Everything you need to know about body protectors

The majority of us would never consider riding without our hat, right? In conclusion, accidents happen, normally when we least expect it! A key part of enjoying spending time with our horses is staying safe. Although body protectors are deemed “uncomfortable” or “unstylish”, their comfort, effectiveness and affordability are improving. Take a look at what you need to know…

Grace period update regarding BETA2018 body protectors

Following feedback from members, and subsequent conversations with the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), British Eventing have been informed that there is a supply issue being seen by some in relation to the new Level 3 blue BETA2018 standard body protector.

With this in mind, we have agreed with our insurers that a six-week grace period can be put in place. This means that ALL body protectors, being worn at any British Eventing event, will need to be of the Level 3 blue BETA2018 standard by no later than Monday 8th April 2024. 

The purple BETA 2009 safety certification will no longer be permitted after this date.

British Eventing will be undertaking spot checks at events from the 8th April 2024 to ensure compliancy.

A good fit is the key to comfort and safety

No one wants to wear a garment that is going to restrict their movement, particularly in high level equestrian sport.

Most equestrian suppliers will help you choose a protector that is a good fit for you and your body shape.  This is the key to comfort and safety while riding.  If you’re not sure if your body protector does fit you well, don’t buy until you have asked for help. It’s better to be sure of the fit, than to guess.

If you’re buying online, you can still speak to your supplier before you make a purchase.  And, of course, if it doesn’t fit, check that you can return it.

How do body protectors help?

Body protectors designed to absorb impact from a fall or kick from a horse, therefore, body protectors are compulsory for some competitions. A correctly-fitted body protector can offer protection to reduce the impact of a fall.

Body protectors DO

  • Protect the thorax (chest and ribs)
  • Reduce injury
  • Protect the abdomen and internal organs

Body protectors DO NOT

  • Offer direct spinal protection
  • Protect against injuries involving severe torsion, flexion or extension

Body protectors should be replaced every 3 to 5 years

If you do have a fall, we recommend that you check your body protector immediately for any dents. The foam will immediately expand back into its original shape, but it is quite likely that this part of your protector will have lost is impact absorption properties and should be replaced before further use.

Taking care of your body protector and making sure it remains intact will ensure that it enjoys the lifespan indicated.

When you’re not using your body protector, we recommend that it is hung on a hanger and remains zipped to maintain it’s shape. Keep velcro fastened too as it can become clogged with horse hair and hay!

Most body protectors are made from heat sensitive PVC nitrile foam.  Whilst it might feel a little tight at first, it will soften and mould to your shape quite quickly.  Try not to store it in a warm place, so that it remains flexible particularly for early morning rides.
body protector

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