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  1. #1
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Exclamation Wear your vests and helmets kiddos!! I'll tell you why.

    Because they can save your butt. That's why. Even when you think all is good in the stars...you find your A$$ on the ground.

    I had to send one of my young adult students off in an ambulence this weekend.
    Not a fun thing for a teacher. Not fun at all.
    The what if's, and what could I have done, what did I do wrong, I'm not a good coach, of course haunts me now.
    I'm a semi pro and I help only on special request. So I'm relatively new to falls of kiddos/students and such.

    And the reality of it is, it happens. And in this case, now that I know what she doesn't know, I can prepare her for the next tough similar situation. But I feel like I should have randomly known what was about to happen before it happened. Coaches are caretakers in a sense. And I failed.

    People often look at me crooked because no matter what I"m riding/how old/how much training ect I wear my vest and my helmet. It's not even up for discussion.
    I ride a lot of well broke trail horses and such but no matter what- that vest goes on. Even in 110* weather.

    My student would have been in pretty good shape after her fall if she had her vest on.
    She was ejected from her little OTTB (who apparently had a track flashback or something) at a fairly quick speed and when she hit the ground she slid a good 15 meters and wrapped herself around an arena fence post.

    She was bruised black and blue in the little baby ribb area within a few minutes. I made her lay still and called 911 because who knows what could have been bruised or fractured (spleen, kidney, plelvis).

    Turns out she's just bruised right at the base of her rib cage.
    The first thing she said was, "damn, should have had my vest on".

    Now lil ol me can't make vests mandatory but I highly promote them. And I know a student that won herself hand galloping lessons and will hopfully be wearing her vest from now on.

    Wear your protective gear everyone. It really can save you from heartache and pain.
    : )

    That's it. That is my blog for the day.
    Happy Eventing and gear up!
    Kristen Wertz
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  2. #2
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    Feb. 22, 2000
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post
    I ride a lot of well broke trail horses and such but no matter what- that vest goes on. Even in 110* weather.
    That makes two of us.




  3. #3
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    Default

    ROFLMAO.

    Sorry. I just saw a mental picture of JER on a fat QH plunking along in an Exo!!

    : )
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2007
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    Carthage, NC
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    224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post
    People often look at me crooked because no matter what I"m riding/how old/how much training ect I wear my vest and my helmet. It's not even up for discussion.
    I ride a lot of well broke trail horses and such but no matter what- that vest goes on. Even in 110* weather.
    I just gained even more respect for you, Kristen. Safety vests have saved me so many times from becoming complete mush (snoopy knows what I mean on this one... ).

    A bunch of trail riders went by the other day (sans helmet, with just sneakers, you know the type), and I received the strangest looks and laughs as I was schooling a student's old QH, gussied up in safety equipment to the nines. Just made it that much more enjoyable.

    Does anyone know, are vests permitted for dressage classes and/or eventing dressage, or does that draw the line with judges on safety vs. "whatever", assuming you can't fit it under your jacket? I took two greenies to a dressage schooling show this weekend, and ended up just schooling when the show was cancelled. I forgot to pack a vest, and felt quite naked and scared...

    I still don't understand how dressage riders and/or eventing riders in dressage can feel safe in just a hunt cap... On a wound-up, fit eventer in a crowded warm up area, wouldn't one want all safety equipment on? I just. don't. get it. But that's just me proselytizing, so nevermind.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 16, 2005
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    Sergeantsville, NJ and South Hadley, MA
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    I've always worn a helmet, but I'm starting to consider wearing a vest as well...

    Yesterday my dressage horse barged through my outside aids and we ended up outside the ring. Slippery grass+moderate downhill slope+barefoot pony=horse and I both going down. Luckily, because of the hill, she landed farther down then I did and I got up ASAP so that I'd be out of the way if she flailed around getting up.

    This is the fourth time I've had a horse flip on me - twice on my mare when she has completely panicked about something and forgotten to pay attention to her own balance (she does not rear often at all), and once when XC schooling and she caught her foot in the corner of a revetted ditch when she decided mid-air that she didn't really want to do it. Every single time, I've been lucky and only been landed on up to the knee, and both of us walked away a bit sore but uninjured. The only time I was wearing a vest was the fall XC.

