All riders, regardless of their skill level, should wear a riding helmet whenever they partake in equestrian activities. Please remember that an incorrectly fitting riding hat offers NO protection, so make sure to be correctly fitted by one of our highly trained staff.

When you participate in an equestrian sport, two of the most important pieces of safety equipment you can own are a properly fitted Riding Helmet and a properly fitted Body Protector.

Beta (British Equestrian Trade Association)

Riding Helmets

A properly fitted Riding Helmet helps to absorb any impact to the head and provides cushioning to the skull, reducing the risk of a serious head injury or even saving your life.

There are several different types of protective headgear for riding horses but they fall largely into two broader categories – Riding Helmets and Skull Caps.

Riding helmets are the traditional type of hard hat. They are sometimes covered in velvet or maybe plastic. They usually come in dark colours.

Skull caps are like the type of headgear which jockeys wear. They can be personalised with coloured silks – peaked covers in bright colours which fit over the cap.

How Riding Helmets work: On impact the helmet does two things. Firstly the shell diffuses the impact over a large area, secondly the liner reduces bruising to the brain by increasing the length of time it takes you to stop. Basically the hat liner collapses, protecting your head.

It is best to refrain from ever buying a second hand hat, as you do not know what has happened to it before. Any hat that has been involved in an impact, even one so little as having been dropped onto a hard surface, should be replaced. This is because even small hair line cracks, which can be caused by slight impacts, can reduce the effectiveness of the hat.

At Equipet we only supply riding hats & helmets that are up to the most recent PAS and BSEN standards and are BSI KITEMARK tested.

Body Protectors

Body Protectors are designed to offer protection when falling from, being kicked by or stood on by a horse. They protect more than just the back, they look after the whole upper torso. Most people assume body protectors are for cross-country horse riding, but realistically they should be worn whenever riding or handling horses. So whatever level you are riding at, a body protector is an important addition to your equipment.

How do they protect: The foam in the modern body protector is designed to absorb large amounts of energy thereby reducing the amount of impact energy transmitted through to the rider’s organs.

There are three levels of protection in the BETA 2000 standard for body protectors. At Equipet we always recommend Level 3 standard (purple label) as this offers a high level of protection and is suitable for all normal activities, competitions and high risk situations.


You should always buy your Riding Hat and Body Protector from somewhere with trained fitters. At Equipet, our staff have been BETA trained to fit both riding hats and body protectors. They will help make sure you buy the best hat or body protector and that they fit correctly giving you the best possible protection.

Call into an Equipet store and a qualified member of staff can fit you for a riding hat or body protector.

BETA is regarded by retailers as the primary source of training for those involved in the equestrian industry.

© Equipet Retail Ltd 2018