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Protective Vests?

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  • Protective Vests?

    In my endless wisdom, I have decided to spend most of the coming summer riding the green off of some goofy young horses as well as dabbling in jumping and tadpole level eventing with my more experienced horse. I also semi-agreed to helping a local trainer with her young stock - still working out the kinks with that one. I won't be jumping so much as riding unpredictable, silly horses in less-than-ideal conditions (fields, trails, old arenas, etc.).

    As this now seems to be a somewhat risky thing to do, I have decided that a protective vest would be a smart thing to invest in. Does anyone have any moderately-priced recommendations? I don't want to pa over $200 new. I think this one looks good: http://www.doversaddlery.com/intec®-...st/p/X1-40548/

    I honestly anticipate meeting the ground at some point this summer. Do I need to replace the vest after each fall?

  • #2
    As others can attest here, I prefer Carhartt coats for protective gear.

    No vest can really protect. Our insides are too sloshy so even if there are no bruises, bones can break, things can bleed. The standards are so weak and insubstantiative they really carry little meaning.

    I use a Tipperary as my day-to-day vest and whenever riding unknowns. Wear what is comfortable and go with it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have the predecessor to the vest you are looking at and it was definitely a good buy for the price. The Crusader looks even more comfortable as it looks more tailored to the contours of the body.

      While I can't dispute what RAyers is saying, IMO some "armor" of the non-inflatable kind can't hurt and might help. I've had two falls in the last two months where I wished I was wearing mine and where I am pretty sure my pain would have been less (ribs landed on top of a ground pole, for ex.).

      IMO, my vest does not need replacement after a fall. The foam (really some sort of low durometer polyurethane, it appears) in it has memory and will not take a set like the expanded polystyrene in helmets.
      Last edited by caballero; Jan. 25, 2013, 01:01 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a short back casel Equi vest for use with English and western riding. Use it every ride and love it. Going on 3 yrs now.

        Comment


        • #5
          You may need to try different vests on before you figure out what is comfortable for you. I think vests a provide great protection from normal falls. I had 2 very similar falls off the back of my horse, landing on my back. After the first one, without a vest, I had huge bruises all down my back for 6 weeks. After the second one, while wearing the vest, I got back on, finished the trail ride, and happily realized I was unbruised. I replaced the helmet each time, but not the vest.

          Comment


          • #6
            Vest fit is such a personal thing and it is worth it to be selective. I found I couldn't stand any that overlap/adjust around the sides of torso (like the intec OP linked to, and a lot not in the tipperary style). If your build is such that the vest doesn't overlap on the adjustments at the sides of torso (mine isn't) then you might find them more tolerable. Your basic Tip, tho, didn't have the safety ratings required to school/compete on a local trial, even though it was what I prefer to actually wear.

            The thing is if you (or your student) doesn't really like the fit, you won't wear it, which undoes all the good of buying one. So don't settle, even it if means having to special order and spend a bit more. I ended up getting my awkwardly-growing teen daughter a Aerodyne fancy form-fitting model that was more than I planned to spend because fitting her adolenscent chest area was a, ahem, touchy issue, and myself one I ordered from Ireland that is popular with jockeys (I have rather nothing in the bust department but am longwaisted). My advice is to try as many different styles as you can before you settle on investing in one but do invest. Also, unless you are growing teen, think small--they work better as the next-to-bottom layer, very snug. Everytime you have an adjustment you have to overlap, you will end up with a stiff and sore spot. Most vests soften and stretch with body heat, so that the vest that you were sure was too snug to move in when you put it on ends up being the perfect fit.

            Good luck and yay for your wisdom!
            At all times, we are either training or untraining.
            Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              At the moment there are no standards defining what is "approved" when events (including recognized) require vests.
              The Tipperary and others like it do not rate to the highest standard because of the small square design -- could allow for a puncture wound in between the squares. Most of us have concluded this is a somewhat unlikely scenario. You see these vests at every level of eventing as they are comfortable.

