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Why don't we wear our vests like our helmets?

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  • Why don't we wear our vests like our helmets?

    Like all the time? Every ride?
    My friend had a slow-mo fall off her horse yesterday 2 strides after a cross rail, got unbalanced, tipped off. They are a confirmed Novice pair. Smack- 4 broken ribs. I just wonder if the vest would have helped?
    What's everyone's experience with falls and the vest helping?
    And why don't we wear them all the time like we wear our helmets? I can't come up with a good reason for myself. I don't even find it that uncomfortable.
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO - you're on course!

  • #2
    Do you mean when we're jump schooling ? Because I do. But not when I'm doing flat work. You can't wear them in the dressage ring- well I don't think you can anyway. I never gave it much thought when doing flat work unless I'm on a VERY green horse. Should be interesting to see what others think.


    • #3
      Less worried about our ribs than our brains?

      Less evidence that the vests save lives?

      I never get on a horse without my helmet--but I grew up in pony club, and it was a rule before it was a habit.

      You can absolutely wear your vest for dressage. In fact, I think you would be hard pressed to find a discipline that prohibited it.


      • #4
        I think a lot of people find them uncomfortable and hot. I tried different vests until I found one that fit like a glove - and I don't realize I'm wearing it.

        That being said - I *do* wear mine for every training ride or new horse. Always when jumping - often on the flat.

        Personal preference I suppose! FTR, I have a Casel-Equi eventing vest.


        • #5
          I almost always wear mine. The only recent (last decade) exception has been while riding a pony in an indoor.


          • #6
            I always wear a vest/helmet jumping or hacking. Not on the flat. A trail riding friend got dumped on a slow trail ride, broken ribs with a lacerated lung from a sharp fracture edge and was a sick pup. Broken ribs can be nasty, nasty.


            • #7
              I wear mine always when I ride my 4 yr old - he has dumped me twice and both times I landed on my back and very glad I had it on.

              In fact I showed him on the weekend and wore it for our dressage test - check out the pics and you can see why.



              • #8
                I grew up riding with the no helmet/no vest ever mentality... I do wear my helmet 90% of the time... But I don't wear my vest usually unless im schoooling xc... It just has never been habit.

                I've had lots of falls and no broken bones. I worked training racehorses and had to wear my vest, I had 1 fall that year and ended up with a pinched nerve and messed up shoulder.

                I had a freak fall on an old horse a few years ago, the witch took off uncontrollably and saw a coffin at the last minute, I went headfirst and ended up with a broken nose and swollew upper lip etc.... My nose and upper lip broke my fall.... LOL
                "My ideal horse is the horse that I fall in love with again every morning when I see his face hanging over the stable door, looking for breakfast. " - Jim Wofford


                • #9
                  Ever since my husband asked me whether it was legal to wear the vest SJ (yes), and whether it would get in my way or hurt my score (no), I have worn it in competition...
                  and after a bad fall in SJ (was wearing vest), I realized that there was NO reason not to wear it whenever I jumped.

                  So I do.
                  The big man -- my lost prince

                  The little brother, now my main man


                  • #10
                    I don't wear it at home... thought it has crossed my mind, especially when getting a green horse for the first time. I can see myself pulling it out for when we back a 3 year old colt this summer. I guess I just find it too awkward to wear for a long time, especially for flat work, which I do a lot of. I also kind of fear getting it super dirty or damaging it accidentally somehow and thus not having it for a show when I actually require it. I know that sounds kind of lame, but it's not like I have the money to go buy another one if I suddenly need a replacement.
                    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                    Thank you for everything boy.

                    Better View.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cruiser12 View Post
                      You can't wear them in the dressage ring- well I don't think you can anyway.
                      YES YOU CAN.

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                      • #12
                        i think it is kinda like the europeans and there hunt caps. they are soo used to them change is hard and does trake time. i admit. i ride in mine when i broke my 2 year old and when, now 5, goes somehwere way new. My husband wants to get me air jacket, i will certainely accept his gift but i had to explain to him i can't wear it all of the time because I would be spending too much money in canisters. We HATE ditches and have slid off the neck numerous times. But I wore it the other week, hacking out and meet the most wonderus, scary, large farm tractor ever. We leapt about 10' sideways, I stayed on, but I though for a second. I am not ashamed to wear it, if I feel neccesarry. I can admit that my riding ability is not the best and sometimes it is just plane smarter.
                        Memebr of Charlie Horse Riding Club.


