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Finally! An Air Vest Study...Air Vest Users Should Read This!

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    Originally posted by JER View Post
    (It’s also my favorite form of windproofing but that’s not a safety thing.)
    Also best sports bra ever.

    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson

    Comment


      Originally posted by JER View Post

      How so?

      From what I understand, you're saying get a confidence boost when you wear your air vest. This confidence boost causes you to ride 'better' which you define as more forward and with more confidence.

      You then extended these thoughts to the generalization: 'the better you ride, the safer you are.'

      While I agree that 'better' riding is a component of safety, it's only one component of safety and it's a component of safety that at times has little value, like in a rotational fall.

      A sense of security is a good thing to have when riding a horse. But if that trust - that sense of of security - is placed in a safety device, it's a false sense of security if the device can't/doesn't perform as promised/believed.

      And then we get to what skydy just said about risk and perception of risk. The purported safety device might be affecting those metrics.
      I answered a very specific question about mindset from RAyers. I stated it was about me personally - someone riding well within competency limits and not Eventing/going Xc anymore. I stated how it made me ride better due to a perceived sense of greater safety (from what would be a soft splat on the flat if anything).
      I then also went in to say that whilst I could see how that mind set could be scaled up to Xc that it shouldn’t be relied on.

      You then extrapolated that to me saying that air jackets are a total placebo and that I think they make people safe and able to ride super confident because they will protect in a messy fall. Urm no. Re-read what I wrote.

      Taking my mindset and use of air jacket out of it (which was all I was responding to for the purpose of RAyers), my general view of them for Eventing as a safety device is the Jury is out. Not enough evidence to support their use either way. My gut feel is they probably do help in the majority of falls, or at least do no harm. I have a sneaky suspicion that time will demonstrate they have the potential to exacerbate injury in a minority of falls. Riding outside of your competency level or recklessly across Xc is not acceptable whether you wear a vest or not. Riding confidently Xc is a huge part of riding safely. I think if you are tackling Xc courses you shouldn’t be reliant on an air jacket for that confidence, it could come from your wider training.

      Comment


        Originally posted by headbrickwall View Post

        I answered a very specific question about mindset from RAyers. I stated it was about me personally - someone riding well within competency limits and not Eventing/going Xc anymore. I stated how it made me ride better due to a perceived sense of greater safety (from what would be a soft splat on the flat if anything).
        I then also went in to say that whilst I could see how that mind set could be scaled up to Xc that it shouldn’t be relied on.

        You then extrapolated that to me saying that air jackets are a total placebo and that I think they make people safe and able to ride super confident because they will protect in a messy fall. Urm no. Re-read what I wrote.

        Taking my mindset and use of air jacket out of it (which was all I was responding to for the purpose of RAyers), my general view of them for Eventing as a safety device is the Jury is out. Not enough evidence to support their use either way. My gut feel is they probably do help in the majority of falls, or at least do no harm. I have a sneaky suspicion that time will demonstrate they have the potential to exacerbate injury in a minority of falls. Riding outside of your competency level or recklessly across Xc is not acceptable whether you wear a vest or not. Riding confidently Xc is a huge part of riding safely. I think if you are tackling Xc courses you shouldn’t be reliant on an air jacket for that confidence, it could come from your wider training.
        I appreciate your response. However, the facts are very much against your ASSUMPTION. The study looked at over 14,000 falls over 10 years. More than enough to show significance.

        You say that JER made an assumption about you. You are now making assumptions about airvests.

        Comment


          Originally posted by RAyers View Post

          I appreciate your response. However, the facts are very much against your ASSUMPTION. The study looked at over 14,000 falls over 10 years. More than enough to show significance.

          You say that JER made an assumption about you. You are now making assumptions about airvests.
          Unfortunately I can only make assumptions in their safety at this stage when in my opinion their isn’t sufficient evidence to either support or refute their use.
          The paper linked at the beginning is a great starting point, research needs to be done. But it doesn’t adequately cover the complexities of the topic and as an early published retrospective review I wouldn’t expect it to either.

          Good day, I’m out

          Comment


            Maybe I didn’t explain this well before - and it’s something that RAyers and NoSuchPerson have also touched on.

            What I don’t understand is why a rider would choose an air vest over a conventional body protector in a situation in which the rider wants to feel more confident while riding.

            A conventional foam vest offers some level of impact protection. An air jacket requires a deployment system of questionable reliability to offer anything other than a layer of fabric. And even when deployed, it has to deploy at the right time to provide any impact protection and all that stuff we’ve gone on about on here for a decade.

            I don’t see how one could draw more confidence from the latter than from the former. We have a conventional body protector that offers some protection without a deployment mechanism - why not go for that?

            Comment


              I would suspect that someone who chooses to wear ONLY the air vest thinks that the protection from an air vest is equal to the protection of a conventional vest, so they choose the less bulky option. So, I don't think they're drawing MORE confidence from the air vs. traditional vest, just that they are drawing more confidence from wearing a vest at all vs. no vest.

