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  1. #121
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    I don't think you're going to get hurt wearing an air vest. Don't know about the whole spinal fracture thing, but given the small chance of a fracture happening at all I'm not sure I would worry too much. But if point two is relying on anecdotal evidence that turns out to be inaccurate, why should I shell out the cash to buy one? One the other hand, Hit-Air seems to have done a fair bit of testing on their vests, even if it was done with motorcycles in mind.

    Air vests sound like a great idea, and if someone feels safer they will probably ride more confidently. I'm just not sure the benefits are worth the cost of the vest.

    ETA: I'm also skeptical of helmets that claim to be "safer" than other helmets. They're usually more expensive, and don't have test data supporting the claim. Helmets have to meet standards. It's pass/fail, not a ranking or even rating. Just because this one has a carbon fiber shell or that one has a special air pocket thingy or something does not mean it works better. Theoretically, sure. I still think that if my helmet fits well and is in good condition it will do its job. I do throw them away after falls (assuming I don't just land on my @s$).


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  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    nothing. I've hear claims from all over on the benefits of one product or another. These little companies (far smaller and less established than Charles Owen) should not be making claims that are unfounded, but that doesn't change the actual product. I'd hate to think that someone would forego using a safety device because they disapproved of advertising.
    I find it rather ironic that you will more willingly accept the idea that these vests offer increased protection without an associated risk (even though they do acknowledge the fail-dangerous aspect), as stated by the manufacturers, yet expect me to document the associated risks explicitly. Why are you not subjecting those companies to an equivalent hue and cry for their safety?

    Ah, that's right, because there is no standard they actually have to meet. They can sell whatever they want with no recourse to you as a rider. The same goes for standard vests, other than puncture protection.

    So let's look at your argument using another motorcycle device that some have adapted to horses, the back protector. In all their years of use, there is absolutely NO documented evidence that back protectors prevent injury, other than perhaps penetration - but even that remains undocumented (REFERENCE 6 on the last page). Yet, most riders use them. However, there continues to documented medical evidence that riders who wear them still can have multiple non-contiguous injuries in the thoracic spine. (sound familiar?) The only medical application of these back protectors is literally as a back board, rendering the spine immobile during transport.

    Would you therefore simply accept that back protectors used in the motorcycle industry be used in eventing? They meet the same standards as air vests. They accomplish the same ideas as a standard vest.

    To add, if you read some of my articles you will see that the only proven way to reduce injury on a horse is training and hours in the saddle. The absolute BEST method to avoid injury is to not jump or compete (that is the highest risk category). Experienced horsemen who ride only on the flat have the lowest injury rate of all riders. Of those who are injured, 14% have spine injuries. The majority (around 40% are head and extremities - including lacerations etc.). Given that, personally, I prefer to put my trust in my training and mileage than unproven technology.

    If air vests give a rider a sense of security, great, go for it. But at the same time it MUST be acknowledged that riders should NOT expect to be completely protected from injury as has been advertised. Nor should they be ignorant of the added risk of being potentially strapped to a panicked horse if the lanyard does not release from the cartridge. And even it if happens only 1 in 10,000 or 50,000 times, how will you feel when it is your turn? That is what customers should be asking.


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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    I find it rather ironic that you will more willingly accept the idea that these vests offer increased protection without an associated risk (even though they do acknowledge the fail-dangerous aspect), as stated by the manufacturers, yet expect me to document the associated risks explicitly. Why are you not subjecting those companies to an equivalent hue and cry for their safety?

    Ah, that's right, because there is no standard they actually have to meet. They can sell whatever they want with no recourse to you as a rider. The same goes for standard vests, other than puncture protection.

    So let's look at your argument using another motorcycle device that some have adapted to horses, the back protector. In all their years of use, there is absolutely NO documented evidence that back protectors prevent injury, other than perhaps penetration - but even that remains undocumented (REFERENCE 6 on the last page). Yet, most riders use them. However, there continues to documented medical evidence that riders who wear them still can have multiple non-contiguous injuries in the thoracic spine. (sound familiar?) The only medical application of these back protectors is literally as a back board, rendering the spine immobile during transport.

    Would you therefore simply accept that back protectors used in the motorcycle industry be used in eventing? They meet the same standards as air vests. They accomplish the same ideas as a standard vest.

    To add, if you read some of my articles you will see that the only proven way to reduce injury on a horse is training and hours in the saddle. The absolute BEST method to avoid injury is to not jump or compete (that is the highest risk category). Experienced horsemen who ride only on the flat have the lowest injury rate of all riders. Of those who are injured, 14% have spine injuries. The majority (around 40% are head and extremities - including lacerations etc.). Given that, personally, I prefer to put my trust in my training and mileage than unproven technology.

    If air vests give a rider a sense of security, great, go for it. But at the same time it MUST be acknowledged that riders should NOT expect to be completely protected from injury as has been advertised. Nor should they be ignorant of the added risk of being potentially strapped to a panicked horse if the lanyard does not release from the cartridge.
    No need to be melodramatic. I am concerned that there is the risk of injury from a vest. Who wouldn't be? What I want to see is that the benefit outweighs the harm. One can also be injured by a sea belt or an airbag in a car. I still use both, because the overall risk of harm is outweighed by the potential life saving benefit. It is a simple benefit/harm analysis.

