Best Riding Helmets for Children in 2020

Horseback riding is on par with tackle football and other high-impact adrenaline sports in terms of risk of serious injuries. Equestrians have many witty sayings about the dangerous nature of our sport:

“You’re not a real rider until you’ve fallen off seven times.”

“Of course horseback riding is no problem. Just imagine riding a motorbike with an opinion.”

“Horses will never break your heart. Only your bones, and you have 206 of those. No problem!”

While it is true that there are multiple bones in the human body, there is only one brain. The brain is also really the only part of the body which cannot be transplanted, and the body cannot survive without it.

As an adult rider now, I long for the days when falls from a pony meant I simply bounced, dusted myself off, and pulled myself back up by the mane to ride on. Being an adult means that I bounce less when I fall now. However, even though kids seem to have a mystical ability to react to impact like a rubber ball, their growing brains need special care and protection. For that, it is supremely important to invest in a helmet for the young rider!

What Should I Look For In Buying A Child’s Helmet?

Many kids think only of the way a particular helmet looks – the color, the decorations, etc. Many English helmets have included a variety of colors and designs that can make these helmets appealing. What may be a bigger obstacle are the Western riders, who are not required to wear helmets for competitions. The romanticized images of cowboy hats set on riders’ heads can deter image-conscious young people from agreeing to a helmet. But Western horses are just as prone to spook as English horses. It is known that the majority of falls from horseback happen during pleasure riding, and that traumatic brain injuries sustained during childhood can have serious lasting effects on every aspect of a person’s life into adulthood. With that in mind, what should a parent or caretaker look for when purchasing a child’s helmet?

For the child just starting out casually, any protection is better than no protection. A bike helmet can serve in a pinch for the first few lessons. However, bike helmets do not offer the same kind of impact protection and cushioning necessary for riding, if your youngster is bitten by the horse bug.

It is important to look for a helmet that fits the child’s head, that it fits snugly without pressing. When the child shakes and nods its head, the helmet should still hug the skull securely. Look for the highest safety rating from the ASTM/SEI: organizations that approve the safety requirements for riding helmets.

What Are Some Options I Have For Purchasing A Helmet For My Child?


Troxel Spirit All Purpose Helmet

Troxel Legacy helmet

One of the best known brands of helmets is Troxel. For children, they have developed the Troxel Spirit helmet. This helmet is designed with growing children in mind. It has a DialFit system to adjust the size of the helmet as the child grows, as well as a removable and washable liner. This comes in a variety of colors and designs, including horses, unicorns, paisleys, and dreamcatchers. For the parents’ peace of mind, it is ATSM/SEI safety certified.


Ovation Deluxe Helmet

Achieving the prestigious Amazon’s Choice and Amazon Bestseller nominations, the Ovation Deluxe helmet is another excellent choice for children learning to ride.

Beloved by parents for its adjustable technology, ventilation system, and comfortable buckle chinstrap, this helmet provides a sleek, athletic look to the young rider’s head. Offering a variety of finishes and colors, children of any taste are sure to find a style they like. This helmet is ATSM/SEI safety certified.


Tipperary Sportage Helmet

Tipperary Sportage helmet comes from a company known for designing helmets to protect the heads of Olympic three-day eventers – the triathletes and adrenaline junkies of the equestrian world.

As this is the event with the highest number of deadly falls, the helmets are designed with the maximum aerodynamic and safety advantages in mind. They also have a Western-specific model that is low-profile and goes well with Western riding gear. While these helmets are the most expensive, they are worth the money for safety. This helmet is ATSM/SEI safety certified.


Equi-Lite helmet for Kids

The Equi-Lite helmet for Kids is the most affordable of the helmets on this list. Featuring a three-point release on the chinstrap and an adjustable dial on the back, the helmet is easy to adjust as the child grows.

It can also be adjusted to fit a cap underneath in the winter, or accommodate a ponytail for a pony-loving girl. This helmet is ATSM/SEI safety certified. This model is also available in a variety of colors.


Injuries happen around horses so often that there are a multitude of jokes about them. There is even a number of t-shirts with upside-down lettering, reading “If you can read this, please put me back on my horse.” Nevertheless, these incidents are only able to be taken lightly if all appropriate safety measures have been taken. Including investing in a good helmet to protect your brain or that of your child. Safety does not have to come at the expense of looks. When Olympic athletes refuse to compete without helmets, young children starting out their riding careers have excellent safety role models to follow.

Which of these helmets is your favorite?

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