheyenne Leather Riding Helmet Brown S
Price
$72.99
$77.19
$223.95
Troxel Liberty Helmet, Black, Large
Product name
Troxel Liberty Helmet, Black, Large
Price
$72.99
Buy Now
Troxel Spirit Purple Boho Riding Helmet Purple M
Product name
Troxel Spirit Purple Boho Riding Helmet Purple M
Price
$77.19
Buy Now
Troxel Cheyenne Leather Riding Helmet Brown S
Product name
Troxel Cheyenne Leather Riding Helmet Brown S
Price
$223.95
Buy Now

Our Horseback Riding Lid Favorites

Today we’ll help you find your next best horseback riding helmet! We’ve found some of the best products on the market and shared everything we know about them with you!

All you’ve got to do is check them out, assess whether they suit your preferences and needs, choose one, and order it! Once the product arrives, check whether the size fits you well and enjoy your equestrian experience!

Troxel Equestrian-Helmets Spirit Helmet – Best Overall

General Description

Here’s a well-designed helmet – the Troxel Equestrian-Helmets Spirit Helmet, our favorite product! It comes in 13 different designs, so you can choose one that suits your preferences best! Besides featuring various colors, each helmet has different styles and artistic elements.

Moreover, it has a full coverage design which assures comfortable horseback riding, and a maximum airflow vent placement that allows excellent ventilation.

Furthermore, the strap is adjustable, while the Dial-Fit technology makes the helmet suitable for various head shapes. On the other hand, the drop-back design increases stability.

To make things easier for you, we’ve also checked some user reviews and learned that almost 90% of them were absolutely happy with the purchase, which undoubtedly adds to its advantage!

Size/s: Small, medium, large

Color/s: Purple, violet, raspberry, black, sky dreamscape, and others

Material/s: Plastic

Key takeaways: Adjustable strap, Dial-Fit technology, drop-back design

Pros:

  • Good ventilation
  • Unique and varied design
  • Adjustable strap
  • Comfortable
  • Certified at ASTM/SEI standards

Cons:

  • The strap may be weak

Ovation Equestrian-Helmets Deluxe – Best Runner-Up

General Description

Having an overall classic style, this Ovation equestrian helmet has a modern and elegant touch, being the best runner-up on our list! The product has certification under the ASTM standards, meaning you don’t have to worry about your safety and just enjoy your ride!

Moreover, its rubberized finish, removable and washable liner, breakaway visor, high flow vents, and adjustable dial, clip, and buckle will make your riding even more comfortable.

Besides this, the manufacturer provides five hair nets to help you arrange your hair. As a bonus, you’ll also get an EquiStar Waterproof Helmet cover.

The manufacturer advises that this helmet is excellent for in-schooling or in-the-show rings.

Size/s: X-small/small, small/medium

Color/s: Black

Material/s: Plastic

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: Easy-adjust dial assuring a snug fit; rubberized finish; removable breakaway visor; YKK[R] adjuster clip and buckle

Pros:

  • Well-ventilated
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Comfortable
  • Comes with five hair nets
  • Comes with a helmet cover
  • Certified at ASTM standards

Cons:

  • Weak visor

One K MIPS CCS Helmet – Best MIPS

General Description

The One K black matte helmet is an excellent choice for adults and is the best MIPS on our list! Having a polycarbonate and Advanced ABS Composite outer shell makes it durable, while the ventilation mesh on the front, top, back, and sides makes the helmet excellent for riding in high temperatures.

Moreover, it has a washable line, a Fastex buckle, and a hook and loop adjustment.

The manufacturer states the helmet has an ASTM certification and is suitable for people with symmetrical heads, meaning those whose heads are almost identical in side-to-side and front-to-back measurements.

However, the greatest thing about this helmet is the MIPS Low Friction layer, which protects your brain during falls.

Size/s: M Round

Color/s: Black Matted

Material/s: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene outer material; mesh inner material

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: MIPS Low Friction layer

Pros:

  • Pleasant design
  • Durable
  • Washable
  • Quick-dry
  • Comfortable
  • Certified at ASTM standards

Cons:

  • May be slightly expensive

– Best Adjustable Strap

General Description

If you’re looking for a comfortable helmet, this Tipperary best adjustable strap product should definitely be on your list. Besides providing 11 mesh airflow vents, the helmet is lightweight, safe, and secure.

It consists of high-density ABS plastic that takes the impact force and an EPS foam layer that dispenses the energy of the impact.

