Which horse riding hat should I buy?
Whether you're schooling, showjumping, eventing, hacking, hunting or competing in dressage, the top priority should always be safety. In the UK & across Europe there are regulations in place to make sure that horse riding hats and helmets meet certain criteria.
The safety standards for equestrian riding hats are reviewed every two years and take account of shock absorbency, penetration protection and retention. After nearly 20 years, the BS/EN1384 standard was recently superceeded and many competiton and riding bodies, such as British Dressage, British Eventing, British Showjumping and the Jockey Club, now require all hats to meet one of the following standards.
The current accepted standards for competiton in the UK and Europe that you should look for are:
PAS 015 and/or VG1 - provided that they are British Standards Institute (BSI) Kitemarked
Hats that meet the required saftey standards are clearly marked and labeled as such. When you see a product with the BSI Kitemark, it proves that it has been independently tested and conforms to the relevant standard.
Many competition bodies will also accept riding hats made in the USA and New Zealand that meet one of the following standards:
If in doubt, you should check with the relevant competition authority to ensure that your hat meets their requirements.
With so many different riding hats on the market, here are a few other things to consider when deciding which riding hat you should buy?
Style - Riding hats come in different shapes and styles
Colour - Some hats can be customised with bespoke colours and finishes
Purpose - e.g. Dressage, Showjumping, Cross Country or leisure riding. Don't forget that for eventing & cross-country you are required to have a hat without a rigid peak.
Saddlesdane is pleased to offer several top brands of horse riding hats meaning that we have something for every rider and discipline, and all of our hats meet the current accepted standards. These include KEP, Gatehouse, Charles Owen, KASK and Samshield.
Staff at Saddlesdane are all trained to fit hats and have City and Guilds qualifications in the fitting of protective garments. When fitting and/or sizing a hat consideration is also given to the head shape as diffent brands tend to suit different heads. We have hats to suit every budget and pride ourselves on being able to give a bespoke and personal service.
If you need some advice, we'd love to help. Contact us here and we will help you choose the best riding hat.