The Back on Track® Royal Mesh Deluxe Sheet: Fit for Your Equine King or Queen

A close up shot of the front chest closures of the Back on Track Royal Mesh Deluxe Sheet in all black. There are two T-Buckles to secure the sheet closed with the top buckle branded with the Back on Track logo in gold thread.

Back on Track’s next-generation therapeutic sheet will thrill performance horse owners everywhere with its great fit and strategic features. Based on the popular original Therapeutic Mesh Sheet, the Royal Mesh Deluxe Sheet delivers all the benefits you and your horse appreciate. And it also provides an improved fit, a better closure system and easy-to-use neck cover attachments.

New to Back on Track technology? It leverages ceramic-infused textiles in innovative designs for horses, dogs and humans. The fibers reflect a horse’s body energy in infrared waves, creating a soothing thermal effect. It helps increase blood circulation, which in turn eases stiff and tight muscles, prepares muscles and tissues for exercise and aids recovery from exertion. The technology can be used to help loosen sore backs, ease arthritic discomfort and help muscles become less inflamed. These comforting effects also tend to help animals relax. 

The Royal Redesign

To ensure your horse’s comfort and mobility and to maximize your investment, the Royal Mesh Deluxe Sheet offers these key features:

A dark brown horse is wearing a black Back On Track Royal Mesh Deluxe Sheet and four Back On Track Quick Wraps on its legs. The horse is posing in front of a brick building and is wearing a Back on Track branded halter.
  • The cut ensures a good fit around your horse’s neck and sufficient room at the points of the shoulders.
  • T-buckles at the chest make on and off easier and faster.
  • A woven, anti-chafe shoulder lining and the absence of closed gussets ensure optimal freedom of motion and fit.
  • Reinforced panels around the belly surcingle attachments enhance durability.
  • Improved, sewn-in attachments along the neckline make adding the optional neck cover easier.
  • Webbing placed only along the spine rather than on the sides of the barrel gives the sheet a lighter and softer feel.

The redesigned Royal Mesh Deluxe Neck Cover, sold separately from the sheet, extends the therapeutic effects of the sheet to your horse’s neck and poll. Made without metal snap hooks to keep it lightweight and comfortable, it features:

A black Back On Track Neck Cover against a white background. The neck cover has three closures at the front and a gold Back on Track logo.
  • Hook-and-loop strap at the poll for optional attachment to a halter crown.
  • Hook-and-loop fasteners along the neck to allow easy on and off.
  • Woven, anti-chafe lining along the mane to protect hair.
  • Hook-and-loop attachments to secure the cover to the sheet.  

The Royal Mesh Deluxe Sheet is a helpful option for horses facing various issues such as sore backs, tight muscles or stiffness. Its therapeutic effects can be enjoyed before exercise to help prepare muscles and after exercise to aid recovery and prepare the body for the next day’s efforts.

Shop our Back on Track Royal collection here.

Is your horse already enjoying the benefits of Back on Track therapeutic products? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

A Parents’ Guide to Kids’ Horseback Riding Camp Preparation

Two young girls with strawberry blonde hair are standing in a grassy field. The girl on the right is wearing a pink top with purple pants and black boots. She is holding the lead rope attached to a small black pony. The girl on the left is wearing a light blue long sleeve shirt and navy blue pants. She is holding the lead rope attached to a slightly larger white pony.

Your budding young horse lover is about to have a dream come true: submersion in horses and ponies at an upcoming camp! Great experiences for young and beginning riders, most horse camps include riding lessons plus unmounted instruction on horse handling, grooming, feeding, tack cleaning and barn chores.

Camp days are packed with activities, education—and opportunities to make new friends of the two- and four-legged varieties. At Dover Saddlery, we’ve outfitted thousands of riders for horse camps. Here’s how to prepare your youngster for a good camp experience. We’ve included a brief explanation about the importance or benefits of each item on our list.

