Body Protector all the time or not?

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31 August 2018
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I tend to wear my BP every time I ride these days and although you do get used to it, it does feel quite bulky and rigid to me. I wore an air jacket to ride my horse shortly after he was backed and unfortunately he was badly frightened by the noise when I had a fall and it inflated (he is a very anxious sort). When I rode the following day, he bolted in the school as soon as I was in the saddle, causing a second and worse fall!! It did set him back for quite a few weeks. I'm now quite reluctant to ride out with anyone who is wearing an air jacket as I'm not sure how he would react if they came off and he heard the sound of it inflating. All suggestions welcome as I loved my air jacket but the BP is at least quiet!
 

Cortez

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I tend to wear my BP every time I ride these days and although you do get used to it, it does feel quite bulky and rigid to me. I wore an air jacket to ride my horse shortly after he was backed and unfortunately he was badly frightened by the noise when I had a fall and it inflated (he is a very anxious sort). When I rode the following day, he bolted in the school as soon as I was in the saddle, causing a second and worse fall!! It did set him back for quite a few weeks. I'm now quite reluctant to ride out with anyone who is wearing an air jacket as I'm not sure how he would react if they came off and he heard the sound of it inflating. All suggestions welcome as I loved my air jacket but the BP is at least quiet!
Desensitize him? Find something that sounds like the inflating jacket and just repeat it until he settles (feed treats, whatever, as it happens).
 
Joined
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Thanks yes, I wondered about that - I'll need to try to find a similar sound. I know that firework CDs are available for desensitizing pets to that sound so I'll have a look online to see if there's anything that could be used to mimic the air jacket.
 

MotherOfChickens

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what does the air jacket sound like out of interest? I hate BPs but have thought I should probably think about an air jacket for hacking as if it saves bruising should I fall, it makes life a bit easier. I would rather do some desensitising before I get one though-apparently one make is a lot quieter than another?
 

NinjaPony

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I hate BPs. Never wear one for anything despite being a nervous hacker! So now I wear an air-jacket for hacking-makes me feel much safer, and I barely notice I'm wearing it.
 

Britestar

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what does the air jacket sound like out of interest? I hate BPs but have thought I should probably think about an air jacket for hacking as if it saves bruising should I fall, it makes life a bit easier. I would rather do some desensitising before I get one though-apparently one make is a lot quieter than another?
Not that loud in my opinion, my hypersensitive horse doesn't bother at all when it goes off - that said he probably de sensitised to it at bit as its gone off a fair few times. But even the first time he didnt bog off.
 
Joined
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what does the air jacket sound like out of interest? I hate BPs but have thought I should probably think about an air jacket for hacking as if it saves bruising should I fall, it makes life a bit easier. I would rather do some desensitising before I get one though-apparently one make is a lot quieter than another?
Well I didn't think it sounded that loud when they demonstrated it in the shop but my horse thought otherwise! It's not a hiss - more like a loud snap of a piece of wood. Other people's horses seem to be largely fine with it. Mine is a Point Two so it would be useful to know if others are quieter.
 
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It's a 'crack' more like a small air pistol that we used to use for tetrathlons.

Those who hate BPs and find them restricting, I'm musing on what make and age you used last?
I found the airowear horrible, but as mentioned further back, the new race safe suits me just fine :)
 

Cortez

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Well I didn't think it sounded that loud when they demonstrated it in the shop but my horse thought otherwise! It's not a hiss - more like a loud snap of a piece of wood. Other people's horses seem to be largely fine with it. Mine is a Point Two so it would be useful to know if others are quieter.
So go and get yourself a stack of bits of wood to break......and maybe some hairspray cans or suchlike. Happy snapping :)
 

MotherOfChickens

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It's a 'crack' more like a small air pistol that we used to use for tetrathlons.

Those who hate BPs and find them restricting, I'm musing on what make and age you used last?
I found the airowear horrible, but as mentioned further back, the new race safe suits me just fine :)
I have tried a Cobra (maybe 10 years ago?), Outlyne (6/7 years ago), Champion (last year), USG Flexi Motion (last year). I have not bought a race safe as not prepared to spend that sort of money just to sell again (as with all the others) but have tried on in the shop-they are lighter and less restrictive but still feel quite awful imo (a couple of months ago). A long time ago I had a little ancient Harry Hall one (the sort you stepped through lol) and that was fine-probably didn't offer much in protection but did give me a bit more confidence on my sharp youngster. The Cobra and Outline were also bought for that sharp horse and they were way too restrictive for me.
 

milliepops

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Personally I can't bear them - I wear one when required on a xc course but not other than that.

I can't imagine anything worse than backing a horse wearing one, and an air jacket wouldn't work for me either with backing and riding away, as I often dismount quickly as the need arises (i often prefer to hop off and give a correction from the ground if a youngster is getting it's knickers in a twist, rather than end up with escalating behaviour while I'm in the saddle).
^^ this! I hopped off in a hurry 2 days ago when the elec pylon across the field randomly started producing orange sparks and bangs in the darkness... wouldn't have wanted to be fumbling around with a clip :oops: green horse was about to explode too ;)

I expect it's different if you've always worn once since starting riding, but the only time I ever put one on is when I have to because of competition rules :confused: I had a racesafe. Sold it now as not planning on doing any xc in the near future!
 

ester

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It's a 'crack' more like a small air pistol that we used to use for tetrathlons.

Those who hate BPs and find them restricting, I'm musing on what make and age you used last?
I found the airowear horrible, but as mentioned further back, the new race safe suits me just fine :)
I owned a Rodney Powell, then a racesafe which wasn’t originally mums (neck was better in the latter) neither fit anymore and I got refitted last year but had significant boob shelf issues with the vented race safe.
I do wonder if I’d have a better jumping position had I not spent all my formative years jumping in the RP.
 

ycbm

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Air jackets don't stop you from hopping off quickly, they just mean that if the horse moves away from you or is much taller than you are, it's going to cost you nearly twenty quid 😭
 

JFTDWS

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It's a 'crack' more like a small air pistol that we used to use for tetrathlons.

Those who hate BPs and find them restricting, I'm musing on what make and age you used last?
I found the airowear horrible, but as mentioned further back, the new race safe suits me just fine :)
Mine's a racesafe (and yes, it was fitted!). The outlyne I had before I hated to the point of not going xc because of it! I bought a cheap Harry Hall one for a TREC competition once and it's like riding in a vice. The racesafe is by far the nicest I've ridden in, but I still wouldn't choose to ride in it!
 

ihatework

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what does the air jacket sound like out of interest? I hate BPs but have thought I should probably think about an air jacket for hacking as if it saves bruising should I fall, it makes life a bit easier. I would rather do some desensitising before I get one though-apparently one make is a lot quieter than another?
I’ve come off a couple of times with air jacket on, neither horse reacted aversley. And one was the noise sensitive ginger diva, who I hopped off without unclipping. It’s like a loud pop/quiet crack. Took me a couple of seconds to realise what had happened.
 

scats

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I have a racesafe that’s gathering dust in the tack room. I just can’t ride in them, I find BP’s so restrictive.
 

Pedantic

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Always wear one, with shoulder pads, saved me a few times, never seem to notice it, I know a lady whos horse slipped on the concrete just walking across the yard, broken collar bone, I think of it like this, if I stood on the kitchen table, and flung myself off, how well would I expect to come off out of it ?
 

cauda equina

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I was reading this thread a couple of days ago and it made me feel vicariously windy, so I dug out my gel seat saver
Prevention is always better than cure
 

Mari

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I’m 71 & have a Helite air jacket. I wear it when I’m jumping, hacking & riding my young one. My 20 yr old homebred looks after me so well I don’t wear it when I’m doing flatwork. I always wear it when riding any other horses.
 

Mrs Jingle

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Back in the day I usually wore a Racesafe when I used to do slightly more exciting horse riding than I do now. To be honest I usually forgot I was wearing it probably due to the adrenaline rush from the more exciting stuff i was doing!

These days I only hack, but I was persuaded by my family to start using an inflatable one (Hit Air) as I flat out refused to wear anything else just to hack, because frankly I don't think they have yet designed one light and comfy enough not to annoy with everyday riding.

I think they felt with my advancing years it is inevitable I will hit the deck sooner or later, probably true but there you go. So after several times forgetting I had the damn thing on when I dismounted and frightening both myself and my horse half to death I now don't bother with anything. I suspect they will put on my tombstone 'See - we told her to wear a body protector!' :eek::D
 

ester

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Always wear one, with shoulder pads, saved me a few times, never seem to notice it, I know a lady whos horse slipped on the concrete just walking across the yard, broken collar bone, I think of it like this, if I stood on the kitchen table, and flung myself off, how well would I expect to come off out of it ?
Maybe they are less problematic for the boobless 🤣
 

cobgoblin

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I was reading this thread a couple of days ago and it made me feel vicariously windy, so I dug out my gel seat saver
Prevention is always better than cure
LOL... Perhaps I should shove a gel seat saver down the back of my jods seeing as I always seem to land on my bum.. and then can't walk properly for three days.
 

Trules

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I hate them. If i had to wear one it would be a racesafe and only if compulsary. I teach kids at a riding school and the ones who wear them are generally restricted. They struggle to mount, dismount or do any round the world type excercises with them on. I like riders to be able to use their body. X
 

Elf On A Shelf

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Always wear one, with shoulder pads, saved me a few times, never seem to notice it, I know a lady whos horse slipped on the concrete just walking across the yard, broken collar bone, I think of it like this, if I stood on the kitchen table, and flung myself off, how well would I expect to come off out of it ?
Better than if you came off a horse as you would tuck and roll or at the very least land in a more orderly fashion as you would be expecting it!

The art of flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss!
 
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