You’ve arrived at your chosen vacation destination, and all your cares and worries have evaporated with the hot and dry weather. It’s time to wind down, relax and enjoy the horse riding. Outside of the UK, riding safety can be a bit more relaxed. Your guide and some of the other guests have opted to wear sun caps, wide-brimmed hats or nothing on at all on their heads. Now here is the dilemma: Do you fit in with the locals and abandon your riding hat? Well it is hot, and you are on holiday, why not? Surely all those fussy British safety rules can be left at home for a few days. So, do you leave your riding hat in your hotel room, while you go off for your horse riding trek?
Shall I wear a riding hat or sun cap is an important question? That needs to be dealt with before anyone leaves home to embark on a horse riding holiday. As someone who would not be alive today if it hadn’t been for the jockey skullcap, I had been wearing at the time of probably my worst horse riding accident, my answer is always: riding hat.
For hot countries, I have a vented lightweight Equi Theme helmet (pictured) that doubles up as a sun hat to keep my head cool. The Equi Theme helmet has been tried and tested on desert riding in Rajasthan, and on my trek in the Himalayas where it would have been great protection against rock falls had I encountered any. If the climate is cooler or damp, I take my everyday riding hat with me to keep my head warm and dry. Don’t be tempted by cowboy hats and baseball caps. Leave these to wear when you’re exploring on foot.
My advice is always to wear a helmet as horses are unpredictable or as a fellow guest recently found out on my last trip to Arizona; a horse can slip and unseat his rider. Although she hit her head hard on a stone, she had her riding helmet on so there was no harm done. It would have been a very different outcome without the helmet. One day you may need a riding helmet to save you from a head injury too.
The rides where my Equi Theme helmet was tested feature in the second book in the series: The Horse Riding Tourist – India. This book will be available in due course. For more information on what items to take with you on your riding holiday, please look at the packing list page on this website.