Must-Have Horse Camp Equipment

The front view of a greyish blue TuffRider riding helmet.

Riding Helmet: Your camp may offer the use of an equestrian helmet, or you may wish to purchase your child’s own. Either one should meet the current safety standard and should be labeled ASTM F1163-15/SEI Certified. The helmet should fit snugly, fasten securely, allow a clear line of vision and stay in place as your child moves. Helmets made for bike riding do not offer enough protection for horseback riding and should not be substituted for a well-fitting equestrian helmet.

Example: TuffRider® Starter Helmet

Black paddock boots with zippers on the front.

Boots/Closed-Toe Shoes: Your child’s footwear should feature a one-inch heel. The heel is a safety measure that helps prevent a foot from sliding through a stirrup. The boot or riding shoe should preferably be made of leather or synthetic leather (as opposed rubber) for overall foot protection. Zip- or lace-front paddock boots are a perfect choice for camp because they can carry your rider through all the activities of the day.

Example: Riding Sport™ Kids’ Provenance Zip Paddock Boots

Dark grey riding tights with light blue thread details.

Breeches, Jodhpurs or Tights: Riding pants give kids a comfort and performance advantage over jeans for riding. Breeches, jodhpurs and tights are made of smooth, stretchy and snug-fitting fabrics that resist bunching and let riders move freely. Seams are generally minimal or strategically placed to avoid chafing skin. Reinforced or grippy areas at the knees, called knee patches, offer added stability and support in the saddle.

Example: Riding Sport™ Kids’ Poppy Knee-Patch Tight

Optional Horse Camp Equipment

Magenta colored riding gloves with black palms. On top of the thumb area is a white cartoon unicorn.

Riding Gloves: Thin and stretchy, riding gloves protect hands from friction caused by reins. Areas in contact with reins are reinforced to add durability and coverage. Children, especially beginning riders, can be fussy at first about the feel of riding gloves but they are worth considering for safety.

Example: Kids’ Perfect Fit Gloves

An aqua blue long sleeve quarter-zip shirt.

Riding Tops and Tees: Any comfortable shirt that lets a rider move freely will work well. Riding shirts, however, are made of performance fabrics loaded with benefits. The lightweight fabrics wick sweat, provide breathability and stretch freely. Some shirts are made of cooling fabrics or have cooling mesh inserts. Many riding shirts offer amazing UV protection, shielding skin from sunburn.    

Example: CoolBlast® 100 Kids’ Colleen Long Sleeve Shirt

A pair of black suede half chaps and black paddock boots.

Half Chaps: If your child will wear paddock boots, they can be topped with half chaps. This lower legwear creates the look and feel of a tall riding boot. Half chaps go on and off easily and provide comfortable, extra protection and support to the rider’s lower legs.

Example: Riding Sport™ Kids’ Synthetic Suede Half Chaps

You can also shop our entire selection of Kids’ apparel and equipment here.

If you have any questions on fitting your child with riding apparel, we’re here to help. We’re particularly careful about helmet fit. We also take pride in offering starter items at budget-friendly prices, perfect for growing riders or those just getting introduced to equestrian sports. Stop by any of our Dover Saddlery retail locations or give us a call! On our website, our Equestrian Library is also a great free resource.

Is your summer riding camp checklist complete? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Show Up in a Great Show Shirt

Soft, smooth, lightweight and full of advanced technologies, riding shirt fabrics get better every year. Performance properties built into or applied to the fibers of technical fabrics give riders competition shirts that deliver multiple benefits. While all technical fabrics are not created equal, you’ll find these assets in most show shirts across most brands:

