Horse riding is a sport that anyone can do, but it could lead to serious injury in the event of a fall. It is therefore strongly recommended that you wear a body protector to minimise the risk of injury by protecting you if you fall. Here is some advice on how to choose your body protector
You should choose your body protector based on 2 criteria: the type of protection and the level of protection.
The type of Protection: Body Protector or Back Protector
There are two types of protector: body protectors and back protectors: Body Protector: Designed to protect the rider's upper body in the event of an impact or a fall, a body protector protects both the torso and the back. Composed of several waffle foam pads to cushion and absorb impacts in the event of a fall and protect the spinal column, kidneys, rib cage and abdominal organs. Back Protector: As the name suggests, back protectors protect only the back. They can have a rigid, jointed shell or a foam pad inserted into a soft gilet. Back protectors are designed to be more comfortable than body protectors, offering the rider greater freedom of movement. While they are more discreet and less bothersome, you should remember that they offer a lower level of protection than a body protector.
The level of Protection
For body protectors, the level of protection falls under one of three categories: -
Level 1: Lowest level of protection suitable for licensed jockeys only (we do not carry Level 1 protectors).
Level 2: Protection for medium-risk riding. It is the minimum level recommended for all levels of rider (novice to expert) riding in a club or doing recreational horse riding activities.
Level 3: Superior protection for recreational and competitive horse riding. It is also intended for people working with horses and exposed to the risk of being kicked. This level of protection is required for riders participating in driving and eventing competitions.
Our back protectors are certified for horse riding by experts, based on the EN1621-2 standard: back protection against motorcycle mechanical impacts. Please be aware that this is a different certification to the one used for body protectors.
The level 2 we are talking about here is therefore not the same as the level 2 for body protectors. They are not permitted for use in events requiring a level 3 body protector, e.g., during the cross-country event for an eventing competition or the marathon event of a driving competition.
Choosing the right size
To get the best fit, you need to know the following measurements: - chest circumference- waist circumference- waist-shoulder height
Once you know these measurements, use the in-store or online size guide to help you find the right size. The waist and chest sizes can be adjusted on most models using buckles or rip-tabs. However, you should take care to choose the correct back length.
If it is too long, your protector will prevent you from sitting properly in the saddle; if it is too short, it won't protect your kidneys. Whether you choose a body protector or a back protector, it is important to adjust it correctly so it does its job.
To be completely effective, it should fit snugly around the body. The protector should be worn over your polo shirt or sweater. In winter, it should be worn under - not over - a jacket.
Some models have a front zip so you can adjust the protector just once and not have to readjust it every time you put it on. Some models also have visual markers so you can see if it is properly adjusted (e.g., a red section that must be completely covered).
If your protector is too tight, it may bother you and restrict your movements and breathing. If it is too loose, it will not protect you if you fall, because it may move, causing the reinforced areas to no longer cover the important parts you need protected.