Hunter Rider Wearing a Vest - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-23-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Hunter Rider Wearing a Vest

I am a re-rider getting back into hunters after a long break. I'm not showing yet at the moment and when I do, it will probably only be local.

One of my fears while riding is getting hurt and not being able to work, or falling into a jump and getting hurt. Therefore, I'd like to take some safety measures to prevent that. I was previously injured in a fall several years ago in which my helmet saved my life, so of course I never mount a horse for any reason without one anymore. Now I'm wondering if wearing a vest will be a good idea too.

I had been thinking about getting a vest for a long time and found a used one for cheap, so I bought it to see how I would like wearing one and though I haven't ridden with it yet, it's very comfortable and well padded. It's an older vest and is nothing fancy like the airbag ones or anything, just a typical foam padded vest. The brand is Tipperary if that makes a difference. I've never owned a vest before and have a few questions.

1. Would a vest be overkill for low hunters? I've heard people say they're more restrictive than anything and that there's no reason to wear one unless you're an eventer, but others say their vests have helped prevent injuries from falling into jumps, being stepped on, or nasty falls in general. I think it's probably better to be safe than sorry, but I don't want to be way overdoing it, either.

2. I know this is a very silly thing to worry about, but I'll be the only one at the barn wearing a vest. The people there are not judgmental at all, but I'm afraid of looking silly or like way too fearful of a person, if that makes sense. I don't care if people think that about my helmet, but for some reason I'm concerned about the vest. Would it seem silly and ridiculous to wear a vest when I'm barely back to jumping again and don't intend to do anything super intense?

3. Is there anything I need to know about vests? Are they like helmets, where they need to be replaced after so many years, or is my older one still okay to use? It seems to be in very good condition and has no wear on it.

Thank you!
starbuster is offline  
post #2 of 10 Old 08-23-2019, 03:51 PM
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Any time you jump you need added safety equipment and that means a vest. As long as it is in good order and certified then you would be covered for many potential injuries as far as lessening severity. The newer models are not restrictive at all. A vest is good protection for any fall but weighing the likelihood of a fall and injury from a fall just doing flat work or hacking out I can see it be overkill depending on the horse and terrain.

I prefer my child to wear one but at his skill level and on the horse he is riding I don't worry overmuch when they don't wear vests over low jumps in good footing.

You'd have to define low????
QtrBel is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 08-23-2019, 07:27 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2014
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You will be the odd one out in the hunter ring, but they aren't illegal. It's just not part of the culture.

If it'll make you feel safer, go ahead and wear one

I think a higher priority in safety is the horse you are riding and quality of your instruction. I've seen way more riders get hurt because they are riding inappropriate horses or with coaches who dont teach the basics and no vest will protect against that.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-23-2019, 07:34 PM
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I where a vest pretty much every time I ride - my biggest wrecks have been messing around on the "easy" horse, not when I am jumping or breaking babies or whatnot. I have worn mine eventing, dressage, endurance riding, mounted shooting, working equitation, field hunting and hunters, I have had a few people who have never seen one in person ask questions but no negative flack form other riders. They recommend replacing them every 5 years or so, but I don't know anyone who is religous about that.

I do notice a difference in when I fall with one vs without - I think mine has saved me a lot of bruises and probably some broken ribs.
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Sherian is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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I intend to wear mine showing if I'm jumping. The judge can deal with figuring out the rest!
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-26-2019, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Heck, I wear one for trail riding! One broken neck is plenty for a lifetime.
Always wear it schooling now, feel naked without it.

The Tipperary is probably not certified. Air vests have neck and tailbone protection. I think the biggest question is not if, but which type, air or hard shell. Be a trendsetter! Maybe others in your barn are thinking along the same lines, but need someone else to go first.

Btw, the Tipperarys are quite flattering, I think, with their form fit. I look like a sack of spuds in my HitAir.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-26-2019, 01:32 PM
Green Broke
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Hey, it's your neck...or ribs, or whatever. If someone has an issue, well, that's their problem. If you feel more secure then wear it. I'm a big believer in staying as safe as possible.

The important thing is to stay in one piece and enjoy the activity you have chosen. : )
dogpatch likes this.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-26-2019, 01:45 PM
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Tipperary does have certified styles. They aren't quite as flattering as the standard but still form fitting.
QtrBel is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 08-26-2019, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Thank you for your responses! I just rode in it yesterday and really liked it! I felt a bit more confident and didn't feel restricted at all. It was a little warmer than without, but not at all so hot it was uncomfortable. I think I'm going to wear it from now on!

Mine is a Tipperary Esprit 2009 that has a manufacturing date of 2000. I figured I would start with this to see how I felt wearing a vest before I saved up to buy a more expensive one. It has a tag on the inside saying it's certified by something or another (I can't remember what it was at the moment and don't have it with me right now to check).

Also, are vests like helmets in that they should be kept out of the heat and cold and are they affected if they take a fall? Is one this old still safe if it's still in good condition? The foam inside still seems to be solid.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-26-2019, 05:33 PM
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Yes, they should be kept out of the extremes.
QtrBel is offline  

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