View Full Version : Coming back to the tack (regularily) after a year off ouch! *New Pics on pg 2!*

Jun. 21, 2011, 04:40 PM
OK so it's now been a while that I have been riding again after a measley year and 3 months off. So whats wrong with me?

I hurt in places that shouldn't hurt. I am sore more often than not, and just when I am getting myself back into the proper position, things start rubbing, sores come up and it makes it next to impossible to press on pain free.

Is it me? Is it my tack??

I had been riding in jeans and half chaps (like I always did before) and now my knees are taking a beating.

My 'inverness" region has gotten just down right painful. My butt now needs some of the monkey butt stuff, which has NEVER been a problem in 30+ years.

I know this is tmi but man I am dying.

Meanwhile in the moments that aren't frought with pain, Lad has been going better than ever and I can feel that I do know how to ride beneath the rust. But I am not sure there are enough band aids in the world for this.

I ride at my regular stirrup lengths. 2 holes lower for flatwork than jumping. I have historically pinched with my knees but since noticing it in recent pics, started working on it again. I did gain weight (~ 15 lbs), so maybe I don't fit my saddle anymore???


Me: t shirt or polo with sports bra (no troubles here)
or breeches, my bigger ones as I gained a lil weight
elastic leggings
the suede sided half chaps that fit best to my leg
Ariat paddock boots


An older Pessoa A/O.

Any and all help is very welcome. And I can take the honest assesments. I just don't want to hurt!!! FYi, my heels are coming down again from where the recent pics show them. I know they were bad.


For reference: Pics from 2007... http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.6317012758.11669.528382758&l=56ec5cd300

Pics from last month: (You should be able to see these after you "Like" Lad's page)


Am I too big for m y saddle now????:

Jun. 21, 2011, 06:21 PM
I don't think that saddle size has anything to do with rubs. Having ridden many a time in a 16" Rex (I'm 5'8"), I feel qualified to vote on that. I don't think much at all of seat size (prob because I don't sit all that much) - just flap length. My vote is to blame your jeans. I bet you just got a wrinkle at an inopportune place, started a rub and are still working on it. Slap some moleskin on there and build up that elephant skin! :)

Jun. 21, 2011, 08:34 PM
I started back about 9 months ago after 3+ years completely off... I feel your pain! Here's my re-rider survival kit:
1 - moleskin, Moleskin, MOLESKIN!!! If you have a spot that is already kind of raw, I recommend putting on a bandaid to protect the spot, then slap the moleskin over that.
2 - Andiamo padded undies. Really helped me avoid any, ahem, "inverness" issues.
3 - Two large bottles, one filled with Aleeve, the other with Cabernet.

Jun. 21, 2011, 08:41 PM
I feel (have felt) your pain. For the bum blisters, I swear by these blister cushions (http://www.drugstore.com/band-aid-advanced-healing-blister-cushions/qxp79971). Follow the directions - put them on and leave on for a few days. Usually once they're gone, you won't get any more blisters as you get used to riding again.

As for your knees and inverness problem, all I can say is that I cannot ever ride in jeans - no idea how you do it! One thing I've noticed that does make a difference is which underwear you use - regular lady briefs are no good. Try some boy-cut briefs or hipsters, with the flat/soft seams (as opposed to regular elastic). Once you've got inverness, go with diaper rash zinc cream and loose boxer shorts at night.

Jun. 21, 2011, 08:43 PM
The only thing that I notice is that your leg seems to be changing position in the more recent photos (and not as much in the older ones) which suggests that you're not as tight in the saddle as you once were. That might be causing the extra friction. Remember that you have to leg yourself up in much the same way that you would a horse. If you jump back in gangbusters you will probably be pretty lame the next day! :)

Take it a little slower, focus on doing shorter bits of work really correctly and take long walk hacks to get your core balance muscles stronger so you aren't "catching" yourself with your leg but balancing from your core. A lesson (30 min.) might help refresh some of this muscle memory.

Jun. 21, 2011, 08:54 PM
I can't say I can sympathize with you at the current moment...but I am DREADING those sore muscles and pains and rubs and all the nonsense that comes with getting back into the saddle...I'm getting back into the saddle next week after taking a year off...and I KNOW it's going to be a pain in the butt (literally!!). I don't think you're too big for your saddle now...looking at your pictures, y'all look great!! If it were me I would be screaming in the pictures...lol. And btw, your pony is P.R.E.C.I.O.U.S!