    This is what I want to see with airvests. The research has not been done. But there are no documented cases of the air vest actually harming a rider. None. There are numerous testaments that the air vest has been effective and many of these testaments come from intelligent people who I respect.

    You state that "riders should NOT expect to be completely protected from injury as has been advertised." Do these companies actually state that riders are completed protected from injury? I am not an attorney but I surely see that this would be a stupid claim to make.

    Let's try not to create a straw man in order to make your point.

    To my knowledge:
    1. No one has claimed that the vests never malfunction.
    2. No one has claimed that one will never be injured when wearing a vest.
    3. No one has claimed that there is never a risk associated with wearing the vest.

    It is very simple. There is little evidence, beyond personal statements, that the air vests are effective. There is no evidence that the air vests are harmful. There is evidence that one can be injured despite wearing an air vest. There is evidence that the air vest can malfunction (fail to deploy).

    You state that " the only proven way to reduce injury on a horse is training and hours in the saddle." I take this to mean that you do not believe that safety helmets are proven to reduce injury. hmmm....



  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    This is what I want to see with airvests. The research has not been done. But there are no documented cases of the air vest actually harming a rider. None. There are numerous testaments that the air vest has been effective and many of these testaments come from intelligent people who I respect.
    I don't believe there are any documented/proven cases of either argument: either that an air vest has saved the rider from serious injury OR that an air vest has harmed a rider. There is only speculation.

    I would further add that in the cases where we speculate that the rider was spared serious injury, that there is zero information about how much of that protection was from the conventional vest and how much was from the air vest.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  5. #125
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    Nope, you are right. There are no proven cases. But there are a lot of testaments/ anecdotal evidence. While I am not one to accept anecdotal evidence as proof, I am willing to look at it. It is all self-report, at this point in time. That;s not much but it is a start... and I am all for looking for any way to increase my odds Peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    I don't believe there are any documented/proven cases of either argument: either that an air vest has saved the rider from serious injury OR that an air vest has harmed a rider. There is only speculation.

    I would further add that in the cases where we speculate that the rider was spared serious injury, that there is zero information about how much of that protection was from the conventional vest and how much was from the air vest.



  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    One can also be injured by a sea belt or an airbag in a car. I still use both, because the overall risk of harm is outweighed by the potential life saving benefit. It is a simple benefit/harm analysis.
    Something to keep in mind is that both seat belts and air bags have evolved significantly as data that came out of the field showed that they caused injury in certain circumstances.

    Once people became serious about equestrian helmet use, we saw a rapid evolution of new designs until finally a quality standard was established and 3rd party testing became part of the process of marketing a new helmet.

    It worries me that I don't see evidence of ongoing data collection and research from the air vest companies, a sense that they're progressing towards a more mature product.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


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  7. #127
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    Perhaps increased confidence while wearing a vest makes a rider more relaxed. Perhaps not. This is the Parelli apology for the fact that nobody in the inner circle of their cult uses helmets--they don't feel a horse is safe to ride (helmet or no) unless the "bond" or whatever is ironclad through years of join-up and piddling around swinging sticks and ropes at the animal. They claim that wearing a helmet gives riders a "false sense of security".

    So it is back to what JER said--safety equipment is part conventional wisdom, part rules, part stacking your odds, a little bit of evidence sometimes, and part belief system. I'm cool with that. I don't, after all, wear a motorcycle helmet when I drive our quad at 5mph pulling a chain harrow. In spite of the big sticker that says ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET right on the fender.

    Everybody has their own risk-benefit calculus.

    I just like to keep things in the "if you can't prove it, don't preach it" universe.
    Click here before you buy.


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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    Nope, you are right. There are no proven cases. But there are a lot of testaments/ anecdotal evidence. While I am not one to accept anecdotal evidence as proof, I am willing to look at it. It is all self-report, at this point in time. That;s not much but it is a start... and I am all for looking for any way to increase my odds Peace.
    I'm all about increasing my odds too.

    As far as I've seen, all of the anecdotal evidence is "I fell off horse; I was wearing an air vest (in addition to a conventional vest and helmet); I didn't die." (Troubling is that some of these cases include situations where the vest did not inflate before impact.)

    The thing is, I know lots of people who have fallen off horses without dying or even serious injury who didn't wear an air vest. And I'm well familiar with the human tendency to credit the most expensive part of your safety gear with the win when things go right.

    I love the idea; I want it to work.

    The very basic stats that USEA is collecting on accident reports may help with this.

    We all have to examine the evidence available to us today and make our choices. But I hope we will also keep pushing for more transparency in the data that exists and more data and more testing, at the very least until we have clear standards that can be tested and evaluated by a third party.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    ....
    2. No one has claimed that one will never be injured when wearing a vest.
    3. No one has claimed that there is never a risk associated with wearing the vest.


    Items 2 and 3, please see the European sanctions against P2 and their advertising claims.

