|4) Other manufacturers, such as Charles Owen and Woof Wear, ask for a measurement that runs from the front of your natural waist, over your shoulder, to the back of your waist.|
|5) Compare your measurements with the manufacturer's size chart for the body protector you would like to try. Choose the size that most closely matches your measurements. If your measurements fall between a size range provided by a manufacturer, then choose the size smaller; body protectors should fit snugly against your torso.
The effectiveness of the body protector depends on achieving a correct fit, as described in "Checking the Fit of Your Body Protector" section of this article. You can also order custom body protectors that are made according to your measurements.
Note: Inflatable jackets and vests, such as the Point Two Pro Air Jacket and the Hit-Air Advantage, are designed to be worn along with and on top of a body protector.
Checking the Fit of Your Body Protector
Follow these guidelines to be sure that your body protector fits and is adjusted properly.
1) Before putting on the body protector, loosen all closures and flex the body protector. With it on, fasten the chest and waist closures to achieve a snug fit. Make sure you have room left within the fasteners for further tightening or loosening. If your body protector is at the end of the range of its ability to be tightened or loosened, consider trying another size or type of vest.
Note: Some body protectors, such as those from Charles Owen and Airowear, will warm up and begin to conform to your body as you wear them. If this is the case with your body protector, be sure to readjust the closures ten to twenty minutes after putting it on.
2) With the body protector fit securely around your chest and waist, check the front length. The body protector should reach to your breastbone and cover your bottom rib. The shoulders and neckline of the body protector should lie flat against your body; if this fit cannot be achieved-if the vest pulls away from your body-then you may need to try a shorter length. Some styles allow you to adjust the length of the protector through tabs at the shoulders.
3) Check the back length by sitting in a saddle and simulating all of your riding positions. You should have approximately two to four inches between the saddle and the base of the body protector in the back. If the body protector comes in contact with the saddle, it could push upwards near your neck or interfere with your riding.
Note: Different body protectors will fit you differently depending on the style and manufacturer. Achieving the best fit for you is most important. You may have to experiment with different brands or styles to find the most suitable body protector for you to use. If you cannot achieve an appropriate fit, consider ordering a custom body protector made to your measurements. Be sure to consult a Dover Saddlery product advisor or a knowledgeable trainer if you have any concerns about fit.
Tip: To reflect your team or stable colors, you can order custom color combinations for your body protector. Charles Owen offers custom colors in the JL9 Body Protector and the Ultra-Lite Body Protector, and Tipperary offers custom colors in the Eventer and the Competitor XC.
For more assistance or to request a catalog, call 1-800-989-1500 to speak with a Dover Saddlery product advisor, or stop by any of our retail stores. Visit DoverSaddlery.com for a complete store listing and the full product offering.
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