The ABS shell is easy to clean, and you can quickly remove the inner padding for easy cleaning. Moreover, it has a sleek magnetic Fidlock clip, which facilitates closing and opening with one hand. Besides, the product is ASTM F1163-15 SEI certified.

Size/s: Small

Color/s: Black/teal

Material/s: Carbon fiber outer material; expanded polystyrene, mesh inner material

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: Adjustable strap, sleek magnetic Fidlock clip, foam interior padding, washable liner

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Good ventilation
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Certified at ASTM/SEI standards

Cons:

  • Might not suit all types of horseback ridings

Troxel Cheyenne Horseback Riding Helmet – Best Western Design

General Description

The Troxel Cheyenne horseback riding hat is undoubtedly one of the products with the best western design! It features a faux leather cover, making it excellent for horseback riders looking for a unique helmet! And, if you want an extra touch of uniqueness or you want a western look, you can add a brim!

This product has six mesh-covered vents, which provide excellent ventilation, and a SureFittrade Pro fit system. It also has a self-locking fidlock buckle. Moreover, it is SEI and ASTM F1163 – 15 certified.

Size/s: Small (6 ⅝ to 7), large (7 ¼ to 7 ⅜), medium (7 to 7 ¼)

Color/s: Brown

Material/s: Faux leather outer material

Key takeaways: SureFittrade Pro fit system, self-locking fidlock buckle, six mesh-covered vents

Pros:

  • Good ventilation
  • Excellent western-like design
  • Comfortable
  • Certified at ASTM/CEI standards

Cons:

  • Weak visor

Troxel Rebel Horseback Riding Helmet – Best Style

General Description

Yet another uniquely-designed product! The one we’re featuring has a colorful dreamcatcher on it, but there are others you can choose from! With a black background and these colorful designs, you’ll definitely stand out among other riders!

The product features honeycomb mesh-covered vents and FlipFold removable washable headlines, making it well-ventilated and easy to use. Moreover, it’s ASTM certified!

Some users reported that the helmet is lightweight, and sometimes they even forgot they were wearing it!

Size/s: Large (7 ¼ to 7 ⅜), extra large ( 7 ⅜ to 7 ¾)

Color/s: Dreamcatcher, Arrow, Navajo, Pink Rose, Turquoise Rose

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: Honeycomb mesh-covered vents, Flipfold removable washable headlines, ASTM certified

Pros:

  • Safe yet stylish and comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Well-ventilated
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Numerous designs available
  • Certified at ASTM/SEI standards

Cons:

  • Some users reported that the helmet is smaller than expected and that ordering a larger size is better.

Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding Helmet – Best Multiple-Certification

General Description

If you’re looking for a classic yet stylish helmet, you should certainly check out the Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding Helmet, the best multiple-certification product on our list!

While you can opt for the classic black color, you can also choose among the other six colors if you want a more personalized helmet.

Since it’s lightweight, the product is excellent for schooling and other types of riding. One of the best things about this helmet is the GPS II soft-touch dial which allows you to quickly and precisely adjust the helmet.

Moreover, the large vents assure cooler, superior ventilation, which can sometimes even make you forget you’re wearing it!

The product is ASTM F1163-04a/SEI certified. Moreover, it’s certified under European EN 1384 standards.

Size/s: Small (6 ⅝ to 7), large (7 ¼ to 7 ⅜), medium (7 to 7 ¼)

Color/s: Black, Black Duratec, Bluestone Duratec, Cobalt, Evergreen Duratec, Ruby, Tan

Material/s: Plastic

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: GPS II soft-touch dial allowing quick helmet adjustment, large vents

Pros:

  • Good ventilation
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable
  • Certified under ASTM/SEI and European EN 1384 standards

Cons:

  • Users reported that the straps often loosen up.

Troxel Performance Headgear Equestrian-Protective Gear Riding Helmet – Best Color Variation

General Description

If you and your kid love horseback riding, you can buy helmets for both, as this Troxel helmet is the best color variation option on our list! You can choose the classic Smoke or Navy color and the T-Rex or Multi option for your kid! Now you’ll have matching helmets!

This product is low profile and assures full coverage for extra comfort. Moreover, it has a great ventilation system, allowing you to ride when the weather is hot. Its drop-back design increases the helmet’s stability.

Moreover, many users reported that this is among the only products on the market with sizes true to the measurement size chart. Since ordering online is trickier than measuring helmets in a store, this is a huge advantage!

