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View Full Version : Help me pick out a Helmet!



SamWerner
Jan. 25, 2011, 11:36 AM
So now that we have to wear helmets below 4th level...how about we make a thread for the "not used to wearing a helmet at shows" people. Although I have not worn a helmet since I was 18 (yea, probably not the smartest thing), I support this new rule! And in a couple years I will be starting my boy under saddle, and will wear a helmet everyday with him!

I would love a helmet that doesn't make me look like an alien, or have a huge head. So please list the good and the bad/ugly so all of us not used to this know which ones to buy :D

*Also- What looks better...I have a navy coat, do I get a navy helmet? Or do I just stick to black to match my boots?


Thanks in advance!

dghunter
Jan. 25, 2011, 11:53 AM
I love my CO GR8!!! Everything else looked like a salad bowl on my head :lol::lol: I must have tried at least 10 different helmets before finding my true love lol.

GallantGesture
Jan. 25, 2011, 12:01 PM
I also LOVE my CO GR8! I got a blue one to match my navy coat. I liked the helmet so much, I couldn't wear my old black velvet one any more, it just didn't feel as good, so I bought a black CO JR8 for schooling, and I LOVE that one as well! They are so comfortable, I forget I'm even wearing a helmet, and they do not look huge on my head like the old velvet ones.

IRH also makes a model that is very very similar in looks to the CO helmets, but the fit is a little different. I thought it squeezed my head funny, but my friend loved the way it felt and thought the CO didn't sit right on her head... so if the CO is uncomfortable for your head shape, try the IRH.

If you hurry, all Charles Owen stuff has been on sale, but I think it's only until the end of the month? It is never on sale any other time.

joiedevie99
Jan. 25, 2011, 12:42 PM
I have a Charles Owen JR8 for shows (which is the GR8 with a nylon harness intead of the fancy leather one). The all velvet Charles Owens are nice also, and I see quite a few of the GPA Titium/Textium styles.

I have all black because my show coat is black. My shad is midnight blue and I'd really like a blue helmet for it- but every one I've found is too light. For now, I'll be wearing my all black JR8 with the shad too.

I've seen helmets in black, navy, charcoal grey and brown all look really good depending on the horse/coat.

Lori
Jan. 25, 2011, 12:51 PM
I love my Charles Owen JR8. I am very petite and don't look good in big helmets unless you like the lollipop look. I have all black.
It is so comfortable, I don't even think about wearing it, even in the hottest of hot weather.

AnotherRound
Jan. 25, 2011, 12:55 PM
You know what I'd like to see - photos - good photos of people wearing the different COs and IRHs and other helmets - because some of these suckers look really nice on the shelf and then you put them on your 52 year old self and you gotta go, hey, oh, wow, now that just ain't right, I mean, what the dickens! Dang, that's a sad looking woman, nope, nosireebob, not what I envisioned myself looking like in the show ring at.all. Wowser.

For what its worth, the only pictures I see of people with helmets on are 16 year old girls in the Dover catalogue wearing watermelons with winning smiles. Just haven't seen a nice looking photo like over fences identifying the helmet.

I've seen some nice jumper pics with good looking helmets, but I'll be darned if I know what helmet they are!

I mean, if they show photos of the helmets with no heads in them, is that a clue?

kcmel
Jan. 25, 2011, 01:06 PM
I recently tried on the JR8 at Dover and I thought it was quite mushroomy. The lowest profile ones I tried were IRH. Elite maybe? They were nice, but didn't fit me well. I have learned not to order helmets online because you really need to try them on.

netg
Jan. 25, 2011, 01:37 PM
I would definitely worry less about how it looks than how it fits - you can find some which look nicer than others, but ultimately a poor fitting helmet is both unsafe and distracting. I'd definitely go try some on in person, as they come in various oval/round types of shapes.

ddashaq
Jan. 25, 2011, 01:39 PM
Another one that loves the CO JR8! I don't have any pictures unfortunately, but I wear a 7 and it does not look terribly mushroomy. After years and years of skull caps, I love how lightweight and comfy it is.

Emmas Hot Brass
Jan. 25, 2011, 01:54 PM
The Charles Owen Hampton Hat is a beautiful helmet (depending on your head shape!) and I loved it while I was competing dressage. Its much more classically styled, very pretty. the leather harness on the COs is great too.

