View Full Version : Body vests ? yes or no
8th Jan 2003, 02:27 AM
I'm so happy to get back on to the board. I used to post as Martagon, but couldn't get on. So i switched to CanadianHorse, but still couldn't get in. Thank goodness, Mike did something, and I'm back, but under my new name.
Does anyone here wear one of those body vests, if so, why? My 11-yr-old daughter had a tumble from her horse 3 1/2 weeks ago, and broke her collarbone. Not too serious, and she's raring to get back on her horse, but.. now i'm just a bit more conscious of the vulnerability. (i was before, but now more so) I realize the vest would not have saved her clavicle, but the horse went left when she went right. I shudder to think if they had both gone the same way.
We've bought a new helmet, just in case the old one was damaged (the outside was banged up) but now I'm thinking about getting vests for both girls. Any thoughts out there?
8th Jan 2003, 03:08 AM
I think if it gives you piece of mind and if you have one 'pre-broken' child already why not.
I must say that I was surprised when I saw a few kids\teenagers starting to wear them at the local riding school - but then I realised it was just one of my prejudices - something along the lines of all children having to learn to bounce on hard surfaces as part of their upbringing :D (urrgghhh I could hear myself saying ... In my day....)
8th Jan 2003, 07:23 AM
If you do a search you will find there was a discussion on body protectors (if this is the same as body vests I assume it is)quite recently. Apparently they result in more broken arms and legs but I think I would rather have a broken arm than a damaged back. I sometimes wear it for jumping and I wear it out hacking - as if you fall off you might fall on top of a stone rather than on the soft school surface. One of the riding schools here insists that everyone wears them when riding outside the indoor school. I know that lots of people however don't like them and I agree they are a bit cumbersome - and I never have a very elegent dismount as I keep getting it caught on the pommel !
8th Jan 2003, 10:17 AM
There is apparently no real proof in favor of them--there's a farm around here who keeps waffling about whether or not they are required for their schooling HT cross-country, since studies haven't actually demonstrated strongly that they're worth it.
I must confess, if I'm going to fall on my chest cross-country...well, it won't keep my spine from twisting, but it'll at least be SOME padding.
My Tipperary Eventer is very comfortable; I think that's the key. It's light and conforms to my body well, and is adjustable in several places to get the best fit. I really have no objection to wearing my BP because it does not interfere with my riding. If a BP is too stiff or doesn't fit well, it WOULD interfere with riding, and in my opinion would make riding more dangerous.
Plus, mine is silver and it's gorgeous ;) (They can be special ordered in just about any color.)
8th Jan 2003, 10:49 AM
Stephen was bucked off wearing one and cracked two ribs - it didn't save the ribs but I hate to think what might have happened without that extra padding....
I favour wearing one on the principle of extra padding! I agree with LCA - I would rather break and arm or leg if I have to break something!
8th Jan 2003, 04:24 PM
can you buy the phoenix one in the UK? how much did it cost?
8th Jan 2003, 06:59 PM
CanadianHorse - I love your name!
8th Jan 2003, 08:00 PM
Well I have only worn one when jumping on X/C I do only small jumps as scardy cat, but that is not the point. I felt better having one on.
My daughter wears one X/C as it is compulsory in competition, used to always wear one S/J, now not so willing as so few do.
But examples when she was dragged by pony as foot stuck in stirrup, it saved her skin! literally. She was dragged on her back, sore & bruised, yes but still skin on her body.
When she came off jumping and landed on poles it saved her from more bruising or worse.
They say inside the protector only for protection of bruising more.
It is about damage limitation really and often confidence to the rider.
Collar bones are helped more with the top arm protectors, which we do have.
One point we had argument years ago, at a Pony Club show, they tried to disallow a young rider as her protector was on the outside of her jacket.
You know the scene, child had grown and jacket would only fit with protector outside.We were aghast at there stupidity, to try and not encourage the use of them for the sake of appearences.
I imagine the reasons for the riding school insisting is again about damage limitation in this day of sueing the pants off anyone and everyone.
8th Jan 2003, 09:36 PM
I have no idea if anybody distributes Tipperary in the UK...Mine was $200 (on sale); it's typically about $250ish.
If you can't find the Tipperary vests (by Phoenix Performance), you could try the Casel-Equi, as it looks almost identical.
That's an image from horsestuffco.com where it costs $225.
The uncomfortable looking Flex-Rider:
is usually much cheaper ($100 or $110 at horsestuffco), but I wouldn't really want to ride in one. That said, my husband has one...
