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jody jaffe
Nov. 12, 2010, 09:17 AM
any hunter or jumper riders willing to talk to me about whether they would consider wearing an air vest for an upcoming column? if so, please contact me at
jodybjaffe@aol.com

next column appears on the chron website monday: talking to the animals (what my horses have to say about rory's spook and their lives here on finally farm).

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/road-recovery
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/three-step-process-beginning-brain-injury-rehabilitation

thanks
jody jaffe

Lucassb
Nov. 12, 2010, 10:45 AM
any hunter or jumper riders willing to talk to me about whether they would consider wearing an air vest for an upcoming column? if so, please contact me at
jodybjaffe@aol.com

next column appears on the chron website monday: talking to the animals (what my horses have to say about rory's spook and their lives here on finally farm).

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/road-recovery
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/three-step-process-beginning-brain-injury-rehabilitation

thanks
jody jaffe

Hi Jody,

It is a little hard to tell from your post - but are you interested in talking to both people who will and won't wear a vest? I'd be happy to help with your article, but have to admit that the thought of wearing a vest while riding does not appeal to me at ALL.

Hope your recovery is going well, either way!

ETA: Not opposed to vests at all in a general sense; I have a great friend who had a few bad falls and started wearing one years ago. She (understandably) had significant confidence issues and the vest was the "magic" trick that allowed her to get back in the saddle. It also helped a *great deal* in making her family more comfortable with that choice.

Cookiewoo
Nov. 12, 2010, 12:33 PM
Are you interested in those who would wear an air vest while reading the column or writing it?

Outyougo
Nov. 12, 2010, 01:09 PM
Please note: for eventers a "standard" body protector must be worn with the inflatable vests. A regular body protector goes a long way in limiting injury in falls. The Inflatable vests are still very controversial in Event world and are large and awkward to work with at first pretty much designed for upper level eventing speeds and jump size If the ride is merely worried about rolling off best to get a standard body protector much simpler to wear and does the job just fine for the less risky stuff

Tha Ridge
Nov. 12, 2010, 01:18 PM
Are you interested in those who would wear an air vest while reading the column or writing it?

:lol:

jody jaffe
Nov. 12, 2010, 02:29 PM
Are you interested in those who would wear an air vest while reading the column or writing it?
hooked on my own pitard!! very funny.

both :)

gottagrey
Nov. 12, 2010, 02:55 PM
Please note: for eventers a "standard" body protector must be worn with the inflatable vests. A regular body protector goes a long way in limiting injury in falls. The Inflatable vests are still very controversial in Event world and are large and awkward to work with at first pretty much designed for upper level eventing speeds and jump size If the ride is merely worried about rolling off best to get a standard body protector much simpler to wear and does the job just fine for the less risky stuff

Agree w/ what you say but many event riders are wearing the air vests when schooling at home as well; and I've an acquaintance who was schooling cross country - amateur rider who is by no means an advanced level rider.. competes at Novice - had a bad crash and is quite grateful she was wearing an air vest- she's pretty certain her injuries would have been more substantial had not been for the air vest..
that said...the controversy about the vests safety continues in the eventing world... most event riders are only wearing the air vests on the X-country phase, not show jumping phase. However, if they do, it's probably more to do going straight to XC after show jumping round...

What is crazy is why aren't there more (or any) foxhunters who wear more safety equipment. Every week I hear of another Fox Hunter getting medivac'd out from the hunt field because of some injury... last weekend at an opening hunt a few riders still wore the traditional hunt cap...

Good luck w/ the article

fordtraktor
Nov. 12, 2010, 03:06 PM
I think we should make a move toward safety vests (perhaps not air vests, but vests of some sort) being standard attire in the H/J ring. I would definitely wear one and have been thinking about purchasing one for a while.

The main question I have to ask is ... why not? If it prevents one injury over the course of my equestrian career it will be money well spent, and given my history I think it is quite likely that would happen.

I'm not as keen on the air vests because you have to separate from your horse for them to work, and my worst falls have been when the horse fell on me. Also, there are fewer rotational falls in H/J, injuries tend to be from getting stepped or less often rolled on, which a normal vest would protect from. But if they could figure out a good, non-bulky combination vest I would wear it.

gottagrey
Nov. 12, 2010, 05:52 PM
I think we should make a move toward safety vests (perhaps not air vests, but vests of some sort) being standard attire in the H/J ring. I would definitely wear one and have been thinking about purchasing one for a while.

The main question I have to ask is ... why not? If it prevents one injury over the course of my equestrian career it will be money well spent, and given my history I think it is quite likely that would happen.

I'm not as keen on the air vests because you have to separate from your horse for them to work, and my worst falls have been when the horse fell on me. Also, there are fewer rotational falls in H/J, injuries tend to be from getting stepped or less often rolled on, which a normal vest would protect from. But if they could figure out a good, non-bulky combination vest I would wear it.

There is nothing to preclude you from wearing a vest in the H/j ring - while not seen, there is no rule against the wearing of a vest in the show ring... there are definitely some that look better than others.. and based on your post you might want to invest in one anyway - just as easy to get seriously injured at home vs. at a show. Funny I'm almost considering getting one to wear at home as well... and am amazed that no foxhunters seem to want to wear them - I've just heard a rash of folks being injured hunting over the past few weeks in my area

fordtraktor
Nov. 12, 2010, 08:59 PM
In ten or 15 years we will all wear them I'm sure, it's just a matter of time.

MHM
Nov. 12, 2010, 10:07 PM
I think we should make a move toward safety vests (perhaps not air vests, but vests of some sort) being standard attire in the H/J ring. I would definitely wear one and have been thinking about purchasing one for a while.


There is nothing to preclude you from wearing a vest in the H/j ring - while not seen, there is no rule against the wearing of a vest in the show ring.

Not only is there no rule against it, there is a rule that specifically says you may not be penalized for it. So if you want to wear one, go ahead. There are some people who do show in them all the time.

