Tack & Equipment
How Safe is Your Safety Equipment?
For thousands of riders every year, their ride ends with a trip to the emergency room. This article looks at safety equipment and how effective it is.
By: Teresa Pitman |
Though avoiding injury while riding is primarily about a safe environment and appropriate training for both horse and rider, having the right safety equipment is another valuable precaution.
Helmets are a must for rider safety, but as this Horse Sport article illustrates, there is no “safest” helmet. Research has shown that higher price does not equate with greater safety, but proper fit, comfort, and replacing the helmet when necessary do make a difference.
Whether body protectors lower the risk of torso injuries is less certain, but Kenda Lubeck, Farm Safety Coordinator for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, recommends them, and they are required in the warm-up and cross-country phases of eventing. Air vests are also said to reduce the likelihood of some injuries, but no independent research has been done to confirm this.
Other safety-minded options include stirrups designed to release the foot if you fall, grippy gloves, and shatter-proof sunglasses.