Helmet Replacement

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helmet replacement?

Three months ago I had a very traumatic fall from my horse, and I am just now preparing to begin riding again. I had no serious head injury, and my helmet looks fine except for some scratches. I have heard that it is always a good idea to replace your helmet after a serious fall, but my helmet looks fine to me. Should I replace it anyway? If I should, does anyone have a particular brand or style that they prefer? Thanks so much!

Helmets of all sorts, including riding helmets, ski helmets, and bike helmets, are meant to absorb shock when they strike something hard. They do not necessarily crack or break, but the inside material will compress and be less effective once stressed. Therefore all helmet companies recommend you replace your helmet if it gets bumped during a fall or accident.
I know it sometimes sounds like a "get rich" scheme for helmet manufactorers. But you only get one brain, and the cost of taking care of it should be high on your priorities.
I have fallen off horses at times and NOT replaced my helmet. But it would depend upon the fall. If you positively know that you came off, but did not strike your head upon anything, then your helmet should be okay. But if there is any doubt, I would replace it.
Your description of the fall, saying it was "Very traumatic" and that you now have scratches on your helmet, leads me to believe that your helmet took a forceful blow. Replace it and be safe.
As for helmet brands or styles, I have owned four Troxel helmets through the years and really like the brand. They are fairly inexpensive, you can buy quite a few styles for $60-$80. I bought a new Troxel Legacy this fall for $60 and it fits me well. Make sure you try your new helmet on, don't just go by the last size you fit, as all helmets fit a bit differently.
I'm glad you're safe after your accident. Take care and happy riding.

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