Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best horseback riding helmet 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best horseback riding helmet of 2018
Before you spend your money on horseback riding helmet, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. There are dozens of choices for an horseback riding helmet these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples.
On that note, I review the three best horseback riding helmet of 2018 to help you get value for your money. Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this horseback riding helmet win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.
Why did this horseback riding helmet come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this horseback riding helmet take third place?
I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
horseback riding helmet Buyer’s Guide
We strongly advise that the hat you choose has been correctly fitted by a BETA-trained professional. Most tack shops that sell crash hats will be able to fit one for you.
A traditional style riding hat, which is covered in velvet so there is no chance of your hat silk being swept off and causing an “egg-head moment” — riding fashion suicide. This hat carries the PAS01and BSEN138safety standards and is very comfortable to wear.
Gatehouse Conquest MkII
This stylish, lightweight helmet is well ventilated with a removable, washable liner for improved comfort and hygiene. We think this is a really universal hat as it looks good with a tailcoat, in the showjumping ring and will be comfortable hacking or schooling. Conforms to the PAS 015:201safety standard.
PROtector Cool XCountry Helmet
A jockey skull with vents at both the back and the front to keep your head cool, plus it comes with a specifically designed mesh hat cover to allow for air circulation. It conforms to all the up to date safety standards (SNELL E2001) and therefore is approved by BE, BS, BD, British Riding Clubs and the Pony Club.
Get the latest info.
If you’re competing in a higher risk discipline, Clare Williams, executive director of BETA, suggests that you might like to look at a helmet that’s passed a lateral rigidity test, such as PAS015: 201and Snell. If you fall and something lands on top of you (such as your horse), then hats conforming to this test give lateral rigidity to your head, offering more protection.
Riding Hat Dos and Dont’s
Do replace your riding hat immediately if it suffers an extreme impact.
Do buy the best riding hat you can afford and never compromise safety.
Do throw away a hat that has sustained a significant level of impact is thrown away even if the damage isn’t visible.
Do report any accidents you and your hat are involved in to the British Horse Society as they maintain records of how hats perform.
Do replace your riding hat every years – because the padding compresses with wear and factors such as sunlight can break down its construction.
Materials of horse riding hats
Once upon a time horse riding hats were only made of velvet but nowadays different materials are widely available. Velvet, vinyl, leather-look, suede-look and plastic are all options as long as they include the correct safety rating. For competitions, check the requirements beforehand to ensure your hat meets the required criteria as you may be eliminated.
Choosing your riding hat
There are two genres of riding hats: single size and adjustable. Choosing between them depends on your discipline and riding ability.
Features of a riding hat
The chin strap is often overlooked despite being a key part of the hat. It needs to be easily adjustable so that it feels comfortable. The purpose of the chin strap is to ensure that the hat does not move and that it stays in the correct position on your head whilst you’re riding. It should always be securely fastened under the chin and you should only be able to get one finger under it when it’s on. If you can get two fingers, side by side under the strap, the strap is not tight enough. Adjust the chin strap before you adjust any of the other straps or dials if the hat has one.
The straps at the back and side of the hat come if several different designs but all serve the same purpose: to stop the hat from tipping forwards. Fasten them equally.
Some of these liners are attached via Velcro while others are attached via tiny poppers.
Consider buying a ventilated hat if you have a ‘hot head’! From the safety angle, if you’re concerned about whether a vented hat will provide the same level of protection as a non-vented one…be assured that it will. Vented riding hats go through the same rigorous testing process and having vents does not reduce the level of protection. A good example is the Gatehouse RXCSkull Cap. It’s the most protective riding hat we sell. It has vents and yet still has the greatest level of safety certification, i.e. Snell E200and PAS: 015.
From the aesthetic angle, if you’re concerned about how the hat will look when you’ve got it on, the vents are incorporated in to the overall design of the hat giving a modern look which is incredibly popular.
