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The Big Bay Mare
Nov. 10, 2010, 10:20 AM
Hello! :D
I'm going to be riding for my school's team in the IHSA next semester after almost a year and a half of almost no riding. When I took my hiatus I had an IRH ATH SSV and a LOT shorter hair. Well, while I haven't been riding, my hair has been growing, and there's no way I'll be able to get all of it under the helmet.
So, alas, I need a new one. Not to mention that helmet isn't exactly eq friendly, I did only jumpers before my break.
What is the big helmet these days? Is GPA still reigning strong or has CO finally gained more popularity? Have black velvet helmets come back?
I've got my eye on the CO Hampton just because in the time I've spent not riding I've developed a much classier taste. Any testimonials on this helmet? Also, my head is a long oval, do they come in that size?

Thanks! :)

TooManyChickens
Nov. 10, 2010, 10:27 AM
The best helmet to buy is the one that fits you properly :) I love my GPA (I have a long oval head as well, and it sits really nicely on my noggin), but the CO's didn't fit my head at all. You'll see mostly GPA's and CO's. I rode my years in IHSA in an IRH, and you'll still see those too.

HUET Brunette
Nov. 10, 2010, 10:41 AM
In my region there are a wide variety of helmets: GPA, CO, IRH and even a few Troxels depending on the division. However, CO seems to be pretty popular the last year or so. You should buy a helmet that fits properly and that makes you happy. IMO, judging is not based on the helmet on your head. Good luck in IHSA!

Fiction
Nov. 10, 2010, 10:44 AM
Talk to the coach of your team before you buy anything. Some coaches have a a preference as to what they like their riders to wear. You don't want to spend all that money on a new helmet and then find out your coach hates the way it looks on you. While fit is the most important, lets not kid ourselves into thinking appearance doesn't play a role.

gottagrey
Nov. 10, 2010, 12:34 PM
Talk to the coach of your team before you buy anything. Some coaches have a a preference as to what they like their riders to wear. You don't want to spend all that money on a new helmet and then find out your coach hates the way it looks on you. While fit is the most important, lets not kid ourselves into thinking appearance doesn't play a role.


Any coach worth their salt would make fit (thus safety) paramount. You buy what fits your head the best, that you feel comfortable wearing, won't slide down over your eyes which invariably you always have to adjust one or 2 strides right before the jump, and one that fits your budget... Generally when you put on a helmet that fits you correctly - its amazing how good it looks over other helmets that might be more trendy - although there are so many now there doesn't really seem to be any that are more popular than others.. I would, however, steer away from the GPA Air Speed or similar looking helmets- not as well suited for equitation..

JumpWithPanache
Nov. 10, 2010, 12:54 PM
You'll see the whole range of helmets out there, from Troxels to Charles Owens to GPAs... buy what fits your head and your budget the best! We even had quite a few Speed Airs (black/black) at the last show.

danceronice
Nov. 10, 2010, 01:19 PM
The one that's ASTM-certified and best fits your head and isnt' going to leave you broke. Any trainer who tries to make you buy another brand that doesn't fit as well just because he doesn't like how it looks is a moron. I wouldn't care if everyone on the team were wearing IRHs--they don't fit my head at all, so I would not buy one (to use an example of a brand I know doesn't fit me personally. My brother, on the other hand, can't wear the Troxel style I wear and has an IRH. We've always had to buy completely different brands of helmets since we were kids.)

Trilogy48
Nov. 10, 2010, 01:52 PM
Charles Owen sponsors IHSA, so you definitely won't go wrong with that choice. In my zone you see GPA, CO, and IRH.

Side note on IRH: They have definitely stepped up their game the past few years in their helmet styles. When one of our new girls to the team showed up in one, I thought it was a GPA until I saw the letters! Great alternative if you're looking for the cheaper side of a helmet.
GPA Style: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-3661&zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=66&zmap=X1-3661&re=viewbuyrec
CO Style: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-36216&zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=66&zmap=X1-36216&re=viewbuyrec

HUET Brunette
Nov. 10, 2010, 02:02 PM
Side note on IRH: They have definitely stepped up their game the past few years in their helmet styles. When one of our new girls to the team showed up in one, I thought it was a GPA until I saw the letters! Great alternative if you're looking for the cheaper side of a helmet.

Agreed. I see more and more of the IRH ATH and IRH XR9 helmets popping up.

indygirl2560
Nov. 10, 2010, 02:52 PM
I love my CO helmets. I had a jr8 just for showing and an IRH ATH, (GPA knock-off) for schooling. After the IRH died from 5yrs of abuse, I made the jr8 my schooling helmet and bought a CO wellington pro for shows. I think the plain black on black CO's look really nice.