When most people think of western riding, one of the first things to come to mind is probably the image of a stoic cowboy herding cattle on a ranch. You might even imagine a dramatic sliding stop in the middle of an arena with dust flying into the air. Or do you think of a horse and rider, as close to parallel to the ground as possible, as they whip around a barrel?
The one thing each of these images has in common is the iconic and ever-present cowboy hat. The cowboy hat has been a staple of western riding gear since the early days of the Wild West. But times are changing and as the world becomes more safety conscious, western riding helmets are becoming more popular.
No matter what type of riding you do, horses are still unpredictable animals that have the uncanny ability to go from zero to sixty (okay, maybe twenty) miles per hour without warning. The western riding helmet is a great way to keep your head safe and prevent traumatic brain injuries. There are plenty of options out there for western riders who want to add their own style and show a little personality when riding in a helmet.
Say Goodbye to Plain Jane
Your choices when helmet shopping used to be extremely limited. The only color option was black and the material was either shiny plastic or velvet, none of which is ideal when you’re shopping for a western riding helmet. You want something with a little more kick to it, a little more true to the Spirit of the West! Luckily, times are changing and helmet manufacturers are listening.
You can kiss the days of choosing between black or black goodbye. Now western riders can pick from options like the Troxel Rebel Helmet or the Troxel Spirit Helmet. Both of these helmets come in a variety of beautiful designs in wild colors or muted earth tones. Check out the flying arrows on the Troxel Rebel Helmet or the Troxel Spirit “Crimson Aztec.” Don’t hesitate to show up to your next rodeo wearing one of these western riding helmets-- everyone else is going to be jealous of the eye-catching design.
Fallon Taylor Helmets
If you ride western, then you’ve probably heard of Fallon Taylor. Fallon Taylor is an American professional rodeo cowgirl who’s famous for her wildly-colored leopard print trailer and amazing outfits. Oh, did we forget to mention that she’s a world champion barrel racer? After a horse-related accident left Fallon paralyzed, she taught herself how to walk, talk, ride, and win again. Now, she’s a fervent advocate for equestrian helmet safety and is never seen in the ring without one.
Breeches.com is proud to offer Fallon’s line of helmets that she designed in collaboration with Troxel. True to her wild style, these helmets bring neon colors and western-inspired patterns to the table. The ultralight low-profile design is fitted with ventilation for breathability and the DialFit comfort system that allows for an easily-adjusted fit. Check out my favorite design: the Purple Geo helmet.
Bring on the Leather
A cowboy or cowgirl is only as good as the quality of their leather. From the saddle on their horse to the boots on their feet, western riders are serious about their leather. The leather-covered Troxel Sierra and Troxel Cheyenne will let you match your tack to your western riding helmet. Built to withstand even the harshest terrain, the Troxel Sierra helmet features a leather and nylon covering that combines the rugged toughness of leather with the durability of nylon for a helmet that looks good and stands the test of time. Fitted with an air channel liner, this western riding helmet will keep your head cool and comfortable, no matter how long you ride.
The Troxel Cheyenne helmet takes “handcrafted” to the next level. This rugged handmade leather cover features colored stitching around the edges in either a teal blue or muted sand depending on which model you choose. The bright “Southwest” model has a bright orange, red, and blue western detail on the side that is stitched into the leather to ensure longevity, as well as style. The muted “Brown” Cheyenne western riding helmet has a more subtle piece on the side in light and dark chocolate stitching.
All the Benefits of a Cowboy Hat
Besides just looking good, there are big benefits to the wide brim of a cowboy hat that you just can’t get with a traditional helmet. A cowboy hat with a wide stiff brim offers protection from the sun and the rain, while also shading your eyes. Luckily, you can use a helmet brimmer to get all those benefits, plus the safety of a western riding helmet.
A helmet brimmer is similar to the brim of a traditional cowboy hat, but made to be pulled on over the top of your helmet. Instead of just a small visor coming from the front of your helmet, you’ll feel right at home in the full shade of a wide hat. Our model is designed to fit snugly over most Troxel helmets and is made out of genuine palm leaf.
If that style isn’t for you, check out the wide brim helmet available from Charles Owen. While not very western-inspired, these helmets with a built-in wide brim are ideal for sun protection.