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The Best Beginner Riding Helmet 2023 | Find Out Why- Important Update

In this article...

Do you own an Ovation Protégé Riding Helmet? Stop using it immediately! There's an urgent recall due to safety issues. Stay informed and share this with fellow riders.

🚨 Important Safety Update (January 25, 2024) 🚨

Notice to Readers: Your safety and well-being are my top priorities. I recently learned that the Ovation Protégé Riding Helmet, which I recommended in this blog post, has been recalled due to an impact injury hazard. This recall affects helmets manufactured from December 2020 through December 2022.

What You Should Do:

If you have purchased this helmet, please stop using it immediately. You can return the helmet for a free replacement Ovation Deluxe Schooler helmet or contact English Riding Supply for a $60 refund. For detailed information on the recall, please visit the official CPSC Recall Notice.

Looking for a Safe Alternative?

I understand the importance of finding a reliable and safe helmet for your equestrian needs. To help you, I’ve researched and compiled a new list of recommendations. Check out my newly updated guide on the best beginner riding helmets for 2024 here.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your understanding and trust in my recommendations. Your safety is always my foremost concern.

Stay Safe,


If you are just starting out horseback riding you want to find the proper equipment but I am sure you want to stick to a budget in most circumstances. You want to find the best beginner riding helmet for your money, but where do you start?

You start here. I am going to share with you what I think is the best helmet for beginner horseback riders. And what I used to recommend to my lesson students, who didn’t have loads of extra cash to drop on a $200 riding helmet. I say used to recommend because I have not been teaching lessons since I had my son, who is now almost 3 years old.

I recommend this horseback riding helmet based on 3 things:

  • My experience with the helmet
  • The safety rating
  • The price

The helmet I recommend as the best beginner riding helmet is Ovation Protégé Riding Helmet which ranges in price from $49.99-$59.99 depending on the color, style and size. This helmet is not only stylish, offer’s great protection and is at an affordable price point compared to many other riding helmets but it is also a comfortable helmet.

By the way the Ovation Protégé Helmet Matte version is number 4 on the Amazon’s Best Seller List for horseback riding helmets.

In this post I am going to go over a few things about this helmet.

  • I am going to compare the price of it to other horseback riding helmets.
  • Go over the different styles.
  • The safety standard and why I think it has great protection.
  • The things that make this helmet comfortable.
  • Links to reviews about this helmet from around the web.

If you find this post helpful and you decide you want to buy the helmet. I would really appreciate if you bought it through my affiliate link. I will get a small commission from your purchase but you won’t get charged any extra money. It helps support my blog and to keep it going. Thank you so much!

Comparing The Price Of The Ovation Protégé Helmet

So you can see the prices below. It is not the cheapest but not the most expensive schooling helmet either. There are more expensive riding helmets than these but I chose helmets that were in a similar category.

One thing you will notice is the cheapest helmets under $40 have foam exposed at toward the bottom of the helmet and the helmets above this price point have a shell covering the whole outside of the helmet.

I feel you have more protection when the shell covers the whole helmet. However those helmets were still tested and approved with the SEI/ASTM horse riding standard. But that doesn’t mean that all the helmets are equally safe and equally comfortable.

So take a look at some samples of prices helmets are going for below. I put average prices. They can vary a couple dollars depending where you look and whether you find the helmet on sale somewhere.

Ovation Protégé Helmet $49.99-$59.99

Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet $65.95

Troxel Liberty Horseback Riding Helmet $55.85

TuffRider Starter Riding Helmet $59.99

TIPPERARY Sportage Helmets $89.99

Troxel Dakota Riding Helmet $64.95

Troxel Sport Horseback Riding Helmet $34.99


Different Styles Of The Ovation Protégé Helmet

The helmets overall structure is the same. The different styles of the Ovation Protégé Helmet I am talking about is the ABS shell that is on the helmet. Not only do these helmets come in different colors, but they also come in different finishes.

The color options range wide. You can get the helmet in the following colors:

  • Amethyst
  • Brown
  • Bubble Gum
  • Denim
  • Graphite Green
  • Navy
  • White
  • Black Matte
  • Brown Matte
  • Gray Matte
  • Blue
  • Fuchsia
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Teal

So above you can see the different color options.

Then there are the different finishes on the shell which includes the following:

  • Normal Gloss
  • Matte
  • Metallic

So you have a handful of choices to find the helmet color that fits your style, whether you like more conservative colors or more colorful vibrant colors.

Ovation Protégé Helmet Safety Standards

This helmet has the normal safety standards every riding helmet must meet. But there is a couple things I like about this helmet which provides you with a little extra protection.

  1. I like that the helmet comes with a fitting dial. You can turn the dial and it tightens the fit of the helmet on your head. This provides you with a better fit. The fit of a riding helmet is important so the helmet stays in the proper place and actually protects your head in the event of a fall. If your helmet is too big or small it won’t stay in the proper position when you fall.
  2. I like that similar to the Tipperary helmet this helmet drops down low in the back. Tipperary may be lower in the back than this helmet, but this helmet is lower in the back than most helmets. I think it provides more protection because of this feature.

Comfort Points Of The Ovation Protégé Helmet

This helmet has some benefits in the overall comfort department. Here is a list of the different comfort points of the Ovation Protégé Helmet.

  1. The dial system. Not only is it comfortable to have a helmet that fits properly and easily, but the dial system provides space you can put your pony tail through. If you have a lot of hair it can be hard to get it shoved under the helmet. Also when you do wear a pony tail or bun, it is coming out of the bottom of the helmet and it pushes you helmet forward. This feature makes it less of a problem and more comfortable.
  2. The helmet is lightweight. The protection quality is there yet the helmet doesn’t feel like a bowling ball on your head. Heavy helmets can be really distracting when riding and makes learning to balance just a little bit harder. I like a helmet that interferes the least amount as possible.
  3. This helmet has a lot of mesh and ventilation. There is nothing more gross than a hot sweaty helmet, especially when it is still wet when you put it on from your last ride. Not only that but many helmets can contribute to you getting over heated in the summer. This is a great helmet for all year round but especially in the summer.
  4. Lastly It is nice that you can take the inner mesh cap out to wash it. It can get gross in the helmet and it is much more comfortable when you can ride in a clean helmet.

Links To Reviews From Around The Web+

From Amazon

From Dover Saddlery

From Stateline Tack

From Adams Horse Supply

From Equus Now

From Farm House Tack

Are You Ready To Get The Ovation Protégé Helmet

So there you have it. Why I think the Ovation Protégé Helmet is the best beginner riding helmet. I am not saying it is the top helmet out there. But when you are getting started riding you just want a basic safe helmet, that will not make you feel uncomfortable while riding, and a little style doesn’t hurt.

Cheers, Kacey

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Disclaimer Notice: Please be aware that horseback riding and related equestrian activities carry inherent risks. The advice and experiences shared on this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional training or advice. Ensure your safety and that of your horse by wearing appropriate gear, practicing safe horse handling, and consulting with certified equestrian professionals. Remember, each horse is unique, and techniques may vary accordingly. Always prioritize safety, respect, and patience in your equestrian endeavors.

Kacey Cleary Administrator
Kacey has been an equestrian since 1998. She was a working student at several eventing and dressage barns. She has owned horses, leased horses, and trained horses. Kacey received an A.S. in Equine Industries from UMass Amherst, where she rode on the dressage team. She was certified with the ARIA and is licensed to teach riding in MA. She has been a barn manager and has run her own horse farm.
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