Head trauma is one of the leading causes of fatal horseback riding and equestrian accidents. Thus, it is important to invest not only in a properly fitted horse riding hat. When shopping, keep in mind the shape and size of your head as well as the shape of the hat interior.
Measure Your Head
Place a tape measure snugly around your head at the widest point, or about 2 cm above your eyebrows. Be sure that the tape measure goes over the bump at the back of your head and directly above your ears. For the best fit, measure to the nearest centimetre. Next, compare your head measurement to that of the manufacturer's sizing chart. It is important to note that some manufacturers may use hat size or universal sizing in small, medium, large, and so on as opposed to centimetres.
Fitting the Horse Riding Hat
Place the horse riding hat level on your head. Consider the hairstyle you intend to ride with, as this can slightly alter hat fit. Those with long or thick hair may need to choose a slightly larger size accordingly. Some riders prefer to use two hairnets to obtain a flat, snug fit; the first hair net is tied into the ponytail, while the second holds the ponytail flat to the head.
Account for the shape of the horse riding helmet. Some are tailored for round heads, while others better suit oval-shaped heads. If it squeezes your forehead but rocks easily from side to side, this indicates that it is too round for your head. On the other hand, if the hat fits the sides comfortably, but rocks front to back, it is too oval. Generally speaking, the horse riding skull hat should rest snugly on your head and cover your entire skull with equal pressure all around.
If the horse riding hat or helmet slides freely, it is likely too large for your head and cannot protect you well during a fall. The skin on your forehead and eyebrows should move with it; this is indicative of a good fit. To make minor changes, consider tightening it through use of slides, dials, changeable padding, or ties. Keep in mind that over time, the lining breaks in, thereby decreasing snugness.
Hat Brim and Chinstrap
The front brim should not sit more than two fingers width above your eyebrows, nor should it sit lower than 1 cm above your eyebrows, as this may block your vision. Still, adjust the chinstrap to fit snugly. Riders can add a horse riding hat cover or silks for aesthetic appeal.