Is anyone using an Air Vest on trail rides? Thoughts? Which is the best?

I’ve been thinking about getting an Air Vest for trail riding when I am insecure.

Why and Air Vest instead of a Protection Vest?  I’m not exactly sure, but I think a Protection Vest is overkill and too stifling for trail riding.   But I am thinking I might like to have some peace of mind, ‘I’m getting older’, protection…  How much protection is too much?  What will help but not hinder on a normal trail ride?

Protection Vest vs Air Vest…

Well, to be honest, I’m not sure.  From my research, an Air Vest protects your neck and spine during a fall (which is what I worry about) and a Protection Vest protects your organs,  lungs/ribs and a kick or body slam from your horse during a fall.

Now, most Cross Country riders wear Protections Vest or both types of vests because they fall from higher distances than most and have a very large horse probably falling near them.

For me, I have a short horse who probably wouldn’t fall… but I have a long memory.

I remember my horrible experience (referenced here) and as I get older, I remember it more.  Mostly I remember it when going down steep hills.

So, I thought I’d get myself a protection vest or an air vest.  After reading a lot on the Internet, I’ve found many pros and cons… and research that hasn’t happened for the Air Vests…   So I wondered what you, readers, have experienced?

Here are some articles I’ve read.  What I learned most was that the Air Vest hasn’t been tested but seems like a great idea, its canisters are expensive AND… probably most important to me… the canister when deployed – makes a huge, explosive noise that may be upsetting to an already upset horse.  Hmmmmmm.  Could make things worse.


ARTICLE 2 (DIFFERECES EXPLAINED body protection and air jackets)

ARTICLE 3 (Equestrian Air Vests, Everything a Rider needs to know)

–Any experienced riders out there who have first hand knowledge?  Do you ride in them/either?  Please email me and I’d love to share your opinions!

These are examples of Air Vests:

These make more sense to me for trail riding… much less constrictive.

These are examples of Protection Vests:

These seem like overkill to me – for trail riding.  But famous last words, right?  Still, for me, I want freedom when trail riding.


–Any experienced riders out there who have first hand knowledge?  Do you ride in them/either?  Please email me and I’d love to share your opinions!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Only one comment so far...

  1. Calvin48

    I’m an old eventer and I own a protective vest (required for lower levels). It’s warm, but not restrictive. I’ve never used an air vest, or wanted one. I know so many people who’ve hopped off their horse w/o unhooking the trigger cord. Not only is that expensive, but horses react badly to the sound, and in their eagerness to get away, have injured people or themselves. One has to accept the fact that riding can be dangerous and there is no gadget that will eliminate the risk. Riders who can’t come to terms with the innate danger involved in riding horses are called former riders. I have never skied b/c I didn’t want to sustain an injury that would keep me from riding; pick your poison.

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *