Do your riding helmet and body protector fit?

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Courtesy of  VioVet’s Hannah Dyball…

For those of us who love horses, few things compare to getting up in the saddle. But despite being incredibly popular and a great deal of fun, horse riding is one of the more dangerous sports out there. Therefore, having a riding helmet and body protector that fit correctly is essential for staying safe and surviving a fall.

These days, more and more equestrians are buying their supplies online. But when it comes to helmets and body protectors, some are reluctant to buy without trying, as these items need to be properly fitted. A hat may claim to be the safest on the market, but if it doesn’t actually fit you, it isn’t safe at all. However, it ispossible to measure yourself up before buying online and get the right product.

When measuring yourself for a riding helmet, follow these simple steps:

  • You want to measure your head at the widest point with a fabric measuring tape, approximately Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 16.11.51
    one inch above your eyebrows, round the back of the head and above your ears. It is important to make sure the tape stays flat against the head and is level.
  • Once you have a measurement, compare this with the manufacturer’s sizing guide on the website. Depending on the brand of helmet you choose, sizing will vary, so you might be a small for one type of hat, and an extra small for another.
  • Some hats are specially designed to be adjustable for a more custom fit. They may have a dial, ratcheting mechanism or padded inserts that can be adjusted to suit you. This is particularly good if you wear your hair differently for riding and/or sometimes wear glasses.
  • Once your hat has arrived, check the fit is right before riding in it. A helmet that fits correctly should be equally snug all over but should not feel uncomfortable. It should be firm against your crown and stay put when you move your head around. If it squeezes or there are pressure points, the helmet is too small. If it feels loose, rocks back and forth or side to side, sits low on the eyebrows or pivots, it is too big.
  • Check the fit of the chin strap. When correctly adjusted, it should fit comfortably underneath the chin and earlobes. It shouldn’t feel tight or uncomfortable around the throat and you should be able to slide a finger between the strap and your chin.

VioVet sells a great range of quality riding helmets, which all come with a helpful sizing guide. Should you need any further help though, feel free to contact us! (01582) 842096.

When measuring yourself for a body protector:

  • Bear in mind what you will be wearing to ride in. Remember that for body protectors to be effective, they need to sit close to the torso. This means fitting it over lightweight clothing such as a body protectort-shirt and layering up over the body protector if it’s cold. If you will be wearing it over a jacket, allow room for this in your measurements.
  • You need to take a few measurements before ordering your body protector. Use a flexible, fabric tape for a more accurate reading. First, take your height measurement, and then measure your waist, chest, back length, and waist to waist over the shoulder.
  • Some body protectors are adjustable through straps on the shoulders and at the waist. When fitting your protector, adjust these for a snug fit, choosing one with straps long enough for further adjustment.
  • Once your body protector is on, check it is the correct length at the front and back. The protector should extend from your breastbone down to your bottom rib. It should lie flat against your body and not pull away. If this happens, you probably need a shorter length. Check that the back of the protector is off the saddle by roughly 2-4 inches.

If you need further advice or guidance on choosing the right product, don’t hesitate to get it touch with us: support@viovet.co.uk.

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