Shoulder pad recommendations?

Since my husband had a fall on his youngster last year, we’ve been slowly kitting him out with more safety gear “just in case.” He got nice breakaway stirrups and recently a new Dainese vest. Now I’m looking for shoulder pads (since he broke his clavicle on the fall) and wondering if there are any good options that would pair with a vest not of the same brand?

The RaceSafe ones seem specific for their vests. The Dainese vest I think covers a bit more shoulder at the top than some of the other popular vests so I’m wondering if that might make it difficult to pair.

Also would love to hear anyone’s experience wearing shoulder pads and if they helped save a fall.

I’m curious to know why you decided on a safety vest from a non-equestrian brand. I had to look it up as I didn’t know the name. This is a genuine question, by the way, as I like to learn.

There is a separate BETA standard for shoulder pads ( and they evidently do reduce shoulder damage in eventing. BETA has leaflets on Body Protectors (aka vests in the USA) and on shoulder protection that can be downloaded. BETA set the internationally recognised standards. However, to answer your question, I believe the shoulder pads are designed to fit specific vests. Each brand is different from the others in design details which is why some fit some people better than others.

Dainese vests are great @Willesdon. I don’t think their sales really took off, but they’re Beta 3, super comfortable, and mine seems to be much more protective than the other vests that I’ve tried. They’re also a steal of a deal right now, I think likely because they’re on close out.

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I’ve just been into the tack shop for our habitual Friday cake and I asked the staff about Dainese vests. They haven’t taken off in the UK horse world but people were asking for them at one point so some were ordered. The tack shop found them to be bulkier than Racesafe and “a bit like a turtle shell” so stopped selling them.

Live and learn. I hadn’t heard of them before.

I looked into them at one point and the comments I heard were similar. They’re bulky and frankly not ultra flattering, but because of the turtle shell hexagons, the moveability (and by extension, comfort) on them is great. As far as safety is concerned, if the company makes safety gear for hurtling around a racetrack on a motorcycle at outrageous speeds, I’d trust them to know what they’re doing on the protection front. Sounds like most of why they didn’t take off was because they weren’t very aesthetically pleasing more than anything.

I first heard of the brand in a comment someone posted on FB then I found a thread on here where a few people described having a good experience.

As @Mander put it, if they know how to create protective gear for motorcyclists, I figured the vests would be pretty protective (and the BETA 3 certification was extra assurance). I also considered RaceSafe but the close out sale on the Dainese was too good to pass up.

It is quite bulky looking (I believe someone on here compared it to SWAT gear) but once on, my husband found it to be quite comfortable and it didn’t seem to interfere when he was riding.

One kind of funny feature is what I jokingly refer to as the “chastity belt.” There’s a strap that connects to the vest and goes between your legs. I’m not sure why that’s actually needed as the vest hardly looks like it’s going to fly off over his shoulders. Needless to say my husband is not planning on using it (fortunately it can be removed).

Well, the best brand is always the one that is worn. I have learned a bit from this thread which is good. My first body protector about 25 years ago also had that “nappy strap” and I’m also not certain what it was for.

I would say that motorbikes don’t go suddenly up in the air, or shoot sideways or spin multiple times with no warning. The brand has disappeared here in the UK - my source, the Tack Shop owner, thinks it might be the result of a marketing decision when they changed their distributor. The company website makes no current reference to equestrian safety.