Cross-country vest help!
I'm thinking about getting a cross country vest. I've been looking at getting either the Charles Owen JL9 vest from Smartpak
Charles Owen JL9 Vest - Protective Vests from SmartPak Equine
or the Charles Owen Adult Body Protector from Dover
Adult's Charles Owen Body Protector | Dover Saddlery
Does anyone have a preference? Is the gel from the JL9 better than the foam on the Body Protector? Do I really need the BETA 3, as opposed to the BETA2? Does one get hotter/more uncomfortable/heavier than the other? Any information would be great!
Are you planning on buying it online? With body protectors I would reccomend going and trying some on and seeing which one fits best. Its important the back is long enough to protect your lower back, but not so long it catches the saddle, and it should fit around your neck and shoulders comfortably and snuggly. If your after a cheeper price, go in to a shop and try some on before buying online, or ask the shop if they can do a deal with you. Some shops prefere cash payments to card payments due to high bank fees on expensive items.
The charles owen protectors are comfy to ride in, and the zip is good as you dont have to fiddle around with the adjustments every time you get on! I noticed one is adult and one is child size (couldnt get bottom link to work), and this means the sizeing proportions will be different.
For cross country, never compromise on safety unless you have to. Go for the BETA3 standard ones as these should offer more protection.
I have no choice but to buy it online, as the local feedstore only carries Tipperarys, but I'll ask around and see what I can come up with.
I spoke to Customer Service at SmartPak, and they suggested BETA2 if I was only doing lower level cross-country, but the BETA3 if I was also working with young and excitable horses (which I am), so I think I'll give the Adult Body Protector a shot.
Thanks for the advice! :)
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