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Equestrian Helmets: Safety Necessities to Stylish Accessories

Riders used to have few helmet options to replace their iconic cowboy hats and top hats. Who could blame a rider for turning up their nose at an English-style velvet hunt cap or a big, bright schooling helmet? In the competition ring, many disciplines are still quite traditional, but in show jumping and eventing, fashion-conscious riders are getting comfortable with some wild styles.

Self-proclaimed “Equinista” (equestrienne + fashionista) and writer, L.A. Pomeroy, says "Helmet jewelry continues to trend in rider self-expression and now the two are crossing over with brow bands matching headgear. And with Swarovski's close cooperation with labels like Armani and Gauthier, crystal choices are trend-setting and full of variety."
US Nations Cup dressage SIlver medalist and Olympic veteran, Dr. Cesar Parra also says that “The important thing to remember is that accessories don't have anything to do with performance. A horse doesn't mind what it's wearing. If a horse performs poorly, too much 'bling' could make you look worse.” Read more from Pomeroy and Parra in the May/June issue of Elite Equestrian, "Stylish Conversations: Bling in the Ring” (page 30).
Bling is certainly not new to the equestrian fashion world or to Troxel riders. Thanks to sites like Pinterest, riders are getting increasingly creative with their helmets and DIY customizations. Riders have pinned everything from DIY bedazzling, to custom-designed carriage driving helmets and alligator prints. Youth riders are even decorating their helmets with pearls and tiaras for their shows. 
Troxel riders are also now opting for new wild colors like Indigo and graphic prints like the Rebel Rocker over previous best-sellers. Riders are truly turning the table on helmets and changing what used to be hair-flattening safety necessities into stylish accessories. 
Perhaps a day will arrive when shoppers will be frozen on the floor at Dover because they can’t choose between the zebra or leopard print helmet to go with their Wellington Collection Show Coat.  
Do you decorate your helmet? What helmet styles are catching your eye? Please comment below!

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