I have a 2 year old DD who rides for fun at the barn. Just being led around with a spotter. She loves the horses and loves to ride. I need to get her a helmet though. I know she's not doing much but I feel like now is the time for her to learn she needs to wear one (the barn has a strict helmet policy for anyone mounted on a horse, although nobody has said anything about her being on the horse without one).
I'd prefer not to spend a ton as she's young and growing. I also would like to stay away from the dial-fit system. Any suggestions?
My three year old daughter just started riding and I got her the Troxel Legacy Unicorn helmet, size small. It fits great and the great thing about the dial fit is that, since it expands, it should last her a few years (hopefully!). As a plus, she loves the unicorn and looks forward to wearing her helmet!
I have come to love the dial - a -fit. At first I was like, no way! but not wanting to spend too much and nothing else fitting very well, I consented to have my young daughter try on the dial fit and voila. It was the best fitting one out of all of them and she said it was the most comfortable as evidenced by her wearing it all the way home in the car from the tack shop, all afternoon and all through dinner that night! I got it when she was 18 months or so and replaced it with another when she was three. She is now five and the dial part is great for getting a great fit every ride.
I purchased an IRH with a dial for my son when he was 13 months. He is now almost 22 months and the helmet has been wonderful. We purchased the helmet at Dover in MD. Just make sure that you have your toddler there to try on the hats. They had quite a few of small ones to try on and they all fit differently and different price points. I think the IRH was one of the more expensive ones but it was still only around $60, I think.
My two year old wears a troxel size 6 1/2 - not to be a know-it-all, but she should really never be on a pony without a helmet - I even make my daughter wear her helmet when helping to groom the pony. Even if your pony is bombproof, what if another horse on the property gets loose? It's just not worth the risk IMO.
I even make my daughter wear her helmet when helping to groom the pony.
Unless they're helping to groom a mini, the child's head is going to be in range of even the most innocent lifting a foot to brush a fly off the belly or chest. They're also at a good height to get whacked in the head if the horse reaches around to itch a shoulder.
Kids don't have the reflexes (most) adults have to be able to get out of range quick.
Now's the perfect time to instill that helmets are cool -- give them a sticker to put on it (much like some of the football teams do for QB sacks) each time they successfully did some task, whether helping take care of the horse or while riding. If they go into a leadline class later on, you can always throw a cover over it to make the rider look more "adult".
I'm also not crazy about the dial-a-fit helmets, but I think they are the most practical choice for small children who have rapidly growing heads. I think it would be very frustrating to rely on a fixed size helmet because kids grow so rapidly and unpredictably and you would undoubtedly go out to the barn one day and the helmet that fit the day before suddenly doesn't fit.
I too went with a bike helmet for my 2 year old, just could not find a good helmet to fit her. And while I am well aware of the fact that bike/horse helmets are not desigined to take the same type of impacts I also do not believe that 2 year olds have the same type of falls as older/independent riders. I mostly just want something to protect her head from a knock should i have to pull her by her ankle from a spooking/tripping/random loose horse.
And just as an aside, she kept telling me she wanted to ride a big horse, so I found one for her. Nobody call CPS now, for putting her on one of those crazy OTTBs.