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Three cheers for Charles Owen

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  • Three cheers for Charles Owen

    I am not sure how aware everyone is of CO's helmet replacement policy. So, just so everyone knows, it rocks.

    I took a pretty hard tumble a couple of weeks ago at Seneca (after the last fence ). While I felt ok, I probably did ring my bell a little, and I DID hit the ground like a ton of bricks. I pulled my cover off my helmet the next day, just to see if there was any outward signs of a hit (I was already set to replace). There wasn't, but the whole thing had an unnerving flex to it.

    While a new helmet wasn't in my budget, I couldn't not do it, so I went and bought a new helmet from the tack shop in town (also three cheers for the Tack Box in Middleburg for being super helpful and awesome in this process!). They told me how to go about doing the replacement (at this point it would have been a credit, since I needed the helmet and hadn't done the paper work).

    It was really relatively easy. I got my proof of purchase from Smartpak (who I bought the now defunct helmet from- three cheers to them, as well), and filled out the accident report form on the Charles Owen website. They emailed me back and said I was due 50% off on a new helmet and to print the email and take it in to the tack shop. So, today, I took my receipts and emails in to the Tack Box, along with the wonky helmet, and got a 50% credit back on my card (which I promptly spent half of, of course).

    So, moral of the story: don't hesitate to replace your helmet in a fall (well, if it's a CO...I don't know the other companies' policies). Do the tiny bit of paperwork, and get yourself some credit for a new one. It isn't hard, and depending on how old your helmet is, you can save a substantial amount (mine was less than 2 years old). It's always good practice to replace, even if you don't think you hit your head (had a girl who thought she landed on her butt quickly come down with symptoms of a well rung bell. Pulled the cover off her helmet...it was well and truly cracked on the outside!). And CO makes it VERY easy to do, and save some cash while doing it.

    Thanks, Charles Owen!

  • #2
    Yes, three cheers for Charles Owen!! I replaced an old helmet after a fall a few years ago, only to fall THE FIRST TIME I rode in my new one. CO was more than accommodating in helping me replace both.

    I also wanted to add that I think CO uses the helmets turned in from falls in their research to help improve their future products. Gotta love a company that is always trying to improve and keep us safe. Thanks, Charles Owen! I will never wear anything else.


    • #3
      I am considering replacing my "fallen" helmet with a CO due to this policy. I have a Tipperary Sportage (which I love for being lightweight and ventilated) but their policy is only if you purchased the helmet within the past year, which I hadn't.

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


      • #4
        They did the same for my daughter after a k.o. fall. But I think most helmet manufacturers might be inclined to do the same (if your head does not fit a CO) because of litigation.

        Somebody should send this off to CO if they felt so inclined - we send the rhubard often enough, but not the roses.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


        • #5
          Ovation and One K helmets do the same thing within 3 years of purchase.
          The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


          • #6
            Good to know Ovation does the same thing, since I have one! I love my helmet, but am wanting to upgrade to a CO next year.

            I love seeing cheers being sent out to companies who stand by their products and policies. Too often we hear negative feedback, so its reassuring to know there are still companies out there who will help the consumer.
            runnjump86 Instagram

            Horse Junkies United guest blogger


            • #7
              I've done a CO replacement helmet directly through the company - also very easy. Id tried to do it through a tack shop a couple years earlier and they didn't know what I was talking about, which is why I called them directly the next time. Rep asked for information on the first tack shop to make sure they know about the policy and said they use the helmets for research, and certainly would have liked the first one back. Great company!


              • #8
                I just got my first Charles Owen Helmet so that is great information to know!
                "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
                ignorance!" Officer Beck


                • #9
                  Hey Yellow b.

