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Riding Hat And Body Protector Fitting

Horse riding can be an expensive sport and it can also be a dangerous one. It is important to make sure you have the correct, well-fitting equipment. 

I offer riding hat and body protector fitting from my showroom in Hinckley, Leicestershire. I have been trained by both BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) and Champion to provide a professional fitting service. I have a good range of riding hats, body protectors and air vests in stock to suit all budgets and all ages. Brands include Champion, Charles Owen, Karben, Helite, Gatehouse, Airowear and USG.

Fittings are done by appointment. Please allow approximately 45 minutes for a fitting. If you are being fitted for both riding hat and body protector, please allow an hour and a half. Fittings may not take this long, but it allows time to try on a good selection of riding hats and body protectors to find the best fit for you.

It is well known that horse riding and equine therapy benefit people with additional needs. If your child has additional needs, please don’t worry about any behavioural problems when you visit. I’m calm, friendly and have plenty of patience. I’ll always do my best to put everyone at ease.

Please Contact Us to book a riding hat or body protector fitting.

Riding Hats

A riding hat is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment you can buy. Wearing one can help to keep you as safe as possible by reducing the risk of serious injury. It is crucial that a riding hat meets the appropriate safety standards to ensure a high level of shock absorbency and to prevent penetration. The riding hat must be a good fit with a correctly adjusted and fastened harness for it to do its job. 

When To Replace Your Riding Hat

The maximum useful lifespan of a riding hat is 5 years from the date of first wear. Even if your hat hasn’t suffered an impact during this time it is important to replace it due to natural wear and tear on materials.

Riding hats should always be replaced if they have suffered any sort of impact. This may be a fall, a blow to the head, or dropping the helmet on a hard surface. It is also important to check for any wear and tear on the harness and lining.

If you have had a major fall you may notice cracks on the outer shell which is an obvious sign to replace the hat. However, in most situations, the real damage will be invisible to the naked eye. 

Riding hats are made up of several layers. The outer surface, the hard shell, the EPS, and the inner fit system. The layer of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) gives you the most protection but it is also the most fragile part of the helmet. The EPS layer is hidden between the outer shell and the inner lining. It is made up of energy absorbing beads that are full of air to form a microscopic bubble wrap. These beads burst when struck so that they can absorb and dissipate the energy of an impact to protect the skull. Any time your hat suffers an impact the layer of EPS is compressed. It will not offer the same level of protection if it is struck again, even if there is no visible damage to the outside of the helmet.


Some riding hats are fitted with MIPS.

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It is a Brain Protection System (BPS) and, where fitted, can be found inside the helmet as an additional layer between the EPS layer and the inner fit system.

Rotational motion can cause brain injuries.

The low friction MIPS layer allows a sliding motion of 10-15mm, in all directions, acting like a second scalp. It can reduce the rotational motion in certain impacts which may reduce the risk of brain trauma. Look for the yellow tag on hats with MIPS.

How To Look After Your Riding Hat

  •  Clean inside with a damp sponge and warm water or use hat cleaner foam.
  •  Do not leave your riding hat in direct sunlight – e.g. on the parcel shelf of a car.
  •  Always let your riding hat air dry – don’t use direct heat such as a radiator.
  •  Use a hat bag to store and transport your riding hat

Remember, you only have one head – keep it protected by wearing a correctly fitting riding hat with the harness fastened every time you ride.


Body Protectors

Body protectors are designed to offer protection to the rider by absorbing high levels of energy created when falling off or being kicked or stood on by a horse. To provide the best protection possible, it is essential that the body protector fits well and all critical points of the body are covered.

Body Protectors do:

  •  Reduce injury
  •  Protect the thorax (chest, ribs and collarbone)
  •  Protect the abdomen and internal organs
  •  Help prevent soft tissue injuries such as bruising, cuts and abrasions

Body Protectors Don't:

  •  Protect from crushing of the body
  •  Offer direct spinal protection
  •  Protect against injuries involving severe twisting, flexion or extension

When To Replace Your Body Protector

  •  If it is 3 to 5 years old
  •  If you have had a serious fall and you can feel damage to the foam (such as dents)
  •  If you have outgrown it
  •  If the Safety Standard that it meets is out of date

How To Care For Your Body Protector

  •  Clean it with a sponge and warm soapy water
  •  Do not leave it in direct sunlight (e.g. on the parcel shelf of a car)
  •  Hang it up when it is not being worn
  •  Close any Velcro fastenings to prevent it getting clogged up with horse hair or hay
  •  Fastening zips will ensure it keeps its shape 


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