I’ll vouch for that!
Ever been launched by a horse at full volume? I have, and it wasn’t pretty. The tumble led to eight rib fractures, a broken collarbone and shoulder, a collapsed lung, and several other injuries.
Nope, I wasn’t wearing a protective vest.
I probably should have been. Even landing in soft arena footing, I crumbled like a crisp cracker. Hey, the spunky young gelding switched into rodeo mode in a heartbeat. And the rest is (as they say) history.
In fact, I was nearly history as well.
That was a couple of years ago. But I still cringe, just thinking about it.
In the equestrian world, racing jockeys and eventers tend to wear these safety garments the most. But these may be a good idea for anyone riding younger, greener mounts.
Here are a few examples of equestrian safety vests.
- Abetta Body Guard Riding Vest
- Charles Owen Kontakt 5 Adult’s Body Protector
- Competitor XC M Navy Safety Vest
- Flex Rider Protective Riding Vest
- Helite Airnest Equestrian Airbag Vest
- Intrepid International Kid's Safety Supraflex Vest Protector
- Supra-Flex Body Protector Equestrian Horse Riding Vest
- Tipperary Adult Large Air Espirit
- Tipperary Ride-Lite Vest Adult
- Tipperary Youth Eventer Protective Vest
- Tough-1 Bodyguard Protective Vest
Some safety vests are filled with sturdy padding, while others contain airbags that are supposed to inflate instantaneously, if needed. Most of the inflatable vests feature strings that pull when the rider is unseated.
Sure, equestrian safety vests can be bulky and somewhat uncomfortable. But a bunch of broken bones can be a whole lot worse.
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