A riding hat is one of the first purchases you’ll make when a child gets into horse riding. It’s an essential part of a child’s riding kit and understanding the hat standards and how they are awarded will help you narrow down your choice. If your child is going for riding lessons or is taking part in Pony Club, it’s important to check which hats will be allowed – riding schools will set their own rules, but we’ve marked the hats suitable for Pony Club below.
More riding hats than ever before incorporate an adjustable dial that allows you to tailor the fit. These riding hats with an adjustable dial are particularly handy for children because they’ll fit for longer while your child is growing.
Jockey skull vs peaked helmet
When choosing a new riding hat for a child, you’ll need to decide between two main styles – a peaked helmet or a jockey skull. While some peaked helmets can look more fun and appealing, especially those that are coloured or have glittered sections, you can choose between thousands of hat silks to cover a jockey skull, which makes them perfect for a fan of the matchy-matchy trend. If your child is likely to be going cross-country, they’ll need to have a helmet without a peak to comply with safety rules.
Get a riding hat fitted
Horse & Hound strongly advises that you get your hat fitted by a BETA-trained professional before making a purchase – the same advice goes for body protectors, too. Find out if your local tack shop can provide this service here.
Best children’s riding hats
Charles Owen Young Riders Jockey Skull
Colours: Black | Sizes: 49–62cm, including round fit | Standards: ASTM F1163, PAS 015 (with Kitemark), VG1 (with Kitemark) | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: £80 |
This jockey skull provides multi-standard protection, plus it has a deep fit and 10 ventilation holes for breathability.
Shires Karben Junior Skull Cap
Colours: Black or grey | Sizes: 53–62cm | Standards: PAS 015 (with Kitemark) | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: £59.99 |
This lightweight skull cap balances safety with affordability. It has a deep fit, plus 16 ventilation holes and mesh sections in the padded lining for enhanced climate control. The adjustable four-point harness is made from hard-wearing, soft web, with a soft cover on the chin strap.
Champion Junior X-Air Plus Peaked Hat
Colours: Black, navy, black/slate or navy/pink | Sizes: 6¼–7¾ | Standards: ASTM F1163, PAS 015 (with Kitemark), VG1 | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: £100 |
This lightweight helmet is ventilated and has crown comfort padding with breathable mesh inserts. It has a durable synthetic suede finish and four-point padded nubuck harness with rear lacing adjustmet and a quick-release buckle.
Whitaker NRG (New Rider Generation) Riding Helmet
Colours: Black, navy, black/sparkle or navy/sparkle | Sizes: XS–L | Standards: ASTM F1163 (with SEI mark), VG1 | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: From £95 |
This adjustable helmet has a smooth, matte effect outer and two front vents. It also has a breathable Coolmax lining, which is removable and machine washable.
Gatehouse Jockey Skull 4 Kids
Colours: Black, pink or baby blue | Sizes: 52–62cm | Standards: PAS 015 (with Kitemark), VG1 | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: £79.99 |
This jockey skull has a three-point harness and an Aegis antibacterial lining, and it comes in a handy padded storage bag.
Rhinegold Glitter Pro Riding Hat
Colours: Black or navy | Sizes: 6⅜–6¾ | Standards: PAS 015 (with Kitemark) | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: £69.95 |
This ventilated hat has a removable, washable liner and a soft suede style Coolmax-lined harness, while the glitter panel adds a touch of glamour.
Uvex Perfexxion II XC Skull Cap Junior
Colours: Black | Sizes: XXXS–S | Standards: VG1 (with Kitemark) | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: £210 |
This slim, lightweight and ergonomically designed helmet has an innovative outer shell that extends over the neck for additional protection, while the ponytail cut-out is a convenient feature for riders with longer hair. It also has large air channels, that combined with a honeycomb structure, offer great ventilation. The liner and washable memory foam pads contribute to comfort and aid the adjustable fit.
Pikeur-Abus Air Duo Helmet
Colours: Black or midnight blue, in gloss or matt | Sizes: XS–M | Standards: ASTM F1163 (with SEI mark), VG1, PAS 015 (with Kitemark), SNELL | Allowed at Pony Club: Yes | RRP: From £149.95 |
This brand new adjustable helmet is the result of a new collaboration between equestrian stalwart Pikeur and Abus, which is leading bicycle safety brand. The Air Duo is a hybrid helmet with a detachable visor. It has a slightly rounder shape with a low-profile cut, plus a ratchet buckle, pony tail cut-out and 18 ventilation channels.
Ride-a-Head Start Lovely Horse Riding Hat
Colours: Black, berry, lolly pink, deep sea blue or turquoise | Sizes: S or M | Standards: VG1 | Allowed at Pony Club: No | RRP: £29.90 |
This fun and lightweight riding hat has an adjustment dial for a variable fit. The air vents have integrated insect guards, while the inner lining is removable and machine washable at 30° C.
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