Is it Safe to Buy Second-Hand Horse Riding Helmets?

Many riders want to save money by buying used horse riding helmets because equestrian sport can be expensive (and so is caring for your horse!).

However, buying a second-hand horse riding helmet may not be the best choice.

Below, we’ll explore whether it is safe to buy used horse riding helmets, highlight what to look for when buying a used helmet, and determine where you can buy used riding helmets.

Don’t forget to check our list of the best horse riding helmets!

Is It Safe to Buy Used (Second-Hand) Horse Riding Helmets?

dirty horse riding helmets

Let me cut right to the chase: Buying a used or second-hand helmet is not safe.

Let’s look at why.

  • You don’t know the history of the helmet, which means you do not know where it has been (it could be damaged already!)
  • The helmet may not have been cared for properly or dropped multiple times, negatively impacting its ability to absorb the impact energy (Who hasn’t dropped their helmet? I know I have!)
  • The internal structures of the helmet could be damaged (less protection for your noggin!)
  • The helmet model could have major sun damage (darn UV rays!)
  • Horseback riding helmets have expiration dates and should not be worn for more than five years, and replaced immediately after a fall
  • The helmet may not comply with current safety standards 

CHECK: Horse Riding Hat Sizes

What to Look for When Buying Used Horse Riding Helmets?

horse riding helmet beside horse shoes

Although buying used horse riding helmets is not advised, sometimes an equestrian may not have a retailer near them or enough money to buy a new helmet (I know I have been in this situation, and buying second-hand is very tempting!).

Riders must use caution when doing so.  If necessary, here are some things to consider when buying a used horse riding helmet.

Condition

If you buy a second-hand horse riding helmet, it should be new, and if you are lucky, never opened or removed from its packaging.

This ensures that the helmet has not gone through any wear and tear from use, and it is more likely that it was stored properly and cared for.

However, with everything that is going on at the barn, it can be difficult to take care of a helmet properly. I know I usually end up leaving mine in the sun!

Also, the helmet might be expired, so always ask the seller when they purchased the helmet.

Price

Like new used helmets should be priced near the original selling price, as they have not been used at all and should be fresh. The older or more worn the helmet is, the less expensive it should be.

Beware the risk of buying worn helmets, as they may increase your risk of injury from different types of impacts.

Warranty Time Remaining 

If you are buying a second-hand horse riding helmet, it is best to buy one that is still within warranty, because you can get a brand new helmet if the one you purchased is in a state of disrepair.

If the warranty on it has ended, you will have to purchase a new one yourself if it becomes damaged and you will likely end up spending more money than you would have if you bought a new one, to begin with.

Plus, buying a new helmet is a great excuse to go shopping at your favorite tack store!

Safety Certifications 

Make sure that the used horse riding helmet you are considering purchasing complies with the latest ASTM International/SEI standards.

This way, you know the helmet design was structured to provide extra protection from severe impact and severe head injuries.

Check this out:

Where to Find Used Helmets for Horse Riding?

You will be able to find second-hand equestrian helmets at the following websites. Brick and mortar stores avoid selling used helmets (who doesn’t love online shopping though?)

  • Facebook marketplace and public and private groups 
  • Ebay
  • Trainers4Me
  • Preloved 
  • Amazon
  • HorseClicks 
lady wearing a horse riding a helmet touching her horse

In addition to finding used helmets, many helmet manufacturers have released quality helmet options that are priced around $50-60 and sometimes less!

Check: How to Stop Sweating Under Helmet When Horse Riding

FAQs

Do horse riding helmets expire?

horse riding helmet and other gears stored away from sunlight

Horseback riding helmets do have an expiration date that is usually written on the inside. Otherwise, helmets should be replaced every 5 years or immediately after a fall.

What do you do with old horseback riding helmets?

They can be recycled, and gently used ones can be donated to local therapeutic riding programs so that they can be put to good use. You can also display old or vintage helmets around your house, I have!

Conclusion

It is not a safe choice to buy second-hand horse riding helmets because you do not know where it has been or whether it complies with current safety standards. You should consider the condition, price, warranty, and safety standards when looking for a used helmet if necessary, and you can find them at a variety of online retailers.

References

  • “GET a HEADS up ON.” n.d. https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/helmets/HeadsUp_HelmetFactSheet_Equestrian_508.pdf.
  • “Riding Helmet Safety.” 2021. Uconn.edu. 2021. https://animalscience.uconn.edu/equine/helmet-safety.php.
  • “Trying to Save Money by Buying a Used Riding Helmet? STOP! Read This First!” 2014. The Equine Insider. 2014. http://www.theequineinsider.com/the-affordable-equine/trying-to-save-money-by-buying-a-used-riding-helmet-stop-read-this-first.
a used horse riding helmet
Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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