What is an air vest? It’s simply a vest that inflates in less than a blink of an eye when you fall off your horse, thereby saving you all manner of pain.
I’ve never broken any bones from a riding fall, but I have personally known people who have crushed vertebrae, punctured lungs, broken ribs, and cracked pelvises on nice, calm mounts during otherwise un-eventful trail rides.
The thing is, it only takes once. For $700 or less (the vest about costs $400), you can avoid a life-changing injury, a trip to the extremely costly emergency room, and days, weeks, or months of recovery.
Heck, I would pay that just to avoid getting bucked off and getting the wind knocked out of me like I’ve done a couple dozen times before.
Did that get your attention? Can you believe she got up on her feet and walked away unhurt after that?
Here’s another one more like the falls I normally take:
There are two companies that make air vests for riding horses and motorcycles, Hit Air and Point Two Air Vests. Both have similar features and design. Both have several models and similar pricing. The Hit-Air has more inflation around the neck and an ever-so-slightly faster inflation speed. The Point Two has more styles available for equestrians and also features a secondary hard padded vest for eventing. Both come in colors other than black, and both offer vests for motorcyle riding, too.
In addition to protecting myself physically and financially, I suspect riding with an air vest will also help my horse. How so? Because if I have the confidence that I’m not going to be hurt if I fall off, I believe I’ll ride with less fear and be less tense. I may rediscover the bravery I had when I was a young and supple teen. I may even ride more because I’ll be less afraid to go out on my own. All of which is good for my horse, too.