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Questions on GPA's/helmets in general

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  • Questions on GPA's/helmets in general

    ok so i have a problem. for some reason, i have an extremely weird shaped head, or at least my helmets think so. so i bought a CO GR8 and it sits on top of my head. im not sure if its just the style, being shallow or just my head. most of the people in my barn have GR8's and they fit them fine. which comes to my next problem. i have a larger head, more like in the 71/4 and up. all the girls in my barn fit into a 7 or below, besides one or two. i've been itching to try a gpa, but the girls who have them in my barn all have sizes that are too small. so here come my questions....

    do gpa's have more depth? are they comfortable? any tips on sizing? and cheap ones for sale?

    thanks so much!
    ~the rider does not teach the horse, it is the horse that teaches the rider~

  • #2
    I know what you mean by the GR8 sitting on top of your head- in my case it's because I have a round head and the Charles Owens are oval shaped. My head is also big- 7 1/4- so I can relate to fat-head syndrome I have tried on every model I could get my hands on, and the GPA is the ONLY helmet that fits, is comfortable, show-ring appropriate, and is flattering.

    Generally, the GPAs are round shaped, however there is some variation between the styles. From what I've head/read, the new "professional" models are more oval, as is the Textium. I have the original Titium, and it fits me perfectly. It fits over my head, instead of on it, if that makes sense. It's the first thing I put on at the barn and the last thing I take off, so yes, it's quite comfortable.

    As far as sizing, the padding does compress a bit once you've had it for a while, so make sure that it's quite snug to begin with. Not give-you-a-headache snug, but you don't want it to be flopping around when it breaks in either. Sometimes you can find them on sale, like the velvet or navy ones, but you'll probably be stuck paying through the nose. I personally wouldn't risk buying a helmet off Ebay, but they can be found there for cheap. A lot of COTHers have purchased from Amira Equi in the UK and have been happy, but I'd suggest doing a search to read up on their experiences and opinions on buying a European helmet. The best price I've found in the States is Pelham Saddlery at $429.

    Good luck!
    friend of bar.ka


    • #3
      You probably should go to a big tack store like Dover to buy your helmet. You need to try on everything. I have a big head (7 1/2-7 5/16 depending on brand) that is somewhat oval but many oval helmets fall down onto my nose. The Charles Owen GR8 does not fit me, but the J3 is perfect. Once you find the "perfect" helmet, you may want to watch all of the catalogues for your model to go on sale. Buy an extra helmet when you find it at a good price. That way, when you are tossed off onto your head, you won't have to not ride for a few days while you are looking for a new helmet. You can guess how I know about this issue!

      Adams Horse Supply often has good prices on helmets, especially when they have a sale. They will also ship immediately if you have a crisis and need a helmet shipped that day.


      • #4
        +1 for going to a tack shop with a decent selection of helmets if you're "hard to fit."

        I just bought a new IRH as they were one of the few that come in "long oval" sizes. A standard size (as in all the Troxels, even the expensive ones) gave a poor fit. The Charles Owens model (I don't remember the specific nomenclature) just didn't fit right; it was the correct size and was stable, but I just didn't like the way it felt. The IRH was also stable and felt better so I bought it.

        Buying helmets is kind of like buying boots. What's really good from Vendor A may suck from Vendor B. "Try before you buy" is a pretty good approach in this area.

        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


        • Original Poster

          thanks for all your input! so here's my next delemma. i figured out my size to be 7 1/4. while searching on the internet, I found this helmet for really really cheap. they only problem is, is that there is limited info and one pic. has anyone heard/bought from this site before??

          ~the rider does not teach the horse, it is the horse that teaches the rider~


          • #6
            Originally posted by whitehorse17 View Post
            thanks for all your input! so here's my next delemma. i figured out my size to be 7 1/4. while searching on the internet, I found this helmet for really really cheap. they only problem is, is that there is limited info and one pic. has anyone heard/bought from this site before??


            I would NOT buy a used helmet - as you have no idea what has been done to it by the previous owner... they could have taken a nasty spill in it which could make the helmet useless (assuming they hit their head) - just not worth the risk. Buy new .

            The other thing is that tack shops are restricted as far as how much they can put a GPA on sale for (same goes for some other brands) so that is why you will most likely never find a new one for dirt cheap. Some have found cheaper ones oversees but if you go that route, you have to make sure it meets the ASTM standards for the US.
            "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


            • #7
              I would spend the money and buy a helmet from a tack shop. When GPAs first came out, I had a coupon that allowed me to buy one for $150. I went to the tack shop, tried them on my daughter and myself. It was obvious that the GPA would not fit either of us. The "cheap" GPA would have been useless for us. You need to know that the helmet fits.

              After you buy a helmet that fits, you can start scanning the sales to get a backup helmet at a great discount. Don't buy a used helmet. Your brains are too important to risk them in a helmet with an unknown history.


              • #8
                Helmets are something you don't "skimp" on. Never buy a used one because you can't know it's history.

                A helmet is a "one time use" item. After it has done it's job (prevented serious injury in a fall) it's earned a "retirement."

                I "used" my helmet last September and IAH replaced it for a very modest price.

                Helmets must also fit to be effective. Too loose and they won't be able to protect (and can even become an agent of injury). Too tight and they will cause headaches and the rider will eventually quit wearing it. A helmet in a locker is a pretty useless item.

                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão