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How to measure yourself for a riding hat

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Kim

How to measure yourself for a riding hat

Are you thinking about buying a new riding hat or replacing an old one but you're not sure about which size you need? Kim's written an easy-to-follow three step guide on how to measure yourself. Have a read and if you still need some advice, get in touch with us. We're always on hand to help.

Step 1 – Measuring your head

Before you measure your head, remove all clips and slides and then do you hair how you’ll be wearing it when you wear your hat.  This is important as a ponytail, clips, headband, or other style can change the size of the hat you require.

If you wear glasses when you ride, put these on for the hat fitting.

Using a flexible tape measure or a piece of string that you can measure against a ruler afterwards.  You can do it yourself or ask a friend to help you as it is important that the tape stays flat and even around your head for an accurate measurement.  Place the tape measure one finger’s width above the eye brows, skim the tops of the ears and take it round to the widest part of the head.

Once measured, you should have a measurement in inches or centimetres.  This will give you a measurement that is purely a guideline of your size.   Compare your measurement to the size guide and select the size that you think you need.  If you’re unsure which size to choose, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Step 2 – Finding the correct size

To be effective, the hat must fit firmly but comfortably. It should be a snug fit but with no undue pressure on any point of the head as this may cause discomfort and result in headaches for example.  Equally, if it’s too loose, it may move as you ride and its ability to protect your head will be greatly reduced.

Shake your head. If there’s no motion, that’s a good sign that it fits.

Equally you’ll know that you’ve got the right size as when you remove it, there should be a feeling of suction, as it's lifted off, and also a lifting of the eyebrows as the skin above them moves.

If there is a tough choice between two fits, pick a close fit as opposed to a loose fit.   This is because the lining will compress in time due to the heat of your head and so it will probably fit very well in time!

Step 3 – Fitting the hat

The hat should be rolled on to the head from the correct position at the front of the head, which is about half an inch above the eyebrows.

It should sit level on your head, covering your forehead. The visor’s brim should be about one finger above the eyebrows.

As you place the hat on your head, listen for the sound of air being displaced. It should:

equus bullet Be a snug fit

equus bullet Not be uncomfortably tight

equus bullet Not rock from front to back or side to side.

Important!

The last point will become apparent if the hat you’re fitting is not the right shape for your head.  It is widely accepted that some riding hats suit round heads and some suit oval heads.  Experiment with different brands to find the most suitable for you.  If it squeezes your forehead but rocks easily sideways, it is too round for your head.  If it fits the sides comfortably but rocks front to back, it is too oval for your head.

Ensure that there is some space in front of the temples as a little room at this point will prevent headaches from occurring particularly if you wear your hat for long periods of time, e.g. for longer than an hour.

The Retention Harness

The chin strap should be adjusted so that it feels comfortable. The purpose of the chin strap is to ensure that the hat does not move and that it stays in the correct position on your head whilst you’re riding.  It should always be securely fastened under the chin with one finger’s width from the face.  Adjust this first before you adjust the back straps.

The Back Straps come in several different designs but all serve the same purpose: to stop the hat from tipping forwards.  Fasten them equally.

Points to remember

equus bullet Don't guess your size, it’s not worth it!

equus bullet The hat that fits your friend may not be the best for you, even if you look like the same size and you love it!

Measured yourself?  

Take a look at our collection of women's riding hats and remember we offer free UK delivery on everything.

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Author

Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

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