How to Measure for and Fit a Riding Body Protector
Body protectors are a mandatory piece of equipment for event riders in the cross country phase of a horse trial. They can also be an asset to riders who are just learning to jump horses or for those who are schooling young or challenging horses.

Body protectors should be fitted over the type of clothing you intend to ride in. Because a riding body protector is meant to fit closely to your torso, most riders generally wear one over lightweight clothing, such as a ventilated riding shirt or jersey, with heavier garments and outerwear worn on top. However, if you intend to wear your riding body protector over heavier clothing, be sure to measure for and try it while wearing these garments.

Various manufacturers ask for slightly different measurements on their size charts- chest, waist and length. However, the chest measurement is most important no matter what brand of riding body protector you wish to try. This is because most body protectors allow the length to be adjusted through tabs at the shoulders, and most can be adjusted at the waist too.

Follow these basic steps to determine the size riding body protector you should try. You'll need a soft fabric tape measure and a pen and paper to record your measurements.

1) Run the tape measure around the widest point of your chest. Make sure the tape is snug, but not tight, and level.

The chest measurement is the most important in determining body protector sizing.

2) Run the tape measure around your natural waist. Make sure the tape is snug, but not tight, and level.

This measurement is only a guideline as most body protectors can be adjusted at the waist.

3) Some manufacturers, such as Airowear and Tipperary, require a measurement of the length of your spine. Sit in a chair or a saddle and run the tape measure from the base of the back of your neck to the base of your spine. Take the reading at a point about two to four inches above the seat to avoid interference of the back of the vest with the saddle during riding.

Take the spine measurement at a point where the body protector will not touch the saddle.
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