My 15 year old daughter rides in a small class weekly. They walk, trot, canter and are improving their technique over smallish jumps. The others in the class have stopped wearing body protectors. DD is still wearing hers but I was wondering what the general advice would be?
No protector no ride in my house and my eldest is 17, I've taught them it doesn't matter what others do. It's the same when school friends stop wearing cycling helmets, difficult but a battle worth having. Without frightening her its worth finding some reports or footage of how a protector has helped someone (the BHS may have something) so that she grows to feel she's the sensible one and they're daft (it just helps her not to go with the crowd). As I say it can be difficult, when we were on livery my daughters were the only ones in them but one girl there was airlifted to hospital when her horse fell on her and still suffers the consequences 2 years on. Good luck with it all
Thank you Lovesswimming. She hasn't brought it up yet, so it may be that she's just naturally sensible (I hope!). Just wanted to be prepared for the conversation when it comes. I will certainly follow your lead
I wouldn't make a 15 year old wear a body protector if she was just trotting or cantering in a school. I really can't see the likelihood of her having the kind of fall where a body protector would be helpful.
She might not complain. When I was a teenager I saved up for my own body protector (my parents took little interest in my riding and would not have known about body protectors) and I always wore it. I still never ride without either body protector /air jacket. Some teenagers do have common sense and won't give in to peer pressure. At my yard a lot of people always wear them.
Although as adults we make decisions on what type of riding needs a body protector or not, I think that for our children and teens we are getting them into good habits and encouraging them to make decisions that aren't based on what others are doing. I also know of a few people (children and adults) who have had injuries during trot/canter lessons. Depending on the school, coming off and hitting the post and rail with your ribs can cause severe bruising which hurts like hell and takes weeks to heal. Falling off and having someone else's horse tread on you can cause serious injury. Though gilbertus I understand it is different for everyone a d we all make decisions and have a line. My last injury was whilst leading my horse. I'm still in pain over 3 weeks on and a body protector would have made a huge difference but I haven't started to wear one whilst leading. I know where I went wrong to avoid if possible it happening again. My daughter has a racesafe and in the end it was tried on by lots if girls and adults in the riding school as it is comfortable to wear.
Defo keep wearing it !!! My dd wears a racesafe body protector, no way would I let her ride without one ! What would you be asking yourself if an accident happened ? Even in an indoor school, walking, trotting or cantering .. incidents can happen. Why take any chances ????
Not only does my dd wear a body protector but she wears toe stoppers too. She has hypermobile joints, especially in her ankles, and as a result, has had 3 dragging incidents due to her foot going right through the stirrups. Fortunately, each time her jodhpur boot came off (& chap) but not before being swung around, dragged and almost hauled over a fence !!
I stand justified that I am doing everything I can to protect my dd while she's doing what she loves most ! If they're good enough for top competitors, they're good enough for us. Have a read of this.
Tilly I was interested to hear the chaps came off too when your daughter fell. I haven't worn mine since my horse fell during a lunge lesson and I got dragged with my foot in the stirrup, only being released when the elastic under my jods snapped and my boot came off. It occured to me that my chaps might not have come off if I'd been wearing them and then I would have been in trouble, but it seems I was wrong. Time to dig out that brand-new pair from somewhere at the bottom of a cupboard .
Ds wears stirrup cages too, means a few less grey hairs for me!
Hi Pixel, Yes the chaps (zipped ones) came off all three times, basically got ripped off ! The first time dd was dragged, she was only 7 years old (she's 9 now). The pony jinked to the side & took off in the indoor school, totally out of the blue. DD was swung around horizontally by one leg before gravity took over & she fell to the ground with her foot still through the stirrup !!!! Thank god everything came off. The cages are non-negotiable. After the second dragging incident, the cages went on (I didn't know they even existed until I happened to chat with a very experienced rider about what happened to dd). I don't care if people think they are ugly or un-traditional. They are the reason my dd is still riding. If I hadn't known about them, she wouldn't be riding today ... and she is developing into a lovely little rider.
I've just invested in a pair of toe-stoppers instead of cages as dd's feet have outgrown her boots & cages. They are lighter & more comfortable. They haven't arrived yet so I can't tell you how they fare but if they're good enough for top level riders, they're good enough for us
I really don't know why riding schools and trekking centres don't have them as standard, the basic plastic ones are cheap enough. I suppose they are a bit of a pain because you have to unscrew them if you want to run the stirrups up, but they do mean that you can let someone have a ride on your horse without worrying if they have unsuitable footwear!