USEF GR801.4

4. Any exhibitor may wear protective headgear (ASTM/SEI) and/or a protective safety vest, specifically designed for use in equestrian sport in any division or class without penalty from the judge. The Federation recommends that the vest meet or surpass the current ASTM standard or be certified by the Safety Equipment Institute.

T-storm chick
Nov. 12, 2010, 10:33 PM
About three years ago now, my husband and I went for a week of intensive lessons at a large riding school in Germany. One of the highlights was watching the evening lessons of the local juniors. There were probably 30 of them in the ring at the same time and they were all capable riders--they were jumping at least 3'6". They ALL wore body protectors--they were standard equipment. The one girl who wound up in the dirt at the base of the first jump was probably grateful for hers!

I'm not proud. When I get to the point at home where I'm jumping regularly, I'm planning on wearing one. Don't know if I'll show in it though. But things do change--look at bull riders. Never in a million years did I think I'd see macho cowpokes in flak jackets, neck protectors, and helmets!:)

Tutt
Nov. 13, 2010, 02:17 PM
I've always worn a safety vest (not air) for the past eight years. Saved me in several jumping falls. But I don't wear it when I show, though I've considered wearing a thinner one under my show coat.

jody jaffe
Nov. 13, 2010, 05:40 PM
these thoughtful comments are great. plan to use them in my column. thanks so much.
jj

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2010, 06:14 PM
I think the air vest is overkill for hunter/jumpers, but I think the tipperary type vest probably is a good idea. They're pretty comfortable unless the temperatures are unbearable, and they look pretty sharp, too. The vests would actually be a more formal look than polo shirts for jumpers, for example.

And hey, maybe canary yellow vests would come back in fashion. :D :D

asterix
Nov. 13, 2010, 06:44 PM
Hi Jody -- as you know, I'm not an H/J rider, but wanted to pipe up anyway.

I started wearing my vest in competition for SJ (at events) at my husband's request. As noted above, it is always legal. In local events, it's fairly common when we do SJ and then hustle right over to XC these days. But I have also competed in events where SJ is on a different day from XC. There I have to wear my jacket, and I end up wearing my vest over the jacket.
Looks dreadful.
But not as bad as a cast.

The two worst crashes I have had as an eventer (including one which sent me to the ER on a backboard) have been in stadium. I have since started wearing my vest every time I jump, on every horse. At an event I has at recently, a rider's horse literally tripped right before a stadium fence and flipped on her. Luckily she was wearing a vest as XC followed immediately.

I do not have an air vest -- I am not certain yet that we have enough data to show that it would not cause harm in some cases (however, contrary to what the previous poster said, they are not intended only for "big fences" and "high rates of speed" and I know several people who have been very happy to be wearing them during stadium falls). Clearly there are falls in which it would help, so if additional data comes in, I'll happily add one to my arsenal.

However, the air vests should only be worn over the regular vest, and since hardly any h/jers wear regular vests, shouldn't we start with those?

BeeHoney
Nov. 13, 2010, 07:16 PM
I agree that the air vest seems like it would be too cumbersome for h/j riders. Having said that, I've never tried one out, so I can't say for sure. I'm definitely curious to learn more about them, though.

Too Old for Pony Club
Nov. 13, 2010, 08:30 PM
Canadian Grand Prix rider Margie Gayford competes in a vest (http://www.equinecanada.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1112&Itemid=413 ). I don't know if there is any sort of story behind why/if she wears them on every horse etc.

When I was coaching, some of the kids' parents preferred that they wear them when the fences started to get a little bit bigger (stadium & cross country), and I was absolutely supportive of that. Occasionally, the kids would say they didn't want to wear them (especially when it got really hot!) and we would discuss the fact that it in addition to be another type of protective equipment for them, it made their parents more comfortable with them participating in a risky sport (esp as the fences got a little bigger). Of course, they wore them every time they went cross country in competition or schooling. I wore mine every time cross country as well. When the kids wore them in jumper classes, they wore them over their jackets. I've never seen anyone successfully camouflage one UNDER the jacket; you can totally tell anyway, so my kids always wore them over their properly fitted jacket, with the vest the same colour as the jacket (navy or black). We never received any comments from other coaches/competitors/judges. Wasn't a big deal at all (though we weren't doing hunters).

jody jaffe
Nov. 13, 2010, 08:36 PM
However, the air vests should only be worn over the regular vest, and since hardly any h/jers wear regular vests, shouldn't we start with those?

sorry to hear about your crashes, and glad you're wearing the vest in sj. i never understood why eventers, normally more safety conscious than we hunters, didn't wear them in sj. jumping's jumping, even when the fences collapse, you can still have injuries.

as for the air vests, they look less cumbersome to me in pictures. admittedly i've never seen one in person. i've ridden in a regular vest and know how it feels (a little constricting, I must admit -- or i may i had it on wrong, entirely possible). i know a few people who have ordered the air vest and plan to ride in just that one. i'll be riding in one to see how it feels.

also, i've heard talk (and i plan to research further to find out if there's any truth to this) that at some point the air vest will be enough. anyone know anything about that?

coming on monday: my horses have their say.

best
jj

Across Sicily
Nov. 13, 2010, 08:44 PM
Air vests. I wear one every time I ride and I ride h/j. I do not wear it when I show, at least not yet... perhaps the time will come when I feel less silly wearing one off the farm! I kind of tend to overheat easily, and wearing a standard safety vest didn't appeal to me for that reason and also because they tend to be a bit bulky. A friend in the barn loaned me her air jacket (a Point Two) to try out after I had a fall and lost a bunch of confidence, and I really liked it, so I bought my own. I've had one fall in it (stupid fall - ran into deer while out hacking, pony turned into a spinning top!) and I am absolutely certain that it saved my back from a substantial amount of pain, if nothing else. It deployed as advertised and I am very pleased with my purchase.

RAyers
Nov. 13, 2010, 09:29 PM
No, they wll never be enough. Air vests are "deformable" structures. That means they can not prevent flexural or compressing trauma. They also can not protect against puncture by sharp objects (jump cup edges etc.).

There is quite a bit of ongoing research on these vests.The USEF Safety Committee recognizes the issues I list here. Thus they will always require a standard vest be worn underneath.

