Equestrian Clothing: Body Or Back Protectors By J. Foley
The most important role of equestrian clothing is for protection. Although horses can be trained they can be unpredictable when provoked. Riders are vulnerable while riding and handling horses, especially for beginners. They may seem to be friendly but they can easily gallop or kick someone when not handled correctly. Apart from riding hats, a body protector is also important equestrian clothing.
Apart from protecting your head any rider should also protect their body. Against a powerful kick of horse, any human can get thrown away like a dummy. Falls can not just injure your head but also break your spine. Riders can also suffer from other internal injuries during a bad fall.
Horses are prized in equestrianism but riders are important too. The rider's ability to handle the horse also has a big impact on their performance. Fortunately there is clothing that can protect them from injury.
Body or back protectors are garments that protect the rider's chest and back. We all know that your spine is also as important as our skull. Our spine contains the spinal vertebrae which are composed of our body's nerves from head to foot. Any injury to the spine can paralyze the rider. Our chest on the other hand contains vital organs.
It's a vest type of clothing that is filled with foam. They are worn over the top of the rider's clothes. They can also be worn under the jacket. Its good protection for the rider in case they fall during a ride or get kicked by the horse while handling them.
Injuries from a fall cannot be completely avoided but their impact can be reduced. Wearing body or back protectors will provide preventive measure against possible injuries while the rider is with the horse.
The protector is divided into two: the front and the back. They are held together by Velcro fittings on each side and over the shoulder. The protector should be fastened securely and should not move while riding. At first they may seem uncomfortable but the foam moulds to adapt to the rider's body shape and contour.
All protectors should abide by safety standards. Riders should buy new and original ones for guaranteed protection.
There are three different types of protectors:
Level 1: The black label. It's only appropriate for licensed jockeys. It has the lowest level of protection.
Level 2: The brown label. It provides medium protection. It's appropriate for general riding with low risks. This does not include riding on hard surfaces such as roads. Jumping over obstacles and riding young excitable horses are excluded.
Level 3: The purple label. It offers the highest level of protection when riding horses. This includes normal and competitive horse riding. It's also used when handling horses.
Like riding hats body protectors should be replaced after three to four years. Second hand body protectors are not advisable since their foam padding have already been used. Other body protectors have additional attachments such as shoulder pads.
Although body protectors come in different sizes many manufacturers offer custom fitted ones. This provides ample adjustment for maximum comfort for the rider. Some may like it snuggly fit while others prefer it loose.
No matter what your preferences are prevention is still better than cure. Coupled with riding hat body protectors are also important pieces of an equestrian's clothing.