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Body Protector Standards

Body protection is essential to absorb impact from a fall or kick from a horse, but ensuring a good fit is key to comfort and safety.

BETA originally brought together riding organisations, doctors, riders, manufacturers and retailers to develop the widely recognised 2009 BETA Body Protector Standard. The BETA Standard sets criteria for shock-absorption, controls the area of the body that must be covered and ensures there are minimal gaps between the protective foam panels. In performance terms there is no difference in the amount of protection offered by the original 2009 and the newer 2018 versions, however the 2018 standard meets all the requirements of the respective European standard (EN 13158).

The 2009 version ceased to be manufactured at the end of 2018, and some of the disciplines and rider organisations from January 2024 will no longer recognise and accept it. As rules have to apply to all garments with the same label, the decision was made to withdraw permission for the older version of the standard due to the potential age that some of the oldest garments being worn could have reached – up to 13 years old.

Garments labelled 2009 when bought new can be used for hacking and many other activities where there is no stipulation for the later version, but consider these tips for making the most of your body protector:-

  • Hang your body protector on a clothes hanger when not in use, do the zips up and close velcro fastenings to ensure it keeps it shape
  • Store your body protector in a warm (not hot) environment to maintain its flexibility
  • Avoid purchasing second-hand garments as they may contain hidden damage
  • Replace your body protector every 3 to 5 years as the impact absorption properties of the foam will start to decline
  • Get your body protector fitted by a BETA trained professional to ensure the best fit and most protection

For help or advise on body protectors, speak to a member of staff in our Fawkham Saddlery or Headcorn stores.