Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping … especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? While browsing for gear is fun, sometimes it’s just overwhelming to search through all of the products that are available for you and your horse. Companies featured in my posts have very generously provided me with their products, so that I may try them out and share my own experiences with all of you! Of course, every horse and rider is a unique individual, so each product may perform differently for you and your horse then it does for me—after all, different things work for different people (and horses!), and that is all part of the variety of life! This column is meant only for me to recount my personal journey, and share my own and my horse’s experiences with all of the exciting products featured. While I make no recommendations, I hope that you have fun and find entertainment while reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences might help give you factors to consider when you are on your own quest for new gear!
If there is one thing that I’m absolutely serious about, it’s safety in the saddle. For those of us who love the sport of eventing, we’ve had the chance to see horses and their riders achieve pure greatness during their moments of brilliance. Yet, there are times when the unforeseen happens. Accidents can happen, and I feel like it is so important to wear appropriate safety gear. Personally, I never (ever) mount up without first strapping on my helmet–even if I’m only going for a hack on my experienced horse. No matter how dependable your horse is, you just never know when a spook, or even a stumble might happen.
I’ve just recently had the opportunity to try out the Ovation Schooler Helmet from ERS-Eventing. The first thing that I noticed when I pulled the helmet out of the box was that it felt extremely lightweight. I immediately liked both the lightweight feel, and the low profile look of the helmet. The helmet that I’ve been able to try out is black, and the matte coloring gives the helmet a nice, conservative look to it. There are a number of other colors available, including other conservative looking options, as well as colorful and fun choices! The overall appearance of the helmet is quite attractive–the front has a small, abbreviated Ovation logo, while the rear of the helmet has a full text version of the Ovation logo. There are also vents on the front that not only add to the look of the helmet, but also are present to help keep air moving through to assist with keeping the rider cool.
The rear of the helmet features a dial that allows for a customized fit; simply twist to tighten or loosen, so that the fit is just right for you. Another very helpful feature is the removable liner of the helmet–for when the inside, inevitably, becomes a little on the sweaty side (let’s face it–if you are actually using your helmet while riding, it’s just going to happen!). And the Ovation Schooler Helmet stands apart to me right down to the little details; such as the padded covering that wraps around the chin strap. It definitely gives the chin strap more of a sleek appearance, and the padding also feels nice while you are wearing the helmet.
When I first placed the helmet on my head, I again noticed how light it felt–but also sturdy at the same time. It was very easy to adjust, using the sizing dial on the back of the helmet. I also needed to adjust the chin strap a bit, so that I had a secure fit. The chin strap adjustment was also simple; I just had to remove the padding covering, make the adjustment, and then replace the padding covering around the chin strap. The chin strap clicked into place nicely, and I was ready to go. Well, except for a quick check in the mirror, of course! The Ovation Schooler Helmet also looked nice when I did my mirror check; low profile looked good on me, and the helmet didn’t give the appearance of adding any extra bulk to my head. My horses usually tend to keep me on the humble side anyway–so I’m a fan of having a helmet that doesn’t make me look like I have a big head.
Going out for a ride while wearing the Ovation Schooler Helmet also proved to be a very positive experience for me. I definitely feel like I’m a bit of a broken record here, but I enjoyed the ‘light as a feather’ feel, without the bulk. That just doesn’t seem to get old to me. I have been wearing the Ovation Schooler Helmet as I’ve been starting to school over jumps again – let’s just say that it’s been a little while for Ripley and I, so we’re working on tuning up our timing for our take offs (and he’s been launching himself over the jumps a bit…and I’ve just got to roll with it!). Even though I’ve been getting jostled around a bit, I felt like the Ovation Schooler Helmet stayed in place very well–it did not slip or slide around on my head, thanks to the adjustable dial that allowed me to fit it to my head. And yes…I did work up a bit of a sweat, since Ripley and I were working hard. But it was no big deal at all (remember the removable liner…that absolutely came in handy after my ride). My head also did not feel like it overheated during my ride, which I am thankful to the top venting in the helmet for.
I feel like the Ovation Schooler Helmet from ERS-Eventing is a nice and attractive looking helmet. Even though it was designed as a schooling helmet, I would even be comfortable wearing it to a schooling show or a starter trial, and wouldn’t feel at all out of place doing so. The Ovation Schooler Helmet is definitely a budget-friendly helmet option, with a retail price of $54.95. And along with making your piggy bank smile (well, it would if it could), this helmet is lightweight, low profile, and is available in both conservative and fun colors. I’m confident that the Ovation Schooler Helmet is a great helmet for someone starting into the sport, or for someone looking for a spare helmet reserved for schooling sessions. And I’m very glad to report that I did not yet have the opportunity to see how the Ovation Schooler Helmet performs in an impact situation!
Go lightweight & low-profile helmets. Go Ovation. Go Eventing.