Silverton Hunt Pony Club

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Hat & Tack Safety

Hat & Tack Safety

Current hat guidelines can be found here Hat_Rule_2016_FV

Current back protector rules can be found here or click the image below to enlarge it

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Riding Hats

Important Notice Regarding the Withdrawal of EN 1384

Following the withdrawal of EN 1384, manufacturers are preparing to produce hats to an improved standard which is expected to be in line with PAS 015:2011. Hats will continue to be manufactured and kitemarked to BS EN 1384: 2012 for 12 months or more and may be available on the market place to the end of 2016.

We anticipate hats manufactured to the new standard to become available late in 2015 or early 2016.

It is our understanding that hats manufactured and kitemarked to PAS 015: 2011 will continue to be available because this is an improvement upon BS EN 1384: 2012.

These changes do not affect the AS/NZS 3838: 2006 with the SAI mark or the SNELL standard.

What do these changes mean for The Pony Club?

After 31 December 2015, The Pony Club will not be allowing Members to take part in their activities using riding hats which are only marked with the standard (BS)EN1384 1996, 1997 or 2012; even with the Kitemark which we have always specified is necessary. We would suggest that if you are going to buy a new hat you ensure it is also marked with one of the other standards allowed under The Pony Club rules so that you can continue to use it in 2016.

Pony Club Centres are advised to check with their insurers whether a Centre Member would be covered if an incident occurred whilst they were wearing a non-compliant hire hat.

Hat Tagging

The Pony Club wrote to Branches in December 2014 requesting that all hats are checked and re-tagged with white tags by the end of January 2015. We have had to alter this advice slightly following the withdrawal of EN 1384, as described above. Therefore hat tagging rules now state:

– Hats which have only been tested to the standard (BS)EN1384: 1996, 1997 or 2012 (with kitemark) will be not allowed beyond the end of 2015. Therefore they can remain tagged with a purple tag for the rest of the year, after which time the hat must be replaced.

– Hats which meet one or more of the other standards listed in the Hat Rule can be re-tagged with a white tag as soon as possible, as they will continue to be accepted after 2015.

We are aware that a number of Snell labels on Gatehouse HS1 Skull Caps have worn away, leaving just the BS EN 1384 standard visible.  If you are experiencing this problem, and are therefore unable to have your hat re-tagged with a white tag, please email Ann-Marie Joyce at Gatehouse with the following: Images of the outside of the helmet showing which model is owned, an image of the batch number label and an image of the worn out Snell decal. Please also include your name and address.

The bit of the hat which does all the work is the protective liner made of a high grade polystyrene, this is protected by a hard shell of either fibre glass or plastic.  When you have a fall and hit your head the shell of the hat will diffuse the impact over a large area and the liner reduces the bruising to the brain – basically it is the hat liner that collapses, not your head.  It has been found that in 25% of falls the rider does not land on the top of their heads, but on the sides, front or back, so the protective liner has to extend all the way down to the rim.

It is important to have a hat fitted by a riding hat fitter but the following are good points to remember:

  1. Roll the hat on to the head from the front, so that it is about half an inch above the eyebrows and clear of the ears.  Press down until it is in the correct position on the head.  There should be a feeling of suction when you try to lift the hat from your head.
  2. There should be no undue pressure at the temples and a small amount of space at the temples is desirable.  The tip of your thumb should be able to be inserted.
  3. At the back of the hat you should be able to insert the top of the index finger.
  4. The jaw strap should be fastened closely to the face, allowing just enough room to run one adult finger between the strap and the riders jaw.
  5. The back retention strap should be fitted closely around the back of the rider’s head but not so tightly that it causes the hat to tilt backwards.



At the majority of rallies our instructors check your tack and this is for your own safety.  Here is a list of the types of things they will be checking:

  1. On all leather – the stitching is complete
  2. Bridle – is correctly fitted and not on the top hole, in an emergency the bridle could be made smaller if there is a spare hole
  3. Stirrups – 2cm space on each side of the boot at the widest part of the foot
  4. Stirrup leathers – no loose stitching, worn out or thin leather from over use or enlarged buckle holes
  5. Stirrup bars – neither opened out too far from the saddle so that the stirrup leather could easily slip off the bar, nor too close into the saddle causing pressure points to the pony’s back or not letting the stirrup leather slip off if necessary
  6. Girth straps – stitching and no enlarged or split holes

Guidance issued : May 2015

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