Reed




sorry to hear about your crashes, and glad you're wearing the vest in sj. i never understood why eventers, normally more safety conscious than we hunters, didn't wear them in sj. jumping's jumping, even when the fences collapse, you can still have injuries.

as for the air vests, they look less cumbersome to me in pictures. admittedly i've never seen one in person. i've ridden in a regular vest and know how it feels (a little constricting, I must admit -- or i may i had it on wrong, entirely possible). i know a few people who have ordered the air vest and plan to ride in just that one. i'll be riding in one to see how it feels.

also, i've heard talk (and i plan to research further to find out if there's any truth to this) that at some point the air vest will be enough. anyone know anything about that?

coming on monday: my horses have their say.

best
jj

WorthTheWait95
Nov. 13, 2010, 10:47 PM
Interesting discussion. I've owned a few horses I probably would have had a bit more confidence on with a vest in place but it never crossed my mind to be honest. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone wear one in person before aside from the riders at Rolex. Are vests like helmets in terms of needing to be replaced after each fall/after certain number of years? I'd assume so but never really thought about it...

Kementari
Nov. 13, 2010, 11:30 PM
I also an eventer, and I wear my CO every ride, and have for the past couple of years. I already owned it for cross country, and when I thought about it I couldn't come up with a single good reason NOT to wear it - and so I do. Since most of the falls I've had in my life happened doing flatwork, not jumping (doubtless because I spend a much bigger percentage of my time on flatwork than on jumping), it really makes a good deal of sense.

I haven't yet decided whether or not to wear a vest in competition in dressage (I haven't competed recently due to time/money constraints, so the issue hasn't come up for me yet). Ideally, I would like to get a second vest in black to blend with my coat, which I think would present a better picture and be less distracting than my green one. Actually, I wonder if I can get just the cover from CO (since they are removable); I think I will email and find out!

I do not wear or own an air vest, due to the reasons cited by asterix. I'd like to see some real research done on them, first.

I would like to get an Exo, but haven't had the money yet!

Oh, and vests do not need to be replaced every fall, because they are made of a different kind of foam than helmets and are not damaged in a fall. General agreement seems to be that it's a decent idea to replace them ever so often, but I haven't seen specific manufacturers' recommendations on the subject. If nothing else, design progresses, so your state-of-the-art vest from 1995 is not going to meet 2010 standards.

RAyers
Nov. 14, 2010, 12:38 AM
... Are vests like helmets in terms of needing to be replaced after each fall/after certain number of years? I'd assume so but never really thought about it...

No. Air vests deflate and then you put a new CO2 canister in place. Vests such as the CO, RP and Tipperary all keep their shape but will degrade over time. Other vests such as the EXO will never degrade as they contain a magnesium body cage (the only vest test to prevent a crushing blow from a horse landing on you).

A side note, air vests are still not allowed in the racing industry as it requires you to be attached to the horse. In so doing there is the risk of having your fall trajectory altered so you may not clear a falling animal.

Ironically, the last time I wore a vest the horse landed on my ankle and broke it.

Reed

MHM
Nov. 14, 2010, 12:53 AM
Ironically, the last time I wore a vest the horse landed on my ankle and broke it.

Stupid horses! Sometimes they just won't get with the program. :lol: Sorry about your ankle.

OP, sent you a PM.

jody jaffe
Nov. 14, 2010, 09:27 AM
Stupid horses! Sometimes they just won't get with the program. :lol: Sorry about your ankle.

OP, sent you a PM.

you needed an air boot, i needed an air helmet.:)

i've often wondered if the helmet technology will progress in unexpected ways, ie an air helmet.

if some clever engineer could design a viable helmet with air bags, think of the lives it would save, not only in the horse world (where according to the CDC, riding is the number one cause of head injuries among ALL sports), but for our soldiers. the number of vets whose lives have been taken or destroyed from blasts to the head grows each day.

speaking of, mary lee esty, the brain therapy person i wrote about in my last column, is still looking for war vets to participate in her study. she's offering diagnostics and free non-invasive treatment that has improved the lives of many of her patients (including me). i don't normally shill for people, but she is doing important work that is changing the lives of people who were written off as lost.

here's the link to the previous column in which a couple vets attest to the positive impact the treatment had on their lives.

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/three-step-process-beginning-brain-injury-rehabilitation

murph
Nov. 14, 2010, 12:02 PM
Well my personal story is that I had my now 10 yr old daughter wear a vest from the time she started to ride. I figured if it's mandatory equipment in Britain (and in some lesson barns here) for kids then why not. Maybe I'm a bit overprotective but I felt better with her wearing it and she did certainly have a variety of falls while learning to ride.

Fast forward to this year's show season and her first year showing A circuit small pony hunters. I had a nice navy blue vest that matched her navy blue jacket and really you couldn't notice it while she was on course. I had her wear it as it was her first year at this level and the pony she was riding at the time had some issues and wasn't totally trustworthy.

Well VERY FIRST show we are at she goes in the ring, does her first trip, and as she's coming out the ingate there is a loudmouth BNT there with a student about to go in and she turns to my daughter and says for everyone to hear "Nice vest, why don't you go get some leg armor to go with it"....to which everyone chuckles. I could have wrung this woman's neck!!!!!!!

Really hurt my daughter's feelings and that's the attitude you get with vests in the hunters. Ironically the ONLY other rider on the entire showgrounds was the above mentioned Margie Gayford riding in her vest in the GP ring. I'll bet loudmouth didn't have the guts to go tell her to get leg armor.

poltroon
Nov. 14, 2010, 02:15 PM
you needed an air boot, i needed an air helmet.:)

i've often wondered if the helmet technology will progress in unexpected ways, ie an air helmet.


Air makes a good spring, but a spring is actually what you don't want in a helmet. The deformable styrofoam that is in helmets is meant to crush and to accept energy and permanently deform (just as cars are engineered today to crush in predictable ways in crashes, to absorb energy before it gets to the passengers, and then to be rigid in a cage around the passengers).

