Replacement Post Fall

Most of the riders that I know wear helmets on a regular basis. We all have different preferences but it seems that we all agree you only get one brain. You should do what you can to protect it. Mind your melon!mindyourmelonhc

It seems that a lot of people have varying opinions on how frequently and due to what circumstances a helmet should be replaced. I started thinking about this after a fall last week… “Sit Back Or Die” is a great motto that I still don’t follow well enough! I have always been told that any time you fall and your head/helmet hits the ground it’s time to replace your helmet. After that if you manage to survive approximately five years you need to replace it anyways. With all of the different options out there what is the deciding factor on what brand you prefer?COAYR8RidingWarehouse

For me it has always been about the safety and comfort. I shy away from some brands – specifically if they have ridiculous horror stories. I loved the Charles Owen replacement policy and wore them for quite a few years. When I started looking for helmets that would be a bit more comfortable and cooler in hot weather I fell in love with Samshield. Not a Miss Shield but I have serious grabby hands over this new model.MissShieldRidingWarehouseMy most recent addition is a OneK that I purchased on a whim due to affordability. It is still comfortable but fits slightly different than my Samshield. I was hoping it would be a level playing field because the OneK replacement policy is much better but alas my huge head is apparently more Samshield shaped than One K.OneKRidingWarehouse

In a sport where falls are pretty much inevitable I am curious about everyones different thoughts on what helmets you will wear and what makes you replace them? Anyone else in the market?

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31 Comments

  1. I stopped wearing GPAs because of their replacement policy. I wear a CO now. When M tossed me into an oxer and I landed on my head, they were AWESOME about taking information about the fall and giving me a 50% credit.

    I wish the more expensive brands would follow their suit as I think crappy replacement policies discourage people from replacing helmets after a fall. And in this sport, thats not good.

  2. I bought a Samshield, wore it 4 times and sold it. It put a ton of pressure on my forehead and I couldn’t stand wearing it. A different liner may have helped, but at the end of the day it never felt as secure on my head as my Charles Owen AYR8.

    I school in a Tipperary Sportage. I like the ventilation and the fit is okay, but it’s not like wearing the CO for me.

    Charles Owen has replaced many helmets for me. Fell in my first AYR8, they replaced it. Fell in the replacement SP8, they replaced it too. Fell in the replacement AY8 and they would have replaced that as well, but at that point I felt like I was on the verge of abusing the system and bought an AYR8 outright.

    So that leaves what do I do with the AYR8 I fell in? My head was not the main point of impact. It could be fine, it could be damaged. While not everyone will agree, I decided to go ahead and wear it as my practice helmet. I know the risk. Plus I’ve had three concussions previously, so I definitely know what I want to avoid, but I decided to wear it because I think it’s more than likely fine.

    So all that said, the main thing for me is comfort and the AYR8, while not the most ventilated, is the most comfortable for my head.

  3. I have the same issue with the OneK I got from Smartpak. Apparently there is a “long oval” OneK that almost no manufacturers stock, but it does exist. If you find it, tell me, because I want to buy one, haha.

  4. I haven’t actually looked into replacement policies. I just kind of figured if I fell off and my helmet saved me, it did it’s job and I got my money’s worth. Guess I should do some research!
    I agree, any time you hit your head with your helmet on, time for a new one. This might not me limited to falling off your horse if you’re anything like me…
    I LOVE my Samshield, but I save it for shows since they’re so crazy expensive. I think it will last me awhile since I don’t wear it that much, but after five years, it will be replaced. I school in Charles Owens. I really like them, but I do find that they stretch out. My old one was so big after 2 years I had to replace it. I have three now though, so I figure they’ll make the 5 year mark maybe if they aren’t being worn everyday. (Yes, I have a problem… I got a custom green one, then found a sparkly blue one on sale, and then ebay had a brand new AYR8 black with pink under the mesh for REALLY cheap, so had to have it…)

  5. GPA fits my head shape. I got one after a fall that called for me replacing my CO AYR8. The GPA fit my head slightly better and had much better ventilation than the CO. I think both of these brands offer great protection. I was sad when I tried on a slew of Samshield shells and liners and nothing worked fit-wise. Those Miss Shields are so pretty!

  6. I have a cheapy ovation for schooling, which at $50 a pop is perfect for replacement costs. That being said, I don’t feel like the fit or protection is as good as my Charles Owen that I show in. If budget wasn’t a consideration, I’d have a GPA or similar fully vented helmet for schooling… but my head shape loves CO’s and they are too hot/$$ for me to wear on a daily basis.

  7. My head is IRH shaped, but their options are dwindling. I need to start trying on some different brands and see what else fits.

  8. I love CO & replace if I hit my head. However, my head is my fave place to land it seems! I’ve yet to not need a new one in a five year span. I use their JR8 which looks decent on me and is affordable. I got a Tipperary one but it’s just not cute on me, too alien shaped. So I sweat instead in my CO.

  9. I school in an IRH because they’re SO much cheaper with a way better replacement policy than Samshield. I’m pretty much a “one fall and replace” kind of girl, although if I don’t hit my head at all, I won’t replace.

    To me, my brain is worth a lot of money and I’d rather shell out the cash and stay safe, than regret it.