I compete in eventing in my IRH ATH. They used to look like salad bowls, but the new ones are restyled to a lower profile, and I LOVE it....

pictures of both (https://sites.google.com/site/bahrcodepony/)

sorry they're a little blurry...

link to dover:

CO (http://www.doversaddlery.com/the-hampton-riding-helmet-by-charles-owen/p/X1-36173/cn/39/)

I have it in black

ATH (http://www.doversaddlery.com/irh-ath-riding-helmet-in-more-colors/p/X1-36314/cn/39/)

Mine is in black/gunmetal

mg
Jan. 25, 2011, 02:50 PM
I have a CO Wellington Pro. I liked the look of the GR8, but it looked absolutely stupid/ridiculous on my head. I have it in all black and I think it looks very nice. It's a little bigger than my GPA, but I don't think it looks ridiculous. I also like the padded harness at the back of the neck. I'm assuming the regular CO Wellington would fit similarly.

Pictures of it "on model" :lol: I'm tiny and have a large head (sz 58), so if it looks weird to you, it *could* just be me!

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs783.snc4/66385_753329304929_5811865_40953079_5032967_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs112.ash2/38941_732622945639_5811865_40323156_3519029_n.jpg

Trevelyan96
Jan. 25, 2011, 03:12 PM
I have the IRH Air 10 and love it! Its styled like the CO AYR8. Dover is the only place I've seen it so far.

The IRH version of the CO GR8 is the XR9. The CO fits oval heads better and the IRH fits rounder heads.

The GPA's also fit rounder heads.

The most popular helmet for the jumper crowd right now is the GPA Speed Air

Wayside
Jan. 25, 2011, 03:12 PM
I would definitely worry less about how it looks than how it fits - you can find some which look nicer than others, but ultimately a poor fitting helmet is both unsafe and distracting. I'd definitely go try some on in person, as they come in various oval/round types of shapes.

:yes: I agree. I have a long oval head, and there are a lot of helmets that will never fit me properly in any size, no matter how lovely they are.

swgarasu
Jan. 25, 2011, 03:18 PM
I love my Troxel Grand Prix- it's lightweight, comfortable, affordable, and durable. I also think it looks nice. I'm wearing it in my profile pic if you want to see it on, though that's not a closeup headshot....

BetterOffRed
Jan. 25, 2011, 03:19 PM
The IRH seems to look and fits the best on my head, long oval. I have the black IRH XR9 in the black suede and I also have the IRH Elite in the silver/ grey. The elite is extremely well ventilated, it is great for riding in Texas when it is warm or hot most of the time. Since the Elite has a hard outer shell it has become my everyday helmet and I gues I will save the XR9 for shows.

leilatigress
Jan. 25, 2011, 04:26 PM
I have the IRH All Terrain and love it! But I don't show though I will likely wear it for showing as well. I wanted low profile and vents since I wear it 6-8 hours a day. My only complaint is it's not a dial system and instead has pads to conform to your head. I fitted it to my head BEFORE I left the shop and 6 months later it still fits the same.
http://www.irhhelmets.com/ALL-TERRAIN-IRH-Riding-Helmet-ID-18.html

meaty ogre
Jan. 25, 2011, 04:34 PM
I agree that the CO line in general seems to be universally flattering & comfy as far as helmets go (there are of course the exceptions). But as one who has owned troxel, tipperary, interntaional, ovation, CO and others, my CO was my favorite.

And I like big helmets - they can help balance your proportions as well or better than the the dreaded 80s shoulder pads! Anything that draws the eye up from my wide white breeches is OK!

SamWerner
Jan. 25, 2011, 07:27 PM
Thank you guys so much!! I really appreciate all the suggestions...now I just need to make it to a tack shop to try on :)

TXnGA
Jan. 25, 2011, 08:09 PM
what is the difference between the JR8 and GR8 models by CO (besides price)? They both are described as low profile and one has a nylon harness while the other is nylon/leather.

Is there really a difference in the way it looks on the head?

