I have seen a few people wearing body protectors and was wondering how effective they are at preventing serious injuries like spinal damage and broken ribs when falling off a horse, are there published studies showing their effectiveness? I have seen the exo body protector which seems like it would offer significant protection against being crushed or kicked, but I am skeptical as to the protection of most body protectors being made out of foam based materials and all. I'd like to be as safe as possible even when just hacking.
They are definitely something to invest in if you do a lot of cross country, jumping, or high-speed work in open areas. I have one that I wear whenever I jump; it's an Airowear that feels great.
I would never buy a Tipperary or Intec. They are uncertified, and therefore have no guarentee for the protection they are capable of providing. My Airowear is certified to the highest beta standards....this is the one I have:
BODY PROTECTOR ADULT SURE VEST-Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supply
I like the looks of this one, though, it seems like it would fit smaller than the one I have:
Airowear Outlyne Vest
I've also heard great things about Charles Owens.
Do not invest in a vest that is not ASTM Certified or meets BETA Level 3 standards.
Your expensive, common type Tipperary that you see, meet neither of the safety standards and is not certified nor approved. I wouldn't touch a Tipperary with a 10 foot pole personally.
I wore the Intec Vest that is the same style as the Tipperary - and I did not feel protected what-so-ever. I punched myself in the chest with it, and it hurt like a bugger, and there is no way that I can apply the same amount of force with me punching it, in compareson to coming off your horse and hitting a fence. If my punch almost knocked the wind out of myself, I can imagine what coming off your horse and hitting a fence would feel like. OUCH!
I then punched myself in the side where the laces were, and that hurt even worse than the punch to my chest. No wonder this vest did not pass any testings.
The Tipperary and the Intec Tip Knock Off, meet BETA Level 1 standards, which is for trail riding, riding on the side of the road.
You want a vest with a hard shell, no indavidual pannels, and you want a vest with velcro, not laces. Look for the ASTM stamp of approval and the BETA Level 3 stamp of approval when you shop for your vest.
That's honestly frightening. I see more Tipperary vests around here than any other brand, probably because they look the nicest. I'm definitely going to scratch them off my list, since I'm buying it for protection and not looks... (I still can't believe they are not certified?! Holy.)
Now to decide between Airowear or the CO vest... both meet the BETA 3 standards but the Airowear doesn't seem as bulky / restrictive?
I agree deffinatley worth the investment! I jump in a VIPA bodyprotector and couldnt reccomend it more. There are two types, the jockey one who is for people that weigh 55kg or less and there is the other for people who eat :lol: ive had a horse smash me into a tree wearing it and come away with fractured ribsi was told it would of been a very different story if i hadnt been wearing it. They fit the body so well, and are so comfortable! I know the many times i have fallen its taken the shock of the impact so spares alot of the bruises. I honestly couldntgo backtoanother vest.
This is an article about it:
Champion Australian Jockey Greg Childs - Twice Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup winning jockey has listened to all the complaints from his fellow riders and his children about body protectors, “too bulky, too hard and too stiff”. He has designed a vest to meet the worlds most recognised standards the SATRA Safety standard and its specifications. Everyone is now saying “about time we have a vest we want to wear”, we can flex and move unrestricted. It’s designed so you can roll with the fall. It’s made up of over 200 small squares that give it flexibility and the foam used gives it the impact absorbing protection for safety.
this is what it looks like- (i have the black)
"In all cases the rider was wearing some form
of body protector, yet 24 chest injuries were
recorded, one fatal. The protector is still in the
developmental phase and has been improved
every year. It is designed to reduce soft tissue
injury and possibly provide some protection to
the chest and spine from a fall or kick. It may
also reduce the severity of injury from a kick to
the upper abdomen. No rider who sustained a
chest or spinal injury was wearing a protector
that conformed to the BETA Class 3 or prEN
13158 standard. It is only when riders wear
such garments that an accurate evaluation will
be possible. Shoulder protectors have only
been recently introduced as part of the
standard. There have, however, been 20
witnessed falls where a shoulder injury was
expected and the rider was wearing a shoulder
protector. In all instances the rider was able to
continue the competition. None of the riders
who sustained a fracture to the shoulder girdle
was wearing any form of protection to that
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