How to Measure for a Horse-Riding Hat

How to Measure for a Horse-Riding Hat

A suitable riding hat is an essential part of any rider’s equipment. Seen by some as an accessory to compliment a riding outfit, a riding hat is much more important than that. A correctly fitted horse riding hat not only helps protect your head in the event of a fall but will also help keep you safe from obstructions that could impair vision or get tangled in your hair whilst riding.

Opt for a hat too big, and it will fail to stay affixed to your head on your ride, potentially leading to fatal consequences if you fall. Choose a riding hat too small, and you won’t be able to protect your head sufficiently.

In this edition of our blog, we look at how to measure for a horse-riding hat so you can continue to enjoy your ride safely, comfortably, and free of concern.

How do you measure your head for a riding hat?

Measuring for a riding hat is fairly simple, but it could be suggested that having somebody with you to help is beneficial. This allows them to make sure the measuring tape is in the correct place, note down any sizes, and help give judgment on how the fit looks. Before you begin, equip yourself with a soft fabric measuring tape. This will bend to the required shape and provide accurate results. Perhaps grab a pen and paper too, or your phone, so the size can be scribbled down. Some manufacturers may choose to illustrate size in centimetres, others might do inches, and others may decide to label as small, medium, or large. Therefore, writing it down may be helpful.

Place the tap around the head

Wrap the tape measure around your head at its widest point. This should be approximately one inch above the eyebrows. The tape should go over the bump at the back of your head and just above the ears.

Write down the measurement

Log the reading, in both centimetres and inches. Then repeat the measurement a few more times to ensure an accurate result.

Compare your measurements to those of your chosen riding hat brand

There are a variety of horse-riding hat styles and designs. Match up your size to those available from your preferred riding hat brands. Find the relevant size, and then try it on to see how it fits. You might find that your measurement puts you between sizes. Where this is the case, it is often advised to round up to the larger size. However, you should try both to see which one gives the snuggest fit.

How to try a riding hat on for the best fit

With your measurement recorded, you will need to try your chosen hat, or hats, on to make sure the fit is correct. As we mentioned above. You want the snuggest fit but not one that is too small.

Start by having your hair as it would usually be when you ride. You don’t want any unusual bumps where you have plaited or tied hair up to raise the helmet from your head. Ideally, make your hair as flat as possible. If it is particularly long or thick, you may also want to consider whether a size up may prove to be better for you.

Then, place your forehead into the front of the riding hat, and using a roll of the neck, push backwards so the hat slots onto your head. Tighten the chin strap, and then run a finger around the rim to see if there are any gaps or areas where the riding hat feels loose. If it does, you will need to change the size.

How should a horse riding hat fit after you have measured for it?

A riding hat should feel comfortable and be a close fit that exerts a firm and even pressure all the way around. The more you wear it, the more it will mould to the shape of your head but there are some things to check the make sure the fit is right.

  • Check the helmet shape. Some are made to suit round heads whilst others are more suited to an oval-shaped head. A quick test will determine if you have the right-shaped riding hat. If it squeezes your forehead but rocks from side to side, the hat is too round. If the riding hat fits the sides of your head well but rocks from front to back, it is too oval.
  • Feel a snug fit. The riding hat should feel snug, with firm and even pressure around your head.
  • No gaps. There should be no gaps around the helmet that you could slide a finger between. At the same time, you should not feel a bias of pressure in one area over another.
  • Level sitting. The riding hat should sit level on the head and leave approximately one inch above the eyebrows.
  • No movement. Leaving the hat unfastened, it should not be able to rock back or forward.
  • Chinstrap position. The chinstrap needs to sit just under the chin, avoiding your throat but just about brushing the ear lobe.
  • Strap space. There should be enough of a gap between the strap and your chin to put a finger.
  • Harness laces. The harness laces at the back of the riding hat should be tightly secured.

If the riding hat is feeling secure and comfortable at this point, wear it for a few minutes. This will allow you to establish any pressure points that could indicate a need to change size.

What are the signs a horse riding hat is too big or small?

Despite the fact your riding hat may feel just right, there are still a few indicators that could mean it is too small or too big. If you feel that the helmet wants to move upwards from your head, it is too small. If it sits low on the eyebrows and feels loose in most places, the hat is too big.

You should then try and wriggle the horse riding hat a little. Your eyebrows and forehead should move with the riding hat. If they don’t, and the hat moves freely, it is too big. You should also shake your head around and see how the riding hat responds. If it pivots and moves about, it is too large.

You may also make a riding hat too big. A hat that is a little large may feel like a good fit to start with, but as it moulds to your head, it will expand and then prove ineffective if you have a fall.

Horse riding hat measurement guide

With the variety of stockists illustrating their sizes in different ways, it could be beneficial to use the table below to get a more accurate idea of the size riding hat that you may need.

Measurement Riding Hat Size
49cm 6
50cm 6 ⅛
51cm 6 ¼
52cm 6 ⅜
53cm 6 ½
54cm 6 ⅝
55cm 6 ¾
56cm 6 ⅞
57cm 7
58cm 7 ⅛
59cm 7 ¼
60cm 7 ⅜
61cm 7 ½
62cm 7 ⅝
63cm 7 ¾

If you need additional advice, speak to our team at TDS Saddlers. We have close to 100 years of experience in all things equine and are more than happy to pass on our knowledge. With a comprehensive stock of horse bridle parts, an incredible array of Fairfax saddles and a selection of high quality stirrup irons, TDS Saddlers are your leading independent specialists for your horse riding equipment.