“ Elite Body Armour Series and Racelite Body Armour Series. Modern body protectors are designed to absorb the high levels of energy created when a rider falls from, is kicked by or stood on by a horse. Thereby greatly reducing the risk of serious damage to the riders vital organs i.e. heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and spleen. The BETA 2000, and BSEN13158 standards for horse riders body protectors are currently the worlds highest standards for body protectors and are recognised by riding organisations around the world. The standard controls the area of the body that must be covered by the body protector, ensures that there are minimal gaps between the protective foam panels, and specifies three defined levels of shock absorbency to cater for all riders needs. „
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My good old father always told me about the importance of protection, well in fact his actual, and only words, with regards to my sex education were Show them a good time but dont get them in the family way which I then interpreted to mean that he meant wear protection. Wise words indeed and an ethos I apply to any sport which involves the risk of injury hence for horse riding a body protector is a must have item.
Body protectors resemble the stab or bullet proof jackets that you see police officers and drug dealers wearing and are designed to protect the back and ribs from injury should you take a fall from your horse and the Rodney Powell range of Body Armour have a good reputation both in the professional ranks and the general riding population. The latest body protector that I have bought is the Series 5 protector and it cost £72.95 from Tower Farm Saddlers in Rugby. The protectors are made to three different standards and are distinguished by coloured labels and it is the purple label that provides the best level of protection for normal horse riding and competitions.
Getting the correct fit is very important; an ill fitting protector will not provide the maximum amount of protection and could even cause more damage than good. It is important that the protector is a tight fit, there is no point buying one that you will grow into as a loose fitting garment will not absorb all of the impact from a fall. Fortunately the series 5 has adjustable shoulder straps which are secured by double sided strong Velcro strips which allow you to adjust the length of the protector. There is also a cummerbund strap around the real of the protector which allows you to ensure that it has a tight fit across the back of the rider and prevents it moving whilst riding in particular while jumping... Ideally there should be about three finger widths between the high point of the saddle and the bottom of the back protector and the front of the protector should sit just over the bottom rib.
This is a strong well made protector which actually moulds to your body, thanks to the design of the foam panels, after wearing it a couple of times which allows for easy movement and the stitching is very strong and double stitched in a number of places. The zip that links the two centre panels is well made and easy to operate even while wearing riding gloves. Once the zip is done up the two front panels are designed in such a way that they meet I the centre to ensure the front of the body is completely protected.
On the inside of the protector is a webbed effect which helps absorb sweat and takes away any dampness from the protector which is a nice touch as it will not smell so much after repeated use in hot weather. Connecting the front tow sections to the back plate there are a couple of elasticated strips which allow movement and the ability to draw the two sections together for a tight fit. The rear cummerbund also has a purple line on the inside of the Velcro to signify the maximum setting that should be used before it is time to move up a size. On the back plate there are also two further flaps that ensure that the ribs are fully protected as well. Finally on the shoulder straps there are two small D rings to enable the fitting of shoulder and arm protectors for cross country riding should you want to add extra protection.
This is certainly a very good protector, it is robust and a very comfortable fit, after only a couple of rides the initial stiffness soon went away and the protector began to mould around the body and did not restrict my movement in any way, the cummerbund on the rear ensures that it stays in place even while jumping, fortunately it has not yet been put to the ultimate test following a fall but Ive every confidence in its reliability.
It is easy to care for the protector, cleaning should be in warm soapy water using a normal washing powder and the garment is best stored on a hanger and well ventilated.
Definitely one I would recommend and it is available in a range of sizes from x-small child up to large adult. Mine is black in colour however a blue one was available in the shop. Check out the website for more details
Thanks for reading and rating my review.