I understand why horse people get locked into their hairstyles. After all, once you’ve spent $300+ on a helmet you think long and hard about making a change that will alter the fit so much that you need a replacement.
Of course you can buy less expensive helmets. In fact, as long as a helmet is ASTM certified, there is no measurable safety difference between the $50 helmet and the $400 one. Except for fit.
The last time I bought a new helmet to hunt in (about a year and a half ago) I tried on EVERY helmet in the tack store (traditional velvet for the hunt field, please) and found to my dismay that the only helmet that was comfortable was the Charles Owen Wellington, for a mere $320. If you’re out hunting, fit is a very important factor. I’ve worn a few helmets that were uncomfortable and while you can stand them for a round of jumps or even a cross country trip, it won’t work if you’re out for 90 minutes.
Having never spent that much on a helmet before, I left the store in a state of shock. That tactic paid off as I found the exact helmet I wanted a few weeks later in the clearance section for a mere $225. I take very good care of it and hope that I don’t have a fall that will mean I have to replace it.
But then of course, there is my hair. I’ve been growing it out for the past few months. The issue of fit hadn’t crossed my mind until this morning when I was en route to the first hunt of cubbing season. I bought my helmet to fit my head — my hair was short enough to be contained in a hair net. Now, that wasn’t going to work.
I french braided my hair as close to my head as possible and breathed a sigh of relief when the helmet did go on. It was a bit snug but not enough to cause a headache or to leave a groove across my forehead (yes, that’s happened to me before).
After the first cast, I didn’t give it a second thought. I was too busy watching the hounds on a glorious (and hot) fall day. Freedom and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
I guess that means I can keep my longer hair! How about you? How much do you factor helmet fit into your hair styles?