Last Updated on January 25, 2023
If your children are mad about horse riding, you’ll want to protect them with the best kids’ horse riding helmet you can buy! But how do you pick the right one?
So you have a little equestrian on your hands! This is great news, but buying all the kit your child needs to start horse riding can be an expensive business. Nobody wants to shell out for something that turns out to be unsuitable, which is why researching the best kids’ horse riding helmets beforehand is a good idea.
A horse riding helmet is not a fashion accessory – it is a vital piece of safety equipment that may one day save your child’s life. It must include certain features and adhere to specific safety standards for it to be suitable for horse riding. So, whether you’re looking for a toddler horse riding helmet, or the best boys or girls’ horse riding helmet, safety first should always be your motto.
When your child first starts riding horses, you may find that the riding center provides a helmet for your child to wear. A reputable riding center will insist that all riders wear a helmet, and this is often a condition of their business insurance policy. Borrowing a helmet from the riding center is fine to start with, but as your child’s enthusiasm for this sport grows you may want to start investing in some equipment of their own.
If your child is learning to ride on a friend’s pony rather than a riding center, it is important to bear in mind that many states have laws requiring children under a certain age to wear a helmet while riding horses. For example, in New York, children aged 12 and under are required to wear a helmet when mounted on a horse.
As any lifelong horse enthusiast will tell you, a quality riding helmet is an essential piece of equipment that may one day save your child’s life. If you are not sure where to start, what to look for, or have quality questions, then we’ve got everything you need to know right here! Let’s take a look at how to pick the best kids horse riding helmet, including our top 5 for you to choose from.
Best Kids Horse Riding Helmet: What Should I Look For?
To be clear right from the start – not all helmets are the same. The bike helmet your kid already owns is not going to cut it when it comes to horseback riding. Each type of helmet is designed specifically for the risks of the sport your child is participating in, whether this is horseback riding, cycling, climbing, or baseball.
Horse riding helmets are designed with added protection in the back of the head as well as protection against penetration and impact absorption. they are intended to not only protect the skull if it hits the ground in the event of a fall but also to cushion against accidental blows from the horse’s hooves. Most top-level riders will tell you tales of when their helmet saved their lives in the event of a fall!
Reputable helmet manufacturers will opt to have their products tested by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), an independent nonprofit organization that certifies safety equipment for workers and consumers in the United States and Canada. If your child wants to participate in equestrian sports or ride at events, they will need a helmet that meets the current safety standards.
Best Kids Horse Riding Helmet – Top 5 Revealed!
To help you choose the best kids’ horse riding helmet for your child, we’ve scoured the market and selected the top 5 products to choose from. There should be a helmet to suit every occasion here – whether you’re looking for a low-budget option for an occasional rider or a new helmet for a child who wants to start competing in equestrian sports.
#5 The TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet
From the Manufacturer:
- ABS Outer Shell + Black EPS Liner.
- Carbon-looking ABS ventilation.
- CoolMax washable lining.
- Detachable peak.
- Adjustable dial for a custom fit.
- SEI certified.
Advantages of the TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet
This horse-riding helmet has been designed to meet the most stringent safety requirements and is fully SEI certified. The outer ABS shell contains plenty of ventilation slots to help keep your child’s head cool. Reviewers note the stainless steel fasteners and vent coverings are more durable than hats with plastic fittings. This helmet is equipped with an adjustable dial for comfortable fitting, and it features a cut-out at the back to enable children to wear it with a ponytail. The helmet lining is removable and fully washable, making it more hygenic.
Disadvantages of the TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Helmet
A few reviewers have noted that this helmet is sized quite small – if you are considering purchasing one for your child, it would be best to try one on at a store first. It can also look a bit bulky compared to other sleeker designs, but this is a small price to pay for the safety of your child.
From the Manufacturer:
- Modern, sleek design.
- Easy-to-clean matte finish.
- Removable breakaway visor.
