Anyone who loves riding horses knows the importance of riding with a helmet. September 17, 2016 is International Helmet Awareness Day (IHAD). For those of you that are unfamiliar with IHAD, it is a program aimed at educating equestrians about riding helmet safety through a global equestrian retailer network.
My seven-year-old niece is crazy about horses and takes regular riding lessons with a local trainer. Since she started riding, she has been borrowing a helmet for lessons. After learning about IHAD, I thought it was time for her to get fitted for her own helmet so that she is prepared for riding, even outside of lessons.
The West 20 Ranch and Saddle Company in East Troy offers a generous selection of helmets from various brands, including Charles Owens, IRH, Ovation, and Troxel. Personally, I don’t know a thing about riding helmets, so I left it to the staff at West 20 to provide the knowledge to find my niece the right helmet.
West 20’s staff lined up all of the youth helmets for my niece to choose from. We discussed the type of riding she does, and the different options of the helmets. After our brief conversation my niece chose which helmet she liked the best. In addition to loving horses, she also loves the color pink. It wasn’t a tough choice for her; she wanted the pink one! Fortunately, the chosen pink helmet had many great fitting options so it was right for her needs in addition to being her favorite color.
There are four steps to finding a helmet that fits properly and West 20 walked us through them.
- Measure: Measure the circumference of the head one inch above the eyebrows.
- Prepare the helmet: Open up the helmet’s fitting system (usually a ratchet on the back of the helmet and a chin strap) to its widest position. When you’re unsure of how it will fit, try the largest setting and go from there.
- Position the helmet: If it’s too tight, try another size. If it has the fitting system, adjust it to be snug and make note that the brim is about an inch above the eyebrows and level across.
- Check the fit: Shake your head from side to side and up and down. The helmet shouldn’t wobble, but also shouldn’t be so tight that it creates a headache.
With the help of the knowledgeable and friendly staff at West 20 Saddle Co., my niece not only left with a perfectly fitting helmet that will keep her safe while riding, she also left with a helmet that she thinks is cool so there won’t ever be a problem getting her to wear it.
To learn more about IHAD or to get fitted for a helmet, visit the West 20 Saddle Co. In addition to finding a helmet that fits you correctly for safe riding, you can also save 20% on all stock helmets between now and September 18th in honor of International Helmet Awareness Day.
West 20 Ranch and Saddle Co.
W4812 State Highway 20