Why Equestrian Clothing is Important

By: Travis Moore

Equestrian clothing essentially acts as protectors of horse riders. While horses are trainable, provoking them could make their behavior unpredictable. This leaves riders - especially beginners - vulnerable when handling and riding horses. Horses might appear friendly, but watch out. They can easily kick someone or gallop when mishandled. Riding hats along with equestrian body protectors constitute key equestrian clothing.

Riders need to protect both their heads and bodies. Against a horse’s powerful kick humans do not stand a chance. They could get thrown way like dummies. Falls can injure not only the head, they could also snap spines. Bad falls can also lead to internal injuries for riders.

Protective Equestrian Clothing Matters

Horses play an important role in equestrianism, but so do riders. Riders’ horse-handling abilities impact on their overall performance. Good thing there is equestrian clothing to protect against injury.

Back or body protectors are articles of clothing that shield riders’ back and chest area. The spine is just as important as the skull. It contains spinal vertebrae consisting of the body’s head-to-foot nerves. Spinal injuries could lead to rider paralysis. The chest meanwhile houses the vital organs and so needs equal protection.

Body protectors are vest-type clothing filled with foam. They’re worn on top of the riders’ riding clothes. Some wear them under their jackets. Protective riding apparel offers reliable protection for riders in case horses kick them while being handled or they fall in the middle of a ride.

Although injuries resulting from a fall can’t be totally avoided, wearing protective equestrian clothing can reduce their impact. Donning a back and body protector acts as a preventative measure against potential rider injuries. All body protectors must satisfy safety standards set, which fall under BETA 2000. For guaranteed equestrian clothing protection, riders should stick with the new, original pieces.

Protective equestrian clothing or body protective gear has two sections – front and back. Velcro fittings on both sides and over the shoulders hold them together. Equestrian clothing or body protectors must be securely fastened. They shouldn’t move while the wearer is riding. A bit uncomfortable at first, the foam gradually molds itself, adapting to the rider’s contour and body shape.

Three types of body protectors are used. Level 1, the black label, is only suited for licensed jockeys, offering the lowest protection level. Brown label is Level 2. It offers medium protection and is appropriate for low-risk general riding. This doesn’t include hard riding surfaces. Riding excitable horses and jumping over various obstacles are likewise excluded. Level 3 is purple. It provides the greatest protection. It includes competitive and normal horse riding, and is also worn when handling horses.

Replace body protectors after three or four years of use. Secondhand protective riding apparel is not recommended as its foam padding has already taken a beating from its previous owners. The protection that used protectors offer has likely diminished even if they still look intact. Dented body protectors should be replaced right away as their impact absorption properties were likely reduced. Other protectors come with shoulder pads and other additional attachments.

Equestrian body protectors are available in different sizes. But most manufacturers serve up custom-fitted varieties, providing adequate adjustment to maximize rider comfort. Some prefer a snug fit while others like it loose.

Whatever your personal preference; the important thing is that you’re wearing the right protective gear and equestrian clothing. Prevention still beats having to cure something. Along with the riding hats, body protectors are also essential components of equestrian clothing.


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