Because a helmet must fit properly to provide adequate protection, a helmet should not be used by more than one rider. The first step in purchasing a helmet is to take accurate measurements of your head. Use a measuring tape that is marked in centimeters as this yields the most accurate results. Be sure to write down the measurements as you take them. Having someone else assist you can make the task easier.
Style your hair just as you wear it when you ride. Different competitive disciplines have different dress codes, and if you compete in multiple disciplines and wear your hair differently in each, you may need to purchase a helmet for each. This is especially important if you have long or thick hair that is tucked under the helmet for one event, such as jumping, and then worn in a bun when you compete in dressage. Remember that your hair comprises part of your head measurements, so if you go from long hair to short or vice versa, your helmet might fit improperly.
Concussions were reduced by 2percent and head injuries by 2percent when the United States Pony Club tightened its regulations for headgear.
Find the widest part of your head, which will include the prominent rounded area on the back of the head. Typically, the widest part of the head will be about an inch above the eyebrows. Run the measuring tape just above the ears, making sure it encompasses the back “bump.” Using the measurements you obtained, look up the size conversion chart prepared by the helmet manufacturer.
The visor should fall just above and parallel to the eyebrows. There should not be a gap between your chinstrap and your skin, but the strap should just touch the skin, not pinch or chafe it. Make sure that the chinstrap and suspension do not pinch your ears.
Replacing a Helmet
The protective core in your riding helmet is not indestructible. Once it absorbs an impact, it could be completely compromised, even if you don’t see any cracks or visible damage. This means that it can no longer offer you maximum protection. Whether you take a spill while making a jump or drop your helmet on a concrete floor, you need to replace it promptly. Since there is no way to verify if the helmet core’s integrity is still intact, it is not safe to buy second-hand helmets no matter how gently worn they appear to be.
Even if your helmet never comes into contact with the ground, you should replace it at least every five years. The materials used in helmets will degrade over time. As it deteriorates, it will become more ineffective at absorbing impacts and protecting you. In addition, manufacturers are constantly researching new materials and production methods to improve equestrian safety, so you can also take advantage of any technological advances made.
General purpose saddles
General purpose are designed so you can do most disciplines in them from hacking to jumping.
Most leisure riders will go for this option, you only need one saddle, but if you compete regularly you may be better looking at a discipline specific saddle to give you the support and security you need.
These are more forward cut so you can ride with shorter stirrups.
They’ll normally have knee and thigh blocks are positioned to help you stay secure and supported when you’re jumping.
Often they have a flatter seat allowing you a little more freedom if you’re riding cross-country.
Flair saddle panels
These air panels are extremely adjustable – this is a system of four air bags, which replaces flocking.
There are two air bags at the front and two at the rear. You can have flair air bags that provide a soft, flexible and event bearing surface.
Flair can be fitted to all conventional saddles and each individual air bag can be adjusted allowing you to add or remove air to give a customise fit for you and your horse.
This is done via two valves that are fitted under the skirt of the saddle.
Flair gives your saddle a constant flexible layer of air that’s great at absorbing shock allowing your horse to move more naturally as the muscles of his back and shoulder aren’t restricted.
Cair saddle panels
These are another type of air filled panel that are found in the range of saddles.
The Cair Cushion System replaces the traditional filling in your saddle with air.
There are two independently sealed air cushions within each saddle panel – the air in the panels can’t be adjusted.
The concept behind this system is the air within the panels constantly adapts to your horse’s working muscles allowing your weight to be more evenly spread across the saddle, virtually eliminating pressure points so your horse is more comfortable.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.
Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.
Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.
