Uncategorized

It’s winter, the arena is flooded (again) or the road is too icy well there are always options. Why not ride in the field, weather permitting of course, and work on your horse’s balance on grass for next season? Or you can you can use the road to school and try some local off-road hacking. Even better why not hire a local indoor arena with a friend? Whether you are in the arena or out hacking here are some useful exercises to get your horse listening and working well.   Transitions are such an important exercise for creating balance and getting your horse off the forehand when stepping up a gear. A variety of transitions, half-halts and other dressage and schooling exercises will help get the horse to a position where its weight is more carried on his hindquarters. Transitions such as halt to trot, walk to canter and a variety of others will help the horse achieve this 50/50 balanced position. Interval training is a good way to maintain and assess you and your horse’s fitness. Why not begin in the arena with a 1:1 rest to work ratio. At trot of canter take up half seat and time your work period and the same for your rest. It will be a killer for your legs but just think of those muscles come Spring! Also, listen to your horse during the rest and see if they have broken sweat it’s important to know your horse’s fitness and you can gradually build on this as you approach Spring and competition season again. Then look to increase to a 2:1 work to rest ratio or increase the time working. Lengthening and shortening next time your riding why not try some lengthening and shortening work at both trot and canter. Use the long side of the school to lengthen and shorten along the other side. This is also a great exercise when out hacking off-road. ...

Next up in our winter series is a quick, do-at-home workout from fitness class specialists Two Birds Fitness. Its official, winter is here! The layers are on, fire is lit and most of the population has already gone into hibernation. Well, NOT YOU! Leave the mass over-indulgence and long lies for the Christmas break and use the winter months as an opportunity to improve your flexibility, strength and overall conditioning for competition season. Follow the below workout formula to create a simple 30 minute home or gym workout using simple yet very effective HIIT and yoga bodyweight movements. Choose 2 warm-ups exercises (perform each for at least 30 secs). Choose 3 leg/glute exercises and perform each for 45 seconds with 20 secs rest in between for three full rounds. Choose 2 upper body exercises and perform each for 45 seconds with 20 secs rest in between for three full rounds. Choose 3 core strength exercises and perform each for 45 seconds with 20 secs rest in between for three full rounds. Choose 2 cool down exercises (perform each for at least 30 secs).   Warm-up exercises Cat-Cow – A popular yoga warm-up pose which can prevent back injury and aids digestion. On all fours, place your shins and knees hip-width apart, centre your head in a neutral position. Arch your back whilst inhaling and bringing your head down then flow into back into your starting position whilst exhaling, tensing your core, bringing your head up to create an inward spinal curve. Repeat 10-15 times. Standard Star Jumps – perform at least 50 star jumps continuously. Bodyweight squats - Look up with feet shoulder width apart, keep back straight, keep tempo slow and controlled, and go as deep as possible. Perform 15-20 reps.   Legs and Glutes Alternating Lunges – perform a single legged lunge by stepping one foot out in front of the other, keeping the body up right, lunging down just before your knee hits the floor and stepping back to your start position. Alternate between both legs. Squat with Side Kick – perform a squat with a side kick from one leg as you come up from your squat position. Alternate between each leg with your kicks and keep up a good tempo! Glute Bridge - lie face up on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the ground and palms down. Lift hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in. Hold your bridge for a couple of seconds and ease back down. Repeat for full 45 secs. Knee to Seat – Starting on your knees, sit up into a low squat position and return back to knees by stepping up and back down, one leg at a time. Repeat for full 45 secs.   Upper Body (Posture Focussed) Standard Push-up – make sure you have your hands just further than shoulder width apart and elbows tucked in. Switch to push-ups on your knees when required. Downward Dog Push-up - Begin in a Downward Dog pose but on your elbows instead of your hands then press your hands into the floor to straighten your elbows and back to start position to complete one rep. Close Grip Push-up into Child’s Pose – Perform one close grip push-up on your knees an flow back into your child’s pose (arms flat and extended out with your head facing the floor).   Core Strength and Endurance Walk the Plank – In a forearm plank position push yourself up to a push-up plank position one hand at a time. Then back down to your forearm plank and repeat continuously. Mountain Climbers – Start in a full push up position putting your weight on your hands and drive one leg at a time up towards your torso. Perform with each leg alternating at a fast pace. Toe Taps in Back Position – In a back position with your hands and feet flat on the floor, touch the top of your toes using your opposite and switch sides. Repeat for full 45 secs. Shoulders Taps - In a full push up plank position, tap the front of your shoulder with your opposite hand and which sides continuously whilst holding your plank position.   Cool Down - Key Stretches Child’s Pose – A great stretch for your shoulders and core. Sitting down on your knees with arms flat and extended out with your head facing the floor. Hold for at least 30 seconds and try and stretch out your necks muscles also. Tricep stretch – Sat on the floor or standing bent one arm behind your head and stretch using the opposite hand. Repeat both sides for a 10 second stretch. Glute Stretch – Lying on your back, keep your right leg straight and pull your left up by holding onto your shin. Use your right hand to push your left knee across your body and stretch your glute while keeping your shoulders on the floor. Switch sides and repeat.   Mix up your combination of leg, upper body and core exercises to create a new workout and try to complete 3 times a week. Just like horse riding you should always look for progressions to each exercise that will help you continually improve your performance! ...

