Do you get used to riding in back protectors

horselib

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Ridden all my life and owned for over 50 years but only used a back protector for jumping and cross country stopped doing that 20 years ago now only hack and light schooling some free schooling lunging and long lines now
A good friend has had an accident out hacking on a horse she has owned for years and is 20 years old so sensible though no plod.
She has damaged her back at C3 C4 and crushed C7 and C8 punctured lungs and multiple rib fractures she is now in a wheel chair and will never walk again!!
It has really spooked me and I have decoded I wil now wear a back protector whenever I ride
I find it most awkward after years of not wearing one.I have 2 back protectors both have been fitted and fit well but I hate the feeling of them.
Does it get easier do you get used to it if you persevere my friend has a back protector but as going on quiet hack wasn't wearing I! Surgeons seem to think she would have been injured but probably not so severely and not in a wheel chair. Hindsight is wonderful.
 

Equi

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I bought one after a friend had a fall and broke her spine. I wore it hacking maybe twice then it got thrown away again i simply could not get used to the feeling of it. tbf i was probably at my highest weight when i got it, so i might find its a little better now. I must try it some day.
 

dixie

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I wear mine out from time to time especially when I’m on my own and I forget I’m wearing it after the first 5mins.
I also have an air gilet that I wear sometimes, quite often actually. that might be worth considering as it’s just like wearing a gilet except for the gas canister.
I tend to wear either of these more often than I used to as really the roads can be quite dangerous nowadays and tarmac is hard !!!
 

mavandkaz

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You do get used to it, although I'm not sure I would ever find it 'comfortable'.
Why not invest in an air jacket (I have the helite). You don't notice you're wearing it - just like wearing a gilet.
 

JunoJones

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If you get the right one for you, that fits you comfortably, you will not notice you are wearing it. I wear mine in the yard in winter sometimes just to keep warm, and drive home in it if I can't be bothered to take it off. Some types are much more flexible than others.
I like the Racesafe, a lot of people seem to like them. I always wear one, stupid not to, IMO.
 

Trouper

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No - to answer succinctly. But after two back ops and endless physio I have been promised a divorce if I don't wear it.

Just try and find the lightest one you can that will do the job - it will be worth the expense.
 

Carrottom

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I have a racesafe which I did get used for a time when hacking a rather gangly youngster, but in the summer I get too hot.
 

Lindylouanne

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I never get on either of my ponies without wearing one. It becomes second nature and they mould to you body within minutes and accidents happen even with the most reliable horses. I was riding with a friend a few weeks ago when her very stocky hunter spooked and actually knocked my pony over. We both hit the ground in a millisecond and had I not been wearing my BP I would have been much more bruised than I was.
 

OrangeAndLemon

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I bought myself an airowear and started using it all the time at the start of lockdown (reducing risk and strain on NHS). I didn't get used to it so I sold it and bought a second hand Rodney Powell one which looks so uncomfortable but I don't even notice it now. I ride in it all the time and only feel wierd without it.

If you aren't comfortable, try a different brand.
 

Follysmum

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I can no longer ride after 50yrs, fell at a walk off my 22yr old safe horse. Have an incomplete spinal cord injury and compressions alongside other problems at c4567. I was so lucky that I’m able to walk again after being temporarily paralysed.

My hubby would never of worn one before but after seeing how easy it was to do so much damage he now wears a racesafe. He finds it very comfy but says it does make him sweat.
 

Sussexbythesea

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Definitely consider an air jacket I wear mine all the time and you just don’t notice it’s on. Recently I bought a Racesafe as you have to wear one if I ever get to do some XC and there are lots of recommendations on here regarding it I’ve not ridden in it yet and I’m not looking forward to wearing it at all as comparatively to an air jacket it’s hideous.
 

Widgeon

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I wear an airjacket, not a BP, for similar reasons. The air jacket (I have a HitAir) is comfortable so I put it on every single time I ride, whereas I never got used to a BP. It's also totally fine to wear even when it's very hot and I can bung it on over pretty much any amount of clothing - I tend to wear it over the top of whatever my outer layer of clothes is. I figure the air jacket should save my neck and spine in the event of most accidents. That said, air jackets and BPs don't do quite the same job so you'd need to think about exactly what you want to protect against. Just another thing to think about, sorry!
 

humblepie

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Yes from me. I’d borrowed one once years ago for an event and hated it. Then few years back moved to yard with lots of hacking round fields tracks etc so got a race safe. Always wear when hacking and don’t really notice.
 