- Easy-adjust dial fit harness system.
- Exclusive IRH Elite front ventilation.
- ASTM F1163-15/SEI certified.
Advantages of the IRH Equi-Pro Riding Helmet
Reviewers rave about the great fit of this riding helmet – the dial at the back instantly ensures a custom fit, and it can be worn with any hairstyle. The Hi-Tech rapid-drying liner pulls moisture away from the head, keeping your child cool and comfortable at all times. This lining is also removable and fully washable.
The front of this riding helmet features a specially designed front vent that allows air to circulate over the top of the head. It is highly rated by reviewers who are seeking a hat to wear regularly in warmer weather, and it is a good mid-range helmet at a great price.
Disadvantages of the IRH Equi-Pro Riding Helmet
If you are searching for a riding helmet for a young child, you may need to look elsewhere. The minimum manufacturer-recommended age is 12+ years, so it is a great choice for your pre-teen who is mad about horses.
From the Manufacturer:
- Lightweight low-profile helmet from Ovation. Easy-care rubberized finish.
- Features easy adjust dial for a snug fit, extra strong adjustment teeth for added helmet life.
- High flow vents to keep you cool, removable washable liner, removable breakaway visors.
- Exclusive YKK adjuster clip and buckle positioned to stay off of the rider’s face for comfort.
- Ventilated to allow cooling airflow, this sleek riding helmet is suited to riders of all ages.
- Certified to ASTM standards.
Advantages of the Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet
Online reviewers have rated the Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet highly for its light and breathable shell and low-profile design. It is fully adjustable and has an innovative chin strap design to ensure a snug fit. It also comes in a variety of colors to coax the most fashion-conscious child into wearing their safety helmet with pride. This is a top-spec helmet but with a mid-range price, perfect for any child who is passionate about horses.
Disadvantages of the Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet
Some reviewers of the Deluxe Schooler Helmet have noted that the adjustment dial is quite fragile; if the helmet cannot be adjusted to the correct fit, it is not safe to wear. Many reviewers also note that the sizing runs a bit small, so that is something to keep in mind when ordering. It has also been reported across reviews that the visor does not always stay in place.
From the Manufacturer:
- An attractive and economical helmet that meets or exceeds required safety standards.
- Low-profile and covered in weather-resistant microfiber suede with a soft, adjustable nylon harness.
- Features two ventilation keyholes for a cooler ride.
- Incorporates a removable, washable headband that can be easily replaced to extend the lifespan of the helmet.
Advantages of the Charles Owen JR8 Children Riding Helmet
Reviews of the Charles Owen JR8 children’s riding helmet praise its breathability. It is lightweight, has a snug fit, and is SEI approved. Most reviewers state that this helmet keeps them cool during hot riding days which is paramount, especially for a younger child.
It looks smart, and the velvet-look covering resembles the more traditional style of the helmet rather than modern-day skull caps.
Disadvantages of the Charles Owen JR8 Children Riding Helmet
This is a high-quality riding helmet, but this is also reflected in the high price tag. It will undoubtedly protect your precious child in the event of a fall, but is not the cheapest option on the market! It also comes in a limited number of colors which some children may find boring.
From the Manufacturer:
- A deeper full coverage fit for incredible comfort and security.
- Low profile design and Dial Fit technology work together to create the most comfortable fit for a variety of head shapes.
- Drop-back design that increases helmet stability.
- Maximum airflow vent placement.
- FlipFold removable washable headliner with Air-Channel technology.
- ASTM & SEI certified.
Advantages of the Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet
This is a thick, well-made helmet that is fully adjustable, a huge advantage when it comes to your child’s ever-changing head size and shape. The fit, when coupled with the comfort of this helmet, is its strong suit. It also comes in many colors and styles, and the high-quality design means that it should last your child for many years.
