I grew up riding Western, and it was not cool to wear a helmet. We rode our bicycles without helmets, drove in cars without seatbelts, and rode our horses without helmets. Today, things are different. Everyone is much more conscious of safety concerns.

When I bought my first Dressage horse, Kontessa, I bought a $30 helmet to wear when riding her. It came in very handy at the beginning, as I fell off her more times than I can count including a time when I passed out and broke my collarbone. Thanks to the helmet I was wearing, I suffered no more than a minor concussion from this fall.

As we moved up the levels, I became a lot more relaxed about wearing my helmet on Tess. I am currently competing with her at Grant Prix, and, although the rules have changed about helmets, I still don't like to wear one unless I have to until I found the One K helmets.

Alabama Blue Ribbon Tack was kind enough to sponsorĀ me with one of these helmets, and I tried it out at a Conrad Schumacher clinic at Poplar Place Farm in February. The first day of the clinic, I hadn't even gotten off of Tess after our ride before 4 different people approached me about my cool helmet. Everyone is now looking for a nice-looking, comfortable helmet in which to show. And I found one!

The hottest new piece of apparel these days for Dressage riders is finding a helmet that has some bling, some curb appeal, that is comfortable, is safe, and that doesn't break the bank. Although I am not required to wear helmets at the FEI levels, I know that it is still a good idea to wear one. You never know when it might come in handy just like the grab strap on my saddle.

I researched helmets for a while and found the helmet that I wanted. It had leather detailing, some Swarovski crystals for bling, a nice shape, etc. etc. etc. It was everything I wanted. But it also cost $1,000.

Then I went to visit with Michelle and Robin at ABRT one day. They had a vendor there who was introducing a new helmet made by One K that had the cool features of the $1,000 helmet that I had been coveting but that cost ¼ of the price.

I tried it on and immediately fell in love with it. It fit wonderfully. The padding on the inside snaps in, so that it can be removed to be washed when it gets sweaty and dirty. The shape of the helmet was sleek, and it had enough bling to make it stand out. What more could I ask for?

If you're in the market for a helmet to finish off your Dressage ensemble and make you look cool in the show ring that doesn't break the bank check out the One K helmet at ABRT. You won't be disappointed.