If you're getting ready to start horseback riding lessons, you've likely invested in the riding gear that you'll need, including your helmet. Riding gear is expensive, and that means you should make an effort to take the best possible care of it so that you get the longest possible life out of it. Here are some tips for storing and handling your helmet so that it stays in good condition and protects you when you ride:
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Your helmet should be stored somewhere temperature-controlled when you aren't riding. Whether you keep it inside the house or in a climate-controlled tack room, it should be protected by an environment that's consistent. Don't keep it in your car or in a barn area that's vulnerable to changing temperatures. The extreme heat and cold of these areas can actually deteriorate the materials that the helmet is made from, which weakens it and renders it less protective.
Don't Heat Dry It
If your helmet gets wet, inside or out, don't put it next to a heat source to dry it. That can lead to the same deterioration as extreme temperatures in storage. Instead, just let it air dry naturally in the same kind of environment as where you normally store it.
Keep It Clean
Invest in a helmet cleaner that's specially designed for riding helmets. Using a cleaner that's designed for this is important so that you don't weaken the material. You should also store the helmet inside a breathable storage bag or something similar when it's not being used to keep dust and dirt from accumulating on it.
Don't Risk It After A Fall
If you take a fall and the helmet strikes the ground, you should replace the helmet right away. Even if there are no visible signs of damage, the construction of the riding helmet means that it's weakened as soon as it suffers an impact. It'll absorb the energy of the impact by fracturing, even if those fractures are inside where you can't see them. Don't risk trying to ride with a damaged helmet. You may even find that your helmet manufacturer has a warranty program that allows you to replace the helmet at a significant discount if you've suffered a fall with it on.
Recognize Its Lifespan
Like any major safety equipment, riding helmets should be replaced periodically even if they haven't been involved in a fall. Over time, the elements, heat from your body, and other influences can weaken the material. To ensure that you're always getting sufficient protection, replace your helmet every five or six years.
Contact a company like EQU Lifestyle Boutique for more information and assistance.