As a reminder to all members, WES requires all riders that attend WES events to wear a BHS approved hard hat when mounted, with the exception of shows where adult riders may choose to wear a western style (Stetson) riding hat as long as a disclaimer form has been completed.
Whilst this may seem trivial, our insurance (and many personal liability insurances) are very specific about this point.
What the BHS says regarding the matter.
The BHS always recommends you go to a reputable tack shop and have a new hat fitted by somebody who has appropriate British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) training and is therefore a certified hat fitter.
While it can be tempting to go for a second-hand hat, we advise against this as it’s impossible to see any damage with the naked eye.
Make sure you measure up before going out to buy your new hat.
Your hat should also have a quality assurance mark fastened alongside the label that shows which standard the hat is tested to. Any standard hat with a Quality Assurance Mark (such as a BSI Kitemark or an SEI mark) can be viewed as safer than a hat to the same standard without (statement taken from BETA ‘What to Wear’ publication).
Be aware that hats designed for children can be a different shape to those designed for adults, even if they are the same brand. Always have your head measured and hat fitted properly when buying a new one to check it is the best shape for you.
Whether you choose a fancy, top of the range hat or a plain, less expensive one it does not matter – the main thing is that it meets one of the accepted standards.
You only have one head – keep it as safe as you can and wear a fitted hat that is fastened each and every time you ride.
Approved Riding Hats
Understanding which manufacturers of riding hats are approved and which are not can be a minefield, however, the BHS have published clear guidance in this regard and all of the required information can be found in the file linked below.