Monday, January 30, 2012

Safety Vests- a danger you should know about

Safety Vest - A danger you should know

How many people do you know that wear a safety vest? what about yourself?

Well here is an interesting story you should know - before you pick up that vest and put it on.

I've had the same safety vest for about 10 years now. My parents bought me one when I started eventing in Pony Club. Since then I wear it when I am training green or unpredictable horses, or when trail riding. It's always given me a sense of safety. I've worn it over top and underneath clothing, in western and in English. I find it comfortable.

Little did I know that this safety vest could actually be a safety hazard. One of my clients has the same type of safety vest as I have - the Tipperary Eventer Vest ( ). It is designed for event riders, riders in English saddles. You would think it is safe for western riders too - but this past week I learned it is not.

My client had been riding and decided to wear her vest. After her ride, she decided to dismount and call it a day. As she dismounted she lost her balance and tipped forward a little extra - which caught her vest on the horn. The zipper didn't budge so she was left hanging on the side of her horse.

Luckily her horse was being really quiet and stood patiently while the rider scrambled free after a few minutes of fighting with the zipper.

This safety vest wasn't designed with the Western saddle and horn in mind - there is no safety release, or double zipper to easily undo yourself if you get caught on the horn.

What makes matter worse, is that the momentum of dismounting and then being caught by the safety vest, my client actually broke her 9th rib. The very thing that was meant to protect her ribs and body, is the very thing that caused her to break a rib.

I have experienced myself splitting the zipper a few times when barrel racing - just from leaning forward and getting my vest caught on the horn.

Are safety vests still safe? I still choose to wear a safety vest, but usually when I am riding English, otherwise I am very careful about staying away from the horn.

If you know of a safety vest that is better for western riding - please share!!

1 comment:

  1. hi very nice blog and so cool products and so nice information. What does the future of high viz jackets look like? For starters, the safety industry is thriving and growing with the passage of each day. The future of safety and safety gear is only going to get better