I'm kinda in the same boat. I haven't really ridden in anything but a hunt cap during dressage at horse trials and don't want to wear my GPA (think bright silver and black) or skull cap in the dressage arena. But I also don't want to spend the money on a helmet at $270+ for a helmet that is the same thing at $140+ helmet.

Thanks,

dghunter
Jan. 25, 2011, 08:24 PM
The only difference I've truly noticed is the harness. I've never had the JR8 on but it looks very similar. It could fit differently and I just don't know so perhaps someone else will chime in :yes:

Credosporthorses
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:00 PM
I have a round face/head so the CO look really dumb on me but I LOVE my GPA titium pro. The only helmet I've found that that fits my head properly. The IRH has hats that look like the GPA too if you don't want to pony up the $500 for a GPA. IMO the IRH look weird no matter which one you choose

Carli
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:00 AM
Love my Charles Owen Hamptons, have one each in brown and navy!

Canaqua
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:19 AM
Which helmets fits (and looks) the best totally depends on your head and face shape. I have a very long, narrow, oval head with a high forehead and a long, narrow, face. I can't even get my head into the vast majority helmets and then, some that fit onto my head, look like mushroom caps on me. GPAs are a total no go, not even close. I can't fit into a 7 1/2 from front to back and most stores don't stock larger sizes. The COs are a little better, but I need a 7 1/2, which is too wide, and they are also too "shallow" for my tall forehead and look perched on top of my head. Only the IRH long oval sizes fit decently, 7 1/4 long oval fits pretty well, I do end up padding the sides a tiny bit. The IRH Elite is the only one I've tried so far that doesn't look like I'm a mushroom.

Hampton Bay
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:45 AM
The JR8 was abit more shallow thn the GR8 I tried. Looked abit more perched, didn't offer aas much protection since it didn't cover as much of your head.

I have an ATH SSV by IRH and I relly like it. I found the long oval shpe to fit very similarly to the CO skull cap I had before.

Sonoma City
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:11 AM
I have IRH helmets for both schooling and show.

For schooling, I have the Air Lite http://www.irhhelmets.com/AIR-LITE-DFS-IRH-Riding-Helmet-ID-20.html

For showing I have the Olympian Velvet: http://www.irhhelmets.com/OLYMPIAN-VELVET-4-POINT-HARNESS-IRH-Riding-Helmet-ID-10.html

Both look nice and are relatively low profile. As others have said, try them on to see what fits best. When it's 95 out in the summer, the last thing you want is for your head not only to be scorching hot and sweaty, but also uncomfortable because your helmet doesn't fit right!

JCS
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:41 PM
I tried all the Troxels, IRHs etc. on the shelf at the tack shop and they all fit horribly and looked terrible! LOL... I think it's an individual head shape issue.

Then I found the helmet of my dreams...The Ovation Sync. Looks great, is very comfortable, and the price tag can't be beat!

http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=OSH

alto
Jan. 26, 2011, 02:27 PM
You're in Fl & haven't worn a helmet for years, go VENTED! they are significantly cooler.

Fitting guide (http://www.irhhelmets.com/fitting_guide.php) so you at least know an approximate size - then call your local tack shops & make sure they have helmets in your size before you drive an hour each way ;)

Most helmet companies will try to have models that fit oval & round heads, IRH offers both options in most models but not all models are available in a full size range, older versions of the same named helmet may fit differently than new versions so if you find a helmet that almost fits & the shop is ordering in for you, check their return policy.

Go to several tack shops & ask for a helmet fitting, if you keep ending up with the same helmet, chances are it's a good fit (OR all your local tack shops carry the same limited helmet range :lol: ) - some tack shops have staff trained in helmet fitting & they know their stock (including how it wears in) & they will quickly have you sorted :) other shops not so much.
Some shops consider helmet sales final, others do not - if possible take your 2 favorites home & try them there over a few days to see which starts to give you a headache - new helmets should fit snugly.

myvanya
Jan. 26, 2011, 02:49 PM
I will echo the suggestion to see if you can't try some different helmets on as fit is paramount. A helmet does look a ton better if it fits well though. Just something I notice :winkgrin:

