RIDING HAT STANDARDS

Feb 5, 2009
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#1
Am very confused. I have re-started riding lessons after a break of 9-10 years. I have 2 riding hats which i showed to the instructor at my first lesson. The instructor checked the standards and told me the hat with ASTM F1163 , BSEN 1384 1997 and a kitemark is NOT acceptable. The hat with the BSEN 1384 1997, PAS 015 1998 and the kitemark IS acceptable. Ironically the more comfortable hat is the one that isn't acceptable to the riding school :(
I have checked the BHS and BETA advice about hat standards but they don't seem to agree! According to BETA both my hats meet the current safety standards. Am I missing something here? Can someone explain it all to me in plain English. Thanks.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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#2
From memory only the PAS 015 (out of those you posted) is acceptable currently in a BHS RS, I think they accept the European and snell still as well.
Different organisations can accept different standards if they deem them appropriate, so for example I think Endurance GB accept the American standard in addition to British and European standards, but not all governing bodies do.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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#4
Nice to have you back on NR.
The life of a riding hat is limited. They now have to have a date of manufacture. A hat that old will not protect your head so you need to hire one from the RS or buy a new one. They need replacing every 4 years or so.

You are right that since you last rode standards have changed or rather the regulations went haywire since the EU failed to agree on a hat standard.
The different organisations in the UK like the riding schools, eventing etc then set their own standards. For some riding schools that involved a basic level and staff mistakenly turned away hats that actually reached a higher standard.
Shop assistants may not know either. I need to buy a new hat to resume riding and just tried to buy one at Olympia, asking how the different hats by the same manufacturer compared and the sales assistant knew nothing about the standards and told me that all their hats were equally strong!
For what it is worth, i wear a hat designed for eventing a HS1 - I hack and fall onto rough surfaces and tarmac. But whether you need the toughest will depend on what you expect to do. If you are riding in a school and on the flat you dont need that much may be.
My grand daughter jumps and after discussion on the H & H forum about hats for teenagers, we bought her the same standard of hat as I and my OH use.
The actual brand of hat you buy will depend on your head shape - my OH had a Charles Owen hat to much the same standard as mine.
 
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eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
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#5
My only knowledge of hat standards is through being safety officer at our RC. The only acceptable hats are now PAS 015. If you were riding at home, you could wear your BSEN hat but it isn't up to standard for shows/riding schools. I have a PAS 015 (gatehouse velvet peaked hat with bling!) and a SNELL standard skull cap (gatehouse again, what most eventers wear now). Gatehouse suit my head shape. May be worth investing in a new one that would be more comfortable? Good luck :)
 
Feb 5, 2009
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#6
Hi. Have had a look at the BETA info. None of the disciplines match what i am doing i.e. 1 hour lesson in a menage, once a fortnight. Am none the wiser. (Gary B, this is NOT a criticism of your helpful reply, it's a criticism of BETA!)
 
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joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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#7
Hi. Have had a look at the BETA info. None of the disciplines match what i am doing i.e. 1 hour lesson in a menage, once a fortnight. Am none the wiser.
You need to ask your riding school which standard you'll need, as it will be specified in their insurance.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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#8
As I posted above, if you are in the UK most riding schools will belong to an umbrella organisation, such as the British Horse Society or the British Association of Riding Schools. The hat standard will be specified by their organisation.

The important thing to know is that if your hat doesnt have the exact standard the RS specify but does have a different standard which exceeds the basic minimum required then dont go out and purchase a weaker hat - raise the issue with the RI or YO or if necessary write them an email. Our RS still has a notice up stating the minimum standard required without explaining that it is the minimum.

However, under the desk at reception there was a list of all hat standards that were a satisfactory alternative.
It turned out thanks to input from the hat makers and the BHS that this listing of acceptable alternatives was a legal requirement in order not to favour one manufacturer above the others. That interferes with freedom to trade and competition in the market. Nor could the RS Insurance restrict hats to just one brand.
 
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joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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#10
In what way is it uncomfortable? Hats that fit correctly shouldn't be uncomfortable really.
 
Feb 5, 2009
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#11
In what way is it uncomfortable? Hats that fit correctly shouldn't be uncomfortable really.
Hi. the skull riding hat started to give me headaches which disappeared when I took the hat off. So i bought a slightly bigger one with the vents. American standard, ASTM, approved at the time. It is really comfy but the current RS can't accept it. Have used the skull hat for 2 lessons now and, so far, it hasn't given me a headache. Maybe my head has shrunk as I got older?? :)
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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#12
Please do buy a new hat. As I posted before, a hat over 4 years old no longer gives full protection and the standards when you last rode may also have been lower than now, for instance there is now improved padding round the back rim of the hat so it doesnt cut into your neck when you fall and topple backwards onto your head.

The fact that an old hat meets the RS stipulation does not mean that it is safe to use.

It is indeed annoying having to buy a new hat - I fell on mine and If I am to resume riding I need a new hat, even if only to try once.