Body Protectors. Comments?

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Schlaft

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Nov 18, 2002
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How many of you out there actually wear body protectors when riding, competing or just exercising your horse in the field or in a lesson?

If you do wear one what do you think of it, what made you wear it and do you think they should be compulsory in riding lessons? (Actually any body protector related thoughts are welcome)

And if you don't wear one and have strong feelings about why you don't, please share.

I ask because my wife and I are thinking about getting one each but over here they are damn hard to get hold of and about 3 times the price they would be in Europe or America.

Thanks

:D
 

ggabby

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i wear one when backing yougsters,i hate wearing then makes you feel like you are michalam woman, but best to be safe then sorry.
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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The only time I wore one I broke my coccyx!

There have been studies with Rugby players and bike riders who suffer worse injuries while wearing them than if they wern't.

If I was competing at high level eventing I might get used to one, but read the disclaimer on the box, there are a HUGE range of injuries,( the one's you'd most likey get while riding,) that they don't cover you for.

I think they are a bit of a scam, you will not get away without injury just because you are wearing one, most folk think they will, they are not a guarantee. Broken arms and legs are far more likely.

I won't wear one, I accept the risks, I don't ride at a high impact level, I think they are a cleverly marketed thing which playes on the fears of folk. The world is getting to be a place where litigation is rife and accidents cannot happen, there must be someone to blame. So we all have to get oursleves done up like a Christmas tree to excuse bad, inobservant drivers and if we go for a quiet potter on an old fat cob we have to wear a hat which a jocky could survive a high speed fall in and a body protector that the average sumo wrestler would look fat in.

I don't like them, it is another thin end of another wedge!
 

Kerry's Partner

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I bought one about a year ago and wore it twice - when I went "home" to the north east. It's in my wardrobe and I look at it almost every day.

I recall reading an article - I cannot remember from where - about the increase in bony fractures I think it was in children who wear them because (as far as the author was concerned) they prevent relaxation and your body's own protective reflexes being effective if you do fall, so don't protect the joints most likely to be injured!!

That makes sense to me so I put this down to yet another very expensive item bought which is of absolutely no use at all.
 

Shiny McShine

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Jan 14, 2002
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I had actually never considered that they could do more damage than good...I am glad this has been brought up.

In reflection however...I don't mind riding in a body protector when I have to so long as it fits correctly, if it doesn't you just cannot sit properly and feel as if you're more likely to fall off than if you weren't wearing it.

At work we had to wear them when jumping or when breaking in a youngster (or oldster) and when I wore one that fitted it never noticed I had it on. Mind you I have never had a fall while wearing one so I can't really personally comment on that but I do know two people who have. I was bucked off a youngie and she was very glad she wore it as she landed on a rock yet was not injured. The other was a friend who I used to ride track work with who fell off and broke his back...I know this sounds bad but the doctor said without the protection he would have been dead.

On the racetracks over here it is compulsary to wear them. And I feel safer when wearing one in potentially dangerous situations, but for everyday work I find it a bit much.

I saw a young girl out on a ride wearing one and thought how great it was to see people actually looking out for their safety, but considering they may cause problems perhaps this wasn't so good.

I would be really interested to know more about the pro's and con's, out of safety and interests sake, however from my own experience until proved otherwise I would still wear one.
 

Casper

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i got one about a year ago when i started jumping and had it on whenever i went riding. It was fine all winter but come summer i started getting so hot that i had to take if off, cus it was affecting my riding !!! Only ever fell once while wearing it, it saved my back from getting ''scratched'' but i still hurt my jaw and wrist. My mother loves it and i still wear it whenever she comes riding with me to give her pease of mind but other than that it was a wast of nearly150 pounds (irish)!!!!
 
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Palomino55

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I do wear a Body protector

to keep myself insercure(sp)

I am just wondering Wally why you don't like wearing a body protector?
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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I won't wear one because it is upholding another level of legislation which is trying to get in through the back door. I have read studies on them and it has been proven that you sustain worse injuries if you wear one, I broke my coccyx wearing one.

I do not indulge in high impact, high risk riding anymore like eventing, so I am not going to spend over £100 for something that I find restricts my movement, makes me look like an American football player, and does not even offer to protect me against half the most common injuries sustained while riding, read the disclaimer on the box!

If I fall off I fall off, either I will hurt myself or I won't, I've been riding long enough to come to accept the risks.
 

ros

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I'm not a fan either. Out of interest, do jockeys wear them? They don't look as if they do, and they quite frequently fall off. I can't imagine how they would manage to roll up into a nice tight little ball if they were encased in armour!
 

