How to Stay Calm While Riding a Horse (5 Tips)

Wondering how to stop sweating under helmet when horse riding? How to prevent sweating in helmet?

My daughter asked me this question when she first began her horse riding lessons, and she wasn’t just talking about actual sweat.

She was getting anxious about the whole thing and it didn’t help that the weather was warm and humid.

If you too are looking for tips to prevent sweating under your horse-riding helmet, then read on!

How to Stop Sweating Under Helmet When Riding Horse?

The best way to stop sweating under a helmet when riding a horse is by practicing some calming tips to prevent stress and anxiety when riding. We will discuss these below.

Real quick, though, in case you’re asking how to stop literal sweating, I recommend using a special under-the-helmet skullcap.

You can also use headwraps, or bandanas that absorb the excess sweat. This will prevent excess sweating while riding in the summer months.

equestrian woman happily riding a horse

Alternatively, you can use special vented helmets to improve airflow and cool your head.

Let us discuss some tips for metaphorical sweating under the helmet. Keep reading for how to ‘keep calm and ride a horse.”

READ MORE: How Often to Replace Riding Helmet

5 Tips to Stay Calm When Riding Horse

The first time you get into the saddle can be exciting as well as a frightening experience. Your instructor or trainer would have given you all the proper techniques for riding a horse.

However, there are still some important tips to keep in mind to stay anxiety-free:

#1. Do Your Groundwork

With the help of your trainer, do all the groundwork thoroughly. You must especially practice getting on/off. If needed, observe other riders nearby and take notes.

Use a mounting block or something high when mounting/dismounting. Remember: horses can get spooked if you happen to kick them accidentally when climbing into the saddle.

Don’t forget to spend time with your horse. This will help it get used to your touch. If possible, groom and feed and pat it frequently so it learns to accept your touch without flinching.

#2. Choose a Calm Time of Day for Riding

Pick a calm area and time to ride. Make sure there is nothing to distract you and your horse. Avoid riding when it is too hot (which will exacerbate the sweating under the helmet).

Also, avoid heavy rainy days and windy days for riding.

girl wearing a helmet while riding a horse

#3. Ride in a Group or With an Experienced Rider

If you are a beginner at horse riding, it may be better to have an experienced rider nearby. They could be riding alongside or remain on the ground.

In any case, they can come to your aid, should you need it. Riding in a group is also one of the best ways to stay calm when riding for the first time.

three girls riding a horse in the forest

#4. Read Your Horse’s Body Language

Observe your horse for signs of distress. If it shows tension or seems to react badly to any action, take a step back and do something that your horse is comfortable with. If possible, avoid riding if the horse appears spooked or sick.

That said, one study found that horses can read their riders’ body language and mood. So if you’re anxious, your horse will read that and reflect it back to you [2].

woman checking if her horse is not feeling well

#5. Avoid Distractions

Riding with distractions particularly if you have never ridden before is not a good idea. Put your cell phone away and concentrate on your horse and the road.

In the next section, I will cover some anxiety-reducing tips that have considerably helped my daughter when she first began riding.

You may also want to check out this video for some tips:

Check: How to Clean a Riding Helmet

How Can You Overcome Horse Riding Anxiety?

While the tips above are great general tips, overcoming your anxiety itself is a better way to stop sweating under the helmet. So let’s discuss.

#1. Do Not Overthink the Situation

Riding needs you to multi-task and might make you feel overwhelmed trying to remember all the rules. But try to stay calm. Trust yourself and your horse. Clear your mind by practicing a few deep breaths.

#2. Focus on the Horse and the Road

Riding-related anxiety often triggers our brains into overthinking. Learn to take things as they come.

If this is your first time riding, practice in a known area or in the ring. Keep your focus on the ground.

man riding a black horse

#3. Keep Your Mind on Sensory Experiences

This one worked for me when I first began riding. I would distract myself from overthinking by feeling the reins in my hands and focusing on their texture.

This instantly took my mind off my fear. I soon learned to love the sound of the wind in my ears which helped calm frenzied thoughts.

#4. Do Not Add to Your Anxiety

You can do this by adhering to the rules and following your instructor’s tips. You can also keep the speed slow in the beginning until you are able to ride more confidently.

#5. Be Mindful

Bring your mind to the present moment. You can do this by focusing on your breath or taking your attention to the body parts where you experience the stress: neck, belly, shoulders, etc.

This will help you get a grip on your emotions. Once you manage your emotions, your anxiety will also subside.

young lady practicing horse riding

Check: How to Buy Used Horse Riding Helmet


Can horses sense anxiety?

lady calmly riding a horse and showing how to stop sweating under helmet when horse riding

Yes, horses can sense their rider’s anxiety and studies have confirmed this. Horses also experience an elevated heart rate if their rider has a rapid heart rate. That’s why it is important to remain calm and confident when riding.

How to prevent sweating under helmet when horse riding?

To prevent sweating under a helmet when horse riding, you can wear an under-the-helmet skullcap, bandana, or scarf. This will absorb moisture and prevent sweat from dripping down your face. You can also choose vented helmets to allow better ventilation. Tie your hair in braids and use a dry shampoo to refresh your hair.


The best way to stop sweating under a helmet when horse riding is by staying calm, cool, and collected. Try some deep breathing exercises and remember your trainer’s instructions.

You can also ride in a group or with an experienced rider. Remember: practice makes perfect so the more you ride, the better you’ll get.


  1. Brittle, Karen M. 2017. “Keep Cool at Summer Horse Shows.” Dressage Today. Dressage Today. July 2017.
  2. Keeling, Linda J., Liv Jonare, and Lovisa Lanneborn. 2009. “Investigating Horse–Human Interactions: The Effect of a Nervous Human.” The Veterinary Journal 181 (1): 70–71.
girl riding a dappled grey horse

If you have more tips on how to stop sweating under helmet when horse riding, we’d love to hear them below!

Andreea J.
Andreea J.

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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