In this next blog in our winter series we hear from confidence expert Jane Brindley of Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland. Jane has worked with a variety of riders to much success- so should know a thing or two about getting the most out of yourself in any season. In my opinion we have a choice about how we view the season of winter. We can either spend the next few months moaning about it being too dark, too cold, too wet, too muddy or we can embrace this time of year and think of it as an opportunity. So here are my tips for some winter motivation. Accept that we live in Scotland (or elsewhere in the UK/Europe/Northern hemisphere) where the winter days are short and, let’s face it, it rains a lot! There is nothing we can do to change that. So, as always have a think about what you are saying to yourself eg ‘This is awful’. If you’re constantly telling yourself that something is awful then that is what you believe. So, change it round into seeing it as an opportunity eg ‘At least there are no flies!’ Have a look at your goals. How did you get on during the summer months? Is there anything that you need to work on? Once again, look at it as an OPPORTUNITY. Are there any situations which you are avoiding eg riding on windy days or avoiding those shadowy corners in the arena? Yet another OPPORTUNITY to do some de-sensitisation work. No where safe to ride? Guess what? Another OPPORTUNITY! Group together with some friends and hire an indoor arena. Make plans to ride out with other people. (You’re much more likely to do it if it’s in the diary). Be nice to yourself. Dress warmly. Use plenty of moisturiser and lip balm. Wear bright colours. Drink hot chocolate. Go for a sauna. Think warming thoughts. Missing the shows and events? You’ve got it! Another OPPORTUNITY! Investigate Winter leagues and arena events. Sign up and make a commitment. Check back on your goals and measure your progress. Work on your fitness. Use the OPPORTUNITY to sign up for a pilates class. Go for brisk walks with the dog. Do some strength training. Set yourself up for the spring. Pamper your horse. If the weather is too bad to ride spend time with your horse instead. Give him a good groom and thorough check over. Adjust his feeding as necessary. Give your tack a deep clean. And if you really can’t ride...

It’s dark when you leave the house in the morning and it’s dark when you get home. 90% of your time at the yard is in the dark- yes, we’ve all been there, and it can be so easy over winter to lose fitness both yourself and your horse (I do, however, salute the person that invented the horse walker). Over the coming month we will be running a blog series on how to get the most out of you and your horse this winter. My names Carmen Cummiskey and I founded TEQNOX back in 2016. Running a business, keeping fit and finding time to go riding is difficult but, in this blog, I’m going to share some of the helpful resources, tips and tricks that I’ve found help keep me on track. The Alarm It’s dark, the horses need mucked out, or if you’re lucky enough to have winter grazing fed and turned out for a few hours. I’ve found alarms such as https://www.sleepcycle.com/ help you to get you up when your body’s ready. It monitors your sleep patterns and assesses whether you are in a deep or light sleep. It’s also a great way of checking your quality of sleep and lets me know when I need to cut down on the coffee. Plan Your Day Whether you work on a yard or at an office desk planning is essential to make sure you get everything done. I’ve found planners such as ‘The Productivity Planner’ to be useful. It’s suggested that you put your most difficult tasks first so that you make sure you get them done. In general, as we can all procrastinate and do the fun or easy stuff first. I’ve also included some links below to some helpful free planner sites: https://asana.com/ https://resources.collab.net/agile-101/what-is-kanban You also can’t beat a good old whiteboard- it’s my best friend when trying to think things through and a must when you’ve got multiple horses to feed. Track Everyone is on some type of fitness journey. Whether you are looking to maintain your current fitness levels, get fitter, or get stronger it is important to keep track of your activity. Many smart phones now automatically track your steps. You can use apps such as My Fitness Pal to track nutrition and exercise or revolutionary equestrian applications such as https://huufe.com/ to track your riding. Implement So all that's finally left to do is implement planning and tracking into your routine. They say it can take weeks to form a habit so why not start now?...