              Comment


                The confidence thing is really interesting. When I put on (any) protective vest, I’m reminded that I’m about to do something that even this safety gear may not protect me from. It’s my ‘get serious’ moment before XC.

                I wonder why there isn’t a current ongoing effort to collect better data?

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Mango20 View Post
                  I would suspect that someone who chooses to wear ONLY the air vest thinks that the protection from an air vest is equal to the protection of a conventional vest, so they choose the less bulky option. So, I don't think they're drawing MORE confidence from the air vs. traditional vest, just that they are drawing more confidence from wearing a vest at all vs. no vest.
                  I think some of this difference is when you started wearing protective gear. My trainer grew up in pony club and wore a protective vest from a young age so was much more used to the feel of it. I didn't start eventing until I was a young adult and had to get used to wearing a stiff vest. As a child I did hunter, equitation, western pleasure/showmanship/trail. If I were say a show jumping professional (as I think is the person in the original post but I read that post a LONG time ago....last decade even), then getting used to a more rigid protective vest is more of a challenge than an air vest, which is much more pliable until deployed.

                  As far as feeling more confident and riding better, it is definitely psychological and not necessarily a bad thing. This is not to say someone who takes extra risks is better but if you feel more confident you don't let your bad habits take over, then you will do better.

                  Another good example of the psychological effect of the placebo is how I ride with and without my trainer. I tend to feel more confident if my trainer is just watching me jump - she doesn't even need to say anything, just tell me to jump that scary looking thing and I have faith that she thinks we can do it so instead of my nervous habit of eyes down/tilt forward/leg off, I sit up and eyes forward/chest up/leg on. Low and behold, we jump it. I have been able to translate this into solo rides and remind myself eyes up/leg on when I first put that jump up the next hole but it is less of a concious effort when my trainer is present.

                  So, as long as individual are not taking extra risks, I do not see the inherent harm in feeling more confident when wearing any vest.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                    Also best sports bra ever.
                    And they provide a bit of flotation, as I discovered when crossing an unexpectedly deep creek on a 14 hand pony..
                    http://wildwoodfarmnc.com

                    http://cantersgutenberg.wordpress.co...g-quiet-goose/

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                      As far as feeling more confident and riding better, it is definitely psychological and not necessarily a bad thing. This is not to say someone who takes extra risks is better but if you feel more confident you don't let your bad habits take over, then you will do better.
                      An example from elsewhere in eventing. Breaking a frangible pin is penalized when the destruction of another type of fence is not. This is to make riders respect a fence they know can fall rather than going at it flat out.

                      In BE, all riders are obliged to wear a body protector but they may also wear an air vest on top. It is not an either/or choice.
                      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by jumpsnake View Post
                        When I put on (any) protective vest, I’m reminded that I’m about to do something that even this safety gear may not protect me from. It’s my ‘get serious’ moment before XC.
                        I feel exactly the same. It is a reminder of the (very conscious) choice I am deciding to make on that day.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                          How can an airvest increase confidence? I would suggest that this statement implies a lack of trust in one's skills on a horse. When I put on a vest (CO Kontact, EXO,...) I never felt more confident. In my mind a vest reminds me that I can be killed (I have had friends killed or seriously injured wearing vests) and I had better damn well ride up to and beyond what I trained to do. I know that in my training in eventing is the very old school idea that XC is the last 10 minutes of your life so you have to let it go and just ride.

                          So, please enlighten me as to the mindset that an airvest creates and how is that different than wearing a regular vest?
                          Because I have landed on my back with just a regular eventing vest on and with an air vest over it. I smacked the back of my head with just a vest but with my air vest my head never even touched the ground.
                          "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by JER View Post

                            What I don’t understand is why a rider would choose an air vest over a conventional body protector in a situation in which the rider wants to feel more confident while riding.

                            1. Heat

                            2. Different areas of protection/different areas of concern.

                            I am specifically concerned about hip fracture. The airvest might provide no protection at all (given that hip fractures often occur when people land on their feet!), but the airvest does expand lower on the body than the line of the conventional body protector. So if all conditions were right, it might just be that the airvest would protect in a specific way that addresses a specific concern.

                            Other people might feel that the neck protection was worth something over and above the conventional body protector. They might be wrong, but they might not be.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by aregard View Post
                              Other people might feel that the neck protection was worth something over and above the conventional body protector. They might be wrong, but they might not be.
                              Since when does an air vest protect the neck?

                              It doesn’t and it can’t.

                              This is silly - the research on this was done eons ago in the development of the HANS for motorsport. This has been mentioned on this board countless times over the past decade+ - how anyone can still not accept this is beyond belief.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by JER View Post

                                Since when does an air vest protect the neck?

                                It doesn’t and it can’t.

                                This is silly - the research on this was done eons ago in the development of the HANS for motorsport. This has been mentioned on this board countless times over the past decade+ - how anyone can still not accept this is beyond belief.
                                Calm down. Many people may not have been reading about air vest research for the "past decade+" or reading about the development in motorsports.

                                I'm pointing out that different people may take a 'might as well' approach for reasons specific to themselves and their personal needs.