                        • #13
                          Because I am not convinced that a vest will do much in the types of falls I usually have. I am completely convinced that a helmet will and so wear a helmet every time, ever ride. To me the consequences of being wrong about the vest are not nearly as great as the consequences of being wrong about the helmet. Also the vest I have is one of the older, bulkier vests that probably offers more protection than the really flexible ones, but I spend so much time fighting it that it is likely to cause more falls. I am also still at the young, dumb, and bounces stage so my opinions may change as I get older and stop bouncing as well when I hit the dirt.


                          • #14
                            i recently viewed some statistics of riding falls that involved injuries serious enough to need hospital treatment, and the %age of head injuries was pretty much exactly the same as the %age of torso injuries...
                            there's a t.v. programme over here (in the U.K.) called "Helicopter Heroes" about the Air Ambulance. Every single programme shows a horse rider being heli'd in, i think we underestimate quite how dangerous it is, esp when we've grown up steeped in it.
                            i wear my vest for all backing and early schooling work, for hacking out and schooling a horse i know to be tricky, and for all xc schooling and xc comps.
                            i'll wear it for sj'ing my very hyperreactive young mare when she starts, and might dispense with it when she feels relaxed and 'safe' (if that ever happens!)
                            must admit i wish wearing vests was more universally acceptable. there have been two fairly recent fatalities where a rider fell and was trodden on by their pony, and both died from injuries to the torso. it's likely that a good vest would have prevented those deaths... food for thought.


                            • #15
                              I wear mine every single ride on my TB but I used to slack a little when on my draft cross. She was a very steady eddy - I had her for a few years and never took a spill off of her.

                              I also wear my vest whenever I am trying out horses, even though it might look silly. We drove 6 hours to try out a horse who was supposedly "kid friendly" she was so easy to ride and it was a very fancy place. I admit, I was complaining to my husband about wearing my vest - but thank goodness he made me wear it. She was a terrible rearer, who I had no clue about when I got on her. The seller was horribly dishonest.


                              • #16
                                Because there is a line somewhere for everyone where risk becomes acceptable (starting, of course, with getting on a horse!). I don't wear mine unless required because it's just more stuff. I'm sure it's safer to suit up like an NFL player too, and I'm not doing that either. Doesn't matter to me if someone else does - it's just not for me. I have had some luck shutting up helmet nazis by pointing out that they're not wearing vests though.


                                • #17
                                  I guess I have just never thought about wearing my vest before... I only wear it xc but when you think of it, jumping stadium, especially in a grass arena/field, is absolutely no different then jumping xc...

                                  Maybe this thread has given me a revelation and I should start wearing my vest for jumping/conditioning/hacking!


                                  • #18
                                    I got to test my vest out yesterday. It paid for itself.
                                    Finnegan overjumped a little box and unbalanced me. I landed on the ground underneath him. He did quite the tap dance to avoid actually stepping on me but I took some solid hits to the rib cage from the fronts of his hooves. They were solid enough hits that I either would have sore enough ribs that I couldn't have remounted and continued schooling or would have actually fractured them.

                                    Poor Finnegan. Once I was out from under him he just stood there with this puzzled expression on his face, looking at me like "Whatcha doin'down there?"

                                    I will admit at this point I only plan to wear the vest for XC. However this is a fully custom vest that fits like crap It will be going back after Fair Hill on 5/8/11. I can't buy off the shelf and need the vest to ride there-entries are paid. I really did not realize until last night's schooling how badly the vest fits. It still did its job.
                                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                                    • #19
                                      I have made it a personal goal to wear my vest more often. I ride young horses on a daily basis and I don't wear my vest nearly enough. I bought the aerowear outlyne and I like it and I also have a tipperary so I have no excuse.


                                      • #20
                                        A vest might have helped in my bad accident in 2008. After that, I got an aerowear outlyne and wore it for jumping, on those very few occasions I jumped. I admit I got tired of wearing it for lessons that were supposed to include jumping but ended up being flat work. I gave up jumping entirely in late 2009 and have not worn the vest since then. *Should* wear it for hacking but I don't.
                                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"