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midkniggit
Dec. 15, 2009, 02:56 PM
I had a very bad fall off a horse in May, fracturing five vertebrae. Fortunately, I've recovered well, and have just gotten back into lessons. However, my doctor (also a rider), strongly recommended that I wear a body protector, especially when jumping. Considering how nervous I am just getting on a horse right now, I'm not arguing with her suggestion.

I keep seeing great reviews for the Rodney Powell, and everyone seems to mention how comfortable they are. That's important, because I don't want something that will interfere with my riding. I'm also willing to buy in that price range. The one thing I'm concerned about is that I've put on 25lbs during my months of limited mobility, and I'm not sure how precisely they fit. I'd rather not wait until I've completely lost the weight to get a protector.

So here's the dilemma...Do I get the Powell now, and hope it still fits once the weight is gone, or do I get a cheaper one now, and then get a Powell later? If I go with the second option, what are some good brands? Or is there a 3rd option that people suggest?

Thanks!

Haf N Haf
Dec. 16, 2009, 03:17 PM
I got my Rodney Powell through VTO Saddlery. Call and speak to them on what they recommend. I will tell you mine is slightly adjustable, but I'm not sure how to quantify that in terms weight in pounds.

Highflyer
Dec. 16, 2009, 04:22 PM
No experience with the RP specifically, but a lot of them are pretty adjustable--they have to be, since they come in only a few sizes. It will probably depend on whether you can squeeze into the right size by adjusting it all the way out or not, and you're going to have to try it to find out for sure, probably, but you can guesstimate by looking at the measurement range. Compared to most riding clothes, they run big--I wear a 10 in street clothes, L or XL in most riding shirts--and my vest is a Ladies S.

Something else to consider--I have the Airowear Outlyne. In the summer I wear it over a polo/ tshirt, and the velcro is just about at the middle of the range. When I wear it in the winter over several layers, I have to let it almost all the way out.

JWB
Dec. 16, 2009, 04:34 PM
I'm pregnant right now and my regular body protector does not fit.

I got a cheap used vest on ebay... Not even sure what the brand is. It's BETA certified and it fits me NOW. Mind you, I'm not jumping in it and after the baby, I'm going back to my other vest but for what I paid ($60 I think) I was able to get a vest to fit "for now" and have the good vest for later.

I want a nice new dressage coat but will use my old one after baby (right now it would be a moot point to even try one on) until I'm back at the weight I want to be at. It's going to be my reward for getting back in shape!

RiverBendPol
Dec. 17, 2009, 07:45 AM
Rodney Powell vests have a LOT of velcro adjustability. You can buy it now and be able to take it in about 6" at waist and shoulders. Ask the rep. I'd even buy one now and if it doesn't work when the weight is gone, buy another. They are fabulous vests, really comfy and I should think coming back from an injury such as yours, you'd want the best not a 'cheaper' one. Congrats on your recovery!:)

ottb
Dec. 17, 2009, 08:49 AM
I have a RP and love it and can confirm a considerable amount of velcro adjustability via overlaping panels. I think the important dimension is the length (ie, from your tailbone to your neck). Too short not enough protection, too long and it hits the back of the saddle. I second talking to Beth at VTO, she's very helpful.

BTW, I saw a demo of an airvest at the National Meeting. It seems rather impressive. It's an airbag body protector, that inflates in 0.1 sec using a CO2 canister. A rip cord is attached to the saddle and upon dismount it inflates. Potential drawback, if you never activate the ripcord (ie, get far enough away from the tack) it wouldn't provide any protection.

JenJ
Dec. 17, 2009, 10:11 AM
BTW, I saw a demo of an airvest at the National Meeting. It seems rather impressive. It's an airbag body protector, that inflates in 0.1 sec using a CO2 canister. A rip cord is attached to the saddle and upon dismount it inflates. Potential drawback, if you never activate the ripcord (ie, get far enough away from the tack) it wouldn't provide any protection.

I have heard about but never seen one of these - I suppose you need to remember at the end of every ride to undo the rip cord before dismouting - or am I the only dummy who would forget and regularly set the d@mn thing off by mistake?

eventrider
Dec. 17, 2009, 10:13 AM
I have never seen a RP in person, but I have a CO JL9 and I love it. I feel much safer in it than the Tipperary I have having in my closet! It is fairly adjustable as well.

midkniggit
Dec. 17, 2009, 10:46 AM
Great! Thanks for the info, everyone. I'll give VTO a call and chat with folks there.

eventer_mi
Dec. 17, 2009, 11:58 AM
The air vests actually go OVER your regular vest, not in lieu of it. So, you have to have a regular body protector anyway. There is a neat photo demo of it activating in a recent issue of "Your Horse" (Brit mag) - you can see the moment it inflates, while the rider is in mid-air, during a rotational fall.