                                Comment


                                  Originally posted by aregard View Post

                                  Calm down. Many people may not have been reading about air vest research for the "past decade+" or reading about the development in motorsports.

                                  I'm pointing out that different people may take a 'might as well' approach for reasons specific to themselves and their personal needs.
                                  But you incorrectly implied there is some form of neck protection as noted by JER. I think that was a fair thing to call you out on given that a customer may incorrectly think that there is some form of neck protection. It has been well documented of cervical/upper thoracic spine fractures due to air vests.

                                  Comment


                                    Originally posted by SolarFlare View Post

                                    I have a theory (disclaimer: I am not a scientist. I came up with this thought after reading some articles). There are some studies showing that deep touch (firm hugging/squeezing, etc) can help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increase endorphins. I believe weighted blankets act in a similar way.

                                    So, when we put on a safety vest, that fits tightly and squeezes us, would we not get the same effect? A lowering of anxiety and blood pressure, and release of endorphins? From there, would we not feel more confident?

                                    This wouldn't apply to wearing just an air vest, but in competition they need to be over a regular crash vest, so it's the tight vest in play here.

                                    I'd be interested in your thoughts as a scientist RAyers, as to whether this makes any sense
                                    RAyers I'm bumping this up, as I am still interested to know your thoughts. You may have missed this, as I think a bunch of us tagged/quoted you on the same day (if you don't want to respond, fair enough, but wanted to make sure you didn't just miss it).
                                    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

                                    Comment


                                      Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                      It has been well documented of cervical/upper thoracic spine fractures due to air vests.
                                      Where is there documented evidence that air vests cause spinal fractures?

                                      I'm well aware of the study that started this thread, which showed a higher rate of serious injuries in people wearing vests and is certainly concerning, but doesn't show a definite causal relationship ... that the vest itself was the only possible reason for the higher likelihood of severe injury.

                                      I'm not defending air vests -- I won't wear one -- and I certainly think it's plausible that the stiffening of the thoracic spine and pressure when they forcefully inflate would place additional stress on the (unprotected) neck during an impact. But I'm curious as to where you've seen data indicating direct causality between air vests and spinal fractures, because I wasn't aware of any other air vest studies that were published. Was there data from another sport or something?

                                      Comment


                                        The issue is people seem to think a DIRECT study of airvests must be conducted. The reality is that many studies have been done on rigid and soft bolsters on neck injury. And some of them show increased likelihood based on odds ratio analysis of the injuries (e.g. just like the OP study). The biggest amount of work has been done in MotoGP and auto racing.

                                        Here are a few articles I read in forming my analysis of airvests and neck injury:


                                        Protection from motorcycle neck–braces using FE modelling
                                        Frank Meyer, Caroline Deck, Re ́my Willinger
                                        Sports Engineering (2018) 21:267–276

                                        The Efficacy of a Motocross Neck Brace in Reducing Injury
                                        Deepak Sathyanarayan , Roger Nightingale , Colin Ballantyne , Matthew B. Panzer
                                        University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; Duke University, Durham, NC; Alpinestars Europe, Inc., Asolo Italy

                                        Procedia Engineering 112 (2015) 71 – 76
                                        7th Asia-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology, APCST 2015
                                        Neck braces in motocross: different designs and their effects on muscular activity of the neck
                                        Gerrit Thiele , Patricia Kafka , Stefan Litzenberger , Anton Sabo

                                        Spinal cord and brain injury protection: testing concept for a protective device
                                        J R Engsberg, J W Standeven, T L Shurtleff, J M Tricamo & W M Landau
                                        Spinal Cord volume 47, pages634–639(2009)

                                        United States patent US6434756B1 (Neck and Spine Apparatus) see the references.

                                        Elite Motorcycle Racing: Crash Types and Injury Patterns in the MotoGP Class
                                        John Bedolla, MD, Jaron Santelli, MD, John Sabra, MD, Jose G. Cabanas, MD, Chris Ziebell, MD, Steve Olvey, MD
                                        American Journal of Emergency Medicine 34 (2016) 1872–1875

                                        If you search on neck brace design and studies, you will see a lot of work that shows soft bolsters (such as is an airvest) so little to prevent the fracture of the cervical spine on impact (you can fracture your spine falling on your butt or via "whiplash" movements). The only systems shown to work are rigid bolsters such as the aforementioned patent, HANS devices used in NASCAR, F1, and other forms of auto racing.

                                        FEA analysis of motorcycle neck braces show that if the forces are not imparted onto the shoulders or torso, then the focus must go through the support columns of the neck. Thus, things such as soft collars and airvests can exacerbate cervical injury by holding the neck in an inflexible (but not incompressible) position. Therefore, rigid bolsters that attach the helmet to a yolk that then covers the shoulders is the only way to reduce neck injury.

                                        Comment

                                          Original Poster

                                          We as riders need to take learning to fall properly more seriously. If riders invested the money in Landsafe over an air vest, I bet their life and injuries would be spared more often than from the simple use of an airvest.
                                          Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                          Comment

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