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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

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British Eventing update on Exo BodyCage

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  • British Eventing update on Exo BodyCage

    I had no idea they were even banned;


  • #2
    The article doesn't suggest that they were banned, but permitted. The rider must have been referring to a proposed ban? I wonder why the concerns suggested in the article arose. From the article -

    After extensive discussions and the commissioning of an independent report, British Eventing is continuing the permitted use of the Exo BodyCage for those few riders that would like to wear them.

    Any wearer of the BodyCage should be encouraged to inspect their garment for wear and tear particularly to the foam panels and to the side fastenings. Garments should not be worn if they have suffered any damage as this could seriously impair the protection offered. The competitor should also declare to the secretary that they will be wearing the Exo BodyCage so that officials can be alerted to this.


    • #3
      My supposition is that since it is out of production, it would never have been submitted for testing under the 2009 BETA protocol. Their new rule is that all body protectors (except the EXO) will have to meet the 2009 standard after January.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
      Thread killer Extraordinaire


      • #4
        Don't they need allen keys to get the rider out?
        "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


        • #5
          Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
          Don't they need allen keys to get the rider out?
          From what I have read, yes. But I think I read that the vest comes with its own allen key that is somehow attached or in a pocket.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
          Thread killer Extraordinaire


          • Original Poster

            SHouldn`t be an issue if the rider falls off at IKEA


            • #7
              I can see why the vest was banned if you need a set of instructions to get a rider out! I can't imagine trying to give a rider in a rotational fall CPR and having to stop to look for an allen wrench.


              • #8
                Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                I can see why the vest was banned if you need a set of instructions to get a rider out! I can't imagine trying to give a rider in a rotational fall CPR and having to stop to look for an allen wrench.
                It's not quite so dramatic. Seriously.

                The EXO has a very clearly marked side pouch that contains an allen key. Opening the EXO is not difficult at all. A conventional body protector has no such instructions and it's removal would not necessarily be instantly obvious to the EMTs. Add an inflatable vest to the mix and you have a few layers of 'safety' materials with which the EMTs would likely have no experience.

                Also, in a rotational fall in which the horse lands on you, you will be protected from the impact and resultant blunt force trauma to the chest and torso by the EXO. Not so much the conventional body protector.

                When the EXO was first produced, WoofWear gave allen keys to all the ambulances onsite at BE venues so it was never an issue.

                I don't know why so much scare talk continues to surround the only product sold to date that can actually protect your body from the force of a falling horse. I do know that the other body protector vendors were upset that EXO was patent-protected and therefore, they lobbied against BE adopting it as a standard or a sponsor.

                The sad truth is that eventers resisted and unlitmately rejected a safety device that was truly a safety device. It seems to me like a lot of this chatter about it is really people trying to justify to themselves why they didn't get one, as if trying to convince yourself that the EXO wasn't a safer body protector is somehow going to make you feel better about a missed opportunity to be safer out there on XC.


                • #9
                  I am not sure a paramedic would or should take the time to learn which vests require allen keys and which can be unzipped. They cut things off. They don't even look at your medical armbands. Speaking with my fellow equestrians who are paramedics they say that if it can't be cut off with trauma sheers it isn't safe. They don't take time to undo zippers or look for keys or laces.

                  Suggesting that the vests are so safe you don't need to have them removed in a hurry discounts incidents like a rider having a heart attack on course.

                  I'm not disagreeing that vests save lives, or that this vet might be safer, but time in an emergency is important and should be a consideration. I do disagree that eventers don't care about safety.
                  Last edited by enjoytheride; Dec. 8, 2017, 10:29 PM.


                  • #10
                    Around 2008 or so there was an awesome video where a rider wearing an EXO had a massive rotation. The horse slammed down on the rider. Next thing, the horse hops up, walks away and the rider pops up giving the international signal for touch down.

                    Grey horse, weldon's wall fence?

                    Me in mine in 2009.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                      I am not sure a paramedic would or should take the time to learn which vests require allen keys and which can be unzipped or cut off of you. They don't even look at your medical armbands. Speaking with my fellow equestrians who are paramedics they say that if it can't be cut off with trauma sheers and if someone with a wrench isn't right there before the paramedic it's not safe. I'm not disagreeing that vests save lives, or that this vet might be safer, but time in an emergency is important. I don't agree with your assessments that eventers don't want to be safer at all.
                      I guess I should start by saying I've been certified as an EMT, EMT-IV, EMT-I and Wilderness EMT-Medic. And I've got extra certification in trauma and advanced life support among other things.

