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3 Best Horse Riding Body Protectors for Children

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My oldest grandson is seven and participates in barrel racing and calf riding competitions. Since I’ve been through this with my sons and know how often kids get injured, I bought him a body protector. They can’t protect him from every injury, but they will help absorb the impact of a horse’s fall or kick and reduce the chance of him sustaining a severe injury.

I found these three children’s horse riding body protectors to be the best online – Tipperary Eventer Vest (Best Overall), UNISTRENGH Equestrian professional safety vest (Best Price), and Saddle Barn Tack Mutton Bustin Vest (Best Features).

If you’re a parent who is concerned about your child’s safety while horse riding, you’ll want to read this post. In it, we will discuss the three best body protectors for children. We’ll also provide tips on how to choose the right protector for your child.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Since I wrote this article, I’ve been asked to review the JIUCHEN Horse Riding Vest. It looks like a good option, so I’ll provide my recommendation once I check it out in more detail. For now, here are the details from Amazon:

Three Best Horse Riding Body Protectors for Children

Other than a riding helmet, a body protector is the most crucial equipment a child needs to enjoy horse riding safely. There are many different types of body protectors on the market, so I reviewed three of the best options to make your decision easier.

All of these horse riding body protectors provide great protection for children, and each comes with its own benefits and features.

Tipperary Eventer Vest

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Best Overall

Tipperary Eventer Vest is a high-quality vest truly designed to protect your child as much as humanly possible if they fall off the horse. Tipperary Eventer is the best choice if you’re looking for a flexible and breathable body protector.

This vest has a high capacity for reducing impact as it comes with dual-density padding and shock absorption. The high-quality vest can effectively absorb impact if your kid falls and save their back from breaking.

The Tipperary Eventer Vest is designed to increase airflow so that your child can breathe easily and prevent sweating. This vest is ideal in hot weather conditions, as many riders complain about sweating. With this vest, you can get rid of this problem.

I like that the vest has front zips and adjustable lace sides that help get in and out of it quickly. Moreover, your kid will love the range of colors this vest offers.

Highlights

  • High Impact Absorption
  • Customizable fit
  • Breathable for hot weather
  • High comfort and mobility

Overall Impression

A well-made, high-quality, and sophisticated body protector outruns the competition in terms of functionality and comfort.

Customer reviews: 5 stars. Click here to learn what all users have to say about the Tipperary Eventer Vest.

UNISTRENGH Equestrian professional safety vest

picture of the Unistrength equestrian vest,

Best Price

The UNISTRENGH Equestrian Vest is very popular because it’s breathable and reasonably priced. The vest is designed using EVA and Polyester, which allows it to resist the rigors of riding.

My friend recommended this body protector because he likes that the vest is longer in the back. The more extended rear covering ensures your kids’ back and tailbone are protected if they fall on their rear end. Also, the lower front is scalloped, which allows freer movement.

The vest is also simple to adjust with side lacing and a zipper front. The vest is very comfortable and doesn’t irritate your child’s skin. The arc shape at the bottom of the vest is very helpful for kids to direct actions.

Highlights

  • Cost-effective
  • Smart Design
  • High-quality materials
  • Extended padding for tailbone protection

Overall Impression

The UNISTRENGH Equestrian Vest offers affordable, high-level protection and comfort for people running on a low budget.

Customer reviews: 4.1 stars. There are only four customer reviews of this vest, but you can click here to know what customers who have used this vest have to say.

Below is a YouTube video of a mutton-bustin’ competition.

Saddle Barn Tack Mutton Bustin Vest

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The Mutton Bustin Vest is designed for kids that are expected to hit the ground. My friend loves this vest for his four-year-old son. When your child falls off his horse or sheep, this vest provides the protection you expect.

The Mutton Buster is durable and comes with an American flag design. The vest adjusts at the sides and shoulder so you can use it for multiple children. This is a big advantage if you happen to participate in Little Britches rodeos.