  • Moisture wicking: Fabric actively pulls perspiration away from your skin toward the exterior surface where it can evaporate efficiently.
  • Breathability: Fabric is constructed to allow body vapors to pass through to the exterior, keeping you feeling drier and more comfortable.
  • Quick drying: Fabric washes easily and feels dry to the touch rapidly. Quick-dry properties are exceptionally helpful for multi-day shows, as you can rinse a show shirt at night have a dry shirt by morning.
  • Active stretch: Fabrics are made with elastic in the fibers and/or constructed to provide two- or four-way stretch. Some elasticity is more extreme than others, but all performance fabrics are designed to promote your freedom of movement.
  • Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating: UPF is the rating system applied to apparel. It tells you how much a fabric can protect you from UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. The higher the rating, the higher level of overall protection it provides. A UPF rating of 15–20 is adequate, 25–35 very good and 40+ is excellent at preventing UV transmission through the fabric to your skin.

With the relaxation of some competition apparel rules, riding shirts this year come in colors and microprints that truly reflect your personality when you slip out of your show coat. Strategic comfort features, such as mesh or lace inserts for extra airflow, are also increasingly stylish. Here are some notable new favorites we’re sure you’ll appreciate.

Beacon Hill: New Stain- and Odor-Resistant Fabric
Beacon Hill by Essex Classics recreated their best-selling classic wrap-collar show shirt in new UPF 50+ rated fabric that stretches, wicks—and provides odor and stain resistance! Now show-day stress and spills won’t ruin your shirt. Cooling mesh under-sleeve panels and pretty trims make it a must-have whether you opt for the long sleeve or short sleeve style.

Fair Play®: Chic Shirt Made with Recycled Fibers
Concerned for the environment, Fair Play introduced technical fabrics made with recycled fibers into their feminine yet athletic designs. The Alexis Long Sleeve Show Shirt is one example; its elastic, eco-friendly fabric wicks, breathes and protects against UV rays. Stylish elastic-lace inserts increase airflow, while embroidery and crystals make standout finishing touches.

R.J. Classics: Microprint Fabric & Perforated Panels
The Liv Long Sleeve Show Shirt by R.J. Classics carries extra style into the show ring with a sophisticated snaffle bit-themed microprint. Luxurious technical fabric rated UPF 50+ offers all the performance benefits you crave, and it pairs beautifully with perforated panels that boost breathability.

Shop our entire selection of show shirts here and be prepared for show season!

What show shirt will you be tucking into your show breech this year? We’d love to see your choice! Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

How to Maximize Effectiveness of Your Horse’s Fly Spray

A person wearing a long sleeve black shirt is spraying a brown horse with a plain grey bottle of fly spray.

We horse owners spend a hefty sum on fly repellents and insecticides to help our horses cope with flies. Whether you prefer synthetic or all-natural formulas, you can optimize their effectiveness—and your horse’s comfort—with these tips.

Read Product Directions

While this advice seems obvious, a recent product advisor training session revealed that many people over-apply fly sprays. Check the application rate recommended by your fly spray’s manufacturer; some formulas are designed to protect for multiple days and can be applied less frequently.

Check for Skin Sensitivity

We recommend testing any new fly spray on a small area of your horse prior to a full application. Doing so allows you to check for an allergic reaction. If skin reacts, that small test patch is easier to treat.

Brush Away Grime

Brush or clean your horse before applying a fly spray. Not only will sweat, urine and manure attract flies to your horse, it will prevent your formula from creating a proper coating and providing best results.

Rotate Fly Repellents

If your favorite fly spray seems to stop working, give it a break and introduce another type for a while. Flies can become accustomed to the scent of a spray, making it less effective. We recommend bathing your horse between applications of different fly sprays to prevent reaction between active ingredients.

Take a Multipronged Approach
While these tips will enhance the performance of your chosen fly formulas, your horse can also benefit from barriers created by a fly mask, fly sheet and fly boots. Fly traps hung outside your horse’s living environment will help reduce the adult fly population. Similarly, removing piles of rotting leaves or decaying manure will reduce fly breeding grounds. Add some birdhouses and bat houses to lure in these natural insect predators, and you will create a multipronged approach to fly control!

