Will Air Vests Alone Keep Riders Safe?

Sandy Ferrell has been wearing a body protector in the show ring for years. PHOTO Irene Elise Powlick.

One of the hot topics in the horse world—and at the 2020 USHJA Virtual Annual Meeting—is body protection for riders.

Body protectors, a.k.a. foundation garments, a.k.a. “those vests eventers wear,” have been around for quite some time, and many brands meet safety standards specifically for equestrians. Air vests, meanwhile, are rapidly gaining popularity due to their streamlined look and cervical protection, but they are lacking in equestrian-specific standards.

Danielle Santos, Director of Sales & Partnerships at Charles Owen, spoke on the topic at the USHJA meeting, explaining the different pieces of safety equipment and addressing many frequently asked questions. One such question: Can riders wear air vests without body protectors underneath? In terms of the types of protection they offer, Santos compared body protectors to seat belts and air vests to airbags.

Watch below for the full Safety Vest segment of the USHJA Annual meeting.