The clocks have gone back, the temperature has dropped and the dreaded clippers have come out! Safe to say winter is peeking round the corner. What a summer we have had. I competed as part of Lanark Riding Clubs dressage team, took a win and reserve champion at the Royal Highland Show, Qualified for our first area festival, Qualified for the Caledonian showing championships and took part in our first evening performance. Along with our major highlights we have had numerous wins and placings throughout the summer months. Not to mention moving house, getting married, building a new yard and relocating the horses! Phew..! We are now planning for our winter qualifiers. Skinny has 1 more score to get for Areas, Biscuit will also be aiming to qualify, Richie is now in full work and aiming for his first competition in the spring and Fraser and Foxy will be out at a few training evenings ready for spring competitions too. Jodie x #teamshieldhill ...

It's been a super busy month for Trusty and I. Our first lone stay away show was at the Forces Equine Games at Moreton Morrell. I look forwards to this show all year as it's a great time to get together with members from all over the country as well as new faces. What was even better this year was that we were joined by some amazing sponsors, including Teqnox! I decided to be brave and keep Trusty up in the 90cm class as well as the 80cm - a couple of unlucky poles kept us out the placings but we were part of the team which won the team jumping section so it wasn't all bad! Both rounds were very educational for Trusty as it was a very spooky arena with mirrors and banners as well as being only his second indoor show this autumn. We also came back in to do a demo in the afternoon showcasing what I do at home training-wise and also how I fit my riding around my day job. He was superb for this and did me proud. It was then on to dressage on the Sunday and I had decided to keep Trusty at Intro level instead of including a Novice test as he's not quite ready for that yet. This paid off and he came 3rd in the Intro and 2nd in the Prelim with some good marks in very big classes. I look forwards to working on his flatwork this winter and moving up a level next year. A week after FEG it was off to Aston Le Walls for our last one day of 2018. A sad day but no sitting on our laurels as I was moving Trusty up to the 90 section. The cross country course was decent and it was a big step up from the 80 - Aston is a great place to take young horses and the 80 is a great way of getting a horse round but there is a big step up to the 90 from here. The good side of it was there were a few questions but nothing horrendous and it was all jumpable so long as I stayed positive. Dressage felt really good to me and one of his best tests at this venue which he finds really spooky. Sadly the judge didn't quite agree and we finished on a score of 35.5 which I found quite harsh. I then had two rails down show jumping - again nothing drastic, just greenness creeping in again. All of this became irrelevant though as the boy absolutely stormed round cross country. This was an amazing feeling as he felt really confident and bold. I rode a little safe just to give him every chance to jump what was in front of him and that cost us a bit of time but anyone who heard my whoops of joy as we went through the finish line and saw the tears of joy when I jumped off could see that didn't matter. Next season is hopefully going to be amazing, I think we've ended really well and Winter will be all about getting plenty of training under our belts and working hard on the dressage and show jumping. We're having a little break from being out competing so much now to try and save the pennies but we'll be working hard at home to make sure when we're out again we're as competitive and ready as ever! Jenna x...

So, what a summer. It has certainly been jam packed with me riding between 8 and 12 horses most days. I’m so privileged to ride such amazing horses for multiple different owners. Its so inspiring to see the young horses progressing and just as great to hop on the schoolmasters for a little play. Polly has progressed very quickly over the summer and is showing a great aptitude for picking things up easily. She has gone from BE90 to BE100+ level in just two months and has been in the top ten in three out of her four events. We will be contesting our first Novice together at the end of this week at the lovely Broadway Horse Trials. I feel immensely lucky that I have been trusted with the ride on this pony as she has so much potential. Next year we will aim to consolidate at Novice and hopefully compete in a 1* or two. She has such an exciting future ahead of her and I can’t wait to see how far she goes! Ben pony has had a relatively quiet summer due to the hard ground but has managed a smattering of outings in the show ring and hasn’t come home empty handed. A real highlight for us was competing in our first RIHS qualifier at Moreton Show where we came a respectable 5th out of 18 entrants. He’s now enjoying a little bit of time off getting fluffy and fat in the field before really gearing up for an exciting year next year. Its so nice to have a smaller number of horses to continue riding now that university has started again. I’m now in my third year so will be working mostly on my dissertation which is looking at the genetic advancements in eventing which is a subject that I’m really interested in. We just have two events of the season left and then the horses will be enjoying a little break before really knuckling down over the winter months to improve as much as possible before the next season begins....

