Why wear an airbag vest when riding?
Horseback riding is a risky sport: a fall from a horse may not be serious, but there is still a risk... of an accident with potentially serious consequences. As a result, safety on horseback is a very important aspect that should not be overlooked: it is therefore crucial to opt for suitable and safe equipment.
Although the helmet (or helmet) is mandatory for horse riding, the airbag vest is not yet widely available. This equipment, the development of which was inspired by existing protections for skiing or motorcycling, appears to be the most effective protection currently available to ensure the safety of the upper body.
Horse riding being a risky sport, horse riding airbag vest have won over many riders as soon as they hit the market. They have indeed proven their effectiveness by avoiding serious consequences for riders who are victims of major falls. Like the riding helmet, the airbag has become essential in the rider's equipment at a certain level, especially to promote competition in complete safety.
Whatever happens, in the choice of your equipment, whether for the riding helmet or the protection of the upper body, favor a high level of protection whatever the level of practice. In addition, an airbag vest, regardless of its price and range, can be used over the long term (several years). Although expensive, you can try to find a discount horse riding airbag vest. Just maintain it properly and change the gas cartridges and tether straps when necessary.
How much does an airbag riding vest cost?
The prices of riding airbag vests vary widely: they adapt to the rider's budget. Generally, prices vary between 300 (for an entry-level model) and 600 euros (for a high-end model) depending on the models and brands. On the other hand, airbag vests are required to meet certain fairly strict safety standards, compliance with which gives rise to authorization to market them, regardless of their price. These vests must also be equipped with gas cartridges, the price of which varies between 20 and 30 euros depending on their capacity.
The advantages of an airbag vest when riding: value for money
An airbag vest is a piece of protective equipment with many advantages. First of all, it is much more comfortable and practical than a traditional back protector or cross vest, which are much more rigid and can sometimes hinder the rider or hinder his freedom of movement. It is made from a breathable and moisture-wicking fabric so that air circulates better: so it can be used in hot weather, especially when it has to be placed over a jacket. competition. Regarding this last point, an airbag vest is more aesthetic than a traditional foam back protector. It is also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Secondly, an airbag vest is very effective from a rider safety point of view. Indeed, a classic vest does not protect certain areas such as the lower back and the neck as well. A case of example: we know the behavior of horses when they leave the stables in winter and which are sometimes quite warm and putting on an airbag vest can be reassuring for those who are riding. Indeed, the airbag will be triggered in the event of a fall to protect your body and cushion your falls.
Finally, wearing an airbag riding vest, regardless of its price, allows the rider to feel safer, and therefore more confident. The fact that the sensitive parts of the body (back and neck) are protected contributes greatly to reassuring the rider, who can thus ride a horse with complete peace of mind. Be careful, however, not to adopt dangerous or reckless behavior. You can try to find a cheap horse riding airbag vest online
The disadvantages of an airbag vest when riding
However, although the airbag vest has many advantages, it is possible to find some shortcomings. For example, the fact that the airbag is triggered when a pull is performed on the cord connecting the saddle to the vest. If the rider falls with his horse (which happens in rare cases) and his body remains close to that of his mount, the airbag may not be triggered. This is why, in eventing, it is suggested to combine the use of an airbag vest with that of a cross vest. Indeed, for the eventing cross-country event, it is necessary to favor the back protector or the classic vest in addition to the airbag. Whatever happens, remember to put on your safety vest and consider opting for adjustable models to wear it easily and comfortably. Our airbag vest is suitable for riders as well as riders and the cuts have been studied for it.
A second disadvantage is that the gas cartridge must be changed after a trigger. It is therefore necessary to bring an additional cartridge, especially in the case where the rider is on the move or in competition.
Finally, the price of the vest itself and the cartridges may seem prohibitive. However, let's keep in mind that a riding airbag vest has a long life if it is maintained correctly. In addition, safety is a priority and the price of an airbag vest must be considered in perspective with the risks of sequelae linked to serious accidents, in particular for riders practicing cross country or show jumping. You can take advantage of certain saddlery sales or sales periods to find an airbag at the best price.
How does an airbag vest work when riding?
When riding, falls are usually very fast and sometimes violent. In general, the impact with the ground occurs less than a second after the fall. The airbag therefore deploys as soon as the distance between the rider and his saddle becomes too great to be due to natural movement. It is therefore important to take care to unhook the vest from your saddle before dismounting, otherwise it will trigger its deployment.
The operation of an airbag vest is very simple. It should be put on over riding clothes before riding, just like a traditional back protector. Once on horseback, you must attach the connection strap of the vest to the saddle at the level of the stirrup leather knives. During a fall, the airbag system is triggered when the trigger element (the key ball) comes out of the case. The striker then punctures the cartridge and thus releases the gas it contains, which disperses in the air cushions of the vest at high speed.
A cartridge can only be used once, so it must be replaced after each shot. As for the air cushions, they are placed at the level of the sensitive areas of the torso, such as the cervical, the spine, the pelvis and the abdomen. This protects the rider's body and significantly decreases the risk of trauma and injury during the fall.
How to choose the right airbag vest?
It is important to note that if you plan to use your airbag in competitions, the Horse Pilot airbag is compatible with a whole range of competition jackets. So you can match the color of your airbag compatible riding jacket with your other equipment such as the saddle pad. When it comes to comfort, ensuring comfort and breathability of the jacket is paramount to us. Indeed, in a sport where you move and sweat, providing flexibility and breathability of the fabric is essential for a jacket like an airbag. For this, a stretchy and breathable material was used for the design. For the jacket, remember to test size m in the upholstery if you have any doubts with another size.
The different models of airbag vests that define the price
There are many models of airbag vests, which adapt to all tastes and all practices: competition jackets, light or more complete vests, jackets, etc. The materials and fabrics used vary between the different models, which makes it possible to choose them according to the weather or the discipline practiced. It is also necessary to choose an airbag adapted to its size and build, so as not to reduce its effectiveness.
In addition, it is possible to find lightweight airbag vests, and other more complete ones. The latter, which protect the lumbar and cervical muscles, are used in particular in cross country or obstacle jumping.
Finally, vests have a more or less developed aesthetic, especially depending on their price. If this question is sometimes a barrier for riders, nowadays there are competition jackets or airbag jackets, which allow you to have an elegant appearance thanks to the invisible airbag. If you want to go out in show jumping competition, remember to protect your body with an airbag riding vest or any other protective material.
Maintenance of an airbag vest
The design of an airbag vest allows it to deploy several times. The textiles used for its manufacture are also very resistant. However, like standard riding protective equipment, a fall will impact its lifespan.
The maintenance of an airbag vest is simple: it must be cleaned with a damp sponge or a soft brush. Do not use the washing machine and/or dryer.
It is important to store this type of vest flat or on a hanger. It is best to avoid bending it, otherwise the airbag membrane present inside the vest will be weakened. To transport the vest, there are transport covers at reasonable prices, in order to avoid folding it and to protect it from the aggressions of the weather.