I'm new here and relatively new to riding, so please bear with me.
I started taking English H/J lessons about a year and a half ago, after never having ridden a day in my life, and absolutely fell in love with it. Unfortunately, it doesn't "love" a certain part of my anatomy, if you get my drift.
I've tried every suggestion known to (wo)man, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has helped. Sadly, I think my conformation probably lends itself to chafing no matter what I do.
Lately, I've been drawn to the idea of riding sidesaddle (it's SUCH a beautiful art form), but before I go to the trouble and expense of finding a decent sidesaddle and a good lesson horse to fit it to, I need to know one thing: WILL IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE????
Honestly, has anyone had this same problem and "cured" it by riding aside? I'm in SO much pain these days I'm ready to quit altogether and that thought has me depressed beyond belief!
Thanks in advance for your comments & suggestions.
If you type the word "chafe" in the search box on the little blue bar above the thread, you'll find a whole bunch of threads. You might want to check out the Endurance and Trail sub-forum, as chafing is a big deal for long distance equestrians.
PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)], 2005 Arabian gelding
Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I really appreciate it.
Actually, I originally stumbled onto this site by researching "chafing" online, so I think I might have already read most of the threads you're refering to, but I'll keep trying. There's GOT to be a solution out there somewhere.
I will say I'm interested in trying out sidesaddle for it's own sake. (It's actually my biggest riding goal at the moment.) Still, I'd love to know if it really protects a woman's "area" or if that's just an urban legend. If it does, then I'm game for doing it sooner rather than later.
Please forgive me if I sound like I'm whining. I know this "disability" probably seems laughable compared to what some others are going through, but anyone who's ever experienced it will tell you it's NO laughing matter. I wasn't kidding when I said it's beginning to ruin my life, both in & out of the saddle.
Last edited by Gidget; Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM.
I have no experience with side saddle - but I have experienced chaffing (no fun!) back when I was riding many horses a day.
What have you tried? Have you tried compression shorts? That is what worked for me. The tight under garment prevented my riding pants from chaffing, by moving the friction from my skin, to the two layers of fabric.
Thank you so much for writing...and for understanding!
I've tried seamless breeches, all kinds of undies (inlcuding men's briefs), NO undies (BIG mistake!), different saddles, different horses and adjusting my stirrups and seat a million different ways. "Jellypantz" burned me just as badly as regular cloth skivvies and that personal lubricant for female cyclists (the one with the embarrasing name) gave me an allergic reaction. I swear, I'm about ready to go mad at this point!
I haven't tried compression shorts yet, but I'd be willing to give them a shot. Is there a certain brand or type you find works best? Do you coat your skin with anything first?
It might be noteworthy to mention I had laser hair removal a few years ago, so my "outer folds" get rubbed almost as much as my "inner folds." (I know: TMI, right?)
I don't know what your riding experience is but does it also happen bareback?
Have you tried other saddles? Maybe something with a different twist or even treeless might help. I know that I'm so used to riding treeless that I can't feel comfortable on a treed saddle astride anymore. I rode my friend's horse sidesaddle once for a giggle and that felt okay but her horse was unnerving because she was just so huge compared to my little guy.
Have you tried Anti Monkey Butt? A lot of time just a bit of sweat can cause chaffing. If you haven't tried it, give it a try. Apply liberally all around your seat area before putting on your breeches. And before the chaffing completely heal, use Second Skin over the raw area.
Thank you SO much for chiming in. So you tried a sidesaddle once and didn't notice any "problems?" That's VERY encouraging!
I've never ridden bareback, only in the English saddles where I take lessons. I usually only ride once a week (because that's all I can afford) and I don't have my own horse yet. I could probably manage it if I stopped paying for lessons, but at this point that would make NO sense at all.
I have talked to my instructors about purchasing my own saddle, but they all seem to think it would be a waste of money given the infrequency of my riding. Maybe they just don't realize HOW BAD this issue is for me, because then I think they'd "get it."
I'm still thinking a different saddle may help. Some saddles I've ridden in feel like I'm sitting on a very unfriendly 2x4. Maybe you can borrow one for a ride, or heck to to a tack shop and sit in some and see if you feel any difference.
I've thought about trying AMB, but it seems like every version they make contains fragrance. (My skin's hyper-allergic to almost everything.) And it's not my seat that's getting chafed, it's my "bits & pieces" in the front. I feel like every time I post the trot, I get a rub and it just goes on and on and ON until I can't stand it any more. Cantering's no picnic either.
I suppose some of it could be my position. My current instructor really wants me using a longer leg and that "three point dressage seat," which makes it 1,000 worse. I find using a shorter stirrup and rocking back onto my seat bones helps "some," but I still get chafed. The biggest problem with THAT is I have really long legs and it's hard to use my aids correctly when I feel like my knees are up under my chin.
You should be able to keep a long let while lifting your crotch bone off the pommel of the saddle, but it takes a good bit of core strength to do it for a whole lesson. But you need the right saddle to do it. The right saddle for your anatomy.
You may be onto something regarding the saddle. Then again, if I'm going to take the plunge, I'm thinking I might just want to go straight for the "SS."
Providing I can find someone in my area to teach me. The nearest sidesaddle instructors I've managed to find so far are way down in Southern California. I'm willing to take a trip down there just to try it out (probably a good idea considering the commitment), but it wouldn't be practicle on an on-going basis.
Thanks for your input. I'm sure it's probably a combination of my seat AND my equipment. I'm certainly not what I would call "good" yet by any stretch of the imagination. That's like expecting to be "good" at ballet after one year....HA!
I'm in San Jose, California, which is about 45 minutes south of San Francisco.
Thanks for the suggestion. I can see how it would help absorb the shock (especially for a male!), but does it also cut down on the friction?
Can't answer that for sure as I've never used one.
but the gel or fleece would certainly make for softer contct with your "bits" than the unpadded leather of the saddle.
They do come cheaper - try Dover or Stateline if no tack store near you - so worth it for a try & you could probably return* or re-sell
*test-ride covered with a pillowcase perhaps?
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009