                  Were you the one that went off just before the finish line??? I saw it and thought good gosh what happened. Anyway, I went off as well at the 4th fence pony just wasn't going to do it. . . I'm going right out to check my CO helmet, thanks for the info.
                  RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                  "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Eventer55 View Post
                    Were you the one that went off just before the finish line??? I saw it and thought good gosh what happened. Anyway, I went off as well at the 4th fence pony just wasn't going to do it. . . I'm going right out to check my CO helmet, thanks for the info.
                    Yep. That was me. We jumped EVERYTHING, and he was great, too, at all the tough questions. But in between fences, he was absolutely wild and hanging towards the trailers. He came in quite crooked to the last, which also was not big enough to back him off (I was trying to get him to take care, but his mind was elsewhere). He jumped rather poorly and caught a hind leg, and shot me out of the tack. I clung on for about 4 strides, but just couldn't keep it up! When I sat up and looked to see how close I was to the finish flags, it looked about 2 strides. We've had an interesting season, to say the least.

                    As for checking your helmet, remember that there can be structural damage that you can see, which is why it is always a good idea to replace after a fall.


                    • #11
                      My husband said "Holy cr@p she should have ridden upside down, or across his neck or SOMETHING. . . he actually saw it. I just called the tack store and they are helping me, I have to bring in the report yadda yadda yadda and I'm waiting for the CO email telling me how much I get off . My husband has me on video going off, maybe they will give me more off if I send the video!

                      Yea for CO company!!! Sorry about your fall and sounds like a bizarre year.

                      As an aside I wonder what would have happened if he had launched you ACROSS the finish line?
                      RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                      "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                      • Original Poster

                        Oh, trust me, I tried to hang on. Apparently I need to take a few more trick riding lessons and a few less dressage lessons!

                        Like I said, it has been a weird season for us. Falling off between the last and the finish flags was just necessary for its weirdness to continue.


                        • #13
                          As a follow up, I just heard from CO and they are giving me 65% off a new helmet, it will happen tomorrow. I love this company. and thanks to YelowB.
                          RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                          "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                          • #14
                            As far as I know, all the major companies have replacement policies, but they seem to be handled differently.

                            I just did a replacement through IRH and one through Ovation, both were great. IRH requires you contact them for a Return Authorization number first, and Ovation does not, but with both, you send the helmets back, pay the percentage that you are instructed, and get a new one by return shipping.

                            Troxel does the same, and I've also had good luck with CO. I'm sorry, and surprised to hear that Tipperary only will replace within a year of purchase. That definitely would affect my decision of which helmet to purchase in the first place.

                            It is absolutely CRUCIAL that any helmet that has had ANY impact with the ground in a fall be replaced, even if the helmet looks perfectly fine to you. In order to protect your head, the foam inside compresses and absorbs the impact. Should you fall on the same place again, the helmet would not be able to protect your head.

                            And we all know that head injuries are not worth taking a chance on.

                            Thus endeth your PSA for today, and I know most of you know this, but on the off chance that someone does not, I feel compelled to point it out. Also, I've done a lot of helmet replacements, basically because I could make sure my friends replaced helmets if I offered to do the paperwork and ship them back. If anyone ever needs any assistance in figuring out the rules and how to send one back, let me know and I'll be glad to help!

                            I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                            Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


                            • Original Poster

                              It is absolutely CRUCIAL that any helmet that has had ANY impact with the ground in a fall be replaced, even if the helmet looks perfectly fine to you. In order to protect your head, the foam inside compresses and absorbs the impact. Should you fall on the same place again, the helmet would not be able to protect your head.
                              I just wanted reiterate this. The helmet in THIS fall looked fine, on the outside. And the flex it had probably would not have been noticed in the usual daily handling of it. But the flex was there, and very disconcerting.

                              The last helmet I replaced (wish I had used the replacement policy then, too!), also looked perfectly fine. And I didn't even think about replacing it, as I didn't think my head hit, until I watched the video of my fall. My head whiplashed back, and smacked the back rail of the xc oxer pretty hard. I ordered a new helmet after I saw that.

                              It isn't worth letting it go to me. Helmets are pricey, but necessary...now if I could just manage to stay on a little more often so I don't have plan for them in my budget!