Over the last few weeks, my husband has been asking me to have a look at purchasing a new riding hat. I personally think that it is a long job for a small bit of protection or peace of mind.
My hat looks the same as it always has, the padding feels the same, the only thing that really swayed me to have a look into another hat – was the smell.
We’ve all experienced it – that stench that comes from being too sweaty in the summer and from leaving the hat to slowly dry in the stable yard. It’s a definite stench, not a smell. Ugh!!
A definite game changer!
So I had a gander around for what would now be considered to be a comfortable and stylish hat; the bowl shape of the current hat wasn’t doing my head profile any favours!
After a few good google searches, and watching Badminton Horse Trials – to see what the professionals are wearing – I decided on the Charles Owen Pro II hat. And it’s such a pretty little brain protector.
Whilst I was doing my research – I noticed that there is a lot out there on the subject – like there is a 2017 buzz to get the hat chatter one that you would have over coffee with a friend.
And I have to say that even I will submit to admitting that my husband was right. I got a nice new hat but also new understanding and sense of awareness that is required when it comes to the hat.
So; the science behind the hat, is that the polystyrene should be filling the hat completely and with each bash – the polystyrene gets thicker and more solid, with the bubbles reducing into a hard compaction – creating a negative pressure on the head when it is hit again. This continues and continues and the hat becomes less and less protective of the person riding it. Without them knowing.
The difficulty is that the outside of the hat doesn’t actually change shape, or look any different – and if you’re like me and you’re always bashing into trees on hacks, or knocking into the door when carrying the hat – your hat can come under a lot of compaction quite quickly – but also without your knowing.
Look at the cross section view of my hat in the photo attached – it looks totally normal, and I only changed it because I was request to do so. That is how scary the situation is. The reduction in protection from your hat happens completely behind closed doors, or closed skullcap.
And I’m ever so thankful that I have updated my hat- this should not be a labour intensive and boring job. It should be up there as something as regular to check as one’s horse’s back, or teeth.
No hat, no head.
Safety never takes a day off my friends.