Gear Riding

It’s a No-Brainer: Top 5 Horse Riding Helmets for Women

English Helmet
mm
Written by Nancy G.

Fashionable & functional for female equestrians

If there’s one thing women tend to like, it’s a well-designed accessory. The same standards apply to riding helmets, which can sometimes feel heavy or tacky. Not to fear, ladies! There are some fabulous helmet options out there for every style and discipline.

First, make sure you choose a helmet that’s ASTM (or otherwise) certified. Take the time to measure your head for the best fit. While some companies will market a helmet as being for women or men, it all comes down to head size (and style preferences, of course). One K, IRH, Troxel, Ovation, and Tipperary are just a few of the companies with sleek, low-profile options.

Best Riding Helmets for Women

Product Price Point You’ll Love It If:
One K Defender Suede $$$ Sleek design, upscale finishes
Troxel Liberty $ Solid visor, multiple color options
Ovation Deluxe Schooler $ Many colors, beautiful design
IRH Equi-Pro $ Matte and shiny options, lightweight
Tipperary Sportage $$ Great airflow, very lightweight

Riding Helmet Basics

The two main things you should look for in a riding helmet are fit and safety. Look for helmets that are ASTM certified (there are other helmet certifications, like PAS, VGI, and SEI) to ensure the helmet is safe.

Proper fit is also important, so make sure you measure your head before making a purchase.

When measuring, be sure to take into account how you plan to wear your hair when riding—this can make a difference in sizing.

Common Materials

Helmets make look simple, but they can actually be made from a wide range of materials, including:

  • Leather
  • Rubberized plastic
  • Moleskin
  • Nylon webbing
  • Velvet
  • Hard plastic

Helmet Sizing

You know a helmet fits correctly when you feel even pressure around your whole head, with no specific or individual points of pressure. A helmet should sit level and rest about an inch above your eyebrows. Your helmet should NOT give you a headache—if it does, it is likely too small.

Helmet sizes are based on head circumference. While men may tend to have larger heads than women, there aren’t significant differences in shape or height.

Regardless, helmets geared towards women may be more stylish, fashion-forward, or have additional design or comfort features.

Milan English Show

Photo Cred: Milan Berry

Our Top Picks

One K Defender Suede

Whether you need a new helmet for schooling or the show ring, this One K helmet is a solid investment.

This lightweight helmet features ample vents to help keep you cool during the summer months.

one k defender helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Great ventilation
  • ABS composite outer shell
  • Washable, moisture-wicking lining
  • Synthetic suede finishing
  • ASTM and SEI certified

CONS:

  • It can take a few tries to find the right size

See it at Amazon

Troxel Liberty

This super lightweight helmet (seriously, it weighs-in at only one pound!) combines design and function.

The low profile and mesh-covered vents keep you looking (and feeling) cool, year-round.

troxel helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • DialFit system
  • Washable headliner
  • ASTM and SEI certified
  • Adjustable padding (FlipFold system) for best fit
  • Very comfortable
  • Wallet-friendly price point

CONS:

  • Some riders find the straps a bit uncomfortable

See it at Amazon

Ovation Deluxe Schooler

Want a pro-looking helmet on an amateur budget? Look no further than the Deluxe Schooler from Ovation.

You’ll love the lightweight, low-profile design.

ovation helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Easy to keep clean
  • Dial for easy adjustments
  • High airflow vents
  • Washable liner
  • YKK adjuster clip and buckle
  • ASTM certified

CONS:

  • Many riders note that these helmets run small, so you may need to order more than one to get the right fit

See it at Amazon

IRH Equi-Pro

Up-and-coming riders will love this helmet, which effortlessly combines function, style, and safety.

Like with all IRH helmets, you’ll enjoy the benefits of the front vent design, which ensures consistent airflow for your whole head.

irh helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Top-notch ventilation
  • Great quality at a budget-friendly price
  • DialFit knob for best fit
  • Sizing is accurate
  • Suitable for schooling and shows
  • ASTM and SEI certified

CONS:

  • Some riders may find the chin strap to be uncomfortable

See it at Amazon

Tipperary Sportage

If you want comfort combined with a sporty design, this is the helmet for you. You’ll be cool as a cucumber thanks to the vent system and the foam padding.

It’s combination of features makes this choice super comfy!

tipperary helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Lightweight, high-density ABS + EPS foam
  • Modern design
  • Petite visor
  • 11 vents to maximize airflow
  • Suitable for multiple disciplines (eventing, jumping, trail riding, etc.)
  • ASTM and SEI certified

CONS:

  • You may need to make adjustments to the padding for the perfect fit

See it at Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Tipperary helmets good?

Tipperary helmets are a great option for riders. They offer a range of styles and features, and most are budget-friendly. They are lightweight and offer good ventilation.

Q: How often should you replace a horse riding helmet?

Every time you fall and your helmet impacts the ground, it needs to be replaced. Regardless of if you have an accident or fall, you should replace your helmet every five years.

Q: What is the lightest equestrian helmet?

Any helmet made from ABS material, which is both high-density and lightweight, will feel pretty light on your head.

Q: Can you wear a bicycle helmet for horse riding?

NO—you need a helmet specific to horseback riding. Bicycle helmets aren’t engineered to protect you from a fall as high as one you’d take from a horse.

Believe it or not, helmets are actually engineered to the specific type of accidents in sport they are designed for. Your safest bet when horseback riding is to wear a helmet designed for equestrians.

Parting Thoughts

There are so many well-designed options available, it’s almost too hard to choose just one helmet. Whether you need something for schooling or showing, there are plenty of safe, fashionable helmet options out there for women.

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About the author

mm

Nancy G.

Nancy loves retraining off the track Thoroughbreds and working with her dogs!