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Equestrian Safety First : Why It Matters?

Freejump Equestrian Airbag Safety Vest "Zip'In 2" Standalone

There has recently been a spat of random accidents of horse riding. Fortunately, most of these incidents have been trivial.

The sport of horse riding (show jumping in particular) has become faster with better horses and better riding ability in general. The bar is being raised constantly. Add to that, the complexity of the variations in the footing. The courses are becoming more and more technical. All these changes add variables that may alter the possibility of accidents.

Lately, there have been some tragic accidents in the sport. While it is hard to say specifically what caused these accidents, what is clear is the critical need for safety equipment. Other active motion sports such as motor cycling and car racing have had safety implements in place for decades now. The stricter safety standards adopted by the regulatory bodies governing these sports have played a positive role in increasing safety overall. There has been a drastic reduction in injuries and the severity of the injuries. You do not see a car racing driver without proper safety gear and equipment. Same goes for football players, motorcyclists etc.

Why should it be any different for horse riding? If no safety options are available, there is nothing to argue. However, we have been selling Safety Stirrups, Safety Helmets for years. Starting earlier this year, we have introduced Airbag Safety Vests that offer body protection from injuries.

The time, cost and energy associated with injuries can be debilitating. It does not have to be. With proper safety equipment, we can all contribute to making the equestrian sport a bit safer.

Safety Stirrups

The top rated safety stirrups were introduced by us to the Americas back in 2013. Since then, Freejump has become synonymous with “safety stirrups”. The branch release system invented by Freejump was revolutionary. Since 2013, lots of other brands have attempted to launch safety stirrups. However, Freejump has been the clear winner. When it comes to foot positioning, balance, shock absorption, the Soft Up Pro Plus and Soft Up Classic

Helmets

With such a large range of helmets, we have difficulty listing even a few. In no way, is this list all-inclusive. WE have listed some of our top safety helmets.

Safety Vests

If you are interested in reading about the details of how these airbag safety vests work, here are a few links:

First, let us clarify what these vests do. They are not meant/designed to protect you from every possible accident. What they do offer is protection for your full spinal column (top of the neck to your tailbone) in the event you are launched off your horse. The airbag safety vests work off a simple principle based on body weight and tension. The lanyard that attaches to your saddle, when extended away and outward with enough body force (exceeding 78 lbs), will deploy the airbag.

Over the last year or so, we have had immense positive customer feedback about these airbag safety vests. While some people were initially hesitant about these vests, most have grown very accustomed to this vest as part of their must-have equipment. Several of our clients have said they now would not ride without these airbag safety vests. Simply, the ability to walk away from an injury is invaluable.

Conclusion

We hope with this post, we have convinced you to at least start thinking about safety. There is equipment that has proven to reduce injuries and downtime. Why not use it ? As always, it is your turn now. Let us know your thoughts, whether related to general safety vs specific concerns about a certain type of equipment. Do you own any of these products? What do you think? Write below in the comments.

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Airbag Safety Jackets For Equestrian Riding: All You Wanted To Know

Helite Safety Airbag Zip'In

Airbag Safety Jackets (vests, long sleeve jackets and show jackets) have become quite popular this year. We had brought a few in before prior to this season. However, with the upcoming WEF circuit, we have noticed that there is an uptick in the demand for these jackets.

If you are in the market for one and want some questions answered, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions about the fit, selection, technology and maintenance of these new systems.

Update: April 12, 2020 : As of April 5, 2020 a new (and improved) airbag safety jacket vest has been introduced to the market. The standalone Helite ZipIn2 is a new safety vest that is designed for use either on its own or with a compatible show jacket. This new vest has all the safety features of it predecessor along with new innovations. For one, it can worn on its own without an outer vest/jacket. It does not have to be zipped in. The airbag is part of the vest, no longer detachable. The best part is it is still backwards compatible with your Dada Sport Show Jacket.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the airbag system work?