    Obviously, vests protect against some nasty injuries - but how much crush-type pressure can they really absorb?
    http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ncer/?start=20

    Mares are like neutrons. If there are too many in an area, you approach critical mass. And then there are explosions. Loud ones.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 22, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post
    ROFLMAO.

    Sorry. I just saw a mental picture of JER on a fat QH plunking along in an Exo!!

    : )
    Ah, you laugh. I have some lovely photos of myself doing endurance in a vest (this was pre-EXO) on a fat QH paint.

    The paint, who is the most intelligent horse I've ever encountered, is an off-the-charts wild man. Think John Belushi in Animal House. Big, big buck, too. But I found that after 15 miles or so, he was a different horse, so we did endurance.

    I save the EXO for special occasions, not trail riding. I also will sit on some horses bareback with no vest. I acquired the vest habit a long time ago when I had a mare with a hellacious buck. She would never hurt you, the falls weren't heavy, but she could drop her shoulder and twist her hip and you didn't have a chance. I thought the best course of action was to make sure I could always get right back on her. She was a smart mare and eventually got tired of dumping me to no avail.

    (At the time, I had a 24/7 high-pressure job where having to take time off for injury would be like being buried alive. Worse, actually, because I'd have people screaming at me the whole time.)

    I took some horses to a police training clinic once. We were the only English folks there. I wore my vest. The western folks said 'Why are you wearing that?'. I very pleasantly explained that I was a wuss. About ten minutes into the clinic, a QH freaked out at something -- I think it was the remote-controlled car -- dumped the rider and kicked her hard -- CRACK!!! -- in the ribs. No question that she had broken ribs, it was just a matter of how many.

    At the break, the western folk wanted to know where they could get a vest like mine.

    But really, the helmet and vest are nothing. I also fence -- I'm talking swords, not horse-containment -- and if you think helmets and vests are hot or claustrophobic, then get thee to a fencing center and spend an hour hopping about in a big heavy full-face mask, thick glove, hard plastic chest protector, impenetrable-fabric underarm protector and a fencing jacket, which is like a straightjacket but with two sleeves.




  7. #7
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    I hear ya! I ride my rising 4yo in one a lot of the time. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body, but she's BIG, and can get a bit worried and when that happens she stops listening. And then I start worrying about things going wrong and how much broken ribs would hurt. And then I stop riding which doesn't do either of us any good!

    I admit I don't *always* wear it since we're in a dressage saddle most of the time and I find that the back interferes with the cantle a bit, but if there's anything new being introduced, or there's snow coming off the roof etc, it absolutely goes on.
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  8. #8
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    Aug. 16, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    But really, the helmet and vest are nothing. I also fence -- I'm talking swords, not horse-containment -- and if you think helmets and vests are hot or claustrophobic, then get thee to a fencing center and spend an hour hopping about in a big heavy full-face mask, thick glove, hard plastic chest protector, impenetrable-fabric underarm protector and a fencing jacket, which is like a straightjacket but with two sleeves.
    As a fellow fencer, I haven't decided yet which is worse. I probably prefer the vest, though - at least there are no sleeves to screw with the range of motion in your shoulders.
    http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ncer/?start=20

    Mares are like neutrons. If there are too many in an area, you approach critical mass. And then there are explosions. Loud ones.



  9. #9
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Default ya, people laugh

    but the one horse out of all the horses I ride that has gotten me off was the western pleasure horse. The one that jogs so slow and soft that I accidentally took a nap one time on her.

    And there was not even a discussion. I was enjoying a nice lope and then that lil mare (15h tall 15h wide) ripped the reins right out of my hands and with her nose between her knees coiled up and let it rip. Just once.
    That's all it took and I was crashing back down on the saddle and then blup off the side.
    On that dang hard Texas black gumbo.
    On the way down I was thinking. "Thank you vest. Cusion the fall well pls."
    Actually it happened so fast I was thinking..."how the heck did I end up on the ground?"


    lol.

    And the 13h Welsh Cob that I'm riding. He ran off with me the other day. (I'm 6' tall)
    Can't help but laugh while trying to regain control of that one. I snickered the entire time through that run-away.

