Everything You Need To Know About Body Protectors
What Do They Do and Who Are They For?
Riding safety should always be at the forefront of every equestrians mind. Body Protectors are designed to absorb the impact created when falling off, being kicked or stood on by a horse. They are used by newbie-novice riders to the more experienced competitors. Nowadays, a lot of riders own a body protector for everyday use, eventing or if their horse is a little unpredictable! No protector can protect against serious injury; however they can drastically reduce the severity of an injury.
Anatomy of a Body Protector
1. Shoulder Protectors – These aim to protect the end of the collar
bone. Research into Eventing has shown that wearing BETA Level 3 shoulder protectors can reduce the risk of breaking the collar bone by up to 80%.
2. Outer Material – The foam is normally covered by fabric.
3. Inner Material – Most body protectors have 2 levels of PVC Nitrile foam that are heat sensitive. Many also soften and mould to the riders body. The foam is often perforated to reduce the weight, increase flexibility and improve airflow. Always check the protector for dents after a fall; the foam will expand back to its original size 30 minutes after impact.
4. Weight – The lighter the foam the harder it is when not in use, the heavier the foam the softer.
5. Fastenings – These can be zip, sliding buckle, clip or velcro depending on the style and design of the body protector.
6. Lining – Usually made from a breathable mesh.
The British Equestrian Trade Association 2009 Body Protector Standard sets the mark for safety and is recommended by all leading riding organisations and disciplines when a body protector is required.
BETA recommends that body protectors are changed every 3-5 years depending on the use – as the impact will effect the absorption properties of the foam.
Should you have a fall wearing your body protector, BETA advice inspecting the protector for any damage. If the foam is dented, it should return back to its natural shape after 30 minutes. If however it does not return to its shape after this time, it is recommended you replace your body protector as the impact absorption qualities may have decreased.
Over the years the body protector standards have changed increasing the level of protection offered. The most recent revised standard is that from 2009. Garments to the 2000 standard are still on the market but as with all safety wear for the best protection the newest standards should be first choice. Any standards before this time are no longer effective.
To carry the BETA label, it must meet the EN13158 standard and have a CE mark on the label. Consumers must test their products annually to ensure the long term consistency and safety of their products.
Provides the technical specification for equestrian body protectors and sets the level of shock absorption required in every garment. This standard dictates the area of the body that must be covered and ensures there a minimal gaps between the foam panels and ensures closures are safe.
Updated Standard – 1st October 2018
As of the 1st of October 2018, new body protectors have been designed to meet the new regulations and safety standards and will run along side of the 2009 versions for the next 5 years until stocks run out.
When looking at the performance levels, there is no difference in the protection offered and both will be excepted and recognised by most disciplines and rider organisations until further notice.
The 2009 versions will no longer be made at the end of 2018. Protectors that display Level 5 or 7, 2 or 3 Labels or the BETA 2000 Level 1, 2 or will no longer be effective or accepted in eventing and should be replaced.
Levels of Protection
There are 3 levels of protection for different activities. The difference between the 3 levels is the thickness of the foam used to to absorb and spread the impact.
Black Label (2009) or Green Label (2018)
Body protectors providing a lower level of impact protection. From October 1st 2018, Level 1 Body Protectors will no longer be allowed in racing.
Brown Label (2009) or Orange Label (2018)
Protectors providing a lower than normal level of protection. Appropriate for low risk situations. This level of protector will be allowed in racing as it offers 50% more protection to direct blows then level 1. This does not include: riding on the roads, riding over jumps, riding young or excitable horses or riding whilst inexperienced.
Purple Label (2009) or Blue Label (2018)
Body protectors that provide a normal level of protection for normal horse riding, competitions and working with horses.
The Pony Club now requires all riders participating in Cross Country to wear a level 3 Body Protector whilst for other activities wearing a Body Protector isn’t compulsory.
The Fitting of Body Protectors
The correct fit is essential to ensure the garment can do its job correctly when needed. It is recommended to have the protector fitted by a reputable shop who will have staff trained to fit such items.
Here at Naylors our staff are trained to ensure you leave with a correctly fitted body protector taking your safety as our number 1 priority.
Body Protectors At Naylors Equestrian
Did you know here at Naylors we offer a free body protector fitting service at our stores? For more information on where to find us click Here.
Champion Adult Ti22 Body Protector Black RRP £192.00
Designed to be unisex, the Champion Adults Ti22 Body Protector is a Level 3 flexible segment style body protector. Exceptionally durable, featuring heavy duty YKK zips and military-grade outer mesh. Despite its durability, the Ti22 is crafted with ultra lightweight foam so is both lightweight and protective. A must-have riding item for every equestrians tackroom!
Racesafe Adults Provent 3.0 Body Protector Black RRP £217.00
The Racesafe Adults Provent 3.0 Body Protector is Racesafe’s latest Level 3 high specification body protector designed for riders of every level to have the freedom to perform at their best. The body protector is breathable and lightweight offering a comfortable and non-restrictive fit, whilst moulding to the individual’s body shape.
Airowear Teen Outlyne Body Protector Black RRP £136.99
The Airowear Teen Outlyne Protector is a zip fronted body protector that has been designed to teenage riders. Outlyne Body Protector is adjustable at the waist, chest and shoulders and features visual fit indicators to guide you to the correct fit.
The Airowear Outlyne Body Protector features UltraFlex™ Technology that moulds to the contours of the body for maximum comfort and freedom in the saddle.
Airowear Mens Outlyne Body Protector Black RRP £147.99
Airowear Mens Outlyne Body Protector in Black. The Airowear Mens Outlyne Protector is a zip front body protector that’s ideal for male riders. This Level 3 Protector is generously tailored across the shoulders and rib cage. The Outlyne Body Protector is adjustable at the waist, chest and shoulders. It also features visual fit indicators to guide you to the correct fit.
Point Two ProAir Adults Air Jacket Black £398.00
The Point Two ProAir is a lightweight, durable air vest. Ideal for a variety of equestrian disciplines: from hacking and schooling to eventing and polo.
The Point Two ProAir helps to distribute pressure and absorb shock. Also designed to support the spinal column in the event of a fall. When inflated, the air bag system offers the collar of the neck and trunk more support. Therefore reducing the risk of over bending the spinal column.
For more information or advice when choosing a body protector do not hesitate to take a trip down to our Superstore or contact Customer Services on 01706 507 555 for expert advice.