Do you and your horse have a favorite fly spray? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Three New Brands You’ll Love at Dover Saddlery

A horse and rider are standing in the hallway of an upscale barn. The rider is a plus size model with long brown hair. She is wearing a long sleeve white show shirt and tan riding pants. She is holding the reins to a large chestnut horse that is only wearing a brown bridle.

February, with Valentine’s Day in the middle, always makes us think of ways we riders love our horses and our equestrian lifestyle. This month is especially fun as we at Dover Saddlery continue to welcome more brands to our product lineup! We love them—and think you will, too!

Win the Style Game in Fair Play®

Two blonde riders are leaning against the wall of an indoor arena. They are both wearing white riding pants and black tall boots. The woman on the left is wearing a white long sleeve show shirt and the woman on the right is wearing a navy long sleeve show shirt.

Fair Play is a rapidly growing equestrian brand that has been winning the hearts of riders worldwide since 2007. Fresh, unique and modern clothing designs for professional and amateur riders are created from high-quality performance fabrics with an emphasis on exquisite finishing details. Fair Play competition attire is proudly made in Poland and always delivers head-turning style.

Tip: Looking for riding apparel with ultra-feminine flair? Fair Play shirts, breeches and show coats are sure to please. Beautifully appointed performance styles boast features such as fine lace or mesh insets, petite crystal design accents and flattering, contoured shaping.

Tap into the Beat of Fashion in Dancing Equestrian

A female model with long brown hair is posed in a tall doorway. She is wearing tan riding pants, a light brown belt, and a white long sleeve quarter-zip shirt with a gold horse bit pattern on it.

Launched in 2021, Dancing Equestrian is a fashion-forward riders’ brand with innovation and style as its mission. The clothing collection is tailored to the modern equestrian lifestyle with functional athleisure pieces that make riders look and feel amazing wherever they go.

Tip: Looking for a twist on the classic quarter-zip top? A riding shirt by Dancing Equestrian comes in ultrasoft, stretchy performance fabric in lively prints and trendy color palettes.

Feel Ultimate Athletic Freedom in TKEQ

A girl wearing tan riding pants and a grey shirt is riding a white horse. They are riding in an outdoor arena with palm trees in the background.

Dedicated to athletic riders, TKEQ is a seamless story. Soft, high-stretch fabrics in smooth, chafe-free designs promote total comfort and mobility. Seam-free designs are kind to your skin, layer wonderfully and keep you moving freely.

Tip: Looking for comfortable, versatile essentials for riding and cross training? Tops from TKEQ hug your contours in a body-conscious fit that won’t get in the way of your movements. And the array of beautiful solid colors makes choosing just one shirt difficult!

We invite you to check out these new brands and more coming this season! We know you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.

Do you already have a favorite style from one of our new brands? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Cold-Weather Layering for Horses

A brown horse facing left is wearing a dark leather halter and two blankets. The under blanket is a grey stable blanket with horizontal quilting. The top blanket is a blue and grey plaid turnout sheet that is being pulled back to reveal the stable blanket underneath.

This winter, you may be looking for easy, affordable options for keeping your horse cozy and muscles warm. As riders know, dressing in layers makes regulating comfort a snap as temperatures fluctuate during the day—or during a ride. Layering is a great approach for horses, too!

Layering is practical, budget-friendly and space-saving; it requires only a few well-chosen pieces of hardworking horse clothing to keep your horse comfortable. While ready-made blanket bundles and blanket liner systems are available, you can build your own system using pieces that fulfill multiple functions and meet your horse’s specific needs best.