What a lovely finish to the event season it’s been for me, going from 0 to 3 horses to compete! I have been extremely busy over the past few months, rarely able to have any relaxing days as the horses haven’t figured out how to muck out, feed or exercise themselves yet! Alongside managing 3 stables of my own, I have been freelance riding for a number of other people, including 2 full-time event rides, and still working for Lucy Jackson on a few days. It’s been quite eye-opening starting out for myself. Obviously, I knew that it wasn’t going to be straightforward (especially without Alfie out at a high level), but physically it’s exhausting, as well as pretty straining mentally as well. Making sure my yard is sorted, then spending all day either working for someone else or driving miles to ride other horses, always being under time pressure means that I’m constantly facing very long days, and my body has really been feeling it recently, especially after a couple of falls. I’m very lucky to have a wonderful bunch of friends/supporters & mum who help me out as much as possible and can keep me going – the people around you really are vital if you are to succeed in this game! It’s certainly rewarding that after all my hard work on me (and for other riders over the years) I now have a good number of horses to ride, and am always busy. It’s been nice to take some time where I can quietly work on my own horses how I want to, as it’s enabled me to really analyse my riding to improve. Of course lessons are very helpful, but if you’re used to someone always telling you what to do you can’t always understand why things work, or when to use various ‘tools’ in your riding as you can’t process everything that happens, so I’ve found that all my learning has really built up in the past few months to benefit me, and the horses. They are all going well when ridden, notching up some great results, as well as all looking in great condition. Some updates on my main horses: ALFIE is sadly still very much on the sidelines; however his last couple of scans have been very positive and he is now allowed to hack normally and do some schooling, including trot & lateral work – he feels and looks very well which is definitely making things quite exciting…! My new 4yo BILLY is making amazing progress after just 2 weeks with me! He is a stunning bay by renowned sire Kroongraaf, and I have very high hopes for him, mainly due to his exceptional brain. Watch this space! Sue Wynn-Jones’ GERRY has been learning all about jumping and has been a star throughout, going on lots of outings to see SJs and XC fences. He’s won a combined training with a 78.8% dressage; been clear and 3rd in his first 1.05m SJ; XC schooled up to BE100 tracks and a few Novice fences, and recently came 8th in his first ODE, with a smart 26 dressage and great jumping over very tricky NSEA championship courses! He is now sadly up for sale… Becky Diamond’s HUGO has done 2 events with me and we’ve had 2/2 double clears and 2/2 top 3 finishes, including a 31DC in our first 100 together over very big tracks at the NSEA championships too. He’s making great progress overall and looks amazing, so hopefully we can contain his excitement next year and step him up to BE Novice level! Jane Bailey’s ROCK SOLID has been running at BE100 and Novice level. We had a double clear at our first event, after just 6 rides together, then a 3rd place at Llanymynech BE100 (his best ever result) and then 3 qualifying results at Novice level, including jumping a massive Novice course at Dauntsey which was causing chaos! Also looking forward to next season with him as we’ll aim to consolidate at Novice and step up to 1*. I think there’s just 1 more event left for me, at Bicton with Rock Solid, and then it’s into the winter. Definitely no rest for me as I have even more horses to ride, and Alfie and Billy will be increasing their work as we move towards 2019… Hoping all stays on track from now. Alex...