    As for the missing item 1, no manufacturer has released the failure rate of their vests, although the data is there.

    As for no proof to causing injuries, give me enough time and money, I can show that Faith Cooke's and KOC's injuries were likely caused by the vest causing the torso to become semi rigid using methods by intelligent folks I respect.


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  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    3. No one has claimed that there is never a risk associated with wearing the vest.
    Well, then, what are those risks?

    Does the manufacturer/vendor tell you what those risks are? Don't you want to know before you operate the equipment?

    I'll give an example from the EMS world. I've mentioned this before on these threads but rapid compression and rapid deflation are known to be mechanisms of injury. There is a device known as pneumatic anti-shock garments or MAST pants, which is basically a giant blood pressure cuff in the form of trousers. Without any real research, MASTs were widely adopted in the field, not long after their invention by a Vietnam-era military doctor. The idea was that they were some kind of stabilizer for pelvic fractures and prevented shock by increasing venous return to the heart. It was never quite clear how they 'worked', and when some studies were finally done, it was more clear that these lovely garments were useless at best and possibly harmful.

    But by then, MASTs were already outlawed in most jurisdictions. One of the key issues was rapid deflation, which was not good for existing injuries (like unstable fractures) or vascular stabilization. ER personnel (often doctors) would cut the MASTs off, which resulted in sudden deflation.

    An air vest rapidly inflates and deflates. Why shouldn't we have these same concerns? Why shouldn't we want evidence-based guidelines for their use?


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  11. #131
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    I admit, JER, reading your post makes me yen for some use for giant inflatable trousers. They seem like they might be useful for something.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


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  12. #132
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    They can help keep you from passing out at the wheel (stick?) of your fighter jet when you're pulling multiple Gs. Or maybe when doing a max drop into water?
    Click here before you buy.



  13. #133
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    Inflatable pants?!? I almost always land on my right hip. I might be willing to re-examine my risk/benefit assessment if they come out with air pants!



  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevenDogs View Post
    I might be willing to re-examine my risk/benefit assessment if they come out with air pants!
    Air pants will make your butt look big.

    No marketing campaign in the world will overcome that factor.


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  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Items 2 and 3, please see the European sanctions against P2 and their advertising claims.
    As for the missing item 1, no manufacturer has released the failure rate of their vests, although the data is there.

    As for no proof to causing injuries, give me enough time and money, I can show that Faith Cooke's and KOC's injuries were likely caused by the vest causing the torso to become semi rigid using methods by intelligent folks I respect.
    1. Where are the European sanctions published? I could not find anything via an internet search and also could not find anything quoting the air vest manufactures as stating that "one will never be injured when wearing a vest." This is such a outlandish statement that I cannot fathom anyone making it.

    2. How do we know that the manufacturers have failure rate data with sufficient numbers to warrant dissemination?

    3. I am unsure as to whether you can show that Faith Cooke's and KOC's injuries were caused by the vest. That is, of course, an empirical question. :-)



  16. #136
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    http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/trade...44/306706.html

    And to show what nice folks they are in regard to their competition: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/trade...97/312145.html



  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    1. Where are the European sanctions published?
    Here you go:

    http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudi...ADJ_49969.aspx

    http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudi...DJ_155395.aspx

    You might also like to check out a previous thread on this BB.



  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    Air pants will make your butt look big.

    No marketing campaign in the world will overcome that factor.


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  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    Well, then, what are those risks?

    Does the manufacturer/vendor tell you what those risks are? Don't you want to know before you operate the equipment?

    I'll give an example from the EMS world. I've mentioned this before on these threads but rapid compression and rapid deflation are known to be mechanisms of injury. There is a device known as pneumatic anti-shock garments or MAST pants, which is basically a giant blood pressure cuff in the form of trousers. Without any real research, MASTs were widely adopted in the field, not long after their invention by a Vietnam-era military doctor. The idea was that they were some kind of stabilizer for pelvic fractures and prevented shock by increasing venous return to the heart. It was never quite clear how they 'worked', and when some studies were finally done, it was more clear that these lovely garments were useless at best and possibly harmful.

    But by then, MASTs were already outlawed in most jurisdictions. One of the key issues was rapid deflation, which was not good for existing injuries (like unstable fractures) or vascular stabilization. ER personnel (often doctors) would cut the MASTs off, which resulted in sudden deflation.

    An air vest rapidly inflates and deflates. Why shouldn't we have these same concerns? Why shouldn't we want evidence-based guidelines for their use?
    To further your MAST pants analogy, they were a perfect example of something that sounded like a good idea in theory (hey, if you limit blood flow to nonessential places like the legs, that results in better perfusion of the vital organs, right?) ... However, once research was actually done comparing outcomes with MAST pants vs. without them, it turned out they didn't work how they were claimed to and caused more harm than they prevented.



  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    ^^^ thank you. Shame on them for not revealing any real research behind their claims. This is so typical of marketing, yet so disappointing.

    However, I still cannot find the statement that "riders should expect to be completely protected from injury," as RAyers noted yesterday. I guess I am missing something.



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