Horse Clothing Base Layers

Start with a breathable base layer your horse can wear when stabled. Its degree of warmth should be suited to the interior temperature of your barn. Here are some of our favorite base layers for horses:

A brown horse is facing left wearing a burgundy Back on Track Mesh Sheet.
  • Chill Chaser: A versatile, tightly woven waffle-like layer, the Chill Chaser serves as an anti-sweat sheet, cooler, show sheet and blanket liner all in one attractive design.
  • Fitted fleece sheet/cooler: As long as the piece secures at the front and has belly surcingles and a tail strap, this cozy, moisture-wicking layer is perfect as a base when it’s not being used to dry your horse.
  • Back on Track® Mesh Sheet: This therapeutic sheet creates a soothing infrared thermal effect to keep a horse’s muscles loose, aid recovery and become less inflamed. And it offers a secure fit.
  • Horseware® Ireland Amigo® Insulator: This barrier against cold has a ripstop outer, a layer of fill and a shine-enhancing lining.
  • Any lightweight or medium-weight quilted stable blanket: This type of blanket tends to fit snugly to a horse’s contours, secures appropriately and has a smooth outer that layers well under a turnout blanket or sheet.

Outer Layers

Time for turnout? Any turnout, from a waterproof sheet to a heavyweight blanket, can go right over your horse’s base layer as protection from the elements. The weight of the turnout is a perfect way to adjust the warmth level to match current weather conditions. Here are some of our favorite turnout layers for horses:

A brown horse with a white stripe on its face is running through a snowy area. The horse is wearing a black turnout blanket with a matching neck cover and a dark leather halter.
  • Turnout sheet: This uninsulated, weatherproof layer deflects wetness and mud without adding much warmth. Depending on your climate, you may use it most of the year, even when a base layer isn’t needed.
  • Medium-weight turnout blanket: This weatherproof blanket will have 200 to 250 grams of insulation to boost warmth provided by the base layer.
  • Neck cover: Suitable for attachment to your specific brand and type of turnout, a neck cover extends weatherproof coverage and holds in body heat around your horse’s neck. Even an uninsulated neck cover will hold in some body heat.

We’d love to hear about your solutions for layering your horse’s clothing any time of year and in any geographic location. Please share your ideas with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

How to Enhance Your Riding Arena

A large outdoor arena with white dressage letter cones and tan arena footing. There is a white fence around the perimeter of the fence.

It’s December, time for extra merriment and fun! Our thoughts have turned to ways we can spruce up our riding areas to keep our horses’ environments attractive, engaging and stimulating. As this gift-giving season, too, who knows? Some of these ideas might make perfect presents for your favorite rider.

By incorporating thoughtful decorations, practical obstacles and appealing elements, you can transform any riding arena or area into a captivating space that promotes learning, mind and body conditioning, concentration and enjoyment.

  1. Add dressage cones. No matter your riding discipline, dressage letters are a simple way to expand on or create training exercises. While you guide your horse through patterns, figures and transitions based on letter locations, you can hone your aids and improve your horse’s suppleness. Dressage letter towers can hold flowers or plants—a great opportunity to add seasonal color year-round. Choose non-toxic plants or plastic varieties for horse safety and weather resistance.
  2. Install attractive and functional obstacles. Whether you add ground poles, Rail Razors, cavaletti, Jump Blocks or fences, introducing obstacles to your riding arena enhances visual appeal and offers mental and physical stimulation for your horse.

  3. Turn on some music. Install speakers around the arena to play calming music or natural sounds, which can help relax and focus both you and your horse. Prefer a lively experience? Upbeat music—as long as it isn’t too loud—just may inspire your horse’s cadence.

  4. Enhance the surroundings naturally. Consider planting (non-toxic) flowers or ornamental grasses around the perimeter of your outdoor ring. These natural elements can add vibrancy and tranquility to your arena space.

  5. Incorporate wall décor. Consider hanging equestrian-themed photographs, banners or flags. The entrance to your arena is a perfect spot for a customized sign with a welcome message or a stable name. Such decorative touches create a sense of pride and attachment to the space.
A white dressage letter cone the the letters M and G on it with colorful artificial flowers coming out of the top.
A set of four jumps stacked in ascending order. The front jump has a green gate with white and red jump standards. The jumps behind it are completely white.
Blue jump blocks are stacked one on top of the other on either side with white poles in the middle to make a jump.