              Try a bunch on, and wear whatever is well fitted and comfortable. They will all provide some "padding" for impacts, reducing bruising etc. None of them will protect you against truly serious injury, but it's better than nothing.
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=trabern;6800631 Your basic Tip, tho, didn't have the safety ratings required to school/compete on a local trial, even though it was what I prefer to actually wear.

                [/QUOTE]

                No safety ratings are required with vests.

                I agree with trying them on, sit in a saddle and make sure the back doesn't hit the cantle too!

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=trabern;6800631 Your basic Tip, tho, didn't have the safety ratings required to school/compete on a local trial, even though it was what I prefer to actually wear.

                  [/QUOTE]

                  No safety ratings are required with vests.

                  I agree with trying them on, sit in a saddle and make sure the back doesn't hit the cantle too!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you're making a wise decision.

                    I ride with a vest almost every time I'm on a horse. The horses I ride tend to be green or of ill repute, and I like to be able to stagger to my feet and get back on without too much fear.

                    Vests are great for riding out with green/young/bouncy horses. It doesn't hurt when you get a tree branch in the ribs. You can lean in to a barbed wire fence to close a difficult gate. When the wind picks up and it's starting to get dark, you won't get so cold. Etc. -- although most of these things aren't what the vest is advertised for.

                    The best advice is to find one that fits and is easy to put on/take off. Then make sure that you keep it in your car or barn or somewhere that you'll have it on hand when you think you'll need it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Perhaps I wasn't clear. A clinic and competition venue here requires a rated vest. All the comps and clinics in my area have required a rated vest for any minor. I assume it is an insurance issue. The standard Tip doesnt have the requisite BETA rating.
                      At all times, we are either training or untraining.
                      Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        BETA approval is not the only measure of quality assurance on equestrian body protectors.

                        Depending on country of origin and manufacturer's wishes, a vest may be certified to ASTM F1937-04 (US) and/or EN 13158:2000 (Europe) without being submitted to BETA for their approval.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Horze has a really nice looking vest coming out in the catalog they sent to dealers. I think the pricepoint was 200 or so retail, so with the ever present 50% discount code would be a hundred bucks.

                          The stuff is hit or miss but with the low cost and the great customer service on returns I am planning on picking one up when it becomes available. No date on that yet but i would assume it to be spring.

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Originally posted by trabern View Post
                            Perhaps I wasn't clear. A clinic and competition venue here requires a rated vest. All the comps and clinics in my area have required a rated vest for any minor. I assume it is an insurance issue. The standard Tip doesnt have the requisite BETA rating.
                            You are quite mistaken if they are USEF/USEA governed events. There is NO, NONE, ZIP, NADA requirement for standard approved vests in the USA. Perhaps the venue owners may require it for other reasons. You have several prominent members of the USEF Eventing Safety Committee as well as EMSA in your area. I think they can explain to you. This was a huge discussion at the USEA conference safety vest symposium this year.

                            The reason there is no requirement is the standards are so vague and specious that, as I said, a Carhartt parka can qualify.

                            It is strange that you say the Tipp doesn't meet BETA ratings because mine has a BETA 3. The only fault, as mentioned was the small panel design, potentially allowing penetration of a sharp object.

                            As for these standards being measures of quality assurance, that too is incorrect. They are simply minimum performance requirements. Any company can use any method to get there, hence the great disparity in vest cost. Some use very high quality materials, e.g. Knox foam versus EPS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have three vests.

                              Tipp
                              Aero Wear Outline
                              Rodney Powell

                              I wear the Areowear all the time. Daily riding at for showing jumping. ALWAYS.

                              I really like the Aerowear.
                              I'm super tall though so the measurements don't fit me just right..It's a wee short.
                              I love my Rodney Powell too but it's much much more restrictive and I use it for XC only.

                              The Aerowear wasn't very expensive. I bought it from Amira Equi or something like that...

