Protect your body

Especially in show jumping or cross-country riding and when working with young or unsafe horses, you should wear a safety vest to protect yourself in case of a fall.

Airbag vests can be worn comfortably like a riding vest and inflate quickly in an emergency to protect the chest, back and neck.

How to find the right size of your safety vest

The safety vest or back protector must not be too big or too small and should fit snugly against the body. However, it must not restrict movement. Measure the size while you are sitting in the saddle, as the safety vest must not hit the saddle. Leave a gap of around 5cm between the cantle and the bottom edge of the vest.

There are also back protectors and safety vests with Velcro fasteners on the side so that they can be ideally adjusted and can also grow a little.

Which protection class is the right one?

  • Level 1: Lowest level of protection, usually special vests for example for professional jockeys.
  • Level 2: Medium protection for equestrian sports with moderate risk. Most back protectors have this protection class and offer a good compromise between comfort and protection. Level 2 riding vests usually protect the spine and coccyx.
  • Level 3: Maximum protection for children, beginners, show jumpers, eventing riders and cross-country riders. These protectors protect the entire upper body from impact damage and blows, e.g. from kicks.
  • Airbag vests: In addition to the spine and chest, the neck, tailbone and pelvis are also better protected than conventional protectors. They are also very thin and offer a lot of freedom of movement until they inflate in a matter of seconds.

How do airbag vests work?

After mounting, the airbag vest is connected to the saddle with a ripcord. If the rider falls, the ripcord tightens and triggers the cartridge mechanism. The gas contained in it then flows into the chambers of the airbag vest in a fraction of a second. This protects the rider from the powerful impact. A few minutes after inflation, the airbag vest slowly releases the air again and the triggered cartridge can be replaced with a new one. If in doubt, you should always have a spare cartridge with you or at least nearby so that you can get the vest ready for use again straight away.

Will releasing the trigger frighten my horse?

The airbag vest is not triggered silently. The volume can be compared to a loud clap of hands. So it is not quite as loud as you would expect. Throwing poles during a jump can be much louder. If you are unsure, use a cartridge and trigger the vest in a safe environment. This will help you better assess your horse's reaction.