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Safety Vest Options for Kids With Ride EquiSafe

In our interview with Catherine Winter of Ride EquiSafe, we tried on a wide selection of child sized equestrian safety vests.

Equestrian Safety Vests

We were fortunate enough to meet with Catherine Winter of Ride EquiSafe at Across Town Farm to learn about the safety vest options that are out there for kids. She answered our questions about the vests and let our child models/barn friends try them on.

I ride in an air vest when jumping and if I am on a horse I don’t know very well. As an Adult Amateur and mom of small kids who has had numerous falls, I just feel safer in a vest. Truth be told, I have inflated my vest three times while dismounting. The first time the horse just stood there, the second time I was on a medium pony and the vest did not inflate because I was so close to the ground when I dismounted, and the third horse spooked at the sight and sound of my inflated vest and ran off. After riding for over 30 years without a safety vest, it took some time to get used to detaching the lanyard before I dismount.

My hope is if I give parents and trainers the information they need about the safety vest options out there, we will see more people riding in them and staying safe in the process.

Check out some Q and A with Catherine below, and read more tips and detailed info about kid safety vests here.

– Susan

What is Ride EquiSafe?

Ride EquiSafe is not your standard tack store. We offer one thing and one thing only: equestrian rider safety equipment. Whether you’re hacking out on the trails, taking a lesson, or competing from the local level up to the international level, we believe that all riders should use equipment that ensures the safest possible experience.

Can I try on a safety vest before buying?

Our philosophy is that safety equipment is highly personal and specialized, which is why we are too. We carry demo equipment of many of the products we carry, allowing you to try before you buy. We also offer fitting appointments in person or by video conference to ensure the appropriate fit of our body protectors and air vests.

In addition to finding us online, we travel to events and competitions with our mobile shop and can also come directly to you by requesting a barn or home call.

To set up an appointment or find out where our mobile shop will be, contact Ride EquiSafe.

What are the safety standards and what do they mean?

CE EN 13158:2018 – This standard assesses the protectors for a range of protective properties such as impact and protective coverage as well as taking into consideration the comfort and fit elements of the products. The standard includes provision for those riding and working with horses, as well as both carriage drivers and passengers. Air vests and body protectors are certified to this standard.

ASTM 1937-4 – Standard Specification for Body Protectors Used in Horse Sports and Horseback Riding

ASTM F2681-08 – Standard Specification for Body Protectors Used in Equine Racing

BETA Levels 1, 2, 3 – British Equestrian Trade Association, Body Protector Standard

Most vests will have a combination of the above. CE EN 13158 and BETA are gold standard. You will also see some body protectors certified to a motorcycle standard – CE EN 1621.

Learn more about equestrian safety vest certifications.

Do safety vests actually help keep my child safe?

Body protectors are more effective than air vests in the case of a horse kicking you or stepping on you, if you fall on a fence, or if you fall on a rock, for example. The foam in the body protector will dissipate the shock from those types of impacts.
What a body protector lacks is neck protection, and this is what drives many riders to consider an air vest instead. A body protector also does not cushion a fall like an air vest does. The safest thing: wear both. Read more about air vests vs. body protectors.
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Can my child show in a safety vest?

Yes, your child can show in a safety vest. One of our first clients bought an air vest for her 11-year-old child. At one of her first shows wearing it, the mom was approached be several people who were curious about the equipment, and one of the questions they continuously asked was if mom was concerned about her child not placing. The child proceeded three of her division classes and ended up champion, providing a resounding response to that question. Read more about showing in safety vests.

Airowear AyrPS

Weight minimum: 70 lbs


Helite Air Jacket – Child

Weight minimum: 70 lbs


Helite Zip’in 2 Air Vest

Weight minimum: 70 lbs

Hit Air Pro Kids

Weight minimum: 50 lbs


Hit Air Advantage Kids

Weight minimum: 50 lbs


Horse Pilot

Weight minimum: 70 lbs

Point Two Hunter

Weight minimum: 70 lbs


Point Two ProAir Child

Weight minimum: 70 lbs


Point Two Soft Shell

Weight minimum: 70 lbs

Equestrian Safety Vest Gallery

From Our Interview With Catherine Winter of Ride EquiSafe


Catherine Ride EquiSafe

Catherine Winter of Ride EquiSafe: At Ride Equisafe, you will find the largest selection of air vests, body protectors, and safety stirrups. Their goal is to serve as a destination for all things safety, eliminating the need for you to visit multiple tack stores or websites to shop and compare. All of their products are state of the art with the latest technology and certified. Ride EquiSafe is not your standard tack store. They offer one thing and one thing only: equestrian rider safety equipment.


Catherine Ride EquiSafe

Susan DiFelice of Allpony: Owner and creator of Allpony, the horsemanship for kids website and activity book. Susan provided photos, illustrations, web design, and content creation for this article.