Riding Hat Fitting And Care
The aim of your riding hat is not only to provide protection but also comfort. It doesn’t matter if you just have a hat for hacking or if you’re an international competition rider, you only have one head and therefore it’s in your best interest to ensure it is fitted correctly.
Every brand of hat fit’s differently and within this the fit and size of each model will also vary. Not everyone has the same shaped head, some are more rounded while others are more oval, some deeper and some flatter, which means that not every hat will fit your particular head shape and you may need to try a few models before finding the perfect fit.
This makes it even more important to have every hat fitted correctly by a BETA approved fitter, not just at the start of your hat’s life but at least once a year, as the padding can flatten with wear leading to the hat becoming slightly looser in areas. I once had exactly this problem, when a hat slipped down and blocked my view while I was jumping! Equally, if your hat is too tight it can lead to migraines and other head pains.
Top Tips for Hat Care;
- Let it dry naturally. If it does get wet, don’t try to dry it using a radiator or a hair dryer
- Invest in a good hat bag to keep your hat protected while it is not in use
- Limit the amount it is dropped or knocked. Every time your hat has an impact it can cause invisible internal damage which can build up, stopping your hat from providing you with the full protection required
- Always replace your hat after a fall, even if there is no visible damage (there will almost certainly be internal damage), or every 2-3 years without a fall, as the protective materials will begin to deteriorate
- Avoid storing in a hot environment or direct sunlight as this will cause the protective materials to deteriorate quicker
*Photos taken by Events Through a Lens, while having my Gatehouse hat fitted on their stand at Badminton Horse Trails.