While you create an equine oasis for you and your horse to enjoy, remember to keep an eye on safety aspects. Allow plenty of space to move around obstacles and be sure to introduce your horse to new things with care.

Shop our wide selection of jumps and arena equipment here.

Is your arena #goals worthy? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

What Will You Choose: Tasty Holiday Treats for Horses & Ponies

Four containers of horse treats are lined up on a wooden surface. From left to right the horse treat brands are Uncle Jimmy's Squeezy Buns, Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses, The German Horse Muffin, and Manna Pro Nuggets.

Because gift-giving season is almost here, we’re thinking of ways to delight the horses and ponies in our lives. The obvious choice? Surprise their taste buds with delectable concoctions, perhaps from a brand they’ve never tried before. To help you choose from all the treats available today, here are some thoughts you might like to consider.  

Best-Selling Treats

If your horse likes to follow the herd, he or she will love these popular favorites. These treats are produced from partners that are among our favorites, too, as they stand behind their high-quality products.

  • German Horse Muffins: Made by Equus Magnificus in the USA, German Muffins are decadent, sweet and chewy treats. Fresh grains, molasses, vitamins and more are mixed to perfection and formed into gourmet bite-size muffins. They can also be used to disguise pills.  
  • Manna Pro® Bite-Size Nuggets: Offered in a variety of flavors, these crunchy treats fit into pockets easily and pack a great value for your dollar. They’re made in the USA from wholesome ingredients, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and horses find them irresistible!
  • Uncle Jimmy’s® Squeezy Buns: These wonderfully soft treats are individually wrapped to preserve freshness and to eliminate mess. They are made in the USA from all-natural, nutritious ingredients, and horses simply adore them.

Seasonal Flair

Looking for something with distinct holiday appeal? Check out these fun brands!

  • Mrs. Pastures® Cookies: Offered in festive holiday packaging, these all-natural horse treats have been enjoyed by horses since 1986. Made in the USA, these cookies are dehydrated rather than baked, so they won’t crumble or fall apart in your pocket.
  • Stud Muffins®: Filling a transparent candy-cane container for easy gift giving, these chewy treats are handmade from nutritious ingredients and fortified with extra protein and flaxseed.
  • Kelcie’s Horse Treats: These treats come in Pumpkin Spice, which is as perfect for seasonal festivities as pumpkin pie! Naturally low in sugar, starch and carbohydrates, they’re made in a unique extrusion process and designed to deliver healthy benefits.

Small Bakery Support
If you love to support small, entrepreneurial businesses, any of these treats will please both you and your horse.

  • A to Z Horse Cookies: Appropriate for horses with metabolic conditions, these soft, flavorful treats were originally designed to be used as pill pockets to hide medicines. They’re low in carbs, low in sugar and made in the USA from human-grade, organic ingredients.
  • NickerDoodles: These gourmet horse treats are handmade in the USA for discriminating horses and their picky owners. They’re soft, tasty, easily digestible and just six simple all-natural ingredients.
  • Daybreak Farm Horse Muffins: These “Muffins with a Mission” are offered with candy centers or with limited, all-natural ingredients as a healthy option. While the muffins make your horse happy, they serve a higher purpose: they’re created in a special working farm in Pennsylvania, where individuals with special needs find meaningful work, vocational job training and socialization.

Does your horse have a favorite cookie or treat? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!

Dover Saddlery® Sponsors 2023 Komen Vermont Ride for The Cure® at Green Mountain Horse Association

With many women and families in the equestrian community impacted by breast cancer, we at Dover Saddlery are proud to support Susan G. Komen® through sponsorship of the organization’s 14th Annual Vermont Ride for the Cure. The horseback ride will take place at the beloved GMHA showgrounds in South Woodstock, Vermont on October 9th. The event is being held in honor of the life and legacy of Ride founder, Lois Steele Whidden, who died of breast cancer in April 2023.