The CO Hampton comes in navy and looks stunning. As does the brown in the same helmet. It does have ventelation but depending on the heat where you are it may still be a little too toasty for you. I love my GR8 though...I tried the JR8 on as I have a pretty small head and as one person noted it does have a shallower fit so I didn't feel it fit me quite right because of that. So....I ended up in the GR8 and am not sure I ever want another model- I forget I am wearing it. (It is unfortunately due for replacement in about a year just due to age but better that than testing its crash resistance I suppose)

alto
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:05 PM
It is unfortunately due for replacement in about a year just due to age

start shopping now - just went through this with the kid, GPA getting on in age so thought we'd suss out the new models ... new GPA's (4 models that local shops carried) did NOT fit, so went back through all the CO models (better represented in the local shops) & got an almost until she put her GPA back on & realized how much she'd started compromising to just find a helmet, IRH came very close BUT that model did not come small enough - several months later found a clearance GPA same model but younger :yes:

kcmel
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:31 PM
I tried all the Troxels, IRHs etc. on the shelf at the tack shop and they all fit horribly and looked terrible! LOL... I think it's an individual head shape issue.

Then I found the helmet of my dreams...The Ovation Sync. Looks great, is very comfortable, and the price tag can't be beat!

http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=OSH

Oooh, I like! And it comes in brown, my favorite color!

NCRider
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:09 PM
If you google "Allison Springer" helmet you can see some really nice pictures of her wearing what looks to be a navy CO at Rolex this year. I thought it looked great and she was leading after day 1 dressage so the judges obviously didn't mind the look.

purplnurpl
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:11 PM
I bought a JR8 for dressage specifically.
I'm an adult but have a teeny weeny head.

It was hard to look at the pics at first. I thought they looked weird.

but ya gatta do what ya gatta do:

annnnndd..

I would show you all but this stupid mac that I'm on won't highlight the photobucket address.
errrrr!

I'll post with and without pics tomorrow.

tartanfarm
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:19 PM
Are any of these helmets better for a glasses wearer. Not used to helmets anyway, but hate the feeling of my helmet bumping my glasses and making them slide.

dghunter
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:02 PM
Are any of these helmets better for a glasses wearer. Not used to helmets anyway, but hate the feeling of my helmet bumping my glasses and making them slide.

I ride in my glasses all the time (helmet-CO GR8) and haven't noticed any problems. My eyes seem to not like contacts so much anymore :no:

myvanya
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:38 AM
I wear my glasses all the time when I ride (now that I wear them. :p). My GR8 doesn't bump them at all. In fact I don't notice a difference going from GR8 without glasses to GR8 with glasses aside from being able to see better :lol: I can't speak to other models though as I haven't worn glasses consistently for very long.

Alto- yes I will start shopping soon. I am debating trying one of the ovations for schoolinng anyway as I need an extra helmet for my horse I keep at another barn and its just handy to have an extra....so wanted to try that and I very much hope to just get another GR8 for my main helmet as well. I have tried them on again since I got mine and they still fit great so I am very glad for that. I tried GPAs, troxels, IRH...none of them seem to fit my head shape right so I am so glad the CO fits me.

Mitten State
Jan. 27, 2011, 11:51 AM
I love my Ovation Extreme helmet. I receive lots of compliments on it. I think it looks nice enough to show in. Great price on it too. This one doesn't have the thin white "racing" stripes that the Ovation Sync has.

http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/SCHLHLMT/OEH.htm

VTO is a great place to order from.

TouchstoneAcres
Jan. 27, 2011, 01:23 PM
You can get velvet covers in different colors like navy. That keeps the helmet cleaner too.

inca
Jan. 27, 2011, 09:34 PM
I have always HATED wearing a helmet. Would only do so when jumping or on young horses.

After Courtney's accident, I bought a Charles Owen AYR8. I LOVE it. It is SO comfy and I have no problem wearing it every time I ride. I even wore it at a couple shows last year (showing 3rd level.)

I'm going to order a 2nd one but trying to decide what "fun" color to get (it's between the black/pink and the navy/silver.)

