When to use body protectors?


New Member
Sep 29, 2007
Wonderful Wales
Not sure if this has been discussed previously, I was just wondering how many people have them, use them and for what activities. Also, if anyone can give an example of using one during a fall and the outcome.

When I started riding over 30 years ago :eek: nobody wore them. Infact I have only recently purchased one for myself. I am afraid it was a case of buying one after a fall :rolleyes:. However, I am ashamed to admit I have only used a couple of times.

I have always insisted my daughter wear one at all times and its like second nature to her now.

I really feel as if I should wear it but do find it hard to get use to.

So would be great to hear what you all do :D


Find A Way To Shine
Oct 23, 2007
I've never worn one... I would only wear one if I was riding on the road, or jumping or something... Not just regular trails and all that...


I wear mine (racesafe) everytime I ride. It was a pain to start with, but now its 2nd nature, just like putting your hat on. When madam barged past me through the stable door recently, shoving me up against the door frame, I was glad I had it on:eek:


May 21, 2007
Sleepy Suburbs of Kent
Blegh, much as mine cramps my style, I'll wear it to jump most times, and in light of mine and Merlyn's recent accident, hacking out too. As Merlyn's quite strong and loves to jump, it's only sensible that I wear it the first time I jump him, at least.

They're great in the event of a fall, everything aches a lot less the next day I find, and you sit up faster. More shock absorbency, all round very good if you happen to hit the ground hard and fast :p

I used to use mine whilst schooling so I didn't have to wear a sports bra, but having been measured and fitted properly at bravissimo, I don't really need to do that any more. Lots of people still do though!


Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
every time i get on a horse i put my BP on. a properly fitted BP should not feel weird or uncomfortable. If you can't get one that suits you off the peg then get a made to measure one.

I've fallen off millions of times with a BP on. my first horse deposited me in a hole (was being dug to put lights in the school :rolleyes:) and i landed with my back on the lip of the hole. tore my BP's cover to shreads but i was unharmed. I know of a girl who took a fall on the road, landed flat on her back and cracked a vertebrae. After she'd been given a rollocking for not having a hat on, she was told to wear a BP as it would have (in the doctors opinion) prevented the injury.


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
I hate them with a passion.

I wore one of the first ones back in the 80's, All it was, was a bit of plastazote with an elastic strap. Fell off and broke my coccyx.

Other modern ones I have tried make it impossible to move, site or balance.

If you read the disclaimer on the box, it says they won't protect you from a number of different forces.....all the ones you are most likey to have happen falling off a horse.

Kady A

New Member
Sep 10, 2003
South Yorks, UK
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I too have a major dislike of body protectors - mainly the misapprehension people have that they are BACK protectors ... they aren't. Your coccyx is one of the body's most vulnerable areas and is left totally exposed - as poor Wally has experienced. However, you should always wear them doing XC - they are designed to help prevent major organ damage, and if you feel safer wearer one ... wear it! Always get your BP professionally fitted - if its fitted properly it shouldn't impede your movements in any way, shape or form, in fact you should be able to do any activity whilst wearing it that you would without (mmm my mind is boggling as to its alternative uses! :D). A badly fitting body protector can do more harm than good.

Sorry for the lecture - its something I feel so strongly about - I have done the BETA BP & Hat fitting course and saw some pretty horrific stuff!


New Member
Sep 19, 2005
I wear mine whenever I hack out, whenever I jump, and if I ride a horse I don't know. I had a nasty fall on the road a few years ago from a gallop, came away with just 2 friction burns & cuts, I honestly believe that if I didn't have my body protector on I'd have broken a rib or at least a very cut up body as I hit the ground with my body and arm, and managed to cut holes in my body protector! The 2 friction burns were on bits of me the BP didn't cover - my hip and my arm.

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
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I always wear mine. I feel naked without it on. If yours feels uncomfortable it probably doesn't fit you properly. There are loads of different styles - go to a good tack shop and get it professionally fitted by someone who knows what they are doing.