First, it is impotant to understand the components of the airbag safety jacket/vest technology. There are 2 major components: the Airbag Shell Jacket (outer) and the Helite Airbag Zip’in (inner). The Helite Airbag Zip’In connects to the outer shell .

What is the next generation of airbag safety jacket technology?

The next gen of the airbag safety technology is so far available in 2 different products: One designed and manufactured by Helite, the other designed by Freejump, manufactured by Helite. While they look similar on the outside, there are a few notable difference between them.

Do I need to buy both the outer jacket and inner Helite Airbag Zip’in?

Yes. The inner Helite Airbag Zip will inflate once the system is triggered.

Can I use my existing Helite Airbag Zip’In?

Yes, as long as your Helite Airbag Zip’in is functioning well.

How do I know whether my Helite Airbag Zip’In is operational and safe to use?

Bring it to a Helite dealer and ask them to inspect it. If you bring it to us, we will be glad to test it as well to make sure the inflation mechanism is operational.

How does the Helite Airbag Zip’In protect me compared to other brands?

There is some significant advantages to Helite’s technology versus other airbag systems.
First, it is a homogeneous airbag, i.e. one piece airbag that inflates all at once. Other airbag systems on the market do not offer a 1 piece airbag. Instead the airbag is divided into 2 or more sections. This leads to off-time deployment, where one section of the airbag may deploy later than others.
Secondly, Helite is the only airbag solution that provides full protection from the neck to the tailbone.

What about different brands, DadaSport versus Oscar and Gabrielle?

Jackets from DadaSport and Oscar and Gabrielle are both compatible with the Helite Airbag Zip’In. The Dada Sport styling is more fitted than Oscar and Gabrielle. The underlying technology is the same for both jackets. They connect to the saddle with the same mechanism (i.e. Helite Saddle Strap)

How exactly do the airbag safety jackets work?

Dada Sport Sleeveless Training Safety Airbag Vest

What parts of the body does the airbag protect?

Helite Safety Airbag Zip'In

What makes Helite Airbags the best for protection?

Dada Sport Sleeveless Training Safety Airbag Vest

Do the Airbag Jackets look and feel bulky?

Airbag Jackets have come a long way in the last 2 years. The original version was bulky but the most recent versions are sleek and light.

What do I do after the airbag deploys?

Your jacket and airbag zip’in are both re-usable after a fall and deployment. All you need to do is to make sure is to replace the CO2 cartridge. Remove the spent cartridge and replace it with a new cartridge.

What size cartridge do I need?

For all adult sizes, (XS through XXL), you will need the 60 cc cartridge. For Child Large size, you will need 50 cc cartridge.

What is the warranty on the Helite Airbag?

Standard warranty is 2 years. However, you can extend that warranty (for free) by registering your purchase on Helite’s website. Here is the registration link:
https://my.helite.com/register

Why do I need an airbag jacket?

Airbag Jackets are safety equipment. Think of them in the same context as your helmet. If a piece of equipment has the potential to protect you from severe injury, why not? Today, some of the world’s top riders compete in the airbag safety jackets, including Martin Fuchs.

What is the difference between Helite Prestige, Helite Airshell Gillet?

Essentially, these are all training vests manufactured by Helite. The Helite Zip’In can be connected to these vests. The Prestige is the sportier model of the training vest whereas the Gillet is more classic and traditional.

How do I check my size in the Helite models?


How to measure?
Measure according to the graphic below. The sizing is unisex. The chart below is in Centimeters (cms).

Size Chart Table for Helite Airbag ZipInHow to measure for Helite Airbag ZipIn

Are the Helite Jackets unisex?

Yes, the Helite Vests are uni-sex. Please check the size chart above to correctly determine your size.

I still have more questions. Who can I contact?

You can always Contact Us via email or phone. We will be glad to help.

Conclusion

We hope we have helped clear up most of the questions/doubts. This is by no means, a complete list. Please ask your questions by commenting below.