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Saddle fit and lady discomfort (a TMI post)

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    Saddle fit and lady discomfort (a TMI post)

    I can't believe I'm posting this, but I desperately need help from experienced lady COTHers.

    Lately, my saddle has been causing me immense discomfort in the crotch area. There's just way too much pressure between me and the pommel. Basically I'm getting blisters where nobody wants blisters. It's an older saddle, and the foam is getting harder, so I thought I'd look at new saddles. I just took one on trial (a very nice Bruno Delgrange Virtuose) and although it's softer, I'm having the SAME problem. I think I either need a bigger saddle, flatter seat, lower pommel rise, wider twist,etc. Basically, I need less pommel knifing up my business!

    Whenever you're done laughing, could anyone please share their expertise on this? My trainer is young enough to be my daughter, and I just can't bring myself to have this conversation with her! I literally don't even know if I can continue riding right now .
    Last edited by Momateur; Jun. 11, 2020, 11:12 AM.

    #2
    Are the current saddles a deep seat? I’m surprised that you think a flat seat would be better - I usually find the opposite when it comes to direct crotch pressure.

    It sounds like a twist issue. Perhaps others can comment on whether BdG usually has a wide or narrow twist. There are brands that are known for one or the other; you could try the opposite from what you’ve been using.

    Were the current saddles fitted to you as well as the horse?

    ETA - In the summer I usually switch from cotton-based breeches to performance fabrics to try to cut down on friction rubs all over. Doesn’t solve pressure problems but addresses general rub issues somewhat.

    Comment


      #3
      Try something in a bigger seat and see if that helps. I was riding in a 16.5 pancake and busting up my business on the pommel every ride. Moving up to a 17 helped, and a 17.5 pretty much eliminated the problem.

      Edited to add: You can also just tell your trainer that you keep hitting the pommel, and they'll probably know what you mean without you having to explain the issue in lurid detail.

      Comment


        #4
        Not a saddle expert, but if it used to be ok, and now it is uncomfortable, can you identify things that may have changed that could be contributing?

        I will agree with the post above that wicking underwear and/or changing the material of your breeches might make a difference.

        Otherwise, have you lost weight, gained weight, changed your fitness (become more fit, less fit)? Or have you changed the way you are riding? (Riding more/less, same type of schooling, doing something new?)

        Personally, I would also suggest you tell your trainer because they may be able to help you identify the issue and narrow down the search for a better fitting saddle. It's not anything to be embarrassed by - this is not uncommon or unusual. I have a triathlon trainer and we have to have some very direct conversations about bicycle saddles too. I doubt even your young trainer hasn't already had these conversations with clients.

        I kind of agree that you may need a bigger saddle but even that doesn't narrow down finding the best saddle.

        Comment


          #5
          How's your back?

          I'm working through a back issue that had me unable to walk for more than 15 minutes at a time by mid March. While I am hugely improved I'm not 100%. I'm finding I'm getting pressure/rubbed up front that can be quite painful if I ride long enough. I think I'm riding with my pelvis tilted a few degrees more forward than before. Tucking my bum underneath and riding more on my seatbones seems to help but I'm not quite able to maintain that consistently yet.

          Perhaps TMI, but shaving helps reduce the rub irritation.

          Comment


            #6
            I had a similar issue when I was in a saddle that was too small for me. Going up a size (and with a different brand) solved the problem. But in the period where I still had to ride in the too small one, I wore padded bike shorts under my breeches and it helped a TON!
            Originally posted by MistyPony
            In all my years of riding, gravity is the one thing that has never failed on me!

            Comment

              Original Poster

              #7
              It does seem like I need a larger saddle based on my...um...affliction. BUT, I wear a size 28 breech and ride in a 17.5" saddle. Could I really need an 18"?

              Comment


                #8
                Depends on your femur length, not your clothes size

                Comment


                  #9
                  I would try a larger seat size. Is this dressage or jumping? In dressage saddles in particular a deeper seat can make the actual seat size effectively smaller.

                  Also how is fit on horse? In my experience if the saddle starts sitting funny on the horse then the rider starts to have all kinds of fit and position errors.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                    Not a saddle expert, but if it used to be ok, and now it is uncomfortable, can you identify things that may have changed that could be contributing?

                    I will agree with the post above that wicking underwear and/or changing the material of your breeches might make a difference.

                    Otherwise, have you lost weight, gained weight, changed your fitness (become more fit, less fit)? Or have you changed the way you are riding? (Riding more/less, same type of schooling, doing something new?)

                    Personally, I would also suggest you tell your trainer because they may be able to help you identify the issue and narrow down the search for a better fitting saddle. It's not anything to be embarrassed by - this is not uncommon or unusual. I have a triathlon trainer and we have to have some very direct conversations about bicycle saddles too. I doubt even your young trainer hasn't already had these conversations with clients.

