While people competing in certain types of horseback riding, such as dressage, are required to wear a helmet during competitions, not everyone who rides a horse wears a helmet every time they are on horseback. Not wearing a helmet when horseback riding is actually quite dangerous.
Horseback riding is actually responsible for more traumatic brain injuries than any other sport among adults and is the third most dangerous sport when it comes to children and traumatic brain injuries. There are double the number of concussions from horseback riding than there are in any other sport, as well as at least 100 deaths each year. Wearing a hard helmet can help prevent these injuries and make horseback riding a bit safer. Other ways to limit the risk of injury include riding a horse that is appropriate for your level of experience, not going too fast for the terrain, checking cinches before mounting to make sure they aren't loose, and staying calm and on the horse should it run away with you on it rather than bailing out and trying to jump off the horse.
Rules and Regulations
Although it isn't always required for people to wear helmets, some states require this by law and some barns also require people to wear helmets. Even when it isn't required, it's a wise thing to do because it's possible for a horse to spook and throw its rider at any time, even if they are just walking. It's definitely better to be safe than sorry.
Getting the Right Fit
Now that it's clear just how important it is to wear a helmet when riding, it's time to talk about how to get the right fit for women's horse riding helmets. The first step is to measure around your head with a tape measure about 1 inch above your eyebrows. Plug this measurement into the manufacturer's hat size conversion chart to determine the hat size you should purchase, but it's important to try on the hat before purchasing it as well because different head shapes may affect the proper size. The helmet should fit closely and not wobble when you move your head from side to side or up and down. It also shouldn't be too tight, although it should cause an even amount of pressure all around your head. Make sure to measure your head and try on helmets with your hair in the style it will be in most often when you're riding. Wearing your hair in a bun or ponytail will affect the proper size of the helmet.