The problem is you're not trying to stop deceleration of the skull but the brain inside the skull. If there's any return force after the compression, it would create additional brain injury. That's why helmets are one-use-only.

You are, also, trying to prevent fracture to the skull, even if something heavy like a horse lands on it, and you want the force of the blow to be as distributed over the helmet as much as possible. And, you want it lightweight and cool. There's likely much that can be done in helmet engineering, but I wouldn't think air bags would be a promising direction there, unless they can be very large, so they can distribute energy over a wider area and not rebound solely to the head.

Mythbusters did a really nice demo of what happens during a head impact for their "getting hit over the head with a beer bottle" myth, using a glass skull and a jello brain:

http://tv.gawker.com/5518127/mythbusters-smashes-some-beerbottle-myths

Calvincrowe
Nov. 14, 2010, 03:48 PM
I just bought a Rodney Powell vest, in a subtle chocolate and black motif, and plan to wear it every ride, every time. Why? As another poster said so eloquently, why not? It will take a bit of getting used to, but then, so did wearing a helmet every ride. I remember just a few years ago when everyone had a conniption fit over "approved helmets!" The horrors! They were weird, and bulky, and funny and really, do we have to give up our custom Patey's??! And now? Everyone is wearing $600 approved helmets.

I see vests becoming more mainstream and accepted in the next few years. I sustained a terrible injury to my shoulder landing on a ground line after my horse wisely chose not to follow his pilots idiot instruction to leave long, really long. Would a vest have prevented my shattered humerus? Probably not. My broken ribs and scapula? More than likely, yes.

I'll be wearing mine in the little jumper ring next spring (fingers crossed!) and if anyone asks why or snickers, I'll pin a laminated copy of my shoulder xray on the back, along with my removed hardware and pins, artfully arranged in a cross. And smile sweetly.

ToTheNines
Nov. 14, 2010, 03:51 PM
I just ordered one too. A Charles Owens from Dover. If I have to wear a vest now that it's chilly, why not a safety vest. Maybe someone from the eventing board should come over and lead a discussion about the different brands, fit, etc.

Noctis
Nov. 14, 2010, 04:17 PM
Well, while I don't show hunters any longer, I DO ride in my vest a LOT. (yes, I am an eventer!). I have a Tipperary Eventer vest, and while its pretty LOUD colored (Love you dad...but really!) in a royal blue, its comfy, I never even notice that I have it on. Use it for hacking out, xc and riding anything green no matter WHAT we are doing. Honestly probably going to start riding in it all the time anyway, because goodness knows I have enough body trauma, why not try and prevent a little more. I'm VERY interested in an air vest as well, to wear with the regular vest, but at this point they're so cost prohibitive that its not going to happen quite yet, and I do want to wait for a bit more research done.

wanderlust
Nov. 14, 2010, 04:37 PM
I see vests becoming more mainstream and accepted in the next few years. I sustained a terrible injury to my shoulder landing on a ground line after my horse wisely chose not to follow his pilots idiot instruction to leave long, really long. Would a vest have prevented my shattered humerus? Probably not. My broken ribs and scapula? More than likely, yes. I'm very sorry to hear about your fall, however having the vest prevent the other injuries is pure speculation. I've seen lots of people break lots of things covered by their vest, including ribs and collarbones. The actual effect a vest has is debatable, and varies greatly depending on the model/brand/composition.

Jody, I see a lot of eventers commenting on this thread, and not a lot of h/j riders. I used to event, in the days before vests became standard/available, and then again 5-10 years ago when I was just out of college and couldn't afford h/j. Always wore my Tipperary actually schooling xc, but if I was out hacking and ended up over by the bank or water complex at our facility, I had no problem playing around without it. I found the non-tipperary vests to be far too constricting and uncomfortable, and didn't particularly care for the feel of the tipperary, either.

As for h/j, I don't think anyone has a problem if they or their kids want to wear one. But it certainly doesn't need to be mandated, especially as noted above, the extent of protective effect is debatable and highly dependent on the type of fall. I wear my helmet every ride, but have zero interest in ever putting on a vest again. I spend more time thinking about how uncomfortable the effing vest is and how I can't move around as well as I would without it.

jody jaffe
Nov. 14, 2010, 06:44 PM
I figured if it's mandatory equipment in Britain (and in some lesson barns here) for kids then why not.

.

I did a search and found it's mandatory for cross country in England, as it is in the US. Do you have other information that says it's mandatory for other phases as well?

That BNT ought to be censured for her comment to your daughter. I can (sort of) see joking with an adult, but a little kid? Shame on her.

BeeHoney
Nov. 14, 2010, 07:49 PM
Well VERY FIRST show we are at she goes in the ring, does her first trip, and as she's coming out the ingate there is a loudmouth BNT there with a student about to go in and she turns to my daughter and says for everyone to hear "Nice vest, why don't you go get some leg armor to go with it"....to which everyone chuckles.


That's terrible! So incredibly unprofessional to make fun of a junior rider for using safety equipment!

I'm a h/j rider (with a background in eventing and racing) who has been riding for many years, and I pretty much never ride without a vest. No one has ever said anything negative to me about it at shows, but then I'm not a defenseless kid either. Good for you for promoting safety with your daughter.

JennieRose
Nov. 15, 2010, 05:43 AM
I did a search and found it's mandatory for cross country in England, as it is in the US. Do you have other information that says it's mandatory for other phases as well?

That BNT ought to be censured for her comment to your daughter. I can (sort of) see joking with an adult, but a little kid? Shame on her.

Around where I live (Manchester, UK), most riding schools will require anyone under the age of 18 to wear a vest when in a jumping lesson/competitions and HIGHLY encourage everyone else to. You'll often see kids at purely show jumping competitions in vests, and a few adults. So, it may not be mandatory (it's still only required for XC), but it is accepted and encouraged. (I can't imagine any trainer being that rude to a kid!)They take "health and safety" quite seriously!

