Helmet Awareness Day: My Top Picks to #mindyourmelon

It’s Helmet Awareness Day and all weekend, both online and in many local tack shops, helmets are going on sale.  The point of Helmet Awareness Day isn’t just to go shopping, though — it’s to increase awareness about the importance of wearing a helmet while riding.  It is SO easy to sustain even minor brain injuries from a bump on the head going awry. At Jumper Nation, we recommend that riders of all ages and experience levels therefore wear a helmet while on a horse. It goes without saying, too, that your helmet should be properly fitted and secured.  A loose helmet won’t do much, if anything, to protect your head in the event of a fall or even an errant hoof batting at a fly while you’re picking feet out!

Every time you hit your head, your helmet should be replaced.  The exterior shell might appear to be fine, but the interior itself can be damaged, rendering the helmet less able (or completely unable) to protect you the next time you wear it.  Keeping your helmet in extremes of temperature (a hot car or super cold garage, for example) can also damage the protective properties.  Many helmet manufacturers offer replacement programs or discount programs if you do have a fall, check with the manufacturer on their policy.

Here are my top picks of some stylish (and of course functional) helmets that are out there now!  SmartPak is actually offering a sale this weekend, so jump on it if you’re in the market for new protection for your melon!

One K Defender

I personally own this helmet and have had it for two years.  It has a matte finish that I really like, and the finish on this particular model doesn’t seem to get as easily scuffed up as some of the other matte helmets I’ve owned.  I have a pretty round head, and it fits well.  I also really like how it looks sleek but isn’t as expensive as some of the other models out there — so if you do need a total replacement, it’s not as hard on your wallet.




Charles Owen GR8 Plus

I used to own a Charles Owen when I rode at a mostly-hunter barn; lots of people hear liked them for many of the classic finishes that this manufacturer makes.  The washable liners come in super handy when you sweat a lot, like yours truly.  Also, any Charles Owen that I’ve used has been really flattering to the face (low profile, slightly rounded brim), and that’s saying a lot for my face (hahaha).




Samshield Shadowmatt

This helmet is a classic.  At any “A” show you go to, it seems like at least 50% of the riders are wearing this helmet, or some variation of it (the models can have Swarovski crystals added, or you can change the color of the metal front plate, for example).  It’s a matte finish that won’t get super scuffy, and you can just wipe it clean if it gets horse slobber on it.  I actually owned this model and after falling off a pony and sustaining a concussion, the manufacturer was able to repair it.  I bought the One K Defender (above) while the helmet was overseas in France getting repaired, and the Samshield one was shipped back good as new.


Samshield Miss Shield Shadowmatt Rose Gold

I added this to the list because ROSE GOLD. So pretty, and not flashy. The longer visor additionally provides some sun protection to your face while riding. And again…rose gold.







GPA Speed Air 4S 2X

I had one of the first edition Speed Airs way back in the day when everyone looked at you with shock: Your helmet has air vents?! The depart from tradition!  GPA also manufactures a “Jock Up” line of helmets without the brim for racing or eventing, and I had the basic first edition model that wore like iron.  I sweat a lot, so I’m not sure if the GPA air vents really work any better than some of the other brands out there, but to me, if they’re visible, it helps me at least pretend that I’m cooler.  GPA has also continued to innovate with this 4S system, with multiple layers to protect against shocks. You can’t beat staying cool and #mindingyourmelon.

Go Jumping! (With a helmet!)

Featured image: Kent Farrington, wearing a helmet. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.