Disadvantages of the Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet
Many reviewers reported that they do not like the thickness of the helmet, as it is one of the thicker helmets on the market. They also note that the vents seem small compared to other helmets which may make for a sweaty head on a hot day. Other users reported that the dial used to adjust the helmet has a tendency to slip and require further re-adjustment.
Conclusion – Best Kids Horse Riding Helmet
When choosing the best kids’ horse riding helmet for your child the best option is to look for a helmet with SEI approval, meaning it has been tested and received a safety and quality rating by an independent organization. When considering which helmet to buy, fit, comfort and breathability are also major factors to take into consideration. Many modern helmet designs now incorporate special features such as dial-fit technology and removable inner liners.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the best kids’ horse-riding helmets! Have you struggled to find the perfect riding helmet to suit your child? Or perhaps you’ve encountered some badly designed helmets that we should all avoid? Leave a comment below and we will get back to you!
Best Kids Horse Riding Helmet – Takeaway Thoughts
- All helmets are not the same. Equestrian helmets are designed specifically to protect the back of the head, prevent penetration of any object that you may encounter on your way down, and provide high-level shock absorption.
- The Safety Equipment Institute is an independent organization that tests quality control and is optional for a manufacturer to participate in. An SEI-approved helmet is guaranteed to be of good quality and includes all the latest safety features.
- Breathability, comfort, and a snug fit all are determining factors when considering a helmet for your child. An appealing color and design are not as important, but may convince your child that wearing the helmet is not such a bad idea!
What is the smallest horse riding helmet?
The size of a horse riding helmet can vary greatly depending on which type of horse riding you are doing and what style of riding it is. For example, if you are riding in a jumping competition you will need a larger, more protective helmet than if you are riding for pleasure or just riding to show your horse. The size of your helmet also depends on what level of riding you are doing.
But if we focus only on the size, the Ovation Deluxe Toddler Schooler Helmet is the smallest one on the market in this moment and is, as it already says in the name, made specifically for children. The Ovation Toddler Schooler Helmet is an ideal choice if you want to get your young child a helmet that is going to be safe for him or her, comfortable for them and also a helmet that is going to make them feel like they are wearing nothing at all.
Can 2 year olds go horse riding?
Yes, if your child has the right amount of coordination, balance, and muscle control. A small horse or pony can be ridden by kids as young as 2 years old but, of course, only under proper supervision. Riding with a parent or an adult is recommended because of the risk of injury. When a child this young goes horse riding, two adults will be needed - one to lead the horse, and the other to walk alongside the child in case they lose their balance.
The sooner a child is introduced to a horse, the easier it will be for them to be comfortable around them. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children can start to spend time with horses and be introduced to riding as early as the age of 2. This allows children to develop a bond with the horse in their early years. Spending time with horses is also known for its therapeutic benefits.
How do you measure a child's head for a riding helmet?
The best way to measure a child's head circumference is to use a soft measuring tape and measure around the child's head at the widest point. When measuring the head's circumference, place the tape about three quarters of an inch above child's eyebrows and continue just above the ear line and around the bump at the back of your head.
It's possible to buy riding helmets specifically sized for children. Helmets for kids are also available in many different colors and patterns. This will help them find the helmet that fits their personality.
Can you use bike helmet for horseback riding?
It is not a good idea to wear a bike helmet for horseback riding. The problem is that bike helmets are not designed in the same way as riding helmets.
Bike helmets have to be light and comfortable because they have to be worn for long periods of time. They do not have to be as strong or protective as riding helmets. A good riding helmet needs to protect your head from accidental blows from the horse's hooves should you happen to fall off.
You also need to consider that most horse riding facilities require riding helmets and will not allow you to ride with a bike helmet instead.
How long is a horse riding helmet good for?
Horse riding helmets are generally good for four to five years, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Riders should wear helmets that meet or exceed the guidelines set by the CPSC and are certified to protect against injury from falls or blows. However, if your helmet suffers from any sort of impact, it should either be safety tested or switched for a new undamaged helmet.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.