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Embarrassing issue in the saddle

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  • Embarrassing issue in the saddle

    I have googled and googled to no avail. I’m sure this is something other women struggle with but they sure as hell aren’t talking about it.

    Sometimes when I hop down after riding, I notice a crotch stain on my saddle. I do not have my period when this happens. It’s just... sweat? Or... something? This is especially embarrassing because I don’t always ride in my own saddle so I worry that I’m going to ruin someone else’s tack.

    I’m considering trying those Thinx panties that are supposed to absorb blood, but they’re like 30 bucks a pop. Granted if it means saving a several thousand dollar saddle from stains, so be it. I know seat savers are an option, but I’m worried that they might compromise my security in the saddle. I’m sure the Thinline ones are good but that doesn’t really help if I’m jumping in someone else’s saddle.

    I can’t be alone. Does anyone else have solutions or ideas?

  • #2
    Couple quick questions -

    Is this a new issue, like you've been riding in your saddle fine and all the sudden this is happening? And if so is your saddle new? My first guess is that anatomically your saddle may not be allowing anything to "breathe" if you catch my meaning. I read "I'm worried to ride in other people's saddles" as this being a new issue so sorry if I'm wrong!

    If it's not blood, have you checked to see if you can get any sense of what it is? Does it have an odor or is it more just sweaty?

    Before the Thinx I'd maybe try changing the fabric of whatever underwear you're wearing. Cotton is usually best, but there is also underwear made for wear during sports that wicks away moisture. Worth trying before shelling out for Thinx. This can also apply to whatever breeches/pants you're wearing.

    Also, maybe a pantiliner when you ride? Thin enough that you won't notice it but it might help create a barrier between you and the saddle.


    • #3
      Not a new issue, it's been happening for ... years, I guess. Happens with a variety of saddles!

      I'm riding later, I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some wicking underwear to see if it helps. I ordered a pair of Thinx this morning anyway, they offer no hassle returns so if it doesn't help then I can just send them back. I've tried pantyliners before and they just bunch up and get REALLY uncomfortable, so not really an option. I wonder if simply using baby powder would work. SIGH!


      • #4
        I agree with trying sports underwear and/or a panty liner. Do you notice a wet spot on the actual saddle when you've noticed it on your pants? If not, it's probably not there long enough to effect the saddle. If you're noticing it in specific saddles and not in others, I agree it's likely a fit issue.

        Girls sweat.
        Leakage is normal.
        There is nothing embarrassing about normal bodily functions.

        ETA - saw the update. I've never had panty liners bunch up while riding. You may just be anatomically shaped a bit different, we all know the "norm" used for most women's products is never close to the "norm" anyway. Have you used liners with wings?


        • #5
          Sweat! I get this when I get off equipment at the gym and I've seen it on my saddle also. Everybody sweats, it's hot down there! My barn mate swears by Knix wear undies that are absorbent. I know someone else who tried the Thinx version and didn't care for them.


          • #6
            Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
            Do you notice a wet spot on the actual saddle when you've noticed it on your pants?
            I should have been more specific. I'm noticing this on the saddle but NOT on my breeches. It's bizarre. I feel like I have to throw my saddle cover on right when I hop down to cover the spot!

            Yes, I've definitely seen it at the gym too. So embarrassing, even if it's totally normal!

            I'll check out the Knix and try a pantyliner with wings.


            • #7
              Originally posted by anotherhorsegirl View Post

              I should have been more specific. I'm noticing this on the saddle but NOT on my breeches.
              Oops my fault, I misread, I saw "crotch stain" and immediately thought pants.


              • #8
                Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                Oops my fault, I misread, I saw "crotch stain" and immediately thought pants.
                It’s all good. I mean, it’s not... it’s worse lol!


                • #9
                  I have this too! I've tried the knixwear and it hasn't helped. I'm tempted to try the thinx based on this article


                  I have the same anxiety when I get out of the saddle. it is mortifying. Can you update us here if you like the thinx?


                  • #10
                    If you try the baby powder route as well, just be sure to get something without talc since it's not good for our bits! I think Burt's Bees makes a powder without it.


                    • #11
                      I've seen stains like what you're describing on loads of saddles, but I've never heard anyone discuss the cause. I notice it on lighter, or more red-colored leather. Brown leather that is chocolate or deeper seems to be immune. I wonder if there is a reaction with the dye in the leather? Or the adhesive that glues the the seat leather to the foam?

                      Also, has anyone discussed this with their doctor?


                      • #12
                        I have had this issue a few times on very hot days and I have seen others have it as well. I have been using Knix underwear for the past few years and I love them (though this was not the specific issue I bought them for). They were a total game changer for me as I was always self conscious about stuff like that, but no more. I did have a pantyliner bunch up and basically come up the back of my breeches at a horse show. It was an incredibly sweaty day but still, awful. I think that was the catalyst to try something new.

                        I would really recommend the Knix lined underwear, Thinx are similar but I have not tried them. The Knix cost less than $30 each. No panty lines with Knix, even with the lined ones, they are all I wear now. They have held up well and they often have sales. Also, they have a line geared towards young teens, it is the exact same product but the sales run at different times and the price is actually cheaper ($16 for Knix Teen, $23 for regular Knix). Save some space in the landfill that liners would take up. Mine have definitely paid for themselves. I am sure the Thinx are just as good, I just tried Knix and love them. I buy them for people as gifts (close friends/family only) in my quest as a closet environmentalist. Everyone I have given them to is a convert. They also come in a nude color so you can wear under white breeches.