  10. I will never wear a CO again unless they start doing removable and washable liners. You know the whole saga with my old CO giving me a rash on my forehead bc I couldn’t wash it… Love love love my Samshield and can’t imagine ever really going to any other brands. The removable liner is part of the reason I chose samshield, but the helmets are so breathable that I typically barely sweat and rarely have to wash the liner anyway.

    I will always replace my helmet if I hit my head in a fall. It’s a lot of money, but I agree 100% with what Tracy said. My brain is worth protecting.

    1. Charles Owen has 4 helmets that I know of with removable liners. The V, the AYR8 plus and the brand new Elumen8. Their ventilation is still leaps and bounds behind Samshield though.

        1. I didn’t consider the V8 for some reason that I can’t remember now, but when I was shopping for mine the AYR8 Plus and Elumen8 didn’t exist yet. My head gets really hot, so the ventilation, completely removable liner, and sleek appearance of the Samshield won me over.

          1. The CO ventilation will never compare to Samshield, unless they make some major design changes, which I don’t see happening. The Samshield is also a nicer looking helmet (lower profile, overall more sleek appearance) hands down in my opinion.

          2. For sure. The liner makes a big difference in the fit BTW the premium liner is awful for me in my samshield but the regular is perfect. It’s the opposite for Amanda. I wonder if that impacted how yours fit?

          3. I had a Shadow Matte and ended up buying a Premium liner because the helmet was not very secure with the SM liner. I rode in the helmet once after I got it last February and it was fine. It was in my closet until October when it traveled to South Carolina with me. I could hardly stand to have it on my head in SC. The snaps on the front of the Premium liner dug into my forehead both with and without my hair in the helmet. I don’t know if going from the size 7 liner that I had to a size 7 1/8 liner would have made enough of a difference, but I decided to go ahead and part with the helmet because I never felt it was as secure on my head as the CO AYR8.

    2. With you on that- my CO molded in Alabama, and there was no way to salvage the inside. That was when I bought a GPA Speed AIr. I was also having issues with fainting in my AYR8, and the GPA breathes so much better. Samshield’s looked like a flying saucer had landed on my head, although I LOVE the rose gold blazons they have right now.

      I do love the leather-look AYR8 and may go back to CO *if* I bonk my head in my Speed Air, because I just don’t have the budget for a new GPA and I’m no longer in the Deep South. Both CO and GPA fit my head well, so I’m happy I have options!

  11. IRH all the way; they fit my head the best and I’m happy with their selection. I’ve worn one or another of theirs for years. I’ve replaced a number due to falls, and the process has always been swift and easy.

    I am utterly baffled by a number of things that are apparently commonplace, including: owning more than one helmet (not a show + schooling, that I get, but multiple everyday helmets because why not), not replacing helmets you have fallen on (what is even the point of it, then?), and buying helmets that cost more than $250 or so. I am riding in my first-ever helmet over $100 and I treat it with kid gloves – it cost $220 new. I would be ill if I had to replace it, but not as sick as I’d be if it had cost $500.

    1. Owning more than one helmet means that I don’t have to wait weeks for a replacement to come in before I can ride my horse. My show/home helmets are interchangeable though. As for the cost I think that’s like everything else in the horse world. Different stroke for different folks.

  12. I also didn’t look into replacement policies and figured if I bumped my head in a fall, my helmet had done its job and I’d need to re-purchase. I should probably look into that – so thanks for this discussion!

    I love the style, fit and breathability of GPA helmets so one of those is definitely on the wish list. I had to replace my Charles Owen not long ago and student budget called for a ‘Horze’ replacement – it meets safety standards so I’ll take it!

  13. I had an IRH first and I loved it. I “upgraded” to One K because they fit the best for me. Id kill for a Samshield but that price is insane. When my IRH (turned schooling helmet) protected me in a flip over horse, I retired it and bought a “schooling” One K. I think they are the best in comfort and price. I wanted to like CO and GPA but I just didn’t find them that comfortable

  14. Since I have a whole history of migraines and concussions (my severe concussion is horse, but not riding related), I am now a stickler for properly fitting helmets and replacing them. So, I tried to go with a cheaper helmet (Tipperary) so I could replace easily and not worry about it. Unfortunately, pressure points. And I don’t trust dial fits either (mostly it’s me, but I also worry that the dial is another pressure point which with my migraine I can’t handle). Charles Owen fits me really well, but I actually really like my One K that I got this summer.

    Of course, my first lesson in it I fell off and I wasn’t sure if I hit my head. With a brand new helmet, I had this replace or not replace debate. My head hurt and I did have a concussion, but my trainer and all of the witnesses were adamant that I did NOT hit my head and had video to prove it I learned later. So, I guess when replacing, make sure you actually hit your head? Obviously we can’t assess damage (and shouldn’t try), but a blanket “replace every fall” should be “replace every fall where you hit your head.”

    But, I do like OneK’s replacement policy. And they fit me well. Right now my practice is to try on helmets and start with the least expensive helmet and work my way up. I stop when I find something comfortable that fits really well that meets safety standards and hopefully has a good replacement policy. It keeps me from trying on something like the Samshield that may be gorgeous but I can’t afford because hopefully I’ll find something I’m happy with long before I get there.