Protective Vest

Written by Linda Alexander
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Wearing a protective vest in rodeo is a no-brainer yet many cowboys don't wear them. Often, cowboys don't think about getting injured or the financial consequences they risk if they are laid up from an injury. But in recent years, the protective vest has become a popular addition to bull riding gear.

The protective vests many rodeo cowboys wear today weigh about 4 pounds and are made of the same material that police bullet-proof vests are made of. Their purpose is to absorb shock and help dissipate it. They also protect the cowboy's torso from punctures.

A Protective Vest Prevents Injury

Many cowboys don't worry about injury until it's too late. Or, they find the vests uncomfortable. But like a good pair of boots or jeans, once you break the vest in, it feels like a second skin. You hardly notice it, and the added safety is worth it. Plus, if a rodeo cowboy isn't working, he isn't getting paid. Keeping ribs from being broken will keep that paycheck coming.

To protect from head and face injuries, some cowboys also add helmets and/or face masks to their riding gear. The helmets protect from head injury and further cut down on spine injuries. While they may still sustain head injuries, they would be a lot worse without the helmets.


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