Riding Apparel To Avoid
Many beginner horse riders are tempted to show up at the stable in a pair of shorts and some sneakers, with a baggy sweatshirt thrown over top over a tank top. Bad idea. As anyone who has ever ridden in shorts can tell you: it hurts. The skin on your legs will get pinched and chaffed to the point that you will find it difficult to think about anything else. While close contact with your horse is desirable, bare legs and English saddles do not go together. Sandals, sneakers and open toed shoes should also be avoided. Sandals can fall off as you ride and open-toed shoes leave your feet vulnerable to heavy hooves. As comfortable as sneakers, or tennis shoes, may be, they do not provide a firm enough heel to communicate with your horse. Also, the thick rubber sole can lead to potentially dangerous issues when mounting and dismounting.
Technology both make high quality, ASTM/SEI approved riding helmets.
When shopping for an ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet, be sure to use the sizing charts provided online. You will need to measure the circumference of your head, using a tape measure at the widest part of your forehead in inches. Retention harnesses should be of the 3-point variety, which means the strap is attached on either side and in the back, ensuring a secure fit.
You can shop for riding helmets that offer extra measures of comfort with features such as ventilation strips and moisture-wicking panels, depending upon the climate where you will be riding regularly. Riders should never buy a used riding helmet as there is no way to guarantee that it has not been in a fall or other collision and thereby lost its protective value. If you are involved in a fall or collision, it is imperative that you replace your riding helmet immediately.
Riding Apparel For The Lesson Ring
Paddock boots provide good support for the ankle, a firm heel to communicate with your horse, and a sole that will prevent slipping in the stirrup iron. The extra toe protection provided by the toe cap in paddock boots also prevents injuries to your toes and feet when working around horses on the ground. Paddock boots can be found in lace-up and pull-on varieties. Tuffrider is one of the most popular brands of paddock boots, offering a wide selection of styles, looks and sizes. Paddock boots can be work in the show ring if they are neat and clean.
Jodhpurs, traditionally, were loose fitting pants that held the lower leg snugly, Arabian Nights style.
Modern day jodhpurs are snug riding pants that provide good contact with your horse, protection from chaffing and pinched skin, while allowing the necessary freedom of movement needed when jumping. Most jodhpurs feature an inner knee patch for a better grip, usually made from leather.
Riding shirts for the lesson ring are not necessary, so long as the rider wears clothing that will not cause safety risks or become a distraction. Serious riders are better off getting accustomed to wearing a regular riding shirt, called a ratcatcher. A ratcatcher is a short-collared shirt with extra long sleeves. It can be long-sleeved or sleeveless and is designed specifically with English riding in mind.
Riding Apparel For The Show Ring
Tuffrider and Equine Couture are your best bets for high quality merchandise that will provide you with the appearance and ease of movement necessary to do your best in the show ring.
Your show clothes wardrobe must include a pair of tall boots. Generally, these are black and very snug.
Tall boots include field boots, dress boots and hunt boots. They come just below the knee and are stiff. The major difference between hunt boots and dress boots is that hunt boots feature a tan cuff at the top edge. Field boots feature ankle lacing that allows for greater flexibility. Tuffrider is the biggest name in high quality tall boots.
Equine Couture and Tuffrider are all recognized as the brands of choice in show clothes. Show clothes must be tailor fit, comfortable and flexible. Everything must be as clean and shiny as possible for you to win that blue ribbon. If you ride in the dressage ring, elegance is the name of the game. Your dressage show clothes will include white breeches, white or black gloves, a black shadbelly and a black dressage hat. Dressage classes are the only time a rider is allowed to show without an ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet.
Shopping for quality show clothes and riding apparel and a riding helmet requires that you understand the need for form-fitting, well made equestrian apparel. Riding horses means you must be able to move freely, maintain contact with your horse, and look your best, all at the same time.
The Little Extras Make All The Difference
Whether you are taking a riding lesson in jodhpur boots and a riding helmet, or decked out in your classy show clothes, there are several little extras that can take you from average to exceptional. Riding gloves not only protect your hands from dirt and injury, but they add a touch of elegance to your overall appearance. Riding gloves also remind you to keep your hands quiet by bringing your attention to them.