I got the hairy eyeball when I showed up with my Tipperary (left over from eventing in the US) for a XC schooling day as I'm pretty sure it doesn't meet the requirements over here. As it was just for a lesson, no one made too much of a fuss, but I'd have to buy a different vest to show.

jennifersw
Nov. 15, 2010, 07:41 AM
Actually, more foxhunters than you think (I' ve lost track of who posted this) wear vests- children moreso than adults, but some of the adults are catching on, too. Granted these vest- wearers are a huge minority given the number of foxhunters out there, and yes, the old- fashioned, harness- free skull caps are still too many rather than too few. Some folks just can' t let go of tradition- or vanity, I guess??

I personally fell at our opening meet last weekend (horse cantered into concealed groundhog hole and rolled both of us; horse thankfully fine but I fractured two ribs); my helmet was approved (and is now in the garbage...ugh it was tough to toss a 2 year- old Charles Owen!) but my core was protected by only a Melton frock!

Hilltopping from the ground yesterday, I sure wish I had been wearing a vest; if I had, I might not be grounded for 6 weeks!

mrsbradbury
Nov. 15, 2010, 09:04 AM
I think that the mother who had their child embarassed by a susposed BNT could have reported that to a steward or likewise. Highly inappropriate.

I am an H/J rider, and honestly I have never worn a vest. I haven't hunter paced since I was 12, maybe I wore one then but I don't remember. I don't feel that it is appropriate to legislate equipment. I have always worn a helmet, am a victim of the strapless cap from back in the day, but proudly started sporting an approved helmet when they mandated for Juniors to be a role model for my students.

I am going to fall off, and will likely injure something. I am not a complete idiot when it comes to physics, therefore am not 100% convinced that vests, air or otherwise do exactly what they claim to do.

Those of you that want to mandate them for the Dressage and hunter princesses, and jumper queens; are you the same people who think fast food should be illegal? and forced kids to be in car seats until they are 60lbs.?

I feel that safety products should be available, and it should be choice to wear them. Most of us are aware of the risks. Let us make our own choice and shame on me when Horsey steps on my chest, and I failed to have my bubble wrap on and he crushed my sternum.

I will not snicker or scoff at anyone who chooses to wear these products, but honestly I don't want to wear one.

fordtraktor
Nov. 15, 2010, 09:13 AM
murph, that BNT is a disgrace to the sport. No one should ever make fun of someone for wearing safety equipment, particularly a child! Who looks up to the trainer as someone in a position of authority. That trainer is a POS.

Janet
Nov. 15, 2010, 11:39 AM
Suggesting people wear an inflatable vest with out a "regular" vest is a bit like saying you don't need to wear your seat belt because you have airbags.

A regular vest protects in a wider range of falls, the air vest provides increased protection for a small subset.

Neither is going to protect much against broken bones. They will protect (to a certain extent) against soft tissue injuries- especialy bruises.

Calvincrowe
Nov. 15, 2010, 11:42 AM
Jody- I'd suggest also researching the impact that mandatory vests have had on the bull riding and horse racing industries. Have they reduced the number of broken bones and internal injuries in those sports? There is just too much anecdotal "evidence" both for and against safety equipment. Real research would be nice.

Obviously, safety equipment cannot prevent ALL injury when coming off a horse. However, I do feel that if a helmet or vest can lessen the severity of an injury, then I am for it.

I know that my brother was professional motorcross rider back in the 70's/80's---he was a firm believer in the best safety gear available at the time. Broken bones are a given in that sport, but his head and torso were spared many times due to an excellent helmet and chest protector. Legs? Not so much:eek:. They've made huge strides in protective gear in MX, too.

purplnurpl
Nov. 15, 2010, 04:38 PM
I think the air vest is overkill for hunter/jumpers, but I think the tipperary type vest probably is a good idea. They're pretty comfortable unless the temperatures are unbearable, and they look pretty sharp, too. The vests would actually be a more formal look than polo shirts for jumpers, for example.

And hey, maybe canary yellow vests would come back in fashion. :D :D

I too think an air vest is over kill.
If you wear an air vest you must also wear a regular vest underneath.

I do not have an air jacket for eventing, just a regular Rodney Powell.

I wear a simple/low profile aerowear vest for the jumpers. It's a lil small for me but PERFECT for the jumpers. People don't even know I'm wearing it.
I'm afraid of the speed.

See pics of bay horse at the bottom of the blog. I've got on the aerowear.
http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/2010/03/kaboom-boyz-tipsy-toe-to-dark-side.html

He was a youngster and never seen anything of that size. I strapped on my vest for good luck. lol.

poltroon
Nov. 15, 2010, 05:57 PM
The protection a (original tipperary) vest offers is nice but not substantial. It's the difference between springing back up and creaking your way back to the barn. Maybe prevent a broken rib, or lacerations. You'd like one if your horse steps on you with studded shoes, for sure.

The EXO vest that Woof made had a cage in it that would protect from crush injuries. This is overkill for the h/j ring most of the time (though I have actually witnessed a rotational fall in a children's hunter class).

I think they should be optional, I suspect more people should choose them, but I don't think they need to be mandatory for h/j, because they aren't the difference between life-and-death the way a helmet is.

Having to wait while the show comes to a halt to let the helicopter land has wrecked my whole day more than once and in pretty much every discipline.

Mozart
Nov. 15, 2010, 06:20 PM
Well my personal story is that I had my now 10 yr old daughter wear a vest from the time she started to ride. I figured if it's mandatory equipment in Britain (and in some lesson barns here) for kids then why not. Maybe I'm a bit overprotective but I felt better with her wearing it and she did certainly have a variety of falls while learning to ride.

Fast forward to this year's show season and her first year showing A circuit small pony hunters. I had a nice navy blue vest that matched her navy blue jacket and really you couldn't notice it while she was on course. I had her wear it as it was her first year at this level and the pony she was riding at the time had some issues and wasn't totally trustworthy.

Well VERY FIRST show we are at she goes in the ring, does her first trip, and as she's coming out the ingate there is a loudmouth BNT there with a student about to go in and she turns to my daughter and says for everyone to hear "Nice vest, why don't you go get some leg armor to go with it"....to which everyone chuckles. I could have wrung this woman's neck!!!!!!!

