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Take Care of Your Riding Helmet
 By Winniefield Park   •   1st Apr 2014   •   2,551 views   •   0 comments
Take Care of Your Riding Helmet

Your riding helmet is a very important piece of equipment that helps protect the one part of your body that is very difficult to fix if it gets broken: your brain. Helmets don't require a great deal of maintenance, but they do benefit from a little care to keep them clean and looking nice.

One thing many people don't realize about helmets is that they need to be replaced about every three years or after they have taken a hard hit. Damage might not be obvious, but over time, the materials can become weaker and the glues used to hold them together start to break down. The manufacturer of the helmet will probably make recommendations about the lifespan of your helmet and when it's time for a new one. Certainly, if the shine is gone from the outer shell of your helmet, it's probably time for a new one. And, of course, if your helmet hit the ground with your head in it, it's time for a replacement whether or not you can see damage.

Related: Ten Reasons Not to Wear a Helmet
Related: Should Equestrian Vaulters Be Required To Wear Helmets?
Related: The Better You Ride The Harder You Fall [Video]

Most manufacturers recommend you don't decorate your helmet with stickers, paint or markers. The adhesives, paint and ink can damage the shell of your helmet, making it less protective. Decorate and protect your helmet from dust with a cool fabric helmet cover instead. You will want to protect your helmet from temperature extremes as well. Leaving your helmet in the back windshield of a car where it will be exposed to high temperatures can affect the materials.

Often in hot weather, our helmets get damp inside. Allow your helmet to dry out before packing it away, or your nose might get a nasty surprise the next time you use it. If this does happen, you can try a few things. Many helmets are washable with mild soap and lukewarm water. Rinse it well and then let it dry completely. We've found that leaving a bag of odor absorbing zeolight or baking soda in the helmet between uses can help too. You may be tempted to give your helmet a thorough cleaning sometimes, but don't put your helmet in a dishwasher, where continuous high heat, water and harsh soap won't be good for it. To prevent helmet liners from getting smelly and soiled there are several types of liners available that claim to keep you cooler and your helmet liner cleaner. Barn Beanies and Sticky Wick-Its are just two of several products you might find useful.

Velveteen helmets can be kept dust free by brushing the cover with a soft brush. Those silly 'shticky' rollers that “Vince” peddles, or a lint brush work well too. If you school in your velveteen covered helmet, you might want to put a cover over it to keep it clean between shows. A helmet bag protects your helmet from bumps and dirt between uses.

Helmet care isn't complicated and a few minutes now and again will keep you looking good while you're protecting your head.
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