The 4-H program has now instituted a rule: any time a rider is on a horse at a 4-H sponsored program, they have to be wearing a helmet. This was brought home during last summer’s 4-H horse show at the Crow Wing County Fair. My friend’s granddaughter took a bad fall off her horse in the show ring. Luckily she wasn’t hurt, but her helmet was cracked.
Even though kids might not think helmets are "fashionable" head gear - especially during a Western horsemanship or costume class - I've noticed they are realizing the benefits of hard hats and wearing them much more often.
There are many different types and styles of helmets now that are American Society for Testing and Materials/Safety Equipment Insititute (ASTM/SEI) certified. Companies that make approved helmets are:
- Troxel - makes only approved helmets
- International Helmets
- Australian Holdings
- Charles Owens & Co. Ltd.
- Lexington Safety Products, Inc.
- Equine Science Marketing, Ltd.
- Del Mar Helmet Co., Inc.
These helmets can be purchased at any horse tack store and are sold through all the equine tack catalogs. The Equestrian Association has estimated that by wearing ASTM/SEI approved helmets, riding-related head injuries have been decreased by 50%.
So why take a chance on a catastrophic injury? Wear your helmet when horseback riding…I do!