    I have to say I'm having a ball cross training and riding all of these different shapes and sizes. It's pure joy.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
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    149

    Default hmmmm

    I've always worn helmets, no questions asked, since a severe head injury about 9 years ago. I've always cringed at the price of the vests, but I guess when you really think about it, it's nothing considering what could happen.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 22, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline Weber View Post
    As a fellow fencer, I haven't decided yet which is worse. I probably prefer the vest, though - at least there are no sleeves to screw with the range of motion in your shoulders.
    And I would take helmet-hair over mask-hair any day.



  12. #12
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    Default not too exspensive at all!

    Some of my clients that have fears have ordered them for about 100 bucks.

    There is a Tipp in the catalogs for about $125 or so.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  13. #13
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    Cruise eBay as well. I landed a brand-new CO vest for about $100...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  14. #14
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    May. 24, 2007
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    Thanks for posting this, Kristen. (I'm Becky from AreaV!). I USED to be great about wearing a helmet all the time...but now that I'm at my own place, I admit to slacking, esp. when it's "just" dressage.

    But do you really wear a vest for everything? How about the rest of you--how many folks wear a vest EVERY time they ride??

    Something to think about, for sure!

    --Becky



  15. #15
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    May. 9, 2007
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    Carthage, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kairoshorses View Post
    But do you really wear a vest for everything? How about the rest of you--how many folks wear a vest EVERY time they ride??
    I may not count because I already posted, but yup, every ride. Until this past summer, I typically wore a vest for cross-country (of course), some stadium jumping, and with starting/working the babies and greenies. In September, I was launched and crashed hard (i.e., actually cracked the shell of the helmet) off a typically placid, happy-go-lucky 17.3h warmblood. The vest kept me from completely destroying my shoulder, collarbone, and scapula, and instead I only had an AC separation that took 2 months of recovery, sans riding. That time period cost me a lot, and I can't fathom if the accident had been worse.

    Since then, just knowing how quickly everything happened, I don't take any chances. To me, it's not worth the risk to ride without it, and it only takes 5 seconds to get, put on, and zip up. One never knows when something might go wrong (they're called "accidents" for a reason; if we knew it was coming, we'd prepare or change plans ). Ok, proselytizing finished for the day.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
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    Bucks County, PA
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    Default

    I'm thinking about it now too. I had one lately where a vest may have saved me some bruises (but how often does your horse get hit by a car right underneath you?).
    I ride in the indoor alot now and the footing is soft but the walls are hard. Anyway I was thinking about it but up here in area 2 it takes me 20 minutes to get dressed everyday. I wondering if my vest will fit over my: thermal undershirt, turtleneck, longsleeve T, fleece or sweater and then my jacket. I definitely put it on the first few times I rode the filly.



  17. #17
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Hippotamus View Post
    (but how often does your horse get hit by a car right underneath you?).
    WOW



  18. #18
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    Default I do

    I wear a vest every time. I also like the back support.
    Just last week one of the steadiest trail horses I ride spooked at the Christmas decorations in his front yard and was spinning under a tree next to a fence. I thought I was commin off for sure.
    It's not the fall but WHAT you fall on!!

    The only exception is flat work with my Booms. But he's my youngin and I've been his human in the saddle for a good 4.5 years now. I wore a vest for at least the first 6 months or so on the flat after starting him.

    Since he's been off I've started several more three year olds and become even more addicted to the vest.


    And for myself on XC whatever I end up with next (I'm toying with Exo or Rodney) will have shoulder pads.
    Why not save your shoulder/collar bone by 80%? Seems a no brainer to me.


    I also highly recommend all parents to put their little one's in a vest. Why not?
    You're gonna fall off over and over again. Just like you fell down over and over again when learning to walk.
    ; )
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  19. #19
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    Apr. 28, 2004
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    to the question asked by Glenbaer - yes you can show in a vest as it is in the catagory of safety equipment. There was actually a huge discussion over on the H/J boards about it too. I was amazed at the amount that felt vests were inapporiate in the H/J ring!! Or that they were only for beginners. I would actually applaud anyone who wore one for competitions besides cross country.
    I wore mine in dressage tests over the spring when my horse was being very naughty. I always wear it in stadium and obviously cross country.



  20. #20
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    Speaking of safety...did you know that an ASTM helmet is NOT required of a junior rider in the dressage phase of a horse trial or three day event? Nor is it required of juniors at USDF dressage shows. Yes indeedy.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



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