The only thing I can honestly say (since I'm not in your shoes just yet, but will be soon...and have been there in the past once after being out of the saddle for 6 months due to an injury) is exactly what CatPS said...all those tips are great! And yes, the Andiamo undies are a GODSEND...You can also try Target (or probably any store like it) ...I bought a pair of these padded exercise shorts that were made for cyclists, but work great under a pair of britches or jeans as well...

As for your tack and equipment, I don't see any problem with any of that...although, I'm not sure how hot it is in Pennsylvania (or wherever you are currently), but here in the South it's BOILING (it was 101 degrees today. UGH)...so maybe jeans aren't the greatest choice? I know jeans are super easy and comfy, and so much more flattering that most breeches..lol..but even in the coolest hours of the day, they don't wick away moisture and keep your cool as well as most breeches or even leggings, which not only helps with just staying cool...but helps your muscles correctly loosen up...and jeans definitely are the devil when it comes to sores...so I'd maybe stick to breeches or leggings or anything else until you're back in shape.

Hope this helps!!

Jun. 22, 2011, 09:41 AM
I agree that sweating in the summer heat makes everything worse! I usually ride in Champion bike shorts under light riding tights. Devonire, I think - the cheapest ones at Dover.

I think the jeans may be contributing to your issues. As a kid I could ride for hours in jeans with no half chaps. :eek: If I tried it today I would die.

In your last photo that saddle does look too small. It looks like it would feel fine sitting still in it but any movement would put your body over the pommel or flaps quite easily. But saddle fit is so personal it's hard to say from one still photo. Perhaps you could try riding in some others saddles to see if they work better?

Jun. 22, 2011, 09:46 AM
Another vote to ditch the jeans. I haven't been able to ride in jeans since I was 12 years old. You still look great Em. Let's go to Fair Hill Sunday!

Jun. 22, 2011, 09:47 AM
I would gross everyone out if I took a picture of the hole in my left inside knee from three weeks ago when I thought I could easily hack around for 30 minutes in jeans and half chaps. NOT.
Try the body glide stuff.
Take it easy. Probably doing too much! Better short sessions often, in terms of your fitness, than only weekends for an hour at a time.
And I think personally you should start the Fourth Circle of Hell and look for a newer saddle....PM me as I know someone who has one that might do...but you know how I feel about that saddle! :)

Jun. 22, 2011, 10:09 AM
Thanks everyone!!!

I have been going slow and trying to ride less while being correct more. I am not much beyond 45 min rides. But long walks are great.

Last night I tried a different saddle from a girl at the barn. OMG quel difference!!! No "inverness" issues at all. Leg felt better and tighter. Once I got the right knee past the "ow ow ow" phase, I was able to sit deeper in the tack and it didn't throb with pain. I rode in my looser breeches with elastics and half chaps and the legs weren't bothered hardly at all. (Yes in the open wound areas, but come on.)

The heels were down better initially, but in the pics John shot I can see with bigger fences (which I was just playing with at the end of a shorter jump school) my heels were rising again. Sadly the monkey face has made a return appearance so I beg for your sympathy when I put last nights pics up later this am.

Lad moved well under the saddle, and he felt like his hind end was engaging a bit better as well. So I think that I may need to find a new saddle for us. The Pessoa's twist just seems in (VERY) direct conflict with my body.

The Toulouse (which is what I rode in for 2+ years at my old job) just feels much better under my body.

Vic Rider: OMG am I loose!!! It's shameful. Though the moments where I can achieve my old solidity are positively blissful when they come along. And I know enough to know that the proportions will tip back to what I am used to with more rides and solid work.

Cat Ps: I love your list!! I will look into the Andiamo panties. Couldn't hurt.

Retread, Laurie, Liveto ride... Thanks for the positive comments. It's great to hear. Laurie... what time Sunday?? ;)

Everyone: Lad has been a godsend during all this. Remember he was fit coming home to me. And he has blossomed into my living breathing Thelwell pony. He trots over to me when I come to get him in the pasture and nickers at me when I approach him in a stall with a carrot. I ride him now and it's not about X, Y, Z event or show. It's about having fun, me getting my groove back and being a team. I never realized how far the fun had slipped from my interactions with him. So we do lots of work, break, work, break, work. And every break and sometimes during gaits I am constantly talking to him and telling him how lovely he is. And his attitude is so much better. It's days like this that I cannot even fathom that for over a year I didn't want to ride him. And I feel ashamed.