Registered horseback riders at GMHA will enjoy a scenic five- to nine-mile-long trail ride. Riders in other areas can participate in the event virtually by choosing to “Ride Where You Are” and can then also choose their own ride mileage. New this year, cyclists and non-horseback riders can also enjoy virtual participation!

Susan G. Komen leads the way worldwide in spreading awareness about breast cancer, raising funds for research and providing support and guidance for people fighting the disease. Komen’s events always celebrate breast cancer survivorship and honor those who have lost their battle with the disease.

Funds raised from the Ride for the Cure will support patients through Komen’s Patient Care Center and will help advance cutting-edge research, as well. Anyone impacted by breast cancer can call 1-877-GO-KOMEN to speak to a trained professional who can offer emotional support and patient navigation services. Additionally, qualifying individuals can receive financial assistance or be connected to resources in their communities. Together, we are fueling the best science, boldest community and biggest impact in the fight against breast cancer.

To register for Ride for the Cure at GMHA or your own location, or to donate to the cause, click here. Thank you for your consideration—your participation gets us closer to the cure.

Understanding the Five-Year Helmet Replacement Guideline

A young girl wearing a black helmet, navy show coat, white show shirt and black riding gloves is hugging the neck of a brown horse. The horse is wearing a green fly bonnet and a brown leather bridle.

Safety week is a perfect time to address customer confusion concerning the widely publicized and accepted five-year replacement guidelines for riding helmets. Quite a few customers have contacted us having noticed the manufacture date stamped on the interior label of their new helmets. They’ve been concerned that the date is an expiration date—and this is not the case.

The inside of a Samshield riding helmet shows 5 different stickers regarding the make, model, size and safety information of the helmet. A rectangular white sticker outlined in red with black text notes the production date and series number of this particular helmet.

The date and the series number stamped inside your helmet is required by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which has verified your helmet meets the current required standard. This information is attached to the helmet in case a product defect is discovered or the need for a recall arises.

The five-year replacement guideline for equestrian helmets begins at the time of purchase and depends on frequency of use. (Keep the sales receipt for any helmet you buy as a reference for the age of your helmet. You may also need it to participate in a crash helmet replacement claim.) This five-year guideline is not a gimmick retailers and manufacturers use to sell helmets; it exists for the benefit of riders.

With use, helmet safety materials degrade, and the ability of the materials designed to protect you decreases as well. Perspiration, heat, hair spray, insect spray, exposure to sunlight, travel conditions and improper storage all contribute to a slow degradation of a helmet. Every time you wear a helmet, its materials heat up and expand. Every time you take a helmet off and let it cool and dry, the materials contract. That’s why the five-year plan is a guideline only, and common sense on replacement time should always apply to your situation. You can help maximize the life of your helmet by storing it in a protective bag or carrier, out of direct sunlight and in a temperature-controlled environment.

As an added note, within any five-year period, newer, better technologies and production methods are usually developed to boost coverage, safety and comfort provided by equestrian helmets.

When to replace your helmet:

  • You have worn it for five years.
  • You ride in it once or more daily, every day, for a year or two.
  • Your helmet starts to feel too loose or too tight.
  • You change your hairstyle drastically if you tuck it into your helmet.
  • The helmet’s harness loosens during rides, or the clasp doesn’t secure properly.
  • You had a crash and hit your helmet.
  • You dropped the helmet on a hard surface.
  • The helmet was stored improperly, such as in frigid conditions (frozen barn aisle) or in the excessive heat (backseat of a vehicle).

Please use common sense when considering helmet replacement and err on the side of caution.

Shop our wide selection of riding helmets and helmet accessories here.

What is your favorite helmet brand to wear? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging @doversaddlery!