                    I kind of agree that you may need a bigger saddle but even that doesn't narrow down finding the best saddle.
                    What has changed is the horse. I have recently started riding a different horse, who has a lot more suspension than my last. He's also rehabbing, so our rides have a LOT more trotting than I'm accustomed to. My saddle does fit the horse (with the help of a little creative padding).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Momateur View Post

                      What has changed is the horse. I have recently started riding a different horse, who has a lot more suspension than my last. He's also rehabbing, so our rides have a LOT more trotting than I'm accustomed to. My saddle does fit the horse (with the help of a little creative padding).
                      Ok, so the saddle never really fit you but wasn't put to the test. If your crotch is hitting the pommel the seat is too small for you. Also think about twist, how wide or narrow the front of the seat is.

                      Is this posting or sitting trot? If you hit the pommel posting the saddle is too small. If you are getting crotch pain in sitting trot you may be too "perched" and need to sit back on your pockets more

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Momateur View Post
                        It does seem like I need a larger saddle based on my...um...affliction. BUT, I wear a size 28 breech and ride in a 17.5" saddle. Could I really need an 18"?
                        Agree with above post that it’s about your anatomy, not your weight. But also wanted to add, in case you’re still having a hang-up about giving the 18 a try:

                        What hurts more: crotch blisters, or the number on your saddle flap stamp?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If this saddle used to be fine and is now uncomfortable, it might be worth looking around for what changed. It could be something about you, or something about the horse, but it's not like these issues just come out of the blue. If you can figure out what changed, it will probably be easier to figure out what the solution is. (It would suck to buy a new saddle, only to realize later that the seat size isn't the real problem!)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If the problem started with the new horse, I would double check the fit and balance of the saddle on the horse. Oddly I have found that balance issues in both directions can be problematic. If the pommel is too high, most of us can see how that would "get in your business". But if the pommel is too low, sometimes the saddle balance pushes you to the front and you end up hitting the pommel again! Also try raising or lowering your stirrups a bit - sometimes makes a world of difference!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I went through this recently too . I needed to go up a seat size and I actually found a deeper seat/higher pommel was better for me (ended up in a BD partition). The steeper rise in front keeps me back in the right part of the saddle and the pommel out of my business .

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                Ok, so the saddle never really fit you but wasn't put to the test. If your crotch is hitting the pommel the seat is too small for you. Also think about twist, how wide or narrow the front of the seat is.

                                Is this posting or sitting trot? If you hit the pommel posting the saddle is too small. If you are getting crotch pain in sitting trot you may be too "perched" and need to sit back on your pockets more
                                Yes, posting or sitting? If you're hitting the pommel when posting because of a lofty trot, I agree that the saddle is too small. And maybe wasn't very noticeable on a horse with a flatter trot. Can you try to borrow a similar saddle in an 18"?

                                But, again, maybe ask your trainer if your position is ok. It takes time to get used to a bigger trot and you might need to adjust your balance a little. Have you watched yourself on video? Might be helpful to see how you look in that saddle on that horse.

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I'm hitting the pommel in the posting trot. No way would I venture the sitting trot in my current....er....condition.

                                  I've owned this horse and this saddle a long time, but the horse has been leased out. I don't know why this saddle worked before but doesn't now. I haven't gained or lost weight. It makes no sense.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Eh, sometimes all it takes is one random day of irritation, then it’s sensitive and keeps getting irritated. Happens to me occasionally, usually with bruising/rubbing behind the knee.

                                    Can you borrow something else for the time being (anything else) to ride in while you investigate? Give your pelvis some time to recover, hopefully?

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Momateur View Post

                                      What has changed is the horse. I have recently started riding a different horse, who has a lot more suspension than my last. He's also rehabbing, so our rides have a LOT more trotting than I'm accustomed to. My saddle does fit the horse (with the help of a little creative padding).
                                      The exact same saddle (not just same model) can feel quite different on a different horse, especially if it doesn't fit the second horse terribly well.

                                      I recently upgraded my saddle and went through a lot of trials. At one point I had it narrowed down to a Custom Omni and a Custom Flight, both in a 17.5, monoflap, short block. My horse went better in the Omni, but the Flight was a tad more comfortable for me. Going up to the 18 in the Omni was the perfect solution. Don't get hung up on a number - saddles aren't like jeans with a tag with the size on the back for everyone to see!

                                      I wholeheartedly recommend looking at your own fitness and biomechanics, both in and out of the saddle. Back, core, hips could all be pulling you out of alignment and onto your crotch. If that is the root cause, addressing that is a much more effective fix than finding a saddle that compensates for any asymmetries or weaknesses you have. BTDT
                                      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        If you are using "creative padding" to get the saddle to fit the horse, is it possible it has changed the way you sit in it when you ride him now?

                                        I know when I use a thinner or thicker pad ( depends on her weight) it can change my whole position in both my english or endurance saddle. That is on the same horse.

                                        Comment

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