Really hurt my daughter's feelings and that's the attitude you get with vests in the hunters. Ironically the ONLY other rider on the entire showgrounds was the above mentioned Margie Gayford riding in her vest in the GP ring. I'll bet loudmouth didn't have the guts to go tell her to get leg armor.

I believe I would have choked said BNT to death.....

What a moron.

Lucassb
Nov. 15, 2010, 06:25 PM
I agree that they should be optional for H/J competition; no rider should be penalized for wearing safety equipment.

I would never want to see this gear mandated, personally.

Janet
Nov. 16, 2010, 12:19 AM
I agree that they should be optional for H/J competition; no rider should be penalized for wearing safety equipment.
That is already in the rules.

TrueGrit
Nov. 16, 2010, 02:45 AM
I too think an air vest is over kill.
If you wear an air vest you must also wear a regular vest underneath.



No, there is no Rule in the H/J world that you must wear a 'regular' vest under and 'air' vest. That rule is only for XC eventing.

As far as "overkill"? That's your opinion. I'd rather be safe than sorry, and being a couple of decades past my teens, I don't bounce like I used to. Being able to get up and walk away, instead of being hospitalized for me is not "overkill".

And, regarding a previous comment in this thread, there is a new model of Point Two air jackets designed just for racing jockeys. It will be interesting to see how they're received amongst that group since I would venture to think that jockeys are more safety conscious than h/j riders.

It seems that regardless of the sport in question, safety oriented products are initially met with a great deal of resistance for being 'uncool', and then after a number of years they are considered standard equipment. And marketed with a broad selection of colors and style to choose from, to satisfy the appearance conscious needs of even the most demanding "inner fashionista".

It wasn't all that long ago that helmets were considered 'overkill', and sparked many raging debates about effectiveness, tradition, and their overall 'fugliness'.

Same ol', same ol'. Personally, I'll take a bruise over a broken bone any day.

And as for that Trainer making fun of anyone, much less a Junior, wearing a vest - that's so unprofessional and ignorant. People like that are a detriment to this sport and need to be called out - and weeded out.

RAyers
Nov. 16, 2010, 09:50 AM
....It seems that regardless of the sport in question, safety oriented products are initially met with a great deal of resistance for being 'uncool', and then after a number of years they are considered standard equipment. And marketed with a broad selection of colors and style to choose from, to satisfy the appearance conscious needs of even the most demanding "inner fashionista".

It wasn't all that long ago that helmets were considered 'overkill', and sparked many raging debates about effectiveness, tradition, and their overall 'fugliness'....



I will answer this comment directly because we are taking SAFETY and RISK.

The air vests are still under scrutiny because they still have not been shown to have a significant reduction in injury. The MARKETING tells of a study by TRL but that was a "hammer on anvil" (Not a real world type of test) test using biometric dummies. I spoke with one of the engineers there and while the data is promising it is admitted not PROOF of the safety.

When one goes to the real world deployment of the vests one can still see SIGNIFICANT injuries while wearing the vest. I will give the example of on of Point Two's original MARKETING ploys. They showed a similar incident as to what is on their web site now except it was Faith Cook. What they neglected to say was that she broke her NECK and BACK even while wearing the vest. There are other examples even more recent (most likely because the vests are DEFORMABLE structures).

This is a piece of safety equipment that even in the MOTORCYCLE racing world where it originated is still questionable as to it efficacy (I can cite studies as needed). So, those who question its use have very valid reasons.

MARKETING does NOT prove concept or efficacy. Marketers do NOT have to tell the truth nor do they have to justify their statements.

Reed

Lucassb
Nov. 16, 2010, 11:05 AM
I agree that they should be optional for H/J competition; no rider should be penalized for wearing safety equipment.


That is already in the rules.

Yes, I'm aware of the rule. I was really directing my comment to the unfortunate case of the junior rider who was made fun of by a professional at the in gate, as an example. Should have made the attribution clearer.

Said another way, I guess what I meant was that if a rider feels more comfortable wearing a safety vest, then by all means, they should. However, I don't agree that they should be forced on those of us who DON'T feel that way.

I have a very close friend who had two bad falls, with serious injuries, that almost caused her to quit riding, much as she loved it. Wearing a vest eventually allowed her to return to riding, feeling a bit safer. It also allowed her to make her DH more comfortable with that decision. It was a GREAT boon to her - and she wore it every ride, whether at home or showing.

I have tried several of the available vests and felt LESS safe, because I found them uncomfortable, distracting and like they limited my mobility. So I don't wear one.

poltroon
Nov. 16, 2010, 12:30 PM
No, there is no Rule in the H/J world that you must wear a 'regular' vest under and 'air' vest. That rule is only for XC eventing.

There's no rule that says you have to have a saddle pad in hunters, either. But it is how most people choose to use the equipment. (Technically, a girth isn't required either...)


As far as "overkill"? That's your opinion. I'd rather be safe than sorry, and being a couple of decades past my teens, I don't bounce like I used to. Being able to get up and walk away, instead of being hospitalized for me is not "overkill".

The air vest is a piece of equipment that may have its place - and that place is over a conventional vest. If you are concerned about safety, you should wear the conventional vest underneath - as the manufacturers recommend.


Q. Is the jacket BETA approved?
The Point Two air jackets are currently not BETA approved. They have been designed as a top up protection system to wear along side a BETA or European standard approved body protector.

Obviously you don't have to. But your attachment to the idea of wearing the air vest without a body protector underneath confuses me, if it's all about safety alone.

Even though I think it is overkill for me or for any rule, certainly you should wear one if you want to, and I would never think any less of you for doing so. Indeed, especially for someone who is medically fragile, these vests could be a boon, and I think it's important that everyone who wants to wear one feels that the community supports them in doing so.

TrueGrit
Nov. 16, 2010, 04:01 PM
Even though I think it is overkill for me or for any rule, certainly you should wear one if you want to, and I would never think any less of you for doing so. Indeed, especially for someone who is medically fragile, these vests could be a boon, and I think it's important that everyone who wants to wear one feels that the community supports them in doing so.

