Impact of Body Protectors in falls?

Skib

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Can anyone please report on the comparative hardness of different bps as the landing surface in a fall?
And whether it would be softer or firmer to land on one's back in an inflated air jacket?

My OH in his seventies fell in the school wearing his Racesafe Level 3 bp - Leaving him shocked and his back more painful than mine has ever been.
When I've fallen in a sand school both with and without a bp and it has never hurt me nor prevented me re-mounting.

Any advice please on how one might soften his fall? Is it really softer to fall on Airowear than Racesafe?

Would an air jacket be even firmer on his elderly spine or reduce the impact?
 

LeannePip

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It is always going to be softer to land on an inflated air jacket than a body protector as the air will take some of the impact - as to it hurting less in different body protectors, i have no idea they are all rigid to an extent and made of the same sort of stuff so i imagine the impact would be similar
 

budley95

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I have a Rodney Powell X3 one, and when I got thrown onto a wooden post for the arena fencing (it's taped with electric fencing) I had a bruise on my ribs the shape of the post top but that was it. I wasn't winded somehow or other, and it was some throw, I'm pretty sure it would have been a broken rib if I hadn't been wearing it. I'd think with your OH a body protector and an air jacket used in conjunction may be more useful as I doubt any body protector is ever softer to fall on. Depends how high, how hard and how awkward you fall!
 

annagain

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I don't think you can compare one fall with another. He might have landed more awkwardly, have a lower pain threshold (he is a man so this is bound to be the case :D), aggravated an existing injury which you don't have, or (guessing from the way you phrased it) being a bit older than you just feels the effects more. The fact that he was hurt and you weren't is impossible to put down to a body protector or not and certainly not one brand or another.

Having said that, a few friends who have fallen with airjackets on have commented how much softer the landing was and how they hadn't felt any ill-effects like whiplash afterwards in the way they used to. However, one friend (who had a bit of a bump to the head too so wasn't entirely rational!) thought her horse had fallen on top of her such was the pressure of the airbags on her body. She refused to open her eyes when the paramedics were asking her too as she didn't want to see her horse lying on top of her so they thought she was unconscious. She feels the panic it caused her outweighed the benefits so it's a very individual decision. Newer models now expand outwards now so would probably avoid this problem.
 
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Lanky Loll

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It can also be the impact of the surface though. I've recently fallen off on two different arenas whilst wearing my airowear - the first absolutely winded me despite being a relatively innocuous fall - naughty stop and spin at a fence, the surface was really "dead" with no give to it, and I walked out of the arena not really able to remount as I couldn't breathe!
The second was a much "harder" fall, out the back door flat on my back - instructor thought I was going to be hurt to quote "that's the sort of fall that hospitalises people" , but I got up and remounted after walking across the arena, I was winded but not nearly as much as by the first fall as the surface had more give.
 

asommerville

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I would def add in the air jacket - I was thrown off in a field and landed flat on my back (one of those that should have hurt ones). And didn't feel any ill effects the next day - the person above who thought the horse had landed on her - I would suggest that the jacket wasn't fitted properly and that's why it was so tight
 

oldie48

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I had exactly the same sort of fall some years ago in a Rodney Powell bp, I broke several ribs and had a stable fracture of the spine but it was XC and the ground was quite hard. In an air jacket, I think I'd have walked away!
I would def add in the air jacket - I was thrown off in a field and landed flat on my back (one of those that should have hurt ones). And didn't feel any ill effects the next day - the person above who thought the horse had landed on her - I would suggest that the jacket wasn't fitted properly and that's why it was so tight
 

annagain

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I would def add in the air jacket - I was thrown off in a field and landed flat on my back (one of those that should have hurt ones). And didn't feel any ill effects the next day - the person above who thought the horse had landed on her - I would suggest that the jacket wasn't fitted properly and that's why it was so tight
She'd had it properly fitted and the fit was checked after the fall too and it was fine. I think the bump on the head meant she wasn't thinking things through entirely clearly so she was panicking when she wouldn't have normally.
 
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