I can jump on a loose rein and the barn folks are in love with him.

I'll post pics later. Waiting for word on my dog who had to be admitted to the hospital last night.

Thanks for the advice and kind words. Please keep any more advice coming...I greatly appreciate the feedback and your time to give it.


Jun. 22, 2011, 10:22 AM
For the knees, try Spenco second skin and breeches. I have even competed with second skin and been fine.

For the inverness issues another saddle.

For the aches and pains, ibuprofen. Welcome to middle age ;).

Jun. 22, 2011, 10:31 AM
Schooling is 12-4. I can go anytime.

Jun. 22, 2011, 10:43 AM
SO jealous with this talk of schooling at FH... One other thing to try - my latest discovery: super glue. I know people who've slapped it on blisters. I didn't - I used it to glue my finger back together when I sliced a big (3/4" curved) flap in it - but I'd put it on a blister any day.

Happy schooling!

Jun. 22, 2011, 10:47 AM
Glad things are working out and hope you have good news on your pup....

Agree with others, no jeans! And I'll add, "sit up"! It's amazing what straightening up through ones upper body can do to the pelvis and therefore improve upon the sensitive areas!

So happy that you can enjoy that wonderful Lad. He is so handsome and I love that his ears are always pricked and ready for actioned!

Jun. 22, 2011, 11:24 AM
After having a baby I found I was SUPER loose in the tack, which caused all sorts of knee issues, blister issues, and girl-part issues. I've been working my way through the "Couch to 5K" running plan and it's made a HUGE difference. I HATE HATE HATE running with a passion but improving my fitness off the horse has improved the quality of time in the saddle so much that I do it anyhow.

If you're dead set on jeans, some work better than others.... Unfortunately my most comfortable jeans to ride in are the $240 Sevens - but for that price, I'll just buy three pairs of schooling tights. Anything else gives me ridiculous blisters on my um... uppermost inner thigh area.:o

Jun. 22, 2011, 02:27 PM
Hmmm.... TOTD's bonus item of the day is Ovation Dri-Lex undies.
Is it a sign?


Jun. 22, 2011, 02:32 PM
While it could be a sign... with the dog in the hospital and the paycheck not in hand til Friday.... won't do me much good!!!


Jun. 22, 2011, 04:08 PM
Just ride in 2 pt: no fancy undies required. Tee hee.

Jun. 22, 2011, 05:56 PM
Hmmm.... TOTD's bonus item of the day is Ovation Dri-Lex undies.
Is it a sign?


THANK YOU!!! I've been wanting these, but I refuse to buy from Dover. Here's to hoping that they work for, um, certain issues.

Jun. 22, 2011, 10:49 PM
Glad to hear the other saddle was an improvement! Sounds like you are well on your way to resolving this issue. It will all come back soon enough!

Jun. 22, 2011, 10:59 PM
OK finally I have the pics up from yesterday.

I swear the monkey face I have is nearly up to CCI**** quality. However the rest of us.... not so evolved.

Have a glance if you like. And yes, LAD is a star!!


Couple things I think looking back on the pictures.

1.) Stirrups may have been too long. Please feel free to weigh in on your thoughts here.

2.) Clearly there is a leg sliping issue. And of course its largely from the time off, but honestly it was going on before too. Which means the knee is grabbing.

3.) Diving with my upper body. (Time off is the main culprit)

4.) I don't give Lad enough mints. God knows he only gets like 15 a day!! He is just sooooo fun!!!


Jun. 23, 2011, 02:21 AM
So I'll be honest, I totally clicked on the link looking for the "monkey face"...haha...so I can't give any critique on bits about stirrup lengths and upper body positions and what-nots, but I have to say that I just DIED laughing in the best way possible of your concentration face!! I LOVE IT!! Haha...seriously though, I do understand...I have a tendency to bite my tongue while it making a face like i'm dying when I'm severely concentrating, which is unbearably awful in close up photos....but you and your pony together look great...and I love the concentration "monkey" face!!