                      I have shown my EXO to groups of EMS folk - EMTs, paramedics, PAs, MDs. The consensus was that the EXO is well-marked and clear in how to remove it. There was also much disbelief that the EXO wasn't mandated by the governing bodies and even more disbelief that all eventers didn't have one of these.

                      But people have different opinions and experiences. That said, I do hope that your paramedic friends formed their opinions by doing some research on the EXO and examining one first-hand.


                      • #12
                        I was a firefighter but did a lot of EMS and I don’t think needing an Allen wrench to open up a vest would be that much of an obstacle. There were plenty of times we went through a lot more trouble getting into someone’s house or car. We do tend to be a handy sort and generally work pretty well under pressure so I think the zipper vs Allen wrench decision moment would probably not be outside our scope.

                        I really wanted an EXO but it just didn’t fit.


                        • #13
                          I know the brief backstory on the EXO, but what would it take to get it going again? Or will it remain dead in the water?


                          • #14
                            I vaguely recall reading that the EXO might be associated with "whiplash" injury. This may have been a different safety vest, however, and/or it may have been relating to motocross injury.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DrHB View Post
                              I vaguely recall reading that the EXO might be associated with "whiplash" injury.
                              Yes, go on, let's do whatever we can to find fault with the EXO! Especially if we've never seen the damn thing!

                              Put another way, let's shoot down what might save us.

                              I suspect you're thinking about the shoulder pad issue with American football, that the shoulder pads put your head/neck out of alignment when your football helmet is removed. (EMS is well aware of this, blahblahblah.)

                              This is simply not the case with the EXO. It doesn't affect that part of your alignment.

                              Again, I'm struck by the lengths we go to to dissuade ourselves from a safety device. enjoytheride is concerned about doing CPR on someone in an EXO v a rider in a conventional vest after being landed on by the horse in a rotational fall. Does anyone know how many riders in cardiac arrest after a rotational fall have been brought back by CPR? You might consider also that the rider in the conventional set-up has most likely just suffered blunt force trauma to the chest and that the rider in the EXO has been protected against those crushing forces by the EXO cage.

                              Does someone think it's really smarter to undertake a greater risk of blunt force trauma to the chest (which is what is responsible for most rider deaths) so that their chest is (at least in their thinking) more available for CPR?

                              Why not wear a body protector - the EXO - that actually protects you from that same trauma?
                              Last edited by JER; Dec. 9, 2017, 04:39 PM.


                              • #16
                                I disagree with anyone saying that something that can’t be cut off with trauma shears is inherently dangerous. Those working EMS at events should be made aware of the possibility that riders might wear EXOs and how to remove them if necessary ... but to me that is not a reason to not use them or call them “unsafe”.

                                Lets face it, cutting apart a car with hydraulic tools is a lot more involved than a simple Allen wrench and rescue crews do that all the time.


                                • #17
                                  from the article:
                                  "After extensive discussions and the commissioning of an independent report, .....

                                  as it is the only body protector specifically designed and tested [without mechanical working parts] to provide crush protection in the event of a rotational fall"

                                  Has anyone seen the independent report or the testing of the vest?


                                  Maybe someone could get the patent from the riding charity and reintroduce. how about carbon fiber?


                                  • #18
                                    EXOs have a lot of great features, but the blunt reality is they didn't fit a lot of people. Now maybe if they'd caught on that would have been dealt with, but of all the people I know who looked into buying one only about 25% could get them to fit. I recall Rayers even had to make some adjustments to get his to fit.

                                    I tried one, even after the saleperson openly laughed at me and told me it wouldn't fit. Six feet tall, with a crazy long torso and D cup tatas is not in the fit catalog.
                                    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                                    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                                    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


                                    • #19
                                      No big conspiracy here, surely? Market forces at work. The air vest was novel technology when launched onto the market. It was tried by riders, liked, used and now there are several brands available and it is moving beyond the eventing market into other disciplines. The exo was novel when launched, tried by riders, too few liked and used, the company went out of business.
                                      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                                      • #20
                                        I'm sure that dismissing anyone with concerns about the vest as "not caring about safety" is the way to go. I read the article you posted, addressed my concerns with some people who work as paramedics at horse trials, brought their concerns here which were thrown out the window.