All About MIPS

All About MIPS

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and up until recently, I had never heard of it, which is surprising because the technology has been around for some time now and is an established safety feature in cycling and skiing helmets. Indeed the more I learn about it, the more surprised I am that it’s taken so long for MIPS to filter into the equestrian world (but then I suppose a sport that relies so much on the premise of tradition doesn’t always lend itself naturally to change!) 

 

 

Research began in the late 1990’s by leading Swedish brain surgeons and scientists looking to design a helmet that could reduce the rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. Now, clearly I am not a brain surgeon! So bear with me while I try and explain the science behind the technology! The key concept that differs is the idea of mitigating against rotational force, as opposed to force from a blunt impact. Accident statistics show that the most common injuries occur where an angled impact causes rotation of the head and brain (so when the brain is jiggled around in our head, as opposed to a single blunt force). Think of a jam jar full of water. You swirl the water around and around and then put it down. The jar then acts as a stabilising force to diffuse the movement of the water. MIPS essentially acts as the jam jar by seeking to mimic the brain’s own built-in protection system. Two layers inside the helmet rotate against each other, allowing the helmet to slide under angled impact and reduce the impact of rotational force (essentially protecting the water in the jam jar from being shaken too aggressively). What it also does is replicate the action of our scalp. During a fall, the scalp helps to dissipate energy from an impact by stretching. But the scalp only has so much stretch in it and once it reaches its stretch limit, the brain will continue its movement, causing damage. A MIPS liner seeks to increase that stretch limit and mitigate against the likelihood of brain injuries. For example, the MIPS Charles Owen helmets increase stretch movement from 12 to 24mm and the technology is now incorporated in the Charles Owen My PS peaked helmet and the MS1 Pro jockey skull - both of which are now available at Country Ways. 

 

 

MIPS is a cause close to my heart (or perhaps I should say head!) I know all about sustaining a serious head injury and the life-changing impact it can have. I wish now I had been wearing a MIPS helmet when I had my accident, but I fell head first down the stairs in my house and honestly who can say they would ever think to wear a hat in their own house?! A fedora perhaps if you were feeling fancy, but the chances of you having an actual helmet on would be slim to none! The chance of having one on when you are riding are 100% however (or at least they should be). And whilst you can never guarantee the outcome of an accident, you can take steps to reduce the potential damage. Testing of MIPS helmets has shown marked improvement in the type of falls that you would see at speed, typically seen in disciplines that include cantering or galloping. And because the technology is inside the helmet, a MIPS hat looks the same as any other. It feels the same too (having tried a few on myself!) Some people have asked whether the helmet will feel like its slipping around on their head when they are wearing it. But because the MIPS liner system only kicks in at high speed, it’s only going to do its job (ie stretch and move) when it needs to. And that’s when you are having a fall at speed. And that’s when you want it to work! 

 

June 06, 2024 — Lynne Clark
Women in Business Series – Sally McCarthy - Aberdeen Riding Club

Women in Business Series – Sally McCarthy - Aberdeen Riding Club

As part of our Women in Business series, Lynne Clark, sits down with Sally McCarthy to find out more about her journey to establishing Aberdeen Riding Club.
May 24, 2024 — Lynne Clark
Sponsored Rider Catch Up

Sponsored Rider Catch Up

Lynne Clark, our roving reporter at Country Ways, catches up with Eilidh Costelloe our sponsored rider about the weather, her team and the future of British Eventing.

April 19, 2024 — Lynne Clark
Marion Dreelan at Bogenraith Equestrian Centre

Women in Business - Marion Dreelan of Bogenraith

As part of our new Women in Business series, Lynne Clark, our roving reporter at Country Ways, sat down with Marion Dreelan, Director and driving force behind Bogenraith, to find out more about this fantastic new equestrian facility in the North East of Scotland. 

April 04, 2024 — Lynne Clark
Love Local, Love Aberdeen - discovering places to shop in Aberdeen and beyond

Love Local, Love Aberdeen - discovering places to shop in Aberdeen and beyond

Lynne Clark, our resident writer, blogger and curator at Country Ways and Charles Michies, set out on a mission to discover what was on offer from some of our local, independent and national stores. Here's what Lynne found within the different ‘zones’ of the city...and beyond. 

March 14, 2024 — Lynne Clark
Visiting Harley of Scotland

Visiting Harley of Scotland

Country Ways prides itself on supporting local suppliers and manufacturers. Shopping small is important to us - and we visited Harley of Scotland to see where it all happens.
January 12, 2024 — Web Admin
An Evening with Hunt & Hall at Country Ways Banchory

An Evening with Hunt & Hall at Country Ways Banchory

This week, we had the pleasure of hosting the incredibly talented Natalie Harper Howell from Hunt & Hall at our Banchory store! Come read a little bit about the evening.
November 22, 2023 — Web Admin
An Introduction to using studs

An Introduction to using studs

Don't stress over studs for your horse's shoes! Here's a great introduction to the different types and their uses by our sponsored sponsored event rider, Eilidh Costelloe.

November 01, 2023 — Country Ways
Looking forward to 2021!

Looking forward to 2021!

It’s that time of year again where I have a year end catch up with our sponsored rider, Eilidh Costelloe. It’s the third time we’ve sat down for a chat, through that’s about the only thing that’s the same. After all, neither of us could have ever expected to be having a conversation like this, because neither of us could have anticipated what 2020 would bring
November 01, 2023 — Country Ways
Dressage Masterclass with Daniel Watson

Dressage Masterclass with Daniel Watson

When I arrive for the Country Ways sponsored Daniel Watson demo at Tillyoch Equestrian Centre, I find the man himself sat casually at a picnic table, taking a well earned break before beginning the evening demo (and before I interrupt him with my questions! ) I am introduced to him and the first thing he tells me is how much he has enjoyed his day’s teaching and how friendly we all are up here in Scotland It’s his first time in Aberdeen and he has thoroughly enjoyed it.
November 01, 2023 — Country Ways
Badminton Grassroots success for local rider, Sophie Bultitude

Badminton Grassroots success for local rider, Sophie Bultitude

Mention the word Badminton in non-horsey circles and most people will think of the sport involving racquets and a shuttlecock. For the rest of us horsey folks however, the word is synonymous with the pinnacle of eventing.
November 01, 2023 — Country Ways
The Mystery of Marks with Jane Peberdy

The Mystery of Marks with Jane Peberdy

Most of us who have ever ridden a dressage test will have at some point felt confusion/mild irritation/full-blown anger (delete as appropriate!) at some of the marks on our test sheet. Indeed the very fact that the demo to which this blog is dedicated is called ‘The Mystery of Marks’, denotes that there is often much confusion as to how and why judges award the scores they do.
November 01, 2023 — Country Ways