Why Wear a Safety Vest While Riding?
Horseback riders fall every day. Anyone who spends time around horses knows an inherent risk is involved. While intentions are almost always good, accidents can happen, and plans can go awry when dealing with 1500 lb prey animals.
Studies have shown equestrian sports have a higher injury risk than other mainstream sports, such as football, basketball, and baseball. There’s already been a lot of research on helmet safety and risk reduction when wearing one. But helmets are just one piece of safety equipment.
Safety vests, also called protective vests, are another essential piece of equestrian safety equipment. However, there needs to be more scientific research completed to show the benefits.
If you’ve been on the fence about investing in a safety vest for riding, you’ll want to consider the benefits of wearing one. After all, no matter your riding discipline, the likelihood of falling off is common enough to take precautions. A safety vest will help you feel safe and secure in the saddle.
Type of Safety Vests
What exactly is an equestrian safety vest? It’s worn on the rider’s torso and reduces injury when falling off a horse. The vest absorbs impact and distributes the effects of the shock. Its primary purpose is to protect against rib fractures and spinal cord injuries.
There are a few different types and styles of safety vests. These include:
- Airbag vests
- Leather vests
- Foam vests
- Gel vests
- Multi-layered vests
Benefits of Wearing Safety Vests
Safety and Protection
Safety and protection are the most significant benefit of wearing a safety vest. No matter what you’re doing on your horse, wearing a safety vest can protect you from spinal cord and life-threatening injuries.
Spinal cord injuries are most common in high-intensity disciplines such as jumping or eventing. Air safety vests are typical in these sports. These air vests also help protect vital organs, the abdomen, diaphragm, and lungs. There are also some airbag safety vests with inflatable collars that provide additional protection for the neck.
Freedom of Movement
Equestrian safety vests allow the rider typical freedom of movement. Most safety vests are sleeveless and slim-fitting. The design allows maximum flexibility and freedom to perform all necessary movements while riding. With airbag vests, after inflation, the rider continues to have entire movement of arms, legs, and waist.
Equestrian safety vests are easy to use and maintain. They are durable and require minimum care. Airbag safety vests can be wiped after each use, while padded safety vests have a removable, machine-washable inner liner. Safety vests last a long time with proper care. A well-maintained safety vest will last you for at least five years!
As equestrians, we love our horses and will do anything to keep them safe. So why not do the same for ourselves? You may already wear a helmet, so why not protect the rest of your body too? After all, investing once in your riding safety vest will keep you healthy and happy for years to come!