A high quality crop not only helps you to communicate with your horse, but it can also give you that extra touch of style and authority, along with your other show clothes. A good crop is an excellent schooling tool in the lesson arena. Thick riding socks will keep your feet dry and comfortable and a trim riding jacket will keep you warm in winter without interfering with your riding skills. Over the counter products are simply not designed for the body movements required to ride well and safely.
This stands for expanded polystyrene and it’s at the core of every helmet. It’s lightweight, cheap and, like a crumple zone in your car, compresses during an impact to absorb the energy.
The Multi-directional Impact Protection System uses a second internal plastic liner, close to the scalp, that can slide over the inner shell by a few millimetres at the moment of impact. This helps reduce rotational brain injuries from glancing impacts. MIPS adds cost, takes up space inside the helmet (which impacts on sizing) and usually restricts airflow.
Padding thickness and density has a significant effect on sweat absorption as well as overall comfort. The helmets with thicker internal padding may run a little hotter than those with minimal, narrow strips, but are less likely to dribble sweat.
A retention device allows you to adjust the size and fit of the helmet. They generally fall into two camps — the dual-pinch type or rotating dial. Both systems are effective, but the dial system can be used one-handed, so you can adjust the helmet on the move.
EPS can dent easily, so to increase durability it’s protected by a thin micro-shell. This is made from plastic, making it lightweight, easy to mould and available in a wide range of colours.
Front cooling ports, rear exhaust ports and a combination of internal shaping to encourage airflow are typical ways of reducing heat build-up.
The best visors can be tilted up and down, but there’s no point getting it out of the way if it falls down again. It needs a stable adjustment system, either via a ratchet or fixed screws.
The Perfect Fit for Inbetweeners!
So how can One K Defender Air riding helmets be so adjustable?The secret is in the Air pump system that provides the ultimate in comfort & custom fit. The hidden air pockets in the liner inflate by depressing its concealed air pump until you get the fit you want.
The Right Stuff for Riding Lessons
Does your little girl want a pony? Does your son want to be a cowboy like Woody from Toy Story? You are not alone.
As parents we love to encourage our children to pursue their interests and we love making their dreams come true. Riding or owning a horse is a dream for many. Riding horses has some incredible benefits, but those benefits come with some big costs and commitments. Before jumping into the world of horses, be sure you have the right stuff to make this new adventure a success.
The Right Age
There isn’t a perfect age to start riding lessons. It will vary from child to child. However, most trainers and riding instructors recommend that a child be in at least first grade or around years old.
While children show an interest in horses and horseback riding at a much younger age, they do not have the attention span or body strength that is required to actually learn how to ride a horse without assistance. Most riding schools do not take children under the age of for group lessons. In a group setting, someone cannot stay with each rider, and children under need someone nearby for safety.
If your four year old wants to ride, by all means, see if you can find a stable that will let your child ride one of their ponies. Just understand that you will be paying for pony rides where your child is led around by the instructor. That is not the same thing as riding lessons but it is not a bad thing either. Starting out with pony rides or visits to a stable before formal lessons begin is a great idea! Your young child can learn basic horsemanship and safety. For example, everyone needs to know not to walk up and surprise a horse from behind. Through visits to a stable, your child can learn the basics and will continue to fall in love with horses and feel comfortable around them. This will give her a head start when she does start formal lessons at an appropriate age.
The Right Commitment
Leasing a horse for riding lessons is a great next step when you think your little rider is ready for more than a weekly lesson. Riding schools lease horses to students who want to ride and care for a horse regularly but are not ready to buy a horse. Leasing a horse can give you a good idea of what kind of commitment is required from you and your child with horse ownership. Horses need regular exercise, not just one ride a week. You will see if your child still loves riding when she is at the stables everyday in warm weather and cold.
Buying a horse is a life changing commitment. Horses can live 30-4years! Buying a horse is the cheap part compared to the lifetime of care that will be needed.