2tempe
Jan. 27, 2011, 09:40 PM
being a southern resident now, I just upgraded from an older Charles Owen to their Ayr8 or whatever its called. Has vents... I have an oval head, they fit me perfectly, hold up well and don't look bad IMO. Granted it is not the spiffy look of my top hat, but the new horse is a year away from PSG anyway... I opted for basic black primarily due to the need for instant gratification vs. special orders. Also I found it by far the cheapest at a site www.equusnow.com. And it shipped for free!!
I tried a bunch prior to the first CO, and when they fit front to back, in most cases I could get several fingers inside by my ears - made for way rounder heads.
Also, I bought a can of the CO spray cleaner which works nicely after riding in hot weather...I no longer feel like the inside of my helmet is a science project waiting to happen.....

HCF
Jan. 28, 2011, 10:15 AM
I have the CO JR8 that I bought at a Dover store about 2 years ago. I tried on both the GR8 and the JR8. The only difference I could tell between the two was the harness. On me, they fit exactly the same. I went with the cheaper one! I am looking for a new one now that is vented for schooling, as the JR8 does get a little hot.

HCF
Jan. 28, 2011, 10:16 AM
I have the IRH Air 10 and love it! Its styled like the CO AYR8. Dover is the only place I've seen it so far.



Smartpak also has the Air 10 for $149.95. Its one that I am considering.

myvanya
Jan. 28, 2011, 10:33 AM
Also, I bought a can of the CO spray cleaner which works nicely after riding in hot weather...I no longer feel like the inside of my helmet is a science project waiting to happen.....

Oh....ditto this!!! Love the spray cleaner! I will use that no matter what helmet I have going forward. The spray cleaner is amazing. Definitely worth getting :)

SerenaGinger
Jan. 28, 2011, 10:55 PM
I am loving HeadLine It (http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=8339&cm_vc=Search) for inside my helmet. It covers more territory around the forehead and up than the Wicky Stick-its, and have lasted longer. I was using lots and lots of the CO spray in my hemlet, especially in the summer!

Trevelyan96
Jan. 29, 2011, 12:23 AM
Smartpak also has the Air 10 for $149.95. Its one that I am considering.

Ah... when I got mine, I checked with them to see if they could order it, but at the time they said it would take 6 months!

I really love mine. Its very lightweight and I really like that its vented. It does seem to fit rounder heads better than the
CO's. It also feels much lighter weight, although I'd love it if IRH would make it in brown.

Dune
Jan. 29, 2011, 12:59 PM
I have the CO Professional and I like it a lot. However, now I'm intrigued by the pictures of the Ovation everone keeps posting...looks like it fits like a glove!:cool:

JCS
Jan. 30, 2011, 03:31 PM
Oooh, I like! And it comes in brown, my favorite color!


Here's a pic of me in my Ovation Sync. I love how low-profile it is.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs766.ash1/165699_10150144448359073_692569072_7961615_853740_ n.jpg

SamWerner
Jan. 30, 2011, 05:09 PM
So I think I like the look (and price) of the the Ovation Sync! Which one is better...the all black or the black carbon fiber? How do you guys think the black/navy would look? (since my dressage coat is navy?)

paintlady
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:56 PM
I have the CO Professional and I like it a lot. However, now I'm intrigued by the pictures of the Ovation everone keeps posting...looks like it fits like a glove!:cool:

I like the low profile look of the Ovation, but stopped when I saw "dial fit". I'd much rather have a sized helmet than those dial things. My "everyday" helmet is an IRH SSV. My show helmet is a CO Showjumper.

Mitten State
Jan. 31, 2011, 10:14 AM
I was wary of the dial system too. I tried a Troxel adjustable fit and it didn't seem to stay adjusted very well at all.

I have the Ovation Extreme helmet and it is extremely secure and doesn't move or loosen up. I love the idea that I can adjust it larger if I let my hair grow, or tighten when I get a hair cut. In this cold weather, I could loosen it up a lot and put a headband on to cover my ears.

Also, not something, I'd like to do, but in a pinch if I have someone come out to ride and they need a helmet, they could borrow it too. Again, ick, but if they need it...

PeanutButterPony
Jan. 31, 2011, 11:15 AM
You'll want to try them on, regardless. Oval heads and round heads have different needs. I too like the dial system as the humidity here in FL can be bad and my hair gets fat in the summer and flatter and sleeker in the winter- with a click or two, not much,I can microadjust the fit. Those of who looking down on the dial fit might put one on, to feel for yourself how tiny the adjustments are.