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.