Protective Riding Vest - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-22-2019, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Protective Riding Vest

I've been thinking about buying a protective riding vest and was wondering if anyone else rides in them or could tell me a little more about them?

I know most of the people that I see who use them are jumpers/eventer/cross country/endurance type riding. I don't ride in any of these disciplines tho. I mainly train horses and barrel race and then just some general riding. Would a vest be beneficial? There have been a few people in my area who have been killed due to horses flipping over on them and the saddle horn hitting them in the chest. Would a vest protect against these types of accidents?

How hot are the vest? Do they restrict movement? Are they heavy?
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-22-2019, 11:36 PM
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I only trail ride, but I do ride horses who are youngsters and/or green and I do have a gelding over 16 hands so if I did end up falling off it would most likely hurt more due to distance, so I always ride in my Tipperary vest. It's more flexible and breathable so I don't sweat as much and I can move easily enough in it. Now it won't save me from a broken limb, but it covers my ribs and vital organs.

To answer your question about being beneficial for what you do, I'd say yes; I don't get on an unfamiliar horse or started horse unless I have the vest and a helmet on me.

I can't say if the vest would save a person who's horse flips on them, though, as I've never known anyone who's been in such a incident.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 12:21 AM
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I have a Tipperary hard shell vest, and a Hit Air inflatable. I ride in the Hit Air, but there are trade offs. The air vest is much cooler than the hard vest, and it offers neck protection. I fractured my neck in a fall and I dont especially want to go through that again. Off the shelf I dont think it would protect your chest from a saddle horn. But they have accessories. In eventing they're only legal if worn over a hard vest, which certainly cancels the cool part.

What if it doesn't inflate? What if you forget to unsnap the lanyard before dismounting?

I'm old and my confidence is shaken from being injured. I just trail ride and school my mare around the farm. The vest gives me some much needed confidence. I never ride without it. Will it save me in a wreck? Air bags and seat belts in a car aren't always enough. Neither is a riding helmet. But safety equipment helps stack the odds of survival in your favor.

Wonder about a nice western styled bull rider's vest?
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 12:34 AM
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Examples of protective vests, and advice on softer landings, in this thread:

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tal...-nerds-789799/

SueC is time travelling.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 01:18 AM
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I have the airoware outlyne vest. I use it every time I get on a horse now, after watching a friend hit the ground and not be able to get back up.

Would a vest be beneficial? I think it would be beneficial for most people most of the time. Horse riding is risky, anything that you can do to minimize the risk could be considered beneficial.

I have had one horse flip on me, but got lucky that I slid back after I hit the ground, the helmet /would have been/ the real help but I wasn't wearing one then... I don't think a vest would have helped too much, but I don't think it would have hurt me more either.

I do not consider my vest hot, but I have some tolerance for heat. I could be out riding in 80, 90F with a vest and feel warm but not hot. The foam ones do get warm. I guess it would depend on what you do. I wear a long sleeve shirt outside, especially when it's a hot sunny day.

It does restrict movement, but I find it to be minimal. I haven't found my movements impeded in training or riding, but it's a little harder to keep my elbows at my side and not looking like a chicken.

I guess it weighs a few pounds, but I don't notice once I'm riding.

I like the advice about the bull riders, they get gored, and probably have some protection to help minimize that risk.

Of course it is entirely your decision, but if you can afford it I don't see the downfalls to using a safety vest!
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies, I'll definitely be looking into the vest and the bull riding ones as well
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 10:09 AM
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For all but the horn impact either something like the Tipperary or Airhit would be beneficial. Different vests have different comfort levels. My child is happy with his Tipperary as are several of the others he rides with. The older ladies prefer their air vests. You'd have to ask about what protection from the horn is available in the event a horse flips over. Hard shell I could see some protection. Air vest I could as well but it would depend on whether it could withstand the force from such a small area of impact.and not bust.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 11:41 AM
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A really important note about the Hit Ait with buckle closures, the bottom strap WILL catch on a saddle horn!!! I found out the hard way right after I bought the dang thing!

I think they make a zip front model. The possible downside to that might be that the vest cannot be worn under clothing. Don't know if the zip up model will expand to accommodate jackets. Not a problem with a hard shell.

The zipprr on my Tipperary failed. I ended up sewing a heavier duty jacket zipper over the old one.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-23-2019, 11:57 AM
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It's worth noting, when looking at the vests that there are different safety levels they can meet. Mine was around $350, and meets the highest safety levels they test for. The tipperary ones don't meet the higher safety regulations (at east the models I saw). I guess it depends on how much protection you want and how much you want to spend. I personally figured if I was getting one I should get the safest one I could!
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-24-2019, 07:38 AM
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This is the one my child uses. It is Tipperary and is certified. https://www.doversaddlery.com/tipper...ro/p/X1-40788/


Price point seems to indicate certification. When we were looking $350 was the lowest price I found for certification.
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