European Safety Standard EN1384, which had been in existence for nearly 30 years, was withdrawn in December 2014
European VGI Interim standard is current
The 3 international safety standards are VGI European (as above), PAS015 British and ASTM American.
Quality symbols are Kite Mark – British – an addition to the safety standard. SEI Mark – American – integral to the ASTM standard. CE Mark – European - this is not a quality mark but a declaration of compliance with the safety standard.
The current British Dressage ruling is that all of the above safety standards are competition legal, although they highly recommend a Kite marked helmet. All the helmets in this article are BD legal.
Your riding helmet is designed to protect your head and help reduce the chance of injury. Please note that helmets should be replaced following a severe blow – essential if the rider loses consciousness or has a severe headache afterward. This might even be the case after just being dropped onto a hard surface. When your helmet receives a blow, it’s the inner polystyrene that can become compressed, therefore losing it’s shock-absorbing qualities. And you might not even know it. So if you subsequently have an impact, your helmet might not give you adequate protection. We recommend you replace your helmet every 5 years – which is the expected lifespan of a helmet.