Any riding helmet marketed as protective headgear must be labeled “ASTM/SEI certified” or carry an equivalent rating from the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) or the European Committee for Standardization (CEN or EN 13158). Those labels have been in our helmets for years, but it’s good to remember what they mean:
• it must withstand blows on a flat anvil as well as on an anvil with a raised edge to simulate a horseshoe; it must slow the acceleration of the head on impact; it must perform just as well at temperature extremes.
• would affect a rider’s head. If in any test the forces inside the helmet exceed 300 g, the minimum amount required to injure the brain, the helmet fails.
ASTM standards are updated periodically as technologies advance. The most recent change, which went into effect in January 2016, requires some helmets to undergo impact testing on a wider range of head forms. Helmets certified prior to January 2016 do not need to be replaced.
For more information, read “The Safety Helmet Success Story” (EQUUS 429).