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Anyone ride in a protective vest?

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  • Anyone ride in a protective vest?

    After falling off twice in a row, I've picked up a protective vest to lesson in - neither fall was bad (even if I am still sore and bruised!), but for some reason I am now REALLY anxious and just having ordered the vest I feel less crazed about my next lesson. But, me being me, I'm now sure the entire barn will be laughing at me - which, yeah, should not bother me, I know. And I know they won't actually be laughing, but, yeah. Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone else rides in one - maybe hearing that other non-eventers do will make me feel less self-conscious?

    (On the other hand, I do hope to switch to evening at SOME point in the distant future, so maybe I can just look at it like practice for that? )

  • #2
    My dd does anytime she is on a horse. She showed in a few dressage schooling shows also with it on. She is 12 now and will still ride in one. I have one and don't wear it a lot, I got it when i was running some cross country but I used it when i had a really green bucking pony and when i got my new horse for the first few rides until I got to know him. I'm getting to old to get hurt lol. Truthfully who cares if they laugh if you feel more comfortable and it helps you relax more it's better for you and the horse. Have fun!
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


    • #3
      I don't but we have a couple of adults and a few small kids who do, and to be honest I never even give them a second thought. If it gives you peace of mind go ahead and wear it. I have never heard a comment one way or another to anyone wearing a vest, or even conversations amongst other boarders about why some people wear them.


      • #4
        RPP, I ride in one, a Racesafe, and no one has ever laughed at me (at least not to my face). I even show in it. Whenever I refer to my vest and kind of laugh at myself, people tell me not to--they say I am setting a good example, so that's what I try to concentrate on. I have ridden in clinics with it, too, and no one has said a word. If they did, that's their problem anyway, not mine. Since I got it, I have taken a couple of hard falls off my green horse. One fall was a total fluke--I was warming up a schoolie at an IEA show and jumping a course of crossrails. The horse stumbled and did a nose-dive. I fell hard and am so glad I had my vest on.
        Last edited by Dewey; Apr. 9, 2013, 02:15 PM.
        I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


        • #5
          I ride in a Tipperary. I keep my horses at home and thus ride alone 99% of the time, often on greenies. I do what I can to keep myself as safe as possible -- it's just practical IMO. Enjoy your vest!


          • #6
            I wear an Airowear outlyne vest to ride something I've never sat on before, or when the horses are being reactive. I do event so it is good practice for me.

            Vests have come such a long ways now. Mine is cool, light, and very flexible.
            Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
            you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


            • #7
              Are you a junior? If so, you can use the "mom excuse." I am a mom and I require my daughter to wear a vest unless it is unduly hot. I just feel it gives a little extra protection in case of certain kinds of falls -- like falling on a fence, or getting stepped on. Even just falling on the ground is not exactly comfortable, and hopefully the vest distributes some of the force.

              I am surprised more hunter/jumpers don't wear vests, but I guess the expense of it is a bit daunting for some. I believe the Pony Club now requires protective vests for meetings that will involve jumping.

              Don't think of yourself as weird, think of yourself as cutting-edge.


              • #8
                Originally posted by RolyPolyPony View Post
                But, me being me, I'm now sure the entire barn will be laughing at me - which, yeah, should not bother me, I know.
                When I was a kid, everyone laughed at me because I wore a helmet. Now it seems weird to not wear a helmet.

                I don't normally wear a vest, but my youngster is not very coordinated in bucking and has not thrown me yet. But I'm rehabbing him from an injury and will be getting on him for the first time in 6 months. You can bet your behind I'll be wearing my eventing Tipperary for the first month at least!
                I've been wearing it, plus my helmet, when I longe him. It makes me feel a little better and keeps me from overreacting, trying to protect myself, if he gets a little crazy. If I overreact, he gets crazier, so I nip that cycle in the bud by wearing the vest. So I totally wear it for the psychological effect on me. I will say, the fearless jockey at the barn was the one person I thought would laugh at me. And when he saw me and was like "you riding??" "Naw, just longing and being cautious", he was very supportive! (at least to my face)


                • #9
                  I don't compete but I wear one every ride. TBH it also works better than any sports bra.


                  • #10
                    My old barn actually required them for anyone jumping who was under 18.

                    And ditto DancingArabian...I didn't realize how well it worked as a sports bra until I switched barns and stopped wearing it!


                    • Original Poster

                      Aww, yay! Thanks guys - this was really helpful to hear I'm too old to use the Mom Excuse (though I probably COULD - she rides too and is in recovery from a bad injury so she probably would like me to wear one!), but the Husband Excuse may work if anyone dares laugh

                      Hahah! Or, there we go - I'll just claim it's a new improved sports bra

                      Thanks so much - I knew I was being silly worrying about wearing a _safety device_ but there's nothing logical about my emotional brain!


                      • #12
                        Since I came off unexpectedly a few months ago and landed flat on my back, I wear one every ride. Won't do me any good sitting the tack room. Better safe, than sorry.

                        "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


                        • #13
                          Absolutely--every ride, flat or over fences, I have mine on (Rodney Powell). I have shown in it, as well. There are several folks who show (mostly kids, but a couple of adults, too) who wear one around here. I haven't A shown in mine yet, but would if I felt I needed to. I had a bad, bad fall into a jump and my surgeon and I felt it would offer protection, and remind me to watch my position. It also gives me confidence, and having come off last summer when my horse tripped after a fence, provides bruising fall protection.
                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                          • #14
                            Oh, heck yeah it is a "sports bra"! Mine squishes the girls flat. It is also my personal sauna treatment--hot, hot, hot! If only it melted off the fat....sigh...
                            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                            • #15
                              Don't ever be embarrassed to be taking care of your safety! I used to ride at a barn where helmets were optional, and I was the only person with one welded to my head when I rode. If I was riding a greener horse, you'd better believe I would wear a vest. You only get one body, so keep it in one piece!


                              • #16
                                One good fall last Fall, one at least well-dented rib, having had the experience of being afraid to sneeze for the piss-yourself-pain it caused, I have a vest now. Hacking out in a vest.

                                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                                • #17
                                  I wish I'd been wearing one two years ago when I broke a vertebrae! The horse I was riding was really keyed up (that first day in spring when you can finally ride outside and they all turn into lunatics), he was a spooky guy to start with, I'd fallen off him a few times before...basically all reasons I would have reached for a vest if I'd had one! I landed flat on my back, exactly the type of injury a vest is designed for. Then I got to wear a different kind of protective vest for the next few months.
                                  "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                                  Phoenix Animal Rescue


                                  • #18
                                    The woman I ride with in my Friday lessons wears one, no one laughs at her. When I asked my trainer if I could too he said absolutely, because you have to do whatever you need to feel safe. If you're nervous about falling you'll end up more tense and thus more likely to fall. If it takes vest to relax your mind then so be it. I want to find one like my lesson buddy's, it goes quite low in back (for tailbone) but she bought it in Ireland and I can't find one like it here


                                    • #19
                                      I bought mine from a tack shop in the UK. They had many more size choices and options in the brand I wanted. Ask your friend what brand hers is and then find an online vendor. Even with shipping, mine was quite reasonable.
                                      I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                                      • #20
                                        I don't wear one when I ride but I have definitely considered it. Not the same sport but wearing protective padding/gear absolutely changed my snowboarding. I got a tailbone protector and knee pads and it made me much less fearful. I can totally understand how having that extra bit of security will improve your riding.