If you haven’t worn your body protector for a little while, if it feels uncomfy or loose, or you think your child might have grown; you will need to check that your body protector still fits correctly before getting into the saddle.
Whatever style or make your body protector is, these fitting principles remain the same:
Chest and waist fitting
Most models of body protector have some form of side adjustment, this can be lace up, elasticated, or Velcro tabs. Within the range of this side adjustment your body protector should fit comfortably and snugly over a light layer of clothing.
Body length fitting
Your ribs need to be protected in the event of a fall, so it’s important that the front of the body protector covers your last rib.
Back length fitting
The correct back length fitting will vary slightly by rider preference, saddle type and the discipline you will be riding. However, your body protector should offer you lower back protection, without interfering with the saddle.
To check you have enough clearance from the back of your saddle, sit in the saddle and place your palm between the seat and your body protector. You should be able to fit 3-4 fingers in the gap.
Parents can sometimes be tempted to buy a body protector a size too big so the child has room to grow. However, if the body protector doesn’t fit correctly for every ride it isn’t safe.
If you are unsure of the fit of your body protector, or if you need to purchase a new one, it is recommended that you visit a BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Approved Retailer. At Eland Lodge we offer a free fitting and checking service with our fully trained and qualified staff.