Air vest

I recently had an injury in my spine after a fall and now I’m shopping for an air vest to ride in. The only thing I’m worried about is if I’m jumping and get a weird stride where I get popped out of the tack (not falling off just kind of getting tossed around) and it activating the vest. Does anybody have experience with this? Any other suggestions on brand or tips are appreciated!

I would suggest calling Ride EquiSafe (@RideEquiSafe) , they are super helpful as to what would best fit your needs. Catherine Winter is the owner and she and her team are very knowledgeable, and they ride. I feel like you really don’t see the type of activation you are worried about (getting tossed around), but it would take someone more knowledgeable than me to explain why!


Second the suggestion to call Catherine at RideEquisafe.


I have a Helite and I personally haven’t had an issue with it (though I am only jumping 2’-2’3"). Funny enough, my horse is also small enough that I don’t deploy the vest when I accidentally forget to unclip before dismounting :joy:

I did have a bad fall a year ago with the vest on, and it worked exactly as it should have. My horse rolled on top of me and everything under the vest was unscathed (I broke my nose and my horse knocked out his 2 front teeth, to give you an idea of the type of fall).

I have seen videos of vests deploying in situations you describe, so I’m sure it can happen. I think on your average horse though, the chances are probably pretty low!


@giddybiddy, you need to shorten the lanyard on the vest! if it doesn’t deploy when you forget to unclip, you’re risking it deploying too late in the event of a fall.


The lanyards are pretty long so your vest should not deploy if you are still on your horse.

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Hey! This is Catherine from Ride EquiSafe. I appreciate the recommendations. :slight_smile:

If your vest is fitted properly and your lanyard is correctly adjusted, you should have plenty of room to make a mistake, i.e. getting jumped loose, getting left behind, jumping up the neck. Now, if you get jumped 2 feet out of the saddle, your vest should trigger because most people don’t land back in the saddle in that scenario. But if you’re lucky enough to, then you’ll be finishing your course in an inflated vest, which is totally doable. And we’ll all just clap harder and cheer louder at the end. :wink:

Feel free to reach out if I can help with fitting - 919-404-9744 or


I also agree that you should reach out to Catherince at RideEquisafe. I bought a body protector (Ridesafe) from her and I love it. I also plan on getting an airvest for competition.

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I have the Helite and it saved my back/legs? from what I think would’ve been a devastating fall/injury. I still broke my back but it was the most minor it could’ve possibly been.

I also had concerns about the lanyard but I jump up to 1.20 and I definitely have amateur moments and haven’t had an accidental pop!

I will never, ever get on a horse ever again without my vest on. I’m so so happy I bought one!

My daughter has the original Horse Pilot vest and has never had an issue with it accidentally deploying. I do believe that the newer vests have different lanyard lengths because some of the GP riders asked for a longer option. But for the average rider on the average horse, even doing jumpers, you are fine with the standard length.