Interested in recommendations for a good protective vest for trail riding and arena work. Trying to decide between a Hit Air vest or a regular body protector such as Champion or Tipperary. Wondering which is best if you are just going to wear one vest, for those activities (not eventing, where I know they usually wear a protector vest under the Hit Air). Being in my 50’s and a couple of accidents in the past, would like some extra protection and peace of mind.
I have a Helite, and I highly recommend it. I decided on the Helite over the Hit Air because Helite started out selling protective motorcycle gear, and they were recommended by my motorcycle riding boyfriend. I figured they know what their doing! Also, there are a number of European companies (Dada Sport, Oscar & Gabrielle) that make quite snazzy outer shells and jackets. I’ve had mine for about 5 years and I only have positives to report.
I am 68 and ride in an older Charles Owens all the time. I like it because it has rib protection on the side. I broke a bunch of ribs and punctured a lung once (my vest was seriously in the car on the winter day I decided to work without stirrups on my young OTTB…) and I am not sure a laced side like the Tipperary would have helped. I am quite comfortable in it. I am not interested in an Air Vest.
I have done some very low level eventing. There is a reason that eventing does not allow only an air vest. If you go to the eventing board there is a more recent study about air vests and that they may cause issues in certain circumstances.
I figure for me it would be expensive. I would get off the horse more than once without disconnecting the lanyard and pop the canister. My luck it would spook my horse and I would be chasing him around the trailhead.
I like my Aerowear.
I like my Charles Owen Kontackt vest for trail riding. It is comfortable. During my two falls (one onto rocks and one onto a sharp tree branch) it did a good job for me. Each time, I was able to get back on and comfortably finish the trail ride.