My heart beat quickened and my body tensed as I leaned forward into the horses’ neck. I could feel his two front hooves leave the ground, only we were not preparing for a jump. Yes, I was on the back of a Lusitano sport horse, but this was supposed to be a leisurely horse ride in central Portugal. Thank goodness I was wearing my Troxel trail riding helmet, the Rebel.
Fortunately for me, the horse I was riding did not rear up very high. In fact, I think my Western riding commands were confusing the horse. I was not hoping for dressage moves or baroque riding movements such as the “airs above the ground.” I simply wanted him to stand still when his pasture mate took off running up hill at the command of his rider, who was hoping to tire his horse out.
Horseback riding vacation in Portugal
As an equestrian travel writer I recently had the opportunity to experience a horseback riding holiday through the Azores, central Portugal and Lisbon. Now that I am a baby boomer riding with a total hip replacement, I take my safety seriously and typically ride with a helmet.
Troxel Rebel Helmet
The folks at Troxel sent me the new Rebel Star helmet to take with me on my European horseback riding vacation. For those equestrians who take a helmet on riding holidays, you’ll be happy to know that most airlines do not consider a helmet extra carry on luggage.
Seven airplanes, 10 days
I flew seven airplanes on a ten day trip to Portugal and neither SATA Airlines or Virgin America gave my helmet a second look. I did have quite a few airline passengers ask me about my Troxel helmet. Even with the horseshoe and stars on the side of the helmet, most people assumed I rode a motorcycle.
This low profile Western trail riding helmet was a great fit from the moment I put it on. With the SureFit Pro system, I didn’t have to spend time adjusting my helmet. I liked the mesh-covered vents because they didn’t make my head hot and sweaty.
Troxel’s Duratec Finish
My only knock on this riding helmet is simply cosmetic. As I mentioned, my riding helmet spent a considerable amount of time in overhead airplane storage bins or in the back of a car between horseback rides. I was not impressed with Troxel’s Matte Duratec finish.
Designed to protect the outer shell of the helmet from dirt and scratches, my Troxel helmet shows a bit of wear from a scratch perspective. Again, this is minor criticism in the overall scheme of things. I would highly recommend any Troxel riding helmet, as this San Diego, California-based company makes excellent and affordable performance headgear.
Cowboy hat or helmet
Do you wear a cowboy hat or helmet on a horseback riding vacation? Please leave a comment below.
Horseback riding safety tips