There always seem to be late entrees and kids that don’t have vests. The Mutton Bustin Vest is a good overall model.

Highlights

  • Lightweight
  • Easily adjustable
  • Durable
  • Stylish and sleek

Overall Impression

The Mutton Bustin Vest is an excellent overall safety vest for kids that’s easily adjustable and durable that you can use it for multiple children.

Customer reviews: 4.2 stars. Click here to learn what people have to say about the Hit-Air Advantage Airbag Vest.

picture of horseback riders with body protectors,

How to Choose the Best Body Protector for Children

It is essential to wear a body protector to reduce the risk of injury; whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice, a body protector is a must for all riders.

The underlying purpose of a body protector is to provide a safety shell. Different body protectors are available in a range of funky colors and multiple features.

However, a few factors must be considered before choosing the best one for your child.

Levels of Protection

The British Equestrian Trade Association’s 2009 Body Protector Standard sets the safety mark for body protectors. Body protectors come with three levels of protection for different activities.

Level 1: This is the lowest level of protection. A black label or green label signifies Level 1 protection. It is only suitable for licensed jockeys.

Level 2: Level 2 offers medium-risk riding protection. This level is allowed for riding in a club or doing recreational horse riding activities. It excludes riding over jumps, on the roads, or while inexperienced. A Brown or orange label signifies Level 2 protection.

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Level 3: Level 3 provides superior protection for competitive horse riding events and competitions. People working with horses should wear Level 3 protection body protectors to reduce the danger of being kicked. The purple or blue label signifies Level 3 protection.

Standards

Various standards will give you a good idea of what to look for when buying a body protector for your child. The most updated standard is that of 2009.

Look for EN 13158:2009, BETA:2009, and ASTM F2681 when buying a body protector. As parents, you should test their products annually to make sure they’re offering long-term consistency and safety.

Fit

The right fit is vital to ensure that the body protector is doing its job correctly. To get the right size for your kid, measure their chest circumference, waist-shoulder height, and waist circumference.

If the protector is too long, your kid will not sit correctly in the saddle. On the other hand, it won’t protect your kid’s kidneys if it is too short. For your child to enjoy riding, they need to be comfortable.

A tight body protector will restrict your child’s body movements and breathing. Nonetheless, a too loose body protector will not secure them either, as it may move, causing essential body parts to be exposed to injuries. So, a snug fit is what you need.

Conclusion

Horse riding is dangerous; however, you can reduce the risk of injury with proper training and personal protective equipment. In an earlier article, I provide seven useful safety tips for horseback riders.

The article also covers how horse riding compares to other sports and the most common types of horse-related injuries. In my experience, the two most important things that prevent injuries are protective equipment and riding lessons.

Having a good body protector for your child is paramount. Consider all the factors and choose the best one for your child’s needs.

You can check out my recommendation for Best Horse Riding Helmets for Kids by clicking on this link. A body protector and a riding helmet are must-haves in the riding kit to allow your children to enjoy horse riding as safely as possible.

FAQs

Is it dangerous to ride a horse?

Anytime you are working with a large animal, there are inherent dangers, and horse riding is no different. But there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury, like wearing a helmet and body protectors.
For more information about the dangers of riding horses check out this article: Is Riding a Horse Dangerous? 7 Tips For Riding Safe.

What are some good riding helmets for kids?

When choosing a kid’s helmet, the primary consideration is to ensure it’s ASTM-SEI certified or approved to the SEI standards. Here are three good riding helmets for kids: Tipperary Sportage Helmet, Troxel Liberty Schooling Helmet, and Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet. You can find out more about choosing a riding helmet for kids here: 3 Best Horse Riding Helmets for Kids Sold on Amazon.

Are there any good western-style cowboy boots for kids?

Yes, a few bootmakers sell boots specifically designed for kids. Smoky Mountain makes a variety of good kids’ boots, and they sell at a reasonable price. I reviewed the Smoky Mountain Toddler boots here: Smoky Mountain Toddler Boots: Are They a Quality Kids Boots?