Btw, I just got a JL9 for Xmas, because Mr. Eventer-MI thought it was safer than the Tipperary have. It's pretty comfortable, actually - better than the original CO, which feels a bit like wearing bullet-proof body armor. I tend to get claustrophobic, and the original CO, and to a lesser extent the Tipp, make me hyperventilate - NOT a good thing to happen when you're in the start box for xc. The JL9, while not rated as high as the original CO, is much more comfortable and flattering, and there is a high degree of adjustability to them. I wear a small front and a medium back, to get the length in the spine.

TOLLYPHONO
Dec. 21, 2009, 05:21 AM
Hi sorry to hear about your accident, but delighted to hear you are on the road to recovery!

I agree with Highflyer that you should try the Outlyne, they are adjustable at the chest and waist so you can adjust them according to your size.

I wouldn't ever advise compromising on safety by buying a body protector that will you fit you better once you have lost weight. I would buy a body protector that fits you NOW and is comfortable and adjustable, this will provide you with the protection you need for now.

If you lose a dramatic amount of weight as you get more mobile and fitter, you would need to consider replacing your safety vest with a smaller size anyway as a body protector that doesn't fit you properly can actually be more dangerous.

I ride in an Airowear Outlyne and absolutely love it over the Rodney Powell because it is much more flexible and moulds to the shape of your body.

Thomas_1
Dec. 21, 2009, 05:30 AM
I'm a huge fan of Racesafe.

No matter what you get though you need to ensure it's a good fit and if you're planning on losing 2 stones then it's likely that you'll have to get another in future.

What about buying one for now say 2nd hand or arranging to do a trade later.

I know I have a lot of body protectors here that folks do swap shops with as they grow and shrink!

IronwoodFarm
Dec. 21, 2009, 06:17 AM
This is not something to be cheap about. Are you willing to risk permanent disability from a second fall without a body protector.? And yes, I know you can be permanently disabled with a body protector -- I have a friend who is a paraplegic from a fall with a body protector on. Get a body protector that fits you now if you want to get on a horse now. When the weight comes off, get another body protector that fits your new size. Sell the old one. But please don't take short cuts. This is an investment in yourself and your long term health.

purplnurpl
Dec. 21, 2009, 09:58 AM
I really like my Outlyne. But it just doesn't fit. The vest hits me right at my last rib, puts pressure on my diaphragm, catches on my hip and it doesn't really cover my tail bone as much as I would like.
Also, the Outlyne is a woman's vest--not as bad as the Tipp but it's still more generous in the bust than I would like.
I'm a 36B.
I would have rather had the original I think.

here is a pic of it:
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/d-1.jpg

I'm really tall though--6'. And I sized myself accordingly.

It's a shame. But I'm going to sell it and most likely buy a RP.

The pic of Jennie in BOB makes the vest look very bulkey. But it is not.

I'll sell mine (Navy Blue vest and shoulder pads) if anyone is interested.
It's only been used a few times.
I was going to stick it on ebay.

BabyGoose
Dec. 21, 2009, 08:44 PM
So how should they fit? Kind of a weird question I know, but I have never worn one and really don't know much about them.

I told my husband that he could get me one for Christmas, half kidding. Well he did! He just guessed on the size, figuring we could send it back if it didn't fit and take some measurements. So he gave me the vest early to see if it fits. I don't know! I don't know what to look for. Are there specifics to look for such as hitting a certain area of the body, or does it just need to be comfortable?

Edited to add that I am not an eventer, just looking to add an extra measure of safety to my everyday riding. I am getting to the age where I just don't bounce well anymore!

eventer_mi
Dec. 22, 2009, 07:40 PM
In general, the vest should cover your last rib in front, but not be so long that it interferes when you fold into jumping position. Same with the back - it should just cover your tailbone, but not be so long that the saddle pushes it up when you sit. It should be pretty snug all around - the Tipps should be snug enough that you can pretty much close the lacings, and the JL9 should not have any space in the sides where you pull the panels over your waist - does that make sense? It should also not ride up when you raise your arms - basically the whole vest needs to stay put no matter what you do up there.

BabyGoose
Dec. 22, 2009, 07:48 PM
Thank you for the fitting info! I have been searching all over the internet for a basic fitting guide and can't find one! I think this one may be too small but I will try it again with your fitting info in mind. Thanks again!

purplnurpl
Dec. 23, 2009, 09:41 AM
In general, the vest should cover your last rib in front, but not be so long that it interferes when you fold into jumping position. Same with the back - it should just cover your tailbone, but not be so long that the saddle pushes it up when you sit. It should be pretty snug all around - the Tipps should be snug enough that you can pretty much close the lacings, and the JL9 should not have any space in the sides where you pull the panels over your waist - does that make sense? It should also not ride up when you raise your arms - basically the whole vest needs to stay put no matter what you do up there.

yup. a difference of 1 inch would have made a world of change with the Outlyne--for me.
My Tipp goes down further and is much more comfy.