Size/s: X-small; large

Color/s: navy, smoke, raspberry, multi, black, t-rex, teal, violet

Material/s: Plastic

Key takeaways: Dial-Fit technology, drop-back design

Pros:

  • Good ventilation
  • Dial-Fit technology
  • Comfortable
  • Different styles and colors to choose from
  • Certified under ASTM/SEI standards

Cons:

  • Not adjustable

Troxel Performance Headgear Equestrian Dakota Riding Helmet – Best Extended Sun Visor

General Description

Another Troxel helmet, the best extended sun visor on our list – it is just as nice as the others! However, this one has a different design, coming in Turquoise, Traildust, and Brown styles, each with unique elements.

The helmet has a great ventilation system and is lightweight. It is excellent for horseback riding in high temperatures, especially since it has an extended sun visor.

Moreover, it has a SureFit Pro hat band and mesh-covered vents, which add to the product’s lightweight and low-profile qualities.

On the other hand, some users reported that the rivets holding the back strap in place consist of plastic, and they sometimes can put pressure and cause headaches. However, this may also depend on whether the users have ordered the correct size.

Size/s: Medium (7 to 7 ¼), small, large, X-large

Color/s: Turquoise, Traildust, Brown

Material/s: Plastic

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: SureFit Pro hat band, mesh-covered vents, extended sun visor

Pros:

  • Additional protection against sunlight
  • Good ventilation
  • Low-profile
  • Certified under ASTM/SEI standards

Cons:

  • The rivets holding the back strap may put pressure and cause headaches.

– Best Ventilation

General Description

This IRH International Riding Helmets product with the best ventilation system is famous for its lightweight qualities and Dial-Fit system, making a custom fit possible just by turning the dial.

Moreover, the helmet has nine venting ports, making it perfect for horseback riding in hot weather. It weighs only 10 ounces (283.5 grams) and is excellent even for beginners.

Besides, the manufacturer advises that the helmet is easy to clean, which only adds to the product’s advantages! It also comes in various colors, so you have plenty to choose from!

Users reported that the helmets are most often true to the measurement size chart, which is of utmost importance when ordering equestrian helmets online.

However, if you’re looking for a more stylish or uniquely designed helmet, this might not be the first choice on your list.

The product has the ASTM F1163=15/USA/SEI certification.

Size/s: Small, medium, large

Color/s: Black, Blue Mist, Green, Lavender, Navy, Purple, Sunset Pink, White

Material/s: Plastic

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: Dial-Fit system, nine venting ports

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Good ventilation
  • Dial-Fit system
  • Easy to clean
  • True to the measurement size chart
  • Certified under ASTM/SEI standards

Cons:

  • May not suit your needs if you’re looking for an extra stylish helmet

TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet with Carbon Fiber Grill – Best Classic

General Description

With an ABS outer shell and a black EPS liner, this TuffRider helmet is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a classic black riding hat with a matte look.

The product has a great ventilation system and a washable lining. Moreover, the brim is detachable, while the adjustable dial is excellent for a custom fit. There’s also a padded retention system, which allows efficient sweat absorption and maximum comfort.

The helmet is lightweight, and if the visor doesn’t block enough sunlight, you can wear sunglasses, too, as the design permits it.

Besides, this equestrian helmet is SEI certified.

Size/s: Small: 6 ⅛ to 6 ½, medium: 6 ⅝ to 7 ⅛, large: 7 ¼ to 7 ½ 

Color/s: Black

Material/s: Carbon-Steel

Age range: Adult

Key takeaways: Washable lining, detachable peak, adjustable dial for a custom fit, SEI certified

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Fits with sunglasses
  • Absorbs sweat
  • Good ventilation
  • Certified under ASTM/SEI Standards

Cons:

  • No color variations

In Conclusion…

Choosing the best horseback riding helmet is definitely a challenging task! After all, your safety depends on this! However, with some research and professional help, we’re sure you’ll order an excellent horseback riding helmet that perfectly suits your head shape and size!

If you haven’t decided which one to order, we strongly recommend our top pick – the Troxel Equestrian-Helmets Spirit Helmet!

Woman horseback riding

Apart from Troxel being one of the major helmet brands out there, this is our favorite from the brand, as it provides good ventilation, stability, and comfort. You’ll probably even forget you’re wearing it!

SaleBestseller No. 3
Bestseller No. 4
Troxel Spirit Helmet Black Duratec Blackduratec M
Troxel Spirit Helmet Black Duratec Blackduratec M
Troxel Spirit Duratec; Number one choice for riders looking for protection, ventilation, and style
$69.99
Bestseller No. 5
Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet, Pop Art...
Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet, Pop Art…
Low profile; Full coverage design for optimal comfort with FlexVisor; Maximum airflow vent placement
$77.19