Riding a horse is a symbol of power, freedom, and grace. It’s a life-long passion. But as with all hobbies, there are risks involved. While riding your horse on the ground is relatively safe, one risk that you don’t have to worry about on the ground are cars or motorcycles.
However, when you’re riding your horse up high in the sky while flying over fences and ditches, another set of dangers can be lurking: falling off and hurting yourself or your horse. That’s where your trusty helmet comes in! Here we’ll talk about whether bike helmets are safe for horseback riding
Bike helmets for horseback riders
As riders who both ride on the ground and fly up in the air, we rely on two things to protect us and our horses: helmets and horse collars. A horse collar is basically a collar with a strong, hard metal ring that velcros onto the horse’s head. The stronger the collar, the safer it is for a horse rider to fall off of your horse while it is flying.
A helmet keeps you from shattering your head on the hard ground. It also keeps a number of sharp objects away from your brain and skull. As far as horse collars go, there are a number of different styles. You can choose from a leather-like one with a shock-absorbing fabric liner or from a plastic one that has Velcro or plastic buckles.
How bike helmets are different from horse-riding helmets
Horse riding helmets are more for protecting the rider from their own head, because we’re much more vulnerable to any sort of injury on the ground. A traditional bike helmet, on the other hand, is designed to absorb most impact force off of the rider’s head. But that’s not the only type of helmet that’s safe for horse riding.
It’s possible to safely wear any sort of bike helmet, whether it’s a helmet designed to protect against falls, or a helmet that’s only designed to absorb a blow to the head. But there are also helmet types that are designed to protect against falling off of horses, as they are sometimes necessary in order to get the rider to safety.
What to wear when riding a horse
On the ground, wearing a helmet is your only option. But, a motorcycle helmet is not good enough. You need to get a proper helmet that’s made specifically for use when riding a horse. For example, a neck wrap, while convenient, is not safe enough. (Note: Some brands of motorcycle helmets are “compression-style” and will protect your neck and head but are not recommended for horseback riding.)
A better option is a full face, model for horseback riding, which protects your head. How to know if you’re getting a good one You should be looking for a helmet that’s tight, snug, and well designed. Don’t just go by the cost, although that’s important, too. Look for something that’s made of solid, flexible materials. Also, the helmets with an anti-fog feature are a great choice!
Other safety gear for horseback riders
When you’re out on the trails, safety gear such as a helmet is necessary. It’s also important to have a horse trailer, which is where you and your horse are housed while you ride. But do you have everything you need?
Here’s a quick list of safety gear you should always have with you: Riding boots Boots are a lot like bike shoes. They’ll make sure your feet stay safe and sound, but in the event of a fall, they’ll also keep you from landing on your head.
The laces are made of nylon and some boots have sole protectors, to keep you from running into rocks and other sharp things. Make sure that you use gaiters when riding in winter. If you’re heading off-road or on really rough terrain, you want to wear tights under the boots to make sure that you’re not tripping or slipping.
Thanks to the bravery of many famous riders, there is a misconception that all bike helmets are unsafe. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Both general-use helmets (worn while riding the ground) and specialized helmets are safe for equestrian sports.
What about Cyclists? While the unique design of a cyclist’s helmet doesn’t make it more or less safe for riding, it is worth noting that a cyclist’s helmets do not have as much padding on the interior as a bicycle helmet does.
A smart bike helmet can be more prone to getting knocked off in a crash or lost, so you should be more careful with it than with a bicycle. Bike helmets don’t protect against every potential risk, but by protecting against at least some, they can save your and your horse’s life.