Well, thank you for that. How refreshing. And ultimately that was my point. Riders who wish to wear them ( air vest and / or regular vest ) should not be laughed out of the ring, or made to feel less than adequate in the community. More often than not, what is new and strange becomes the norm... but in the meantime ridiculing riders who are safety conscious, for whatever reason, is silly, to say the least.

TrueGrit
Nov. 16, 2010, 04:44 PM
I will answer this comment directly because we are taking SAFETY and RISK.

The air vests are still under scrutiny because they still have not been shown to have a significant reduction in injury. The MARKETING tells of a study by TRL but that was a "hammer on anvil" (Not a real world type of test) test using biometric dummies. I spoke with one of the engineers there and while the data is promising it is admitted not PROOF of the safety.



And all of the first hand experiences that I have encountered have been nothing but positive. So I guess in the Real World, it works. I'll continue to wear mine while you wait for more 'data'.

btw - I don't know which brand of air vest you are referring to, but the Point Two website shows plenty of examples of their air vest in action with real people - no biometric dummies. So maybe we're referring to 2 different products?

In any event, there is no 'perfect' product. There are still people who won't wear seatbelts on the slim chance that they are trapped in a submerging car... and when airbags were introduced in vehicles there was an enormous hue and cry from the vocal minority about how dangerous they can be and so unproven in the real world. Now the silence is deafening. Who doesn't buckle up in a car with airbags? :lol:

As it is, I'm riding with my air vest with/without my safety vest. (Yes, the Point Two air vest can be worn on its own. Feel free to contact the mfgr about this - it's their product, they know all about it.) Every ride - just like my helmet. And please don't snicker at me at the shows. I'm happy to be there, and nervous enough!:winkgrin:

TrueGrit
Nov. 16, 2010, 05:17 PM
... Said another way, I guess what I meant was that if a rider feels more comfortable wearing a safety vest, then by all means, they should. However, I don't agree that they should be forced on those of us who DON'T feel that way.

I have a very close friend who had two bad falls, with serious injuries, that almost caused her to quit riding, much as she loved it. Wearing a vest eventually allowed her to return to riding, feeling a bit safer. It also allowed her to make her DH more comfortable with that decision. It was a GREAT boon to her - and she wore it every ride, whether at home or showing.

...

^^^ This. My sentiments (and situation) exactly.

poltroon
Nov. 17, 2010, 02:47 AM
Well, thank you for that. How refreshing. And ultimately that was my point. Riders who wish to wear them ( air vest and / or regular vest ) should not be laughed out of the ring, or made to feel less than adequate in the community. More often than not, what is new and strange becomes the norm... but in the meantime ridiculing riders who are safety conscious, for whatever reason, is silly, to say the least.

I'm sorry if you felt ridiculed. I was merely giving my thoughts and advice and observations as someone who (like Reed) has competed in both eventing and hunter/jumpers and is pretty familiar with vests and with the hazards and nuance of each different sport. I think it's great that you're wearing a vest and certainly it's to the long term advantage of the sport if there's more of a market for this kind of equipment.

When I said "overkill", I was merely saying that I don't think it is necessary for safe participation for a typical rider... just as, for example, fancy sheepskin lined leather open-front boots are probably not strictly necessary for safely jumping a typical horse around 3' equitation. ;) It's not to say that you can't or shouldn't, or that your circumstances are necessarily the same as mine, only that that's not the first place I'd spend my money. If it's important to you, then no problem - go for it.

Across Sicily
Nov. 18, 2010, 02:00 PM
I'm sorry if you felt ridiculed. I was merely giving my thoughts and advice and observations as someone who (like Reed) has competed in both eventing and hunter/jumpers and is pretty familiar with vests and with the hazards and nuance of each different sport. I think it's great that you're wearing a vest and certainly it's to the long term advantage of the sport if there's more of a market for this kind of equipment.

When I said "overkill", I was merely saying that I don't think it is necessary for safe participation for a typical rider... just as, for example, fancy sheepskin lined leather open-front boots are probably not strictly necessary for safely jumping a typical horse around 3' equitation. ;) It's not to say that you can't or shouldn't, or that your circumstances are necessarily the same as mine, only that that's not the first place I'd spend my money. If it's important to you, then no problem - go for it.

I mentioned this earlier, but... there are plenty of accidents that happen ON THE FLAT that rival over-fences accidents. Yes, a fall from 5' or a rotational fall freakin' hurts, and probably more than falling from over a 3' fence, but still - who wants to get hurt either way???

There's a reason those in favor of helmets say "EVERY time, EVERY ride" - because accidents happen even when you're walking along sedately on Mr Trustworthy. As equestrians, the odds are not in our favor that we will be continually mounted and will never fall off. Even the very, very best pro goes flying sometimes. It's about the angle in which you hit, WHAT you hit (a rock vs soft arena dirt), the speed of impact, etc etc. Even the most well-schooled hunters spook sometimes, and don't get me started on the jumpers - particularly the lower level... all you need to do is go to a show and watch the 1.0m jumpers go around. ;)

Lucassb
Nov. 18, 2010, 02:40 PM
I mentioned this earlier, but... there are plenty of accidents that happen ON THE FLAT that rival over-fences accidents. Yes, a fall from 5' or a rotational fall freakin' hurts, and probably more than falling from over a 3' fence, but still - who wants to get hurt either way???

There's a reason those in favor of helmets say "EVERY time, EVERY ride" - because accidents happen even when you're walking along sedately on Mr Trustworthy. As equestrians, the odds are not in our favor that we will be continually mounted and will never fall off. Even the very, very best pro goes flying sometimes. It's about the angle in which you hit, WHAT you hit (a rock vs soft arena dirt), the speed of impact, etc etc. Even the most well-schooled hunters spook sometimes, and don't get me started on the jumpers - particularly the lower level... all you need to do is go to a show and watch the 1.0m jumpers go around. ;)

Again, I don't hear anyone talking about preventing a rider from wearing a vest if they prefer to do so... for whatever reason.