Schlaft

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Thanks for the input so far guys. Hopefully there will be a lot more as this must be a subject everyone that rides has an opinion about? And the more opinions there are the more informed a decision I can make.

Wally, you brought up some good points, I do agree that there is a place for protection in sports and then there is way too much. I admit I know absolutely nothing about body protectors which is why I started this thread. It would be nice to get hold of a box and read what the protector will not protect against, but we can't even see one of thoses where we live :)

On the other hand though I am getting old now and after having a huge motorbike accident a few years ago I find myself thinking about safety during my hobbies quite a bit more. I was not wearing leathers at the time (stupid stupid!), just jeans, and a brick wall met my bike at 70 m.p.h. Knee bones are such a lovely colour! Anyway I do have health and safety at the back of my mind so much more now.

I am hoping that in a couple of years I will do some cross country so I am going to have to buy one, but at the moment I am happy enough without I think. Of course they could be famous last words couldn't they?? :D
 

Shiny McShine

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Jan 14, 2002
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ros,

As I commented (in Australia at least) all track work riders are required to wear them as are all jockeys and anyone who rides a horse on a racetrack. You do not see them on jockeys as they wear them under their silks and breeches. If you see them in the dressing room without their silks on you will notice this.

Wally,

I would be interested to read these studies, where did you read them?

 

Wally

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Gosh, it was ages ago in an old motorbike mag. I'll see if my man has done his usual thing and squirrel'd it away with the rest in his shed (never throws them away)

The rugby player study was again one my man had as he was a player and fels the same as I do, restricting and may cause injury.
 

Princess

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Originally posted by fiesty_filly
I actually really like riding in them. I've always borrowed a friends for the events but I'm getting my own for Christmas! I need one becasue as you know they are manditory for X-country. I'm getting a Charles Owen. They sound really nice!

I use to ride in a Charles Owen before I got my new one. They are really good and usually quite reasonably priced too.

I've nearly always ride in a body protector and I just can't imagine hacking, or jumping and xc riding without one. In the years I've been riding I've had falls and injuries resulting from the falls, but I've always wondered - how much worse would the injuries have been if I hadn't been wearing one? Personally, thats a risk I'd rather not take
 

chapsi

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Jul 15, 2002
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Schlaft,

A few months ago there was another thread on Body Protectors. If you find it, it's well worth reading, as you'll get a wider range of comments/opinions on the matter.
All I can say about mine, is that it's still hanging on my locker door untouched. It makes you sweat little hell in the Summer (and it can turn very hot here in that time of year) and I don't wear it for riding lessons in the arena as I find it restrains my movements and makes me feel heavier.
However, soon as I start hacking out, I'll definately wear it, as the lanscape and the trails are not very safe around here.
I already had a fall in the Army Centre (in school) where I used to go and as a result I twisted a vertebrae; had I been wearing one probably that wouldn't have occured!
 

maverick927

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Jun 5, 2002
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I wear my body protector for X country only, unless I go to a competition where it is essential to wear one. i don't think it is really necessary to wear a body protector in a riding school (unless the horse is a nutter) as most of the ponies are bombproof and you won't fall off unless you do something silly.
 

Mehitabel

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i wear one for backing youngsters, nothing else. if i go away to another x-c course, most places will insist you wear one as part of their insurance for hiring out the course. i don't wear one on our x-c course at home. i find them very restrictive, and i've had some falls that i'm pretty sure i would have stayed on had i not been wearing one - they really affect my ability to move with the horse's movement, especially bucking. i think it would be different if i'd learned wearing one, but they came in when i was already pretty established in how i rode. i had one for my exams, and never got used to it, and sold it after i'd finished my exams.
 

Peace

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If not for y'all, I wouldn't even know body protectors exist! I've never seen anyone here in the southern U.S. with one. That said, I'm the only adult at my barn who wears a helmet.

Like chapsi, I'd be concerned about falling victim to heatstroke if I wore one here, unless it was the dead of winter. But then, I don't do any high risk riding - at least, I try my very best not to! :)
 

Wally

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Chapsi, the injury you describred is covered by the disclaimer on the packaging, torsion injuries, crush injuries are not covered, even if you had been wearing one it would not have saved you.
 

arabianluver

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I only wear them for cross country

I only wear mine when I ride cross country or jump. I never wear mine when i'm riding in a schooling arena lesson!
They definetly can get annoying. It is also hard to know how they should fit(if you dnow how please tell me).They feel a lot like a life jacket ,but in the end they do come in handy to score bonus points for safety with mom!
 
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