Choosing the right hat is vital to both your safety and comfort. But with a massive range of riding hats now available, making the right choice can be a difficult decision.

Make the right choice

  • Check that the hatcarries current PAS015, EN1384, ASTM F1163 numbers, with BSI Kitemarks or SEI marks.
  • Choose a hat that has a three-point or more harness fitting.
  • Make sure that you buy the correct size. If you are unsure, then ask for assistance. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a hat that pinches or slips. You can also ask for fitting pads or detachable linings from your retailer.
  • Replace your hat if it has been dropped or you have had a fall.
  • Check jockey skull caps regularly by taking off the silk/velvet and looking for signs of damage or wear and tear.
  • Always fasten the chin strap and make sure it is correctly fitted.
  • Check to see if the retailer is a British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) member (should show a sticker in the window). BETA runs hat-fitting courses. Ask if any of the assistants have taken and passed this course.
  • If you are still confused, ring your relevant society orcheck its rule book. The Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund (tel: 01482 277344) also offers up-to-date advice.
  • Pick a hat that is suitable for the sport you are competing in.
  • All societies will advise on their recommendedrules and some, such as British Eventing, will check your hat at the beginning of the season to see that you are abiding by these rules.

    For more information on choosing the right riding hat see Horse & Hound issue dated 18 January