So I’ve spoken about my helmet before (here) but honestly when you can credit something with helping to save your life it deserves to be praised. Something like 60% of fatal horse related accidents are due to head injuries (don’t quote me on that, but I know it’s high) so I’m very pro anything that can help reduce the risk. I wouldn’t get in a car without a seatbelt, I don’t get on a horse without a helmet⛑.
So my helmet is the Dublin Arista and can I just say it fits my head perfectly and I forget I’m wearing it when I’m in the saddle. I have memories of my first riding helmet, you know those bulky, heavy, not ventilated white plastic ones, and have to say I’m so happy with how development and design has progressed over the years!
“The all New Dublin Arista Helmet features a microfibre outer that give a suede look, removable washable lining that’s easy to clean, stainless steel vents meaning no more sweaty helmet hair and quick release buckle and harness. And, best of all, it’s not bulky like other helmets – you’ll love the fit! Available in 3 colours – Black, Grey & Navy!” (Horseland.com) it retails for $129 (right now it’s on sale for $99.95) and for $30 more you can get the exact same helmet with diamanté, if that’s your thing. Mine is black and 54cm which I never thought much of but apparently that’s small. Most of the little kids I teach wear bigger helmets than me which is kind of embarrassing (is my head really that tiny or do today’s children have giant heads maybe caused by mutations from radiation and wifi? 👽☢)
After having it for awhile I kind of went a bit off it, I had it in my car when I was teaching a lesson and the glue that holds on the metal vents had melted and they had sunk a little bit back into the helmet and at a bit of an angle. It didn’t affect the helmets effectiveness and it was hardly noticeable to any one but me as I’m a bit of a perfectionist. It was a really hot day so it could have just been a one off and I didn’t have any other problems with it.
When I had my serious fall I came off at a gallop in some way that my head and face took most of the impact along with my hip. I knocked myself out when I hit the ground and the next half hour and what actually caused me to fall is a blurr. I do remember being sat down and looking at my helmet in my lap and seriously in my concussed state I was more worried about having wrecked my helmet than I was about the blood dripping down face and the pain in my head/neck.
It’s hard to tell but in addition to the warped plastic the dark area of foam above the rim is actually dented from the impact and while you can’t see from this angle the visor it was bent back as well. To be honest considering my injuries I’m really impressed with how it held up and surprised there wasn’t more damage although I guess it did what it was designed to do with the foam absorbing the impact.
I had to replace my helmet* and there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to order the same one again. I have heaps of fancy (mainly Samshield) helmets pinned on Pinterest and there are heaps of other less expensive options but you buy a helmet with the knowledge it greatly recuses your risk of sustaining serious head injuries and potentially save your life and I already know this one can do that.
I was a bit dissapointed when I got it, they had changed the design slightly. The bits that attach the helmet to the chin strap, you know the bit that goes either side of your ear? Well that bit was all fabric on my old helmet and on the new one it’s fabric joined together under the ear with piece of triangles plastic.
A pictures worth a thousand words and I’d probably need atleast twice that to get across what I’m trying to describe. This bit:
But honestly it doesn’t affect the comfort of fit at all, for me it feels much the same as my old one. I also haven’t had any problems with the glue but I have made a contious effort not to leave it in my car just in case.
Like on my old one I have a personally preppy helmet monogram on it (#reptheprep) I wrote a review on them here.
In summary this helmet looks good, has good ventilation, is comfortable and fits well but at the end of the day it comes down to trust, I know that if I have another bad fall this helmet is capable of protecting my head and reducing the risk of a fatal head injury. 100% would recommend and would buy again until I’m rich and can justify purchasing an $800 helmet just because it looks pretty!
Image credit: Anky Australia
*Note: you should always replace your helmet after a serious accident. A serious impact can reduce the effectiveness of your helmet in any subsequent falls. Even if your helmet doesn’t have any obvious signs of damage if it has taken any sort of serious impact have it checked by a professional just to make sure.
Always make sure the helmet you are buying meets current safety regulations, always buy from a reputable seller and never buy second hand. Make sure it is correctly fitted and the straps adjusted so it’s secure. I know I sound like a nagging grandma but I’m a cheerleader for safety!
For more information on helmets and safety I highly recommend checking out riders4helmets.com and for my thoughts on helmet use I wrote this post.