Question about Body Vests

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Question about Body Vests

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  • Horse fall landing flat on your back
  • Horse kick vest tack

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    07-27-2009, 08:57 PM
Question about Body Vests

Long story short, I broke my back in a riding accident years ago, compression fractures. Landed on my tailbone and actually heard my spine crack all the way up. Ouch.

Anyway, I'm wondering if a body vest would protect me from such a fall in the future? Not sure how it would, but would like to hear how the vest actually DOES work and what it protects.

Thanks for any information.
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    07-27-2009, 09:59 PM
Ouch! I posted a similar thread on the jumping forum. I haven't broken anything yet, but have landed on my tailbone twice this year, so I'm also shopping for a vest. I don't know how much they help, but I figure they have to cushion the blow better than having nothing on at all. Now you've got me wondering if I broke my tailbone and don't know it!
    07-28-2009, 07:42 AM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Now you've got me wondering if I broke my tailbone and don't know it!
Trust me, you'd know it. You'd know it the first time you tried to sit down. I broke mine at a dog hunting test.....4 hours from home. The drive home was memorable and not in a good way.

I think the vests are mostly to protect the vital organs and the ribs in case of a fall and you get stepped on. I'm not for sure, though.
    07-28-2009, 04:17 PM
I've never used one, but I they don't cover your tailbone do they? To do so, they'd have to wrap under your butt. Given that, I don't see how they could protect you from landing directly on your tailbone, although they might help if you landed flat on your back. Just my thought although I'm no expert.

On a related note, there is a really interesting article in the August Practical Horseman on how to fall so as not to land on your head/neck/tailbone. I just finished reading it and it is very interesting and gives a lot to think about. Plus it has a great series of pics of (I think) Phillip Dutton taking a horrible fall, but doing everything right to prevent what could have been a real tragedy.
    07-28-2009, 07:21 PM
I read that article. Those pictures are incredible. Sure hope I never experience a rotational fall. I was always taught to roll away from the horse on impact. Rolling's a heck of a lot better than taking the blow all in one spot. I think I'm going to get the Rodney Powell vest from SmartPak. Looks like maximum coverage for less money than I thought I'd have to spend on a vest like that. It does cover the tailbone and even comes with extra shoulder pads to protect from collar bone breakage.
    07-29-2009, 12:08 AM
think the vests are mostly to protect the vital organs and the ribs in case of a fall and you get stepped on. I'm not for sure, though.
This is what I was thinking too.

When I was a kid and just learning to ride, we actually had to practice falls and rolling. It was part of our lessons.

Unfortunately when you get to be my age you are too stiff to be that limber, and your reaction times slow down as well. So even if I attempted to roll, I don't think I could pull it off successfully.

Sucks to get old...
    07-29-2009, 02:50 AM
Green Broke
They look like bull riding vests so my guess is vital organs and protection from hooves. The basically cover the same area as bull vests.
    07-29-2009, 03:48 PM
Read my signature, Linda. I think that sums it up quite well. Lol
    07-29-2009, 09:16 PM
Lots of our harness drivers wear vests now. They are great for protecting against a horse kicking, im not sure about falling off though. Maybe cushin the impact a little if you fall flat on your back or something. But heres a story about the vest:

Last year my cousin was driving a trotter, coming down the stretch he rached up and hit the horse (with the whip) and the horse stuck his toes and double barreled at him, hitting him in the chest and the leg. (mind you this is in the middle of a race at about 30mph!) the lines got caught on his foot coming down from kicking and took them out of his hands, and the horse took off. He managed to get the lines back but one line was between the horses back legs. Another driver happened to see he was in trouble and was able to reach over and grab his horses line (at the bit) and control him.

After the race my cousin said he was thankful he had the vest on. He said he definitely still felt the horses foot hit him, but it didnt break anything, or bruise. So its definitely helpful!

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