For me, there is a balance to strike between taking some safety precautions and still enjoying my ride. I ride for fun, and there are limits to the safety equipment that I can don without diminishing that enjoyment.

For example, now that approved helmets have improved, and I can purchase one that (unlike the early models) does not give me a migraine and doesn't impede my field of vision... I'm happy to wear one.

I don't find the current safety vests particularly comfortable to wear; they feel bulky and awkward and they limit my mobility in the saddle to the point where it significantly diminishes my enjoyment.

So, although I don't doubt that they might mitigate the damage from any fall I might have, I don't wear one and would strongly oppose any effort to make them mandatory. Being uncomfortably restricted on every ride is simply not worth the potential protection they might afford me. However, that is just my personal choice and I would never judge anyone who made a different decision.

Across Sicily
Nov. 18, 2010, 10:25 PM
Again, I don't hear anyone talking about preventing a rider from wearing a vest if they prefer to do so... for whatever reason.

For me, there is a balance to strike between taking some safety precautions and still enjoying my ride. I ride for fun, and there are limits to the safety equipment that I can don without diminishing that enjoyment.

For example, now that approved helmets have improved, and I can purchase one that (unlike the early models) does not give me a migraine and doesn't impede my field of vision... I'm happy to wear one.

I don't find the current safety vests particularly comfortable to wear; they feel bulky and awkward and they limit my mobility in the saddle to the point where it significantly diminishes my enjoyment.

So, although I don't doubt that they might mitigate the damage from any fall I might have, I don't wear one and would strongly oppose any effort to make them mandatory. Being uncomfortably restricted on every ride is simply not worth the potential protection they might afford me. However, that is just my personal choice and I would never judge anyone who made a different decision.

I actually agree with not mandating safety vests. However, I do wish that they were more accepted at horse shows. With the possible exception of our barn (and not all of us wear them to show... talking A hunters and jumpers) you very, very, very rarely see them. And those that do wear them run the risk of hearing snide comments, which is always obnoxious when you're trying to concentrate on your round and remain focused. I consider myself fortunate that other boarders and the Pros at my barn in particular are extremely encouraging and supportive of safety vests. The head pro went out of her way to applaud me for my decision to wear a vest, which she does herself.

Not all safety vests are for everyone; being unencumbered is high on my list of things I dislike while riding... and while it's probably not the most popular opinion on here (there seems to be a lot of dislike reserved for them on this board), I went with an air vest. I find that I don't even notice it while riding, and best of all it isn't too hot.

I came from a barn where wearing a helmet was looked down upon. Yeah, really. The change in focus at my current barn is wonderful.

TrueGrit
Nov. 21, 2010, 06:07 AM
I consider myself fortunate that other boarders and the Pros at my barn in particular are extremely encouraging and supportive of safety vests. The head pro went out of her way to applaud me for my decision to wear a vest, which she does herself.
...
I came from a barn where wearing a helmet was looked down upon. Yeah, really. The change in focus at my current barn is wonderful.

Truly commendable when a leading H/J Show Barn focuses on safety for their clients, and supports and encourages safety vests - even if they're not "in fashion" yet. You are fortunate, indeed. :yes:

Go Fish
Nov. 21, 2010, 02:39 PM
I'm starting to see safety vest on juniors in the jumpers around here. There are also several parents at my barn who insist that their kids wear vests while schooling at home. One insists that her child wears one while showing in the hunters.

I've never worn one, but I'm thinking about it. I'm a helmet Nazi so it stands to reason if I can protect myself easily with a piece of simple equipment, I should wear it. I've had enough cracked and broken ribs over the years that it just makes sense to me.

2foals
Nov. 21, 2010, 06:12 PM
I really appreciate the folks who are in the know re: air vests sharing their knowledge on this thread. Prior to this thread I didn't realize that the air vests needed to be worn in conjunction with a regular vest to provide the safety benefit intended. I have a relative who recently had a bad freak fall (dressage rider) and she was asking me about vests--air vests in particular. Similar to others, her confidence has taken a hit and I think that wearing a vest will make her feel more comfortable getting back on.

I am a h/j rider who wears a safety vest a decent amount of the time. I think they are only part of a safety program, though. When I first started reading this thread and the attached article, for a second I thought that the author was hoping to use a safety vest to make her feel more comfortable about getting back on the spooky horse that dumped her, and I was thinking, no that's not the right way to think! (Then I read the part where she sold the horse, which was the right move.)

I started wearing one after a nasty fall off a young horse about 10 years ago. Since I used to event, I probably felt a little more at home with the idea than I might have if I had a pure h/j rider all along. I've kept wearing one for a few reasons, but the main one is probably this: I have a wonderful DH who is incredibly supportive of my horse habit, and pretty much the only thing he's ever asked of me is to do my best to be safe. A disclaimer, though...I ride mostly young horses and I don't show a whole lot. I have worn my vest in the jumper divisions, but not in the hunters.

I look forward to seeing vests become more commonplace equipment among the h/j crowd. I think many amateurs are very comfortable with the idea that they are using available safety equipment, and parents are comfortable feeling that their kids have a little extra protection in a dangerous sport. The newer Tipperary vests are very unobtrusive and comfortable, and the length in the back is very compatible with riding on the flat (i.e. the back doesn't come down so low that it hits the back of the saddle). I found my old Charles Owen a bit hotter and bulkier. Frankly I don't think they are a big deal to wear.

Cinehorse
Jan. 6, 2012, 07:43 PM
Hi there

I've just stumbled across this thread and some of you seem to be misinformed. Point 2 does not inflate inwards. what a ridiculous comment . i am no rider and so cannot pass judgement on the technicalities.

But as the director of this commercial i was responsible for the well being of the female actress who was wearing the demonstration jacket . During the course of filming, the actress had the jacket inflated on her 30 times, and at no point did she complain of any such problems of her ribs hurting, restriction of breathing or pain.

If you want proof, just watch the video below..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An5O1DYAPC0

poltroon
Jan. 6, 2012, 07:46 PM
Cinehorse, please do not post the same comment twice on different threads, especially not when it's so borderline as advertising.