I think you guys over there have a couple of brands not distributed over here; you can probably find one that isn't terribly, terribly restrictive and stiff. :)
9th Jan 2003, 11:24 AM
We did have a big discussion on another thread about this.
I always ride in my body protector as I have a yound green pony and he can be pretty unpreditable. I fell off on the road a couple of months ago and whilst I was still laid up for 2 weeks with a trapped nerve, it would have been much worse without the body protector.
I think they definaitely limit the damage you do in a fall.
10th Jan 2003, 11:41 PM
Thanks - I'll do a search for body protectors on this site. Our instructor hasn't suggested it, I don't know if I'm over-reacting-- I'll go read previous.
*****CanadianHorse* is a breed here that was developed over the last couple hundred years, from stock originally from France when North America was being exploited, whoops, explored. They are a great little horse, 14 - 16 hands, hardy as anything, and the predecessor of the more famous Morgan horse. (But try to get the Americans to admit that!) We are hoping to get a couple of Canadians in the summer.
11th Jan 2003, 04:34 AM
CanadianHorse, don't know where you are in ON, but I've purchased both Tipperary and Flex-Rider in Ottawa. The former is the most comfortable but doesn't offer as much protection as the Flex-Rider. I guess you have to figure out what your risk exposure is against what you want for comfort.
12th Jan 2003, 01:53 AM
C.H. - the reason I like your name is because I have one!
They are lots of fun and great personalities - hope you can find a couple of good ones!
12th Jan 2003, 11:03 PM
I must say that I was surprised when I saw a few kids\teenagers starting to wear them at the local riding school - but then I realised it was just one of my prejudices - something along the lines of all children having to learn to bounce on hard surfaces as part of their upbringing (urrgghhh I could hear myself saying ... In my day....)
I would really like to get a back protector (or body vest as you call them). I am a teenager, and I have had my share of falls. The thing is, they arent in a price range for someone like me, who doesnt work! I think too many times we have been expected to learn to "bounce" and that is why so many people end up getting paralised or killed. Back protectors have saved so many child/teenage riders, not to mention adult riders, from having any real significant damage. There are exceptions, after all, they arent body armour!
13th Jan 2003, 01:03 AM
Kelsey: where are you in Ontario?? I know someone else on the board is fairly close to me (Brantford area) Who did you get your horse from?? Everything I read of Can Horses just makes me want one even more. Are you following the CH group on Yahoo? there's quite a kerfluffle about the CHBA and how they're arbitrarily changing the standards for CH. Do you just have the one, or more?? Tell me all you can about your CH. We're aiming for horses this summer
13th Jan 2003, 02:19 AM
I wish they sold ones that were more fasionalable. If they can clone people can't they have the scientific abilities to make something thinner but still help save your life. Sorry to sounds like a snob, but with that bulk I would find it hard to feel one with the horse!
13th Jan 2003, 02:54 AM
C.H. - I am northwest of Toronto - yes, I only have the one Canadien. I originally bought him because I thought the breed was really quiet (and I was quite wimpy when I started back to riding).
I have since learned that they are not all quiet, in fact mine (Fox breeding) has become very spunky now that he is fit. Today he was spooking at shadows in the arena, snow hitting the roof, other horses in the barn.....in fact, the Thoroughbreds in the barn are quieter than he is! (I don't think he is really scared, he just gets bored quickly if I don't concentrate enough on riding him forward.)
On the plus side, my trainer (who usually only rides 17+ hands German warmbloods) loves him and thinks he is one of the most intelligent, fastest-learning horses she has ever ridden. He is picking up the dressage thing pretty quickly!
I wouldn't really recommend the people I bought him from (they are outside of Ottawa) as I have heard some not-so-great things about them - I guess I just lucked out with mine.
The only controversy I have heard about is that one group has broken away and is trying to increase the size to make them more desirable as sport horses - I don't really see the point of it, as they ride much bigger than they measure (unless they are trying to turn them into jumpers?)
24th Jan 2003, 08:38 PM
I agree with galadriel. I think it is a must to wear one out hacking but it needs to be a good fit or it does interfere with your riding. I went hacking yesterday and borrowed my friends. I dont go hacking that often so havent invested in one of my own yet. It was extremely uncomfortable and kept catching on the back of the saddle. this had a tendancy to make me tip forward to prevent it from catching. it really interfered with my balance.
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