Buying Guides Body protectors

The last thing you want to think about is falling off your horse, but it’s important to take steps to protect yourself just in case you part company. This is where investing in a high-quality, up-to-standard body protector can help.

Body protectors are designed to offer you protection should you fall off, or get kicked or trodden on by your horse. While no body protector can keep you completely safe, they go a long way to increasing the chances of escaping serious or life-threatening injury. And, with many different styles to choose from, it’s worth looking at your options before you invest.

Just your type

Style is always something to consider when choosing a body protector and not just in terms of aesthetics. The perfect fit for you might be completely different for someone else, so it’s important to explore all the options and have one professionally fitted to you.

TOP TIP – Try to store your body protector in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard, as this will ensure it’s flexible from the minute you put it on.

Fit for purpose

It’s not compulsory to wear a body protector at all times, but it’s important to think about when you’ll need one – if you want to compete in cross-country, it’s a must-have.

TOP TIP – Don’t just stand still when you try on your body protector – walk around the shop and see how mobile you are in it. Some retailers will have a saddle you can sit in, too.

DID YOU KNOW?

Lots of riders like to wear an air jacket on the cross-country course, but you must wear an up-to-standard body protector underneath to be eligible to compete.

Take precautions

As with your riding hat, impact from a fall can mean it’s time to replace your body protector. Any dents that appear in its foam should spring back to their original shape within 30 minutes. If they don’t, this part of your body protector has lost its ability to absorb impact, so it should be replaced. Regardless, though, it’s best to replace your body protector every three to five years, as this is when the absorption capabilities start to decline.

TOP TIP – Avoid buying a second-hand body protector as it’s difficult to see how much damage it’s sustained.

Decathlon Smart Rider

£64.99

Sizes S–L

Boasting a highly flexible, square foam structure, this body protector is lightweight and is covered with breathable mesh fabric.

decathlon.co.uk

Krämer Easy Fit II

£69.90

Sizes XS–L

Mobile panels make this body protector highly flexible, and it features Velcro fastenings at the hip and shoulder.

kramer.co.uk

Rhinegold Pro-comfort

£89.50

Sizes S–L

A lightweight option that doesn’t compromise on safety, this body protector features double Velcro fastenings for security.

rhinegold.eu

Gatehouse Superflex Contour Air Flow

£133.99

Sizes XS–XXL

Designed to allow close contouring to the body, this body protector’s mesh outer fabric helps make it breathable.

gatehouserange.co.uk

Horze Maximus

£137.99

Sizes XS–L

Featuring a foam lining for a comfortable fit, this body protector also has hook-and-loop fastenings and a front zip.

horze.co.uk

Champion Ti22 

From £176.75

Sizes XS–XL variety of fits

A comfortable and durable unisex body protector that’s constructed from ultra-lightweight foam with a military-grade mesh outer.

championhats.co.uk

Shires Karben

£109.99

Sizes XS–L variety of fits

Featuring three adjustment points, it has shock-absorbing foam layers for a close, flexible fit.

shiresequestrian.com

Harry Hall High Flex

£125

Sizes S–XL

Specifically designed to fit the female shape, this body protector features rubberised shoulder tabs and reflective piping for visibility.

harryhall.com

Airowear AirMesh

From £180.50

Sizes L3–L7 variety of fits

Featuring enhanced air flow technology to help keep you cool, it moulds to your body to provide the perfect fit.

airowear.co.uk

Racesafe ProVent 3.0

From £217

Sizes XS–XL variety of fits

Lightweight and comfortable, this body protector is ultra-breathable while offering you freedom of movement.

racesafe.co.uk

Kanteq KAN

£275

Custom made to measure

With moulded panels specifically designed for women, this product uses materials from motorbike armour technology to compress on impact.

kanteq.com 

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