Sossigpoker

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A body protector won't prevent severe injuries like that , they're designed to lessen bruising and at a push may give some protection against broken ribs.
I broke my back wearing one!

If you are concerned about serious injury then an air jacket is the one to use. I rode in a BP for years and years and yes you do get used to it , but now I just use my air jacket.
 

naomibmck

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A body protector won't prevent severe injuries like that , they're designed to lessen bruising and at a push may give some protection against broken ribs.
I broke my back wearing one!

If you are concerned about serious injury then an air jacket is the one to use. I rode in a BP for years and years and yes you do get used to it , but now I just use my air jacket.
Sorry, I don't mean to be contentious, but the BHS website states on air jackets that: "If worn alone, they offer little protection to the rider, and manufacturers state clearly that they should ideally be worn with a BETA level three EN13158 body protector. Air jackets work well for flat falls but offer limited, if any, protection against direct kicks when falling or on the ground."

Where did you hear that they are better than body protectors?
 

Skib

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I have worn a bp since my very first hack about 20years ago and have never since ridden without one. I even took it to the USA and wore it there when trail riding. My OH did the same.
It softens after you put it on and I dont realise I am wearig it.
 

Identityincrisis

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I don't think anyone wearing an air jacket would think that they offer protection against kicks, that's not why i wear mine.

Op i would choose an air jacket over a bp anyday but that is my personal preference
 

tatty_v

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I have an airowear BP and I wear it for every ride. It warms up try quickly and moulds to your body shape. It’s lovely in the winter, keeps you toasty whilst hacking! Can get a bit hot and sweaty in the summer…

I used to only wear it for jumping/sponsored rides etc, but I’ve seen and heard of so many people injuring themselves on innocuous hacks or schooling that I just decided to wear it full time. Recently fell off new horse out hacking at canter and I didn’t have a bruise or a mark on me thank goodness!
 

Sossigpoker

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Well it's common sense really that an airbag is unlikely to help if you get kicked. But neither will a body protector!
Yes ideally you'd wear both but I choose not to for everyday riding. I've had a couple of exits at a gallop, one of them being thrown into a fence, and I suffered no harm thanks to my air jacket.
If you're in a car crash crash , would you rather the air bag went off or would you rely on a piece of foam to protect you?

Each to their own- but if severe injuries are of concerns, a BP on its own is pretty useless.
 

Sossigpoker

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And air jackets will protect you if you have a rotational. A friend of mine had her horse trip over a tree root out hacking and did a somersault, landing briefly on her - thank god she was wearing her air jacket!
 
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Each to their own- but if severe injuries are of concerns, a BP on its own is pretty useless.
Under RC rules, a body protector is mandatory for competitive jumping, you can wear an air jacket over the top if you wish. Under no circumstances are you permitted to solely use an air jacket.
3 of my local RCs request BPs to be worn at all jumping clinics, I dont know about the others.

I appreciate that you might not do RC events but worth others knowing the safety rules.
I wouldn't call a BP useless, unless it is badly fitted. 🙂
 

Labaire

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I have tried many of them and the only one that’s ok is my racesafe. I had to sell my hit air as I lost a lot of weight and it was way too big, not sure I will replace it.
 
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I’ve said it on here before but I broke my back when wearing an airjacket (very uneventful fall). I wear my racesafe at all times now and find it comfy. Apparently airjackets shouldn’t be worn on their own (if only I’d known that beforehand!)
 

Elf On A Shelf

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We wear RaceSafe BP's at work. You can get fully flexible versions that you often forget you are wearing. I flip the tail up on mine though as I don't like it...
 

Tihama

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Another vote for Racesafe - wear when hacking & on gallop - definitely forget I'm wearing mine & have also find it gives good support to my dodgy shoulders
 

Laurac13

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I wear a race safe body protector as I am in my 50’s with heart conditions and am on blood thinners it is pretty comfy and I have got used to it. I’ve only fallen off my boy once in the 7 years I’ve owned him , I bought him as a 3 year old, last year he spun to get out of the way of my friends horse spooking I fell off and had no bruises or anything I hadn’t fallen off for 20 years definitely worth it
 

Surbie

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Yes, you definitely get used to wearing them, and I would always wear one for jumping/hacking/fun rides.
My horse span and tanked out hacking a week and a half ago when a cyclist spooked him. I fell onto concrete at speed. The paramedics and ambulance staff said my bp definitely saved me from more/more serious injuries. I am still using crutches to walk because of the bruising to hip & back, but I am so thankful I was wearing it.
That one was a Gateway, but I will be replacing it with a Racesafe.
 
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