Safety vests/body protectors?

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Safety vests/body protectors?

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  • Horse jumping inflatable vest
  • Equine safety vest

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    07-28-2012, 07:02 AM
Green Broke
Safety vests/body protectors?

I'm interest in getting a safety vest/body protector, but would like to know a bit more information first.

Does anyone know how the tradition stiff ones compare with the new inflatable ones?

Can anyone direct me to research, or share some here, that actually shows the value of the vests to prevent spinal injuries?

Also... they don't seem to protect the neck at all, is that okay?

Can anyone offer any advice?
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    07-28-2012, 07:13 AM
Personally not a fan unless you're riding in a group or in something where your horse is likely to fall (possibly on top of you) like XC. There was a bit of a kerfuffle over here in Aus a few years ago with a number of prominent jockeys not wanting to wear them because there's some evidence they increase neck injury incidence (the neck being the 'weakest link'. But then it has saved plenty of riders who have fallen under hooves, so it's a compromise.

At the moment the only way I come off, doing arena flatwork, is when I'm bucked. In that circumstance I definitely do not want to wear one - they prevent a good forward roll to absorb the impact of the fall and the last thing I want is more stress being placed on my neck.
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    07-28-2012, 07:49 AM
I'm very interested in this although I don't do arena work. The last time I got thrown there was no question of ducking and rolling, I went into the side of a tree! I always wear a helmet: what I really need is a helmet for my ribs! LOL
    07-28-2012, 08:01 AM
LOL Ouch!! I guess it's a matter of assessing the respective dangers involved. I do find them a lot harder to 'flop' in, but I'd definitely want one on if there was any chance of a horse falling, treading or flipping on me! And I do use mine in groundwork as my horse has reared and struck out in the past and I'd rather not catch a hoof in the torso (wear a helmet for the same reason), that and he bothers mares and they sometimes throw a lazy kick at him, often without good aim...
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    07-28-2012, 12:06 PM
The eventers I board with all use Hit Airs on top of the Tipperary type traditional vests. I believe when the air vests inflate they provide neck protection as well as protection further down the lower back. I've been told they don't shift like a traditional vest would, and they're very tight when they go off. I bought one when my young horse was started, just in case, but I haven't had a fall while wearing it yet. It seems like the prices have gone way up since I bought mine. You might look at the Horse Tack Review website and see if there's any postings about them.
    07-28-2012, 09:28 PM
Green Broke
Hmm I'm not sure.

I'm not going to be doing any jumping, just riding around, Rosie is pretty quiet but also rather green. So I am not sure if I need one or not.

I had one ages ago when I was a kid but it was so uncomfortable that I thought I'd be much more likely to fall off while wearing it.
    07-28-2012, 09:40 PM
They aren't very comfortable I agree! It's up to you of course but I wouldn't wear mine unless galloping in a group, jumping solid obstacles or on a known rearer. I like being flexible
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    07-29-2012, 06:15 AM
I was told that they don't protect your spine at all. They are called body protectors because they protect your internal organs and things. Apparently they don't help much with protecting bones.

I don't wear one, but I may do when I start XC. A good fit is essential because a bad fitted protector can actually do more harm than good.

And yes, you can still break your neck.
    07-29-2012, 08:10 AM
Super Moderator
The inflatable vests are better than the rigid ones because the only expand when you fall (or if you fail to unplug it before dismounting!)

They will help in the case of a rotational fall, and as said, designed to protect your internal organs though they will obviously help to protect your spine to some extent.

As for necks these can be helped if you wear a hunting stock, not one of these pre-tied things but a proper one that wraps around the neck fairly tightly thus offering descent support
    07-29-2012, 10:11 AM
Fox hunter- mind telling me more about the stock hunter things? How it's worn where olyou buy it from etc? Never heard of this!
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