                              Good vest. The Outlyne or whatever they call it is made for chics. I have teeny sports boobies and though it's def made for a chest it fits me just fine. Realizing I should not buy "women's" vest my Rodney Powell is the men's design and it's super duper tight. love it.
                              http://kaboomeventing.com/
                              http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I am aware that a vest will not keep me from really serious damage; certain things will happen even if I wear a vest. Mainly I am looking for something that will help keep me safe if a green bean tosses me onto a tree or steps on me or something similar. If it is destroyed I want to be able to replace it without feeling like I am pulling teeth. I like the look of the Rodney Powell. It is within my price range and it seems to be what I am looking for. Though the flexibility of the Airowear is exactly what I want. Hm, how to justify the extra hundred bucks. I really need a place to try them on; there are no local tack shops that have these vests.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I really need a place to try them on; there are no local tack shops that have these vests.
                                  I know it's absolutely the wrong time of year, but I'll wager any eventer would be more than happy to let you examine and even try on their vest at a show, so long as you don't ask them 20 minutes before XC or something.
                                  Click here before you buy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My vest saved me from a painful lower back today when Bacon slipped on some wet snow out on a hack. His hind end dropped completely out from under him and I went off backwards hitting hard ground with the small of my back. Had it not been for the tail flap I'd be in a lot of pain right now. As it was, the pain was mostly gone by the time I got home. An 800 mg Ibuprofen sealed the deal.

                                    It's getting to the point where I simply won't hack out or jump without one.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I will look further into this RAyers. The extent of my knowledge at this point is that entry for said clinic and comp clearly stated a Beta 3 vest required of the kids--on the list with armband and approved helmet. Like I said, I think this is a rule of the venue for insurance purposes, not a national org rule. Another area trainer with a schooling venue requires Beta 3 vest to use facility (among other things) for everybody, not just under 18. Again, I am thinking that is a concession to insurance or maybe a way to screen out yahoos, I haven't asked. Our 5 yr old standard Tips didn't have that, so we had to order accredited vests. I actually ended up with a Beta 3 jockey vest from Tipperary, it just isn't the same as the basic model we all used to have.

                                      It would be an uncomfortable place to be if USEF USEA rules forbid a venue for requiring kids to wear vests yet venue insurance demanded it. Like when the lovely community arena South of me requires anyone riding on-sight to have a helmet (whether or not competing) as a rule that keeps them insured for a reasonable amount. Some contingent of the Western QH show crowd got upset and waived around some AQHA rules and convinced the show to move away from that lovely venue , all to preserve their rights to show WP in felt hats. Still scratching my head.

                                      Although without a doubt the Carhartt isn't without merit. Actually one of those would have saved me a great deal of road-rash in the near past. Tho pesky hot I imagine come summer.

                                      Originally posted by RAyers View Post


                                      You are quite mistaken if they are USEF/USEA governed events. There is NO, NONE, ZIP, NADA requirement for standard approved vests in the USA. Perhaps the venue owners may require it for other reasons. You have several prominent members of the USEF Eventing Safety Committee as well as EMSA in your area. I think they can explain to you. This was a huge discussion at the USEA conference safety vest symposium this year.

                                      The reason there is no requirement is the standards are so vague and specious that, as I said, a Carhartt parka can qualify.

                                      It is strange that you say the Tipp doesn't meet BETA ratings because mine has a BETA 3. The only fault, as mentioned was the small panel design, potentially allowing penetration of a sharp object.

                                      As for these standards being measures of quality assurance, that too is incorrect. They are simply minimum performance requirements. Any company can use any method to get there, hence the great disparity in vest cost. Some use very high quality materials, e.g. Knox foam versus EPS.
                                      Last edited by trabern; Jan. 28, 2013, 11:46 AM. Reason: Left out words.
                                      At all times, we are either training or untraining.
                                      Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        So I've been following this thread with great interest as I'm getting back into lower levels after a 20+ year break (yes, that is a 20). I need to purchase a vest that will allow me to compete at Novice levels in USEA zones II & III. While I'm all for trying stuff on to find what best suits...I just want to make sure I understand this:

                                        ANY vest will allow me to compete so long as I don't leave it in the tack stall when I mount up for x-ctry.

                                        This is like picking out white paint...too many options for what sounds to be all the same. Any specific recommendations GREATLY appreciated. PS - space for bosoms appreciated.

                                        Comment

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