                        ETA: please update on how you like the Thinx!
                        Last edited by chillydc; Mar. 10, 2020, 11:18 AM. Reason: Asking for update on Thinx.
                        Impossible is nothing.


                        • #13
                          weird question - what type of breeches are you wearing? I know I get really swampy in cotton-y breeches like pipers, but less sweaty in tech-y fabrics like ellany breeches


                          • #14
                            After reading all the comments, I'm going to look into the knit... but usually I just go with a liberal dusty of Lady Anti-Monkey Butt Poweder.. Front and back. I tend to sweat a lot and dread having the Sweat mark going up the backside of my tan/beige show breeches. Usually the worst that happens is i tend to have some powder residue on the saddle.. but better and cooler than a any other type of mark. After one exceptionally humid summer I learned the hard way of not making sure that down below was kept dry.


                            • #15
                              It’s all the sweat that runs down your back, it wicks right thru most breeches which dry very quickly but soaks into the leather. Doesn’t show on darker saddles. I have seen it on Western saddles with rough out/suede seats...darker is better but lights the fashion these days.

                              I used panty liners, easy to change in a Port O Pot when they get damp. Experiment with size and brand and be aware they don’t stick to some fabrics used to make ladies panties, if it’s slick, it’s liable to be non stick.. I had a few pair of panties dedicated to horse show riding only. When I rode at home in jeans almost never sweat thru them, likewise some breeches don’t wick it away from your body. Have to experiment a bit. Had a trainer who used to joke with some horrified newbie that it just showed she needed to practice her two point more and quit sitting in the tack so hard and heavy. There is some wisdom in that. Guys don’t sit the same in the saddle so rarely see it.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                              • #16
                                What about full seat breeches?


                                • #17
                                  For me, it's sweat . . . I guess I just try not to be embarrassed about the fact that I have an excellent cooling system!
                                  I also get sweat marks on my breeches . . .
                                  I've tried the Knix wicking undies, and tbh, I think they just increase the sweat's appearance on the outside of my clothes! also for me, they were wedgie city.

                                  One thing that has helped me a bit is those elastic "unbelts" - the belt itself absorbs some of my back sweat (gross I know), but since they are washable I don't mind too much, and it reduces the amount of sweat dripping all the way down my back.

                                  We actually had a seat saver put on our saddle this winter, because a friend of our trainer's did a trail ride the day before we moved our lease horse to her winter barn.
                                  It hasn't effected my position or the security of my seat, if anything, it's a bit "stickier" than leather, because it's made of fabric, but it is TOASTY!
                                  I really liked it this winter, but even on days in the 40s and 50s F, I find it uncomfortably warm.
                                  But if your main concern is sweating on someone else's saddle, a seat saver may be a good solution, they only take a minute or two to put on (at least the one we have is easy to switch on or off)


                                  • #18
                                    If it's sweat running down your back, then making the waist band snugger
                                    ​​​​will absolutely help. A belt plus tuck in your shirt.


                                    • #19
                                      I'm seconding on wanting to know what kind of breeches you are wearing. Does it happen with every breech, every saddle?

                                      The fact that you see the wet spots on the saddle and NOT the pants honestly just makes me think that the way you are built might just be trapping heat down there. Especially if you wear full seat breeches with leather or other thick ish seats. You could also just be sweating everywhere, and it wicks through your pants but just gets trapped in the seat area.

                                      At least it's just the seat. I have to be super careful about what I wear, in all aspects of life, I have a crazy sweating problem and will get huge armpit stains in any kind of colored top. I'm limited to black, occasionally white depending on the material, or things with colors that are in very specific materials that won't show. Moisture wicking fabrics don't help, special deodorants don't help, those sweat-proof undershirts don't help. Probably the only thing that really would help would be getting shots in my armpits, but then I would overheat which would suck even more It's not so bad now, but it was awful in middle and high school. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had been able to dress up the way I wanted without fear of being made fun of, wearing cute and colorful clothes, instead of just black tops and sweatshirts that would hide it. Looking back, it shaped my life a lot more than I realized...

                                      Sorry, total ramble, just got me thinking about it all. Anyways, see if you noticed any sweat patterns (back, front, crotch, etc), that might give you some hints on what is going on too (such as sweat going down your back as others have said)


                                      • #20
                                        First off, I love you all for responding to this. I'm a regular COTH poster but made a new account for this thread because some of my in-person barn friends are on here I'm THAT embarrassed. lol

                                        Anyway, I ride pretty much exclusively in knee patch Pipers now (regular and knit) but I have had other brands in the past. I've noticed spots with everything. I've also worn a variety of underwear with them and it doesn't seem to make a difference. I actually don't recall seeing any spots in the summer when I was riding in the "tights" which are way more breathable... But, I think it might just be how I'm built as some of you suggested.

                                        I just got a notification that my Thinx shipped, but for today I've opted for a pantyliner AND baby powder. We'll see how it goes. I was looking at the options at CVS for far too long. Why aren't there maxi pads and pantyliners designed with the athlete in mind? There's "sport" tampons! Anyway, I digress...