HELMETS – It is very important that riders wear correctly fitted and appropriate riding helmets. You have various options:
Buy a Helmet – If you want to buy a helmet for your child, I recommend Jods Galore in Bell Street, Henley and the cost is approx £60. If you buy a helmet from them, they will give you a £5 gift voucher towards your next purchase. Wherever you buy a helmet, ensure that it meets the latest standards and carries the relevant kite mark.
Hire a Helmet – You may prefer to hire a helmet from me until you are sure that your child is going to continue riding. This is fine and the charge will be £2 per session and I have a selection of sizes. I have attended a BETA Hat Fitting Course so am trained to fit the riding helmets.
It is not advisable to use or borrow a helmet that might or might not fit correctly but, if you decide to do this, it is at your own risk.
Further information on helmet standards can be seen at: http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-charity/press-centre/news/july-to-dec-2015/changes-to-riding-hat-standard-coming-in-2016-bsen1384-safety
FOOTWEAR – Jods Galore sell some lovely little Chipmunk boots – size 4-12 in various colours and at a reasonable price, as well as short jodhpur boots in larger sizes. However, any footwear with a ‘walking shoe’ heel is acceptable, as are wellies as long as they have a heel – but wellies with handles are not acceptable as these can catch on the saddle. Boots with thick ridged soles are not suitable either.
Trainers, sandals, Crocs and shoes/boots without a heel are unsafe and children will not be able to ride if they are wearing this type of footwear.
Once your child becomes more proficient at riding, I recommend short jodhpur boots with half chaps as these allow the ankles to bend into a correct riding position much more easily than wellies or long riding boots.
OTHER CLOTHING – It is not necessary to have proper riding jodhpurs – leggings are ideal but not jeans as these will rub little people’s legs. Shorts and skirts are not suitable as bare legs get rubbed on the leather of the saddle and stirrups. Half chaps are excellent as these offer additional protection and comfort to little legs and are easily fitted on top of other clothing.
Warm clothing, including gloves, is essential on cold days.
Body Protectors are optional and they can also be fitted and purchased at Jods Galore in Henley on Thames.