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When horseback riding, it is always important to stay safe. Though many people do wear helmets, body protectors can add additional protection to keep you safe.
Body protectors for horseback riding provide protection to a rider’s torso in the case of a fall. They are typically made from foam that compresses under pressure, to protect your ribs and organs from impact. Body protectors are lightweight and flexible, allowing riders to be comfortable and safe.
What to Look For When Buying a Horse Riding Body
Before you buy a body protector, there are some very important things you need to take into consideration to ensure proper protection.
In order for a body protector to properly work, it is vital you get one that fits you correctly. Make sure you measure yourself prior to buying one in order to find the right size for you.
Though there is no required testing for body protectors for horse riding, there are safety certifications many companies opt for.
Look for protectors that have safety certifications to ensure you are getting a quality product. EN 13158:2009, BETA:2009, and ASTM F2681 are three common certifications.
Body protectors come in different styles. Some feature scalloped fronts and some have laced sides. You will want a style that will fit you comfortably as you ride.
Best Horse Riding Body Protectors
1. Ovation Adult Comfort Flex Body Protector
With SEI-ASTM, CE level 3 certified, and Beta level 3 safety certifications, this body protector fits securely and comfortably as you ride. Its non-restrictive design gives you freedom of movement while keeping you safe.
In order to get a proper fit for each individual, it features a zipper front, adjustable hook and loop shoulder straps, and dual hook and loop adjustable side panels.
Reflective piping is featured on the front and back to improve visibility in low-light conditions. This protector snugs your body without being uncomfortable.
2. Tipperary Adult Eventer Pro Vest
Designed with eventers in mind, this horse riding vest upholds all the highest safety standards and certifications.
The state-of-the-art Evolution Foam conforms to each rider’s body shape and allows for air circulation, cooling the body while specialized antibacterial agents prevent odor build-up.
The Live Spine technology works to provide increased impact protection while flexing and moving along as you ride. The front of the torso is cut higher to allow agility in the hip while being lower at the back to cover the tailbone.
The Flex Lace Closure provides a customized fit that expands and contracts with the rider’s movement, with an easy zipper front.
3. Unistrengh Professional Equestrian Safety Vest
The Unistrengh Equestrian Vest is comfortable and provides a high level of shock absorption and impact reduction. To protect your tailbone, the padding extends in the back for increased protection.
The scalloped front allows for ease of movement while you are riding. For an easy and secure fit, the front includes a zipper and the sides have adjustable laces. It is safe and breathable, so you can feel comfortable as you ride.
4. Hilason Adult Safety Horse Riding Vest
Durable and shock-absorbing, this horse riding vest provides a zippered front and laced side to allow for an easy fit. The contoured design and flexible base allow for non-restricting movement in the saddle.
The tapered front allows for flexibility while the elongated lower back padding protects the tailbone. Its lightweight and breathable build makes for a comfortable fit. At a budget-friendly price, it is a great option to add to your riding gear.
5. Jiuchen Horse Riding Body Protector
For optimum fit and comfort, this equestrian body protector contours your body without restricting your movement. The scalloped lower front allows for great movement while riding.
The extended padding gives a high level of shock absorption, as well as impact reduction. For ease of use, the side design has adjustable laces to fit just your body type, as well as a front zipper.
6. Charles Owen JL9 Body Protector
With the feel of gel and the performance of foam, this horse riding body protector is flexible while providing superior comfort. The safety vest has a BETA level 2 and ASTM F1937/SEI certifications, giving you maximum protection without bulk as it molds to your body.
An active joint in the vest allows your rib cage to expand without restriction, with added lumbar support. Ventilation holes covered in Coolmax fabric keep you cool as you ride with top-notch wicking ability.
For a secure fit, there is an easy zip front with a buckle closure and adjustable velcro sides. A mobile phone pocket is also included for your convenience.
How Should a Horse Riding Body Protector Fit?
A horse riding body protector should fit from your breastbone to your bottom rib. The shoulders and neckline should lie flat against your body to ensure a proper fit.
The protector should conform to your body, fitting securely on your chest and waist. You should have between two to four inches from the back of your protector to your saddle. Be sure to measure for the vest properly based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
What is the Difference Between a Horseback Riding Body Protector and Air Vest?
Most body protectors use foam to compress under pressure, which protects from the impact of a fall. An air vest connects to the saddle with a cord and when it disconnects in the case of a fall, it inflates like an airbag.
Both air vests and body protectors provide protection for your ribs and organs from impact. In addition, the air vest also works to protect your neck, spine and pelvis.
Should I Wear a Body Protector While Riding?
It is always a good idea to take safety precautions when riding. Body protectors can be a beneficial safety tool for riders of all experience levels and disciplines.
Though anyone can benefit from body protectors, they are particularly beneficial for hunter/jumpers, eventers and rodeo events. They are also a good idea to wear when training young horses, as they can be unpredictable.