Have you checked inside your riding helmet recently?
No, I don't mean for any spiders or insects that might have taken up overnight or temporary residence there (though it’s good to check for those each time you put your helmet on too). I mean for if it’s 'still in date' and so compliant with Australian Safety standards?
No?……. it had been a while since I had too.
Horse riding helmets and their safety tests are designed to emulate the impacts that can occur when someone falls from a horse.
And those impacts are quite specific and different from those that occur for bike riders.
Riding helmets that meet these standards have an outside shell built to resist impact, combined with an internal cushioning material (or combination of materials) inside the helmet that act to protect your skull and brain in the event of a fall.
Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 5 years or so or when Australian safety standards are upgraded and most definitely before you get back on a horse if you’ve have a hard-blow impact accident/fall whilst wearing your helmet. Although your helmet may look undamaged after a fall, there may be damage to the helmet that is not visible to the naked eye – and who wants to put the full functioning of their brain at risk for the sake of buying a new helmet.
So how do you check if the helmet you’re about to put on your head is the best and most protective it can be?
Look inside your helmet and there’ll be sticker. It will list your Helmet brand, Model No, Helmets code and date of manufacture on it. You’re looking for the EN number. Riding helmets marked EN1384 are no longer compliant with Australian standards, however if your helmet has EN1384 but is also marked VG1 (01.040:2014-12) then it‘s fine.
So before you or child goes to mount up next time – check inside your helmet and see if you’re protecting the precious head as well as you can.
Enjoy your ride!