The Sunday Review: Charles Owen JR8 Helmet

Helmets are among the most important pieces of gear you can have as a horse-person. Still to this day there are a lot of people who refuse to wear their helmet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that helmets are necessary. I have been saved by helmets and several of my dearest friends have as well…it’s simply the nature and unpredictability of the sport.

Not all helmets are created equal and it’s important to find the RIGHT helmet that works with your own head shape. For many years I have been riding in a Charles Owen JR8 helmet; I have three at home now and have been through a few others.

Charles Owen started his company in 1911 to “create a safer world.” For more than 110 years his products have saved the lives of countless people. The helmets are all handmade in North Wales.

The JR8 helmet itself is in fact listed under the “Kids” section for helmets, yet many of the adults I know use the exact model (and they have sizes that fit adult heads) and it has been a safe and economical choice for me. The “adult” version of the JR8 is the GR8 and is nearly identical but twice the price. That said, I would most definitely consider upgrading if I were jumping and training at a higher level. One of my favorite people in the world survived her pony falling on top of her wearing a Charles Owen after a jump and she walked away; though concussed the helmet certainly protected her in the fall.

You can typically find a JR8 new in store for under $200, and during the special International Helmet Awareness week in September most stores lower their helmets by 30%. The cost is why I purchased but the quality does not disappoint (after all kids need very safe helmets, too).

The helmet best fits an oblong head like mine, but they also offer “Round Fit.” The foam inside of the helmet conforms to the head and fits nicely like a hug. I have found my helmet to be among the most comfortable I’ve ever worn which explains why I’ve bought so many over the years.


  • Affordable
  • Meets multiple safety standards
  • Sizes to fit oblong or rounder shaped heads
  • Microfibre suede is weather resistant
  • Breathable
  • Removable headband that can be changed out and “refreshed”


  • There’s no adjusting the fit on these helmets, you must buy the correct size for your head


  • Wear the helmet for a few minutes to allow it to conform to your head and identify any pressure points. I had another brand and didn’t realize it was a bad fit until I was riding and my head started to ache.
  • If you purchase your helmet through Dover Saddlery you can qualify for their replacement program. Essentially they will credit your helmet based on it’s age as long as you bought it within 3 years (More Info).
  • Helmets need to be replaced after a fall or 5 years


There are many other highly rated riding helmets, a few I’ve listed are well known and trusted brands. The key is to finding what fits you best. I personally love my Charles Owen and have had great success with it.

  • Trauma Void
  • One K
  • Ovation
  • IRH

Final Word:

The Charles Owen JR8 has been a fantastic product that has protected me on more than one occasion. I don’t ride without it (99.9% of the time). I find the helmet to be extremely comfortable and it fits just right. It is safe and I love its affordability.

Get yours today at…or Dover Saddlery…or almost any other tack shop!


  1. Great review, A pony club I was involved in was so strict about helmets they decided to only allow the kids to wear 1 brand,(the most expensive) silly. As a result hardly any members of pony club for quite some time. That requirement changed to a list of helmets & a better number of kids were able to re-join in the fun. I like you & yours am a avid helmet supporter. Have a safe week. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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