Liquid titanium hat liners could boost rider concentration and confidence, study finds

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  • The benefits of liquid titanium headwear are now available to riders as well as their horses, with a new range of safety helmets incorporating the same technology, which may boost concentration as well as confidence.

    H&H has reported on the popularity of the liquid titanium masks, sported by showjumpers from grassroots to grand prix level, which riders believe have a calming effect on some horses. One convert to the hoods, Camilla Downe, known as Cam, is an amateur showjumper who works in product design.

    Cam has created a hat liner incorporating the liquid titanium technology, which when attached to the inside of a rider’s helmet, appears to have a calming and confidence-boosting effect.

    “In clinical trials, we found that a significant number of our 350 participants reported feeling much braver,” she told H&H. “We were pleased with our product, which seemed to have an effect in initial trials, but to see it confirmed so overwhelmingly in the official study was amazing.”

    Cam said a huge amount of work went into the design, to ensure the liners do not in any way affect hat fit or comfort. They are detachable, so can be removed for easy washing, and do not alter the look of the hat once inside.

    Cam said riders wearing them were happy to jump courses on average 10-15cm higher than their pre-declared “comfort zone” height. By using pressure mapping, the researchers also found decreased rider behaviours related to nerves, such as pressure on the reins and muscle tension.

    And the benefits may be even wider, she added.

    “One thing I noticed in my horse, Polar Foil, when he had his on was that he seemed to concentrate more,” she said. “When I schooled him in it, he seemed to pick things up much faster than normal — and it appears there’s a similar effect on people.”

    Cam explained that when they tested the liners in a competition situation, riders were far less likely to make errors of course, either jumping or in dressage, and participants said they were able to remember courses or tests more easily than usual.

    “One rider turned pale as she came out of the arena as she suddenly remembered she’d forgotten to post a birthday card!” Cam said. “I honestly think these are a game-changer, and for everyday life as well as riding.”

    Professor Buck Doffe, from the Advanced Psychological Research Institute Laboratory, told H&H the results of the study appear very positive.

    “There will be some who say it’s a placebo effect but in some cases, does that matter, if the outcome is desirable?” he said.

    The masks are available to buy online now.

    • What do you think about the technology? Send your thoughts to hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name, nearest town and country, and you could win a bottle of Champagne Taittinger

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