Boarding does not include vet bills or farrier bills for shoeing.
You will also be paying your trainer, apart from the boarding, to train the horse and your little rider.
The bond that forms between horse and rider is incredible.
Too many horses end up on rescue lists or even worse, on the way to a slaughterhouse. Make the right commitment and don’t buy unless you are truly ready for horse ownership.
The Right Gear
If you have decided to begin riding lessons for your child, you are going to need some gear. The requirements will be different for every stable and instructor. At a minimum, you can expect your child to need a riding helmet and hard soled boots with a heel. A riding helmet is just as crucial for horseback riding as a bicycle helmet is for riding a bike or a car seat is for riding in a car. The good news is that you can get schooling helmets without spending a lot of money and some are even adjustable and can be worn for years as your child grows. Troxel is a great brand that makes an adjustable helmet that is also affordable.
Get the right helmet. Your child needs her own helmet fitted to her head. Helmets come with padding and adjust to allow a proper fit. Helmets can expire like car seats. Check the manufactured date on any helmet and do not use a helmet more than years old. Replace a helmet after a hard impact. Do not wear a bike helmet to ride a horse. Riding helmets are designed for riding a horse and bike helmets are designed for riding a bike.
Riding pants are always a good idea and you can get an inexpensive pair of schooling pants like these from Dover Saddlery or from your local tack shop. You should not need to buy any tack like a saddle or bridle for a once a week riding lesson.
Don’t just pick any instructor and sign your child up.
Visit the stable first. Ensure that the facilities are safe and clean.
Your child should be taking lessons in a fenced in area clear of obstacles and obstructions.
The horses should look healthy and well cared for with clean stalls.
The Right Reasons
There are lots of reasons to encourage an interest in horses and horseback riding. You will see your child’s physical health improve through riding horses. Riding is an isometric exercise that improves core strength, balance, coordination, muscle tone and flexibility.
Working with horses, whether through riding lessons or owning and caring for your own horse everyday improves self confidence and teaches your child how to be caring, responsible and in charge.
To be an equestrian is to be someone who works hard and is committed. To be an equestrian is to be someone who is fiercely confident and full of love. To be an equestrian is to be strong, patient, and caring. If these are traits that you desire for your child, get her started with the right stuff and don’t look back.
Enjoy a two-hour private trail ride. Offered daily. Two-day advance reservations are required. Available for 1-people ages and up. *Prices are in addition to estate admission and subject to change. Plus applicable tax. Riding weight limit is 200 lbs. for the Biltmore Equestrian Center and 250 lbs. for trail rides. All riders are required to wear a helmet and boots, sneakers, or hard-soled shoes that come up to the ankle on guided trail rides.
View Estate Map *Does not apply to hiking or biking. Some restrictions may apply.
Many users felt satisfied with the weight and fit of this helmet. Consumers most commonly described this helmet as lightweight with easy to adjust straps. The padding in the helmet is sufficient and the extra pad on the chin strap adds to the comfort for those long bike rides. Its design is intended to be subtle and elegant so it’s large enough to protect your head, but slim enough not to look too bulky.
While I give this helmet high marks for comfort and fit, not everyone will be pleased. Some actually felt the padding to be a bit thin and even its largest size was too small. However, this helmet comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This is no one size fits all promise like everything else. They offer two sizes: S/M and M/L and if you don’t absolutely love the way the helmet feels, then return it under a 1-year warranty to get your money back.
This helmet tested wonderfully, especially with its excellent ventilation. It comes designed with 2wide frontal air vents that do the work of 30 standard vents to provide fantastic airflow from the front to the back, enabling a more enjoyable bike riding experience while riding in the sun on a hot, humid day. It comes with a detachable visor that’s easy to take off and put on. Team Obsidian created a practical and dynamic bike helmet without too many extra bells and whistles but does exactly what you need.