I believe that my body protector has saved me from serious injury on at least one occassion when my pony fell onto his side. I have also be thrown onto jumps and fallen off generally about 100 times over the years and I am sure that the body protector has minimised the bruising or worse.


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
I always wear mine. I feel naked without it on.

Well I shall have to be Lady Godiva on this one then! :D :D

Since I am unlikely to persuade any of the Icelandics that XC is a good idea, and that most Icelandics try to keep you up top, high impact equestrianism is not my bag, my on the spot risk assesment tells me I will carry on being naked.

I have yet to find a body protector I can move in, seriously


New Member
Aug 5, 2001
North East England
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I used to wear one (racesafe is the most comfortable and they do a great job of working with you on fit over the phone). This may seem odd at first, but it was a couple of nasty falls where I sustained 'proper' injuries that led to me giving up wearing one! I realised a couple of things - mainly that they don't protect the parts of me that are the most likely to get injured. I smashed-up my arm quite badly and a couple of years later, I broke my foot and tore ligaments and tendons at the ankle. They also inevitable restrict movement to some extent. I'm not certain about this, but I think there are occasions when its easier to control the body without one on!

That said, I only do flatwork. If I ever decide to jump, I would consider wearing one again (after all that is what they are intended for - i.e. falling onto a jump!).


nature abhors normality
Other modern ones I have tried make it impossible to move, site or balance.

If you read the disclaimer on the box, it says they won't protect you from a number of different forces.....all the ones you are most likey to have happen falling off a horse.

echo that. I have an ancient one that I wear for jumping, hunting cross country and hacking as I can fold up the bottom flap so it fits me. i don't wear one on the flat.
The new ones are akin to riding in a cage and I really feel if I was to buy a new back protector I would be more likely to fall off as I am unable to balance correctly or react to what the horse is doing. As I am short any new protector I have tried resulted on me balancing on the @rse of it rather than on the saddle and riding with a hunch on my back!
wearing one while lunging a young horse did save me from broken ribs when he kicked me in the chest but ironically the worst accident I ever had (bent back in half as a tree branch hit my neck) - Id probably have been killed if I was wearing a protector cos id not have been able to bend right back.


New Member
Sep 3, 2007
I never wear one just for hacking or showjumping. My parents made me wear one when i was like, 6, jumping but once i got a bit older i wouldnt! I find them incredibly uncomfortable!!

I always wear one for cross country though, i've had enough falls and injuries which could have been a lot worse if i hadn't been wearing one... Imagine hitting a solid fence (log) back first at speed without wearing one?!?! OUCH!!!


Manure Happens.
Apr 26, 2007
NSW Australia
I have one and wear it EVERY single time i ride.;)

If I go to ride and forgot it, NO WAY would i get on!!!:)

I had a fall where I could have done serious damage to my back and i had it on and i was absolutely FINE!!!:D

They are uncomfortable to start with, but if you just MAKE yourself wear it every time you ride even if it is in sand or in a field, it is fine after a while, about a week or two of rides every second day.:p

When you do get used to it, it will still be uncomfortable for the first 5 mintutes you are on then you just forget about it!

Now it is only uncomfortable for me for the first 2 minutes because I NEVER ride without it!!!


New Member
Mar 30, 2006
Renfrewshire, Scotland
I was very dismissive of them until I had to get one for x-country. Since I got it my OH also insists upon it for hunting as well - not so smart over my tweed, but it keeps me warm! The first time I wore it I was like ' I cant mooove!', but once it moulds to you it is surprisingly comfy. In fact I have to admit at my last x-country I only realised about 1 hour after dismounting that I still had it on!

Sticky's GF

New Member
Sep 10, 2007
I have to say I only wear mine for XC and mock hunting etc. There are peeps at my yard who wear them for hacking also but I'm not that disciplined. I've had a few falls where BP has def. saved me from injury, altho I'm quite short in the body with erm...larger than average chest....so BP is a tad too long, have had incident where nag has done ENORMOUS jump, I got a bit left behind and back of saddle has hit BP, which has shunted up and banged my hat forward over my eyes!


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
Brick built out house size?? Haven't found one that size yet! :D :D
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