There is a well-known phenomenon in other fields: If you put together several experts on the same subject to collaborate–say, three economists, for example–the opposite of what you expect happens. And that is, almost nothing.
But, if you put together several experts from different fields–say, one economist, one engineer, and one chemist–you are likely to get some interesting results.
So this last year, when I began on my goal to ride a bike to the barn every day–something that took a few months to accomplish, as there is a 600-ft elevation change between here and there–I experienced a much more defined (and commercialized) attitude from bike riders about saddle sores than I ever did in the dressage riding world.
Re us dressage riders: It could be the cavalry influence, but when it comes to sores in the nether regions, I am reminded of Miss Manners’ priceless advice, which was that there are only a limited number of audible things that emerge from ladies and gentlemen of polite society. The hiccup and the sneeze, I think.
What about the others, you might ask?
Melynnda and I began talking about saddle sores last summer when she confessed that one of her lady riding students had wailed, “I’ll never have sex again!”
Well, that’s one of the areas in which you can certainly suffer saddle sores, and it’s about time we talked about it openly! The lady bikers have no such compunction, speaking of which, you should see what the motorcycle riders have come up with:
Apparently there is a lot of, er, vibration and friction to the southern parts of the typical Harley enthusiast. Who knew?
Well, if they can talk about it, so can we. So here is what can happen, why it happens, and how to prevent it.
#1. Wear appropriate clothing. There is a reason the sports bra was developed, and the same goes for riding breeches and boots.
#2. Wear sensible things under your appropriate clothing:
Well, okay, unless you are pregnant, you don’t need to get the maternity ones–or the heels. (If you need to dress up your look, you have spurs!) These are made by a company called Spanx and as Melynnda says, “They prevent friction and make you look better in your breeches–what’s not to love?”
#3. Ride better. (You knew it was coming.) If the horse is constantly falling out from under the saddle, it creates problems for both of you.
#4. On open sores–or ones you don’t want to get opened–Band-Aids work. Think knees and butt. (You should see the looks I got from my Rolfer, adorned with these on one occasion.)
#5. For places where a Band-Aid would not be appropriate: Forget Vaseline or aloe; there is a product we really, really like. It is made for runners and you can buy it from our local tack store below–along with about everything else we recommend on this site. It comes in two sizes and it’s inexpensive–under $10.
(They have it in stock–if you can’t find it on the site, just ask.)
This is really good stuff. I don’t actually put it on my body–I put it on the inside of my clothing. Works GREAT.
Another good place that sells it, Long Rider Warehouse with gear for endurance riders, says the following:
“Body Glide ~ for horse & rider, before & after chafing!
“Popular in other sports such as running and biking, BodyGlide is quickly becoming a mainstay of equestrians, too! Prevents chafing by creating a barrier that protects skin from friction and moisture. You will be very happy with the results! Non-staining, 100% hypoallergenic, it penetrates for long-lasting protection, anywhere… knees, feet, fannies, you name it! Ahh, no more saddle sores!
“Does your horse have girth gall, rubbing from his breastplate or loin rubs? BodyGlide very effectively prevents galling and chafing on your horse as well!”
It’s a stick, not a cream. . . Here at Dressage Snob, we recommend that you have two–one for you and one for the beast. . . ‘nuf said.