Hey there, My name is Caitlin and I am currently a Marketing and Business Enterprise student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. For the past eight months, I have been a Digital Marketing Intern for Teqnox. The experience has been invaluable, and I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to work within this exciting and innovative start-up company. When I first applied for the internship, I’m not going to lie – I had no idea what I was letting myself in for… I had visions of me doing coffee runs and speed writing notes in important meetings where I wasn’t allowed to make eye contact with anyone. Think Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway running about NYC with hundreds of bags and a constantly ringing phone – I thought that is what I would resemble, only in rainy Glasgow! My original vision could not be further from reality. Right from the beginning I felt valued within the company, being trusted to make important decisions and being encouraged to add my own flair to my work. I worked closely with CEO and founder of TEQNOX, Carmen Cummiskey to help build the brand and online digital presence. I even got to attend Olympia Horse Show on behalf of TEQNOX – that was a real ‘pinch me’ moment. When I was offered the position, I couldn’t believe that I had been given the opportunity to work for an equestrian business. From a young age I have been around horses and started to learn to ride at my local riding school when I was only six. I remember learning to trot for the first time on a pony called Shandy. Looking back, the poor pony was ancient and was always a bit bedraggled looking – mind you, wouldn’t we all if our sweet nature meant we were subjected to tiny, leg flapping children every weekend… Despite his tired legs and shaggy coat, Shandy would be my proud, noble steed as I paraded around the arena in my pink wellies. Many years on and I still love equestrian sport as much as I did back then. Due to university and other commitments I unfortunately don’t have as much time to ride as I once did but even the odd visit to the stables is enough for my horsey fix. I cannot recommend highly enough looking for a job or an internship in an industry that you are actually interested in. I have first-hand experience of being bombarded with internship offers and potential graduate schemes in industries that I may have never even heard of whilst being at university. It can be tempting to opt for an opportunity because it offers good pay or perks; but ultimately if you don’t love what you do then I think that diminishes the value of the benefits offered. I believe that if you truly love what you do, then you would be more than happy to do it without the fancy gym memberships or company cars. I can say that I love working for Teqnox and that is largely down to the fact that it is specialising in something that I enjoy, and I am interested in. I would go to bed at night and wake up excited for what I was going to be working on that day or even when I wasn’t at work, I would be brainstorming ideas for interesting social media content or blog posts. I think that when you have that fire in your belly to perform well and learn new things, then that is when you are completely happy and satisfied within your job. Let me tell you – when you have that feeling, waking up early or putting in extra hours is so worth it. A huge part of why I have loved working for Teqnox is the dedication and passion of the CEO, Carmen Cummiskey. What is amazing about working with a start-up company is that you have the opportunity to work closely with the top-level management – something that would be unheard of within bigger companies. Throughout my internship, Carmen has been great at offering support and guidance and also passing on any information that she has been given at workshops or events that may aid my professional development. From the outset, it may seem daunting as an intern working with the CEO, but throughout my time with Teqnox I felt comfortable asking questions or advice and feel it has benefitted me greatly to have been exposed to the harsh realities but also real highs of the start-up world. For the duration of my internship, I have worked closely with TEQNOX’s Brand Ambassadors. The Brand Ambassadors write bi-monthly blogs for the company website and part of my role was to keep these updated. I have learned lots from working with them and it has been great to have their input and creativity in developing the company’s online presence. As well as this, I have worked closely with the website designers in the creation of the TEQNOX website. This was really interesting as website content design was something that was new to me and I feel really privileged to have sat in meetings with the website designers and plan the website design as well as take part in brainstorming sessions to come up with new and exciting ideas for the website, blogs and social media outlets. This is another reason that I would definitely recommend partaking in an internship with a start-up or smaller company. I have had the opportunity to sit in on meetings and was encouraged to put forward my ideas. I was encouraged to create and develop social media series and competitions without strict guidelines and was able to take one of my own ideas and run with it. This is incredibly empowering especially at the beginning of my career as I felt that I was an integral part of TEQNOX and that my work was valuable to the company – there really is no better feeling. So, as my time at TEQNOX comes to an end, I would like to thank the company, especially Carmen for investing in me as a person and taking seriously my development and training as a marketer. The experience has been invaluable and I cannot think of a company that I would have rather spent the last eight months with. As well as the incredible products, it is the empowering and inspiring culture that will drive TEQNOX’s success and for any future employees, have fun and enjoy the ride! So, for now – over and out! LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-whyte-208938158/...

