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Riding Safely

Tip of the Month - May/June/July 2005

Your Riding Hat needs you......
You may need your riding hat to protect your head one day but to make sure it does its job when required you need to protect it.

You're probably already aware that your riding hat could suffer unseen internal damage following a serious impact. The only option is for you to replace it and we all know that riding hats aren't cheap. But it's a small price to pay if it's done its job and protected you from serious injury. Hats save lives.

But what if that same hat that you rely on to protect you became damaged simply by being left in your car on a hot sunny day? Because that's exactly what can happen and what's more you may not even realise it.

Manufacturers have their helmets tested at varying temperatures for certification purposes. They are tested at -20C and +50C, as well as with simulated wet conditions. The interior polystyrene liner starts to melt at 70C. To put things into perspective, typical maximum summer temperatures in the UK are around 30C. All well and good you might say, we'll never get up to 70C, but this is the temperature that can easily be reached on the back shelf of a car with windows and doors shut when left in direct sunlight. I'm sure we've all experienced how hot closed cars can get when left in the sun. To avoid this happening it is advisable to store your riding hat at a regular room temperature, be it in the house or the tack room or the lorry. By the same token it is inadvisable to leave your items near a radiator or aga after say being caught in rain or getting very sweaty on a hot day. The extreme change in temperature again warps the materials compromising the levels of safety and protection offered. Of course for advice on caring for your equipment always refer to the manufacturers guidelines which are attached to the product.

Remember, protect your hat, especially from very high temperatures and it will protect you!

This safety tip has been compiled with help and information supplied by Charles Owen & Co.

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