There haven’t been many complaints about the look of this beautiful helmet. It comes in two colors black and white and has a sporty look so you can appear like a serious rider. The helmet has an oval shaped design to add more comfort so that it will make you to never want to go back to the typical round and uncomfortable helmets again.
The only change requested that I could find regarding the look was the desire by some that the helmet came in additional colors.
Why you should trust me
I’ve been in the bike industry for four years as a cyclocross racer, sales representative, and mechanic, but you don’t have to take just my word for it. For this guide, I talked with multiple longtime veterans of the cycling industry, including Saul Leiken, general manager of City Bikes in Washington, DC; Scott Baker, 17-year veteran of the cycling industry; and multiple bike shop employees and riders around Portland, Oregon, to get their takes on what makes a great bicycle helmet.
How we picked
I asked all of my experts the same starting question: What is the best helmet? Each time the question was met with a “You-know-better-than-to-be-asking-this-question” groan. Every one of them gave me a different answer for specific models, but one aspect rang true through all their responses: Buy the helmet that fits your head best. This means you should try on helmets before you buy them.
Buy the helmet that fits your head best. This means you should try on helmets before you buy them.
That doesn’t mean you can’t buy online, but I would implore you to try some on in your local bike shop. I’m sorry, it’s just how it is. The upside is that your local bike shop is a great place to get some good information on different helmet designs. Almost every bike shop worth its weight in spoke nipples will have at least or so styles to look at; better ones will have 20, 30, or more.
I looked into the different types of helmets to see what was best for most riders. Most helmets designed for cycling fall into four categories: commuter, road, mountain, and skate-style/multisport helmets.
A commuter helmet is vaguely defined as a mid-priced helmet with a more subtle, less sporty design. The Giro Reverb on Jack’s head is a good example.
A road helmet, like the Bell Array on my head here, will have great ventilation, be lightweight, and have a sleek appearance.
Mountain biking helmets have the best back-of-head protection and retention systems.
How we tested
Based on the research above, I came up with five criteria for judging each helmet: retention system, overall fit, ventilation, features, and price. These five categories, I believe, give a good representation of how a helmet will perform for a variety of people in the most common cycling environments.
We looked at tons of different helmets before we narrowed our list down to the 1we actually tested. The good news here is that every helmet we reviewed, whether we liked it or not, is a good option safety-wise, so if you like some of these other models don’t fret! They’re great and will keep your head protected.
Defining a horse trek
Where do you want to ride? Lake Khovsgol region, Terelj National Park near Ulan Bator, and the Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia are scenic, popular destinations. Karakorum in central Mongolia is also a good place to organize a custom Mongolia horse trek. These places have operators equipped to handle tourists, so are the easiest places to organize a trip from. Otherwise, horses are everywhere and you can start wherever you like if you have the time, patience, and a Mongolian-speaker.
How much time to spend on a Mongolia horse trek is really up to you. Riding is rewarding but not always comfortable -particularly on the local saddles. If you haven’t ridden on long journeys before, and like more of the comforts in life, then be conservative: book a brief ride or an overnight ride -you can always extend or do another ride if you enjoy it. Places like Terelj and the South-West shore of Lake Khovsgol have enough tourist facilities that you could plan to find a warm yurt and even some hot showers each night. This, plus the option of kicking your feet up and having a break for a day, might encourage some to take a longer trip.
Riding tips and basics
Approach a horse from the left side and start chatting away to put it at ease. They can see you coming this way. Don’t approach a Mongolian horse from the right and never approach a horse from the rear. Consider the area beside and behind a horse’s rear legs a no-go zone.
Try to lead the horse so you’re on higher ground than the horse before you mount. Stroke it’s neck and talk to it to build rapport. Have your guide hold the horse still if you’re not confident. Grab onto the front grip of the saddle (i.e. a pommel on a Western saddle) before putting the front of your left foot in the stirrup. Put the weight on your left leg as much as you can, swing up, and take your foot over into the right stirrup.
