Safety vests aren’t new Equestrians, but with all the research and publicity on severe injuries that one can receive horseback riding, they certainly have become more popular. Originally safety vests were bulky, stiff and designed with material that absorbed concussion upon impact. These vests are still required for riding the cross country phase of combined training, also known as eventing.
Todays parents have a new choice when it comes to keeping their little pony riders safe. The airbag safety vest once designed for primarily adults, is now available in junior sizes. These vests are form fitting, flexible and move with the rider, but most importantly they are designed with high tech engineering.
There are several reasons why child riders should be encouraged to wear a safety air-vest.
Impact protection: Children’s horse riding safety air vests provide added protection for the rider’s spine and vital organs in the event of a fall or accident, as the airbag inflates to provide cushion and reduce impact force.
Rapid inflation: Air vests inflate quickly, providing protection in a fraction of a second, which can be especially important in the event of a fall or accident.
Adjustable fit: Many air vests are adjustable, so they can be tailored to fit children of different sizes and shapes, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit
Lightweight: Air vests are typically lightweight, and range from form fitting styles to relaxed fit. This enables children to wear them comfortably during long rides.
Reusable: Air vests are reusable, which can be more cost-effective than disposable options, and they can be easily reused by deflating the vest and replacing the air canister.
Enhanced mobility: Air vests are designed to move with the rider’s body, which can help to maintain mobility and flexibility during a fall or accident.
Increased confidence: Wearing an air vest can give children added confidence and a sense of security when riding, which can help them to relax and enjoy the experience.
Easy to wear : Children’s horse riding safety air vests are easy to wear and adjust, which can help children to put them on and take them off easily and quickly.
Durability: Air vests are typically made with high-quality materials that are designed to withstand multiple impacts and last for a long time.
Simplicity: These vests are easy to take on and off, making establishing the habit of wearing your vest for every ride as easy as putting on your helmet.
Once the child has learned how to use the vest, making it a habit should be come second nature, just like wearing a helmet. For those unfamiliar with how these vests work, the mechanics are fairly uncomplicated. The airbag safety vest is designed with a C02 cartridge embedded in the vest that deploys in milliseconds if a rider parts company with their horse. The C02 cartridge in the vest has a detachable stretchy lanyard that attaches to a strap connected to the stirrup bars of the riders saddle. While wearing the air-vest, the rider latches on to the saddle strap after mounting up, and detaches before dismounting at the end of a ride.
In the event the rider falls from the horse the lanyard activates the deployment mechanism in the vest. The cartridge fully inflates the air-vest in a matter of milliseconds before the rider hits the ground. The rider impacts with the airbag and not the ground in the vent of a fall decreasing the likelihood of severe injury. One of the most appealing parts of owning an air-vest is that they are reusable. Should the vest be deployed, the process to deflate the vest and install a new cartridge is fairly simple.
If you are considering getting a safety air vest for your child you can find more information in these blog posts:
Equestrian Air Vests: Everything a Rider Needs to Know
10 Best Horse-Riding Vests
Horse Riding Vests Comparison Guide
You can also check out our selection of horseback riding safety vests for children HERE.