In order to ride safely, you need to wear the correct safety equipment, such as a hat and perhaps a body protector. All your equipment should be well maintained and offer the level of protection appropriate to the job it is being asked to do. The BHS Safety Department can advise you on the minimum standards that should be met.
When out riding, it is strongly recommended that all riders wear fluorescent/reflective clothing (better known as hi-viz). It should be worn at all times when riding out, regardless of the time of day, time of year or prevailing weather conditions.
There are a wide variety of riding hats and helmets available, all of which have been designed to ensure that the wearer is as comfortable as possible while also being protected to the recognised safety standards. Riding hats are designed to be as effective as possible to help minimise the possible head injuries involved with horse riding, but in keeping with any safety equipment, no riding hat can be guaranteed to protect every rider in all circumstances.
It is essential that the hat chosen fits the head that is to wear it, and as every head is a different shape, it may take quite some time for riders to find the perfect hat for them. But also important is that the hat must be fastened at all times when the rider is mounted on their horse.
Body protectors are designed to offer protection to a rider when falling off, being kicked or trodden on by a horse. No body protector can prevent serious injury in every situation, but they can increase the chances of staying alive and reduce the severity of injuries.
It is essential that correct footwear is worn when riding. Boots should preferably have a smooth, through sole and a small heel. This means there should be no break in the sole along its length, so there is nothing to catch on the stirrup in the event of a fall that might mean that the rider is dragged along, because the foot cannot come free. When you have boots repaired you need to ask the cobbler to provide you with a through sole.
Traditional riding boots or jodhpur boots are the best footwear. Wellington boots and trainers are both inappropriate.
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