Take good care of your body protector, and it will protect you for longer and more effectively.

  1. Body protectors should be replaced every three to five years, after which the impact absorption properties of the foam may have started to decline.
  2. If you have a heavy fall, check your body protector for dents. The foam is designed to expand back to its original shape within 30 minutes, but if you find a dent it’s likely that this part has lost its impact absorption properties and the body protector should be replaced.
  3. Buying a second-hand body protector is not recommended — you don’t know its history and it may have hidden damage.
  4. Don’t leave your body protector lying around on the yard to be kicked or trodden on. Leaving it in a hot car or damp tackroom won’t do it any good either.
  5. Hang your body protector on a clothes hanger when you’re not using it. Fasten the zips and do up Velcro fastenings — this will help it to keep its shape and stop fastenings getting dirty.

Levels of protection

Level 1 Black Label (2009) or Green Label (2018)
Body protectors providing a lower level of impact protection.

Level 2 Brown Label (2009) or Orange Label (2018)
These provide a lower than normal level of protection and are appropriate for low-risk situations. This level is allowed in racing, but doesn’t include riding on the roads, jumping, riding young/excitable horses, or for inexperienced riders.

Level 3 Purple Label (2009) or Blue Label (2018)
These provide a normal level of protection for riding, competitions and working with horses. It’s this level of protector that is compulsory for the cross-country phase in British Eventing, British Riding Clubs and the Pony Club.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products, available now.