How Protective Vests Impact Equestrian Safety

While researchers have looked at the reduced risk of serious injury to an equestrian when he or she wears a helmet, there has been less study into the effect of other safety equipment, including protective vests.

No account yet? Register


How Protective Vests Impact Equestrian Safety
A survey showed that 72% of the U.S. Pony Club members that responded own a protective vest. | Photo: iStock
Studies have shown that equestrian sports have a higher injury risk than many other mainstream sports, including football, basketball, and baseball. While much research has been done on helmet safety and the reduced risk of serious injury to a rider when a helmet is worn, there has been little scientific research done on the effect of other pieces of safety equipment on injury prevention, including protective vests.

At the inaugural Horse Industry Safety Summit, held April 23 at the University of Kentucky’s Spindletop Hall, in Lexington, Sarah Andres, PhD, chair of the United States Pony Club’s (USPC) Safety Committee, addressed this topic in her presentation about the importance of protective vests for equestrians.

Andres noted that the USPC collects detailed data in the form of incident reports on any fall or other potentially harmful occurrence sustained by a member. These reports include the age, sex, certification level, type of activity, a description of the incident and any resulting injuries, what protective equipment was being worn at the time of the incident, and any possible contributing factors to the incident.

This data, Andres said, was a key contributing factor in the USPC updating the language in its rules at the beginning of 2019 from “strongly encouraging” to “requiring” riders to wear protective vests while riding cross-country

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Where do you go to find information on pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID)? Select all that apply.
92 votes · 160 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!