KBR / MOFD Equestrian Safety Series


It's in your vest!

December 13 2012

Virtually all of us have heard of equestrians who have sustained serious debilitating injuries or have been killed in riding accidents. Riders who train and compete, riders schooling relatively green horses and exposing horses to advanced "bombproofing" exercises, less experienced riders and older riders who don't possess their former levels of balance and agility are the most likely victims of a serious horse accident. However anyone on a horse has the potential to take a serious fall if the right circumstances present themselves.

For years we at the Kickin' Back Ranch (KBR) and Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) have preached equestrian safety, discussed equestrian accidents and fatalities, and the importance of using proper protective gear. (See What's Your Head Worth?)

The equestrian world has made significant strides in reducing head trauma resulting from rider accidents, however there have still been significant incidents involving spinal injuries, punctured lungs and other serious or fatal complications resulting from torso injuries. Competitors and trainers are now taking advantage of new technology developed for motorcycle competition - the automatically inflatable "air bag" vest.

The Hit Air Vest offered by SaferMoto.com is lightweight, inflates in a fraction of the time it takes a rider to hit the ground, provides inflated protection to the front, kidney area and most importantly the spine, and can deflect some of the impact of a horse coming on top of a rider in addition to dissipating much of the impact of a rider striking the ground in areas protected by the vest. If you examine the image of the inflated vest, it even creates padding around the fragile cervical spine area.

When we say "lightweight" we mean lightweight. Most riders don't want to wear bulky or heavy equipment. Some of these vests weigh less than two pounds.

There are a variety of vest options and other equestrian safety and survival devices to choose from. You can find several of them at SaferMoto.com.

For those of you who have linked over here from the KBR World of Wild Horses and Burros, unseasoned horses, whether feral or domestic, can behave unpredictably when one least expects it. While this may not be cause for alarm, it is reason enough to be properly prepared and properly equipped; with a properly fitting saddle, good headstall and reins with an appropriate size bit for the horse's mouth, boots with heels which won't get hung up in the stirrups and, of course, head protection. In addition to having the right equipment, all gear should be regularly inspected and maintained. In this manner you can meet the challenge and have an exciting and rewarding time with your equine subject while minimizing the chances of an unscheduled trip to the emergency room or morgue.

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