What do the new Body Protector regulations mean for riders? Body protection in equestrian sport has been in the spotlight more than ever before as a result of the new regulations put in place by BETA, the British governing body for equestrian trade. The following article with provide some insight into what these changes mean for riders, how you can be sure your safety equipment is the correct standard and will also discuss how to check when to replace your current protective riding equipment. The original BETA 2000 standard: In March 2000, BETA brought together the collective knowledge of riders, manufacturers, retailers and medical professionals to develop the required standard of Body Protection. However, this level has now been outdated with the BETA 2009 standard which is now in place. The reason for this revision was a result of the original standard protectors being a minimum of seven years old if manufactured at the latest date of July 2011. Due to wear and tear as well as the possibility of the protector being subject to impact i.e. falls, then this standard of the product would no longer be suitable for providing effective protection. Although the BETA 2000 level protectors may still be in circulation, it is advised that if your protector is of this level then it should be replaced with the correct 2009 standard. The BETA 2009 levels and what they mean? Level 1: Black Label This level is the lowest level of protection that is recognised by BETA. Level 1 body protectors offer lower impact protection and are only suitable for licensed jockeys when racing. Level 2: Brown Label The mid-level BETA standard is the brown label, there are no products currently available that meet this. The brown level offers a lower than normal level of impact protection and is advised to be used in low risk situations. This means that this level is unsuitable for riding on the road or hard surfaces, jumping, riding young or excitable horses and also is not suitable for beginner riders. Level 3: Purple Label This is the highest level of safety standard in the world and the recommended level of body protector for riders. This level provides the most effective impact absorption and is suitable for all levels of riding, including competitions and leisure riding. What level of protection should I be wearing? It is advised that riders choose a body protector that is BETA Level 3 (purple label) as this offers the maximum level of safety as well as adhering to European standards. For eventing in the UK, it is a requirement that the rider’s body protector is of this standard to ensure that risk and severity of accidents is minimised. Additionally, body protectors should adhere to the European standard of safety (EN13158) which provides manufacturers with the technical specification, levels of shock impact and also the mandatory areas of the body that must be covered. The BETA standards are based upon this safety testing. This level of safety combined with the level of comfort or functionality should inform the decision of what body protector is right for you. British Eventing Guidelines In September 2016, British Eventing announced that as of January 2018 the BETA 2000 standard would no longer be permitted at competitions. This was in line with BETA’s standpoint that body protector’s adhering to the 2000 standard would be at least 7 years old and thus not suitable to provide maximum safety in a high risk discipline. Air-jackets have also been highlighted, with British Eventing stating that these must be worn over a BETA 2009 Level 3 body protector. When is it time to change? BETA and The British Horse Society advise that body protectors should be replaced every 3-5 years or after around six falls. It is important to remember that after every fall, no matter the severity, riders should examine their body protector to check whether any damage has been done to the foam or any other part of the protector. As well as this, general wear and tear affects body protectors just like everything else and so every time a body protector is worn, it should be checked over before mounting to make sure that there is no damage. When should I wear a Body Protector? Many riders feel that they need not wear a protector for varying reasons, such as: only doing flatwork, having 100% trust in the horse or simply because common body protectors do not meet the needs of the rider. Horses are flight animals, meaning that in situations of fear or panic, they become unpredictable and will do anything to remove themselves from the situation – whether it is a flapping plastic bag or a terrifying monster hiding in the corner of the arena. This unpredictability of the animal means that no matter how ‘safe’ the horse is, there is a chance that an accident could happen that could cause injury to the rider. For this reason, we believe that if you are in doubt, a body protector should be worn at all times when riding as well as dismounted if around young or excitable horses. The advantage of the Teqnox Body Protector is that its lightweight, breathable and flexible design means that the rider can ride freely with unrestricted movement whilst still ensuring maximum safety. Riding Hats – new regulations Regulations on riding hats have also seen some change in recent years. The EN1384 and BSEN1384 standard of hats are no longer accepted. However, if the hat bears either of these standards alongside another accepted standard, such as: Kitemark or Inspec IC then this is recognised as an accepted standard of safety. Other permitted riding hat safety standards are: PAS 015 with a kitemark (1998 or 2011) VG1 with a kitemark ASTM F1163 (2004 onwards) with SEI mark SNELL E2001 or E2006 with SNELL label and number AS/NZS 3838 from 2006 onwards If riding in a competition, then the officials should be checking hats to ensure that they meet the correct standard of safety. When should I replace my riding hat? Like body protectors, riding hats should be replaced every 3-5 years depending on its usage and general wear and tear. It is important to examine the hat after a fall to ensure that no damage has been done that could reduce its level of protection in the future. It is recommended by BETA and the British Horse Society that riders do not purchase or borrow a second-hand riding hat as it is unclear the impact it has had from previous falls and indeed if it is safe to use. Therefore, it is suggested that riders wishing to replace their hat visit a BETA certified retailer for a personalised hat fitting to ensure that the hat is the correct fit as well as appropriate for your discipline.         Sources: BETA: http://www.beta-uk.org/ British Horse Society: http://www.bhs.org.uk/ British Eventing: https://www.britisheventing.com/...