A new look on injuries: the body protection vest
Most studies in horse riding look at how an injury is caused (usually by a fall), and what kind of injuries occur most often (head). For most equestrians, the use of a cap is generally accepted, especially because this is required by many riding schools.
The injury location that appears the most after the head is the trunk. For this purpose, the body protector has been developed. Yet little research has been done into the effect of body protectors.
The United States Pony Clubs (USPC) has played a major role in research into the use of caps and in obliging their wearing. In this study, they also played a great role. Questionnaires were sent to the members of this organization. Nearly 900 riders took part in the questionnaire. In addition, all injuries have been reported.
This study looked at the following things; the disipline of riding, wearing body protectors, type and severity of the injuries, and the level of the equestrian.
This study did not immediately show that the riders who wore a body protector had fewer injuries. What it did show was that the injuries that were reported were less serious. This did vary for each disipline. This study also showed that the level of rider did say something on how much injuries occured. The more experience the rider had, the less injuries occurred.
Despite the fact that riding and dealing with horses entails risks, one can always look into how these risks can be reduced. The use of body protectors could be a big factor here.
Expert opinion by Sophie Delemarre
Personally, I only wear a bodyprotector when I'm jumping or hacking. During the disciplines of riding whit more speed involved and risks of falling, I think it's important to wear a body protector. For me it really has added value but I do not find them very comfortable during dressage. If they were more comfortable and looked better then I would also wear it during dressage.
> From: Andres et al., BMJ open Exerc Med 4 (2018) 1-6 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Click here for the online summary.