Always keep your heels down. Try to point your toes outwards rather than inwards, as this helps your legs grip onto the saddle. Don’t put your feet further into the stirrups than the front ball. You don’t have to post when the horse is jogging, but do put more weight onto the stirrups than on the saddle, and try to rock naturally with the horse’s motion.
What to take
A Western saddle and tackle would make a Mongolia horse trek a lot more comfortable. These are obviously very bulky items and would be out of the question for most.
But those on a lengthy, dedicated Mongolia horse trek should seriously consider it.
Mongolians wear their long, woolen when riding for a reason: it offers an extra layer of padding between the saddle and your backside. Consider buying or loaning one once you’re in the country.
Over time, stirrups can rub away at your shoes and laces. An 8-day Mongolia horse trek I did last year did a fair bit of aesthetic damage to my pair of Merrel low-cut hiking boots by rubbing on the laces and stitching. They still worked after I re-laced them, but looked a lot worse for wear. If horse riding is going to form a significant part of your Mongolia trip, consider taking some elastic-sided leather boots, such as Australian-made Blundstones or Rossi’s. The stirrups won’t damage them as there’s no stitching up top, and all riders should ideally have a heeled shoes like these so your feet don’t slip too far into the stirrups. Importantly, the elastic side is designed to slip off -which ensures you won’t get dragged across the steppe by the stirrup if you’re unlucky enough to have a bad fall.
These boots can pass for semi-dressy leather shoes if going out at night in cosmopolitan Ulan Bator; they are not adequate for serious hiking, but they have a padded rubber sole so are comfortable enough to walk quite a few kilometres each day. I took a pair on my last trip and wore them far more than I wore my hiking boots.
Nobody in Mongolia wears riding helmets, so safety’s important to you then you should bring your own from home. On my last trip, a girl had a fall; she landed her head on a rock and had to go home. It will attract a fair bit of curiosity from the locals, but it’s probably not a bad idea. Me, i usually just do as the Romans do, and ride slowly if the ground’s covered in rocks or marmot holes.
Horse riding in the Altai mountains. Our horse guide and pack horse crossing a white, glacial river.
A friend of mine who goes dirt-biking told me they all wear spandex shorts under their pants to prevent chaffing once their clothes get muddy. These can be invaluable once it starts raining, as wet pants make for really bad saddle rub. I took some on my last horseback ride and was glad I did so. (Please note I advocate wearing spandex under other pants, rather than as external clothing. When in the Altai mountains I saw a Dutchman riding a camel wearing a bright-orange, skin-tight cycling outfit! It was disturbing.).
People on overnight Mongolia horse treks need a soft bag which can be tied to a pack horse. Most travellers end up simply strapping on their backpacks. Don’t take anything you won’t need; secure unnecessary items in store room at the ride starting point or, better yet, at your hotel in UB.
If you’re going to take your backpack on the ride, ensure you take a number of strong garbage bags from home. These can pack small and can serve to separate food from your clothes (you don’t want sticky sauces or grains leaking into your bag) and act as a rain cover for your whole backpack if you don’t have one in-built.
In my experience, your backpack will suffer a bit of wear and tear on a Mongolia horse trek, and by the end of a decent trip your bag’s rain cover will have a few tears in it and won’t look the same ever again.
Some might like the look of having a backpack that’s aged years in a week: it might give you some ‘cred’ with the other hipsters, along with your beaded jewelry, tattoos and Thai fisherman pants! As an alternative, empty wheat or grain sacks are available everywhere in Mongolia. On my next Mongolia horse trek I intend to leave the backpack behind and take my belongings in grain sacks lined with garbage bags (preferably or 4, so they counterweight each other), that way I’ll be able to keep food and clothes separate, and avoid further damage to my long-suffering backpack.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your horseback riding helmet wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of horseback riding helmet