I think it depends on what you are doing and how far you are pushing outside your (or your horse's) comfort zone. Personally I wear a body protector (vest?) when I am hacking on roads, and when I am schooling silly youngsters. however, I don't think all young horses necessarily demand a body protector because they vary so much in their behaviour (some may be more level headed than older horses), but it certainly doesn't hurt. If you DO get one, be sure to try on several and find one you are comfortable in, otherwise it will end up staying in your tack trunk!
Well,I wish I had been wearing one a couple of months ago ,while riding a young horse undersaddle only a month. I came off and had 9 rib fractures. I think I got stepped on. A vest probably would have helped. I did borrow one for a few weeks when I started riding agin ,and was too sore to want to even think about how it would hurt if I came off again.I would put one on if I were to get on that silly baby again.
I wear a vest (Airowear Outlyne) every ride. Lessons on a schoolhorse. Riding my solid mare in the arena. Why? I'm older. Life is unpredictable. I have responsibilities. If I could predict when/how I'd hit the ground, I wouldn't wear a helmet, either. But I can't. So I wear a helmet and vest, every ride. Same as buckling my seatbelt when I drive. No difference to me.
I cracked a couple ribs last January. They (mostly) don't bother me now, but I'll avoid that kind of inconvenience and pain however I can. I'm going to use every advantage I can to keep riding.
Thanks. I found one on DOVER and like it. I have to online shop. I live in NO WHERE ville.
I would appreciate some advice on fit.
I found Intec® Flex-Rider Body Protector. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...cd2=1254776160
I like the Airowear Outlyne flexble http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...log_code=1X840, but out of my price range but it has better sizing. The Intec says 37-39 bust and 28-29 waist - aka LARGE. Now, I'm not a biggie on top boob wise- just an A with a wide rib cage of 39/40. (btw- a small rant that they don't make bras for size A in a band size bigger than 36 in most cases.) The good Lord made with big husky shoulders too...great for shovelling manure, nasty in a off the shoulder dress. And my waist, though I'm not heavy is a 32 waist. From the picture, it looks like it might clear the tummy but any thoughts from you gals would be appreciated.
Make sure the vest has an ASTM or SEI approval to be most protective. You may have to ask the catalog desk or read the TINY print of description in catalogs.
The most popular, Tipparary Eventing vest, is not approved because of the laced sides not protecting against stabbing from sticks if you land on them. But all folks LOVE the fit. They choose to use that vest in spite of model not being approved.
Vest can be helpful, not sure I would ride wearing it every ride. They can be hot and somewhat restrictive.
$200, including shipping to US. Took about 10 days. Taking good measurements is important, because returning it abroad would be a hassle, I think.
It's a Beta, level 3. The Outlyne has darts in front, so it starts off fitting reasonably well. It adjusts at the shoulders (for length) then has adjustments at the bustline and waist for circumference. It is very comfortable and doesn't restrict in any way. At first I thought the lower back protector was a little long, but I got over that. The two side tabs make it easy to adjust daily, if you like, depending on how much clothing you're wearing. The foam material has holes in it, so the heat escapes.
It softens with your body heat, so in the winter, I put it on as I groom and saddle. Then zip it up as I mount. By then it is very pliable.
I don't know about other vests, because I've not tried them. The Outlyne doesn't ride up in front, rests just about at my hip bones when seated. It has taken a bit of attention to keep my upper arms vertical and elbows at my side, but it's manageable. Only other drawback is that the cover isn't removable and washable. It can be vacuumed and sponged, but the color is good in that it doesn't show slobber.
I have to say that I like riding on the trails/roadwork and on greenies with my vest. After some of the falls I have taken on course where the vest has helped (IMHO) I like the idea. Not sure how much help it really is, but like a helmet the extra protection is always welcome. I have the Tipperary lace up model. I haven't tried any of the newer models mentioned on this thread.
I HAVE to wear my vest every day for work (galloping racehorses) so having a vest that's comfortable is nice! I have the tipperary lace up vest, and while I do tend to get a little warm after having it on for hours, I do find it rather comfortable otherwise.
About a year ago, I purchased the Intec Flex Rider vest. I was on a budget so the price was attractive. It was so stiff and bulky, plus kind of long in the back. I was worried about the back actually hitting the back of my saddle. Plus I didn't think it was true to size per the measurements. I returned it and then lucked up with a lower price model of Tipperay vest that was on a good sale at local tack shop.
And remember, no matter how much a vest costs, it's cheaper than one broken rib, or a crushed sternum.
I only wore my vest for XC schooling, clinics, and horse trails when I was eventing, and that was before rules required them for XC. They are the least expensive insurance, next to a good helmet, that you can buy.