There’s the Rub

No, literally… THE RUB. Fair warning, this is probably way TMI, but the struggle is real.

Ever since I’ve been upping the length of Henry’s conditioning rides, I’ve been having a problem. Not with the horse, he’s a gem. Not with my tack, that’s all fine. Not with my ability to trot for 45mins straight without losing my mind, although it’s been close a few times. No… my issue is, ahem… chafing. Of the… er… lady bits. Especially now that it’s hot/humid and I’m sweating like a faucet.

I’ve tried just about everything in my arsenal. Being a cylist, I have a drawer full of creams and powders meant to reduce chafing. None of those really helped. Being a lover of a sale, I have a drawer full of underwear in different styles and fabrics. Some are better than others (oh god, the time I didn’t plan ahead and wore lace for conditioning day there was so much screaming in the shower it sounded like a remake of Psycho) but still none of them really help either. I even tried raising and lowering my stirrups and dressage saddle vs jump saddle. There has been no magic bullet.

So, endurance riders and fellow eventers, what’s the secret? I think the elderly lady is tired of watching me fidget with my underwear while I trot around her hay field.

 

68 thoughts on “There’s the Rub

  1. Wear bike shorts or Spanx under your breeches. Or, if you can find the tight fitting men’s underwear that works too. For creams I really like Anti-Monkey Butt.

    Like

  2. Ok, after years of dealing with this, I switched to thongs, that helped the tush but not the bits… I finally broke down and started going commando. Along with proper “grooming” down there (you asked for it), I now have minimal issues.

    Like

    1. I had a feeling it would go this direction at some point, way to take it there right off the bat! 😉 I dunno about commando though, that seems kinda icky!

      Like

    2. ^ Yup.

      For long distance riding, I use seamless underwear. As in, completely seamless. With “laser-cut” edges, as they call it. No seam, no elastic, nada around the edges. Just cut fabric. It is surprisingly hard to find, but Hanes now has a line of this type of underwear; I found them at Target about a month ago. I like the bikini style; I have 0 tolerance for “cheeky” panties or thongs for riding.

      If it’s really hot or raining (aka, everything is going to be wet for a long time) I wear a maxi pad.

      For my last endurance ride (55 miles) I still had the beginnings of horrible chafing despite both of these things AND a sheepskin cover on my saddle. So I gave up and went commando for the last 10 miles. Best decision ever: no more pain. I don’t think I could do a whole ride like that, but it worked for those last 10 miles.

      Like

  3. Never had this problem, but I believe I read on COTH forums that changing into clean, dry underwear and breeches RIGHT when you get off the horse helps with this. Get it away from your skin asap.

    Like

    1. I have a problem with those bunching up in the most undesirable of places… all 3 pairs (of different styles and slightly different fit) do the same damn thing. I dunno what’s going on down there.

      Like

  4. I have literally talked to my gynocologist about this, complete with teaching her proper dressage position to show her the how/why of the issue. She was awesome, the story is hilarious. Long story short, I’ve found the reducing the time spent in sweaty gross underwear is helpful as is wearing cotton stuff without seams. The real bullet seemed to be taking the pill for yeast infections regularly. Seems that the same stuff that can cause a yeast infection (Omg, I’m really writing this in a comment. I have no shame.) can make the skin a little more sensitive. Somehow the drug is effective at clearing up sensitivity, even there are no other symptoms of an infection. Just my 2 cents. My current doctor has me trying probiotics to see if we can’t keep things a little more healthily balanced during the long (sweaty and gross) summer months.

    Like

    1. I’ll pile on the TMI–cotton underwear is MURDER and I cannot. I realize it’s more breathable theoretically, but I have sensitive princess skin and it rubs like a mofo with or without a horse under me.

      Like

  5. On Austen’s train of thought, managing/getting rid of my tendency to get yeast infections also has largely resolved the chafing I experienced. (Introducing a priobiotic pill into my life has been the cheapest, simplest, most amazing thing. I have not had a yeast infection in over a year (used to get them 2-3 times a year.. GAG) and also have not had the GI issues to rich foods I once had. Bonus!)

    Another HUGE help? Wool underwear. And no, it isn’t itchy. Smartwool is my go-to because I have a discount on their stuff, but Icebreaker or Ibex is great, too. The merino BREATHES so much better. Those sensitive lady bits LOVE the breathability of wool a LOT. Changing underwear every 15-25 miles for endurance also helps on ride day, so perhaps if you change before you ride in the evenings and then change between disciplines at an event it’ll help? If you have to change Henny’s tack, then change your underwear, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like men’s underwear – the boxer briefs – there are no seams to rub and a nifty pocket in the front if you need to carry lipstick. (Quote from Friends). Seriously, very comfortable, even after four or five hours in the saddle.

    Like

  7. So, I have this same problem at shows and NOTHING worked until I tried medicated Gold Bond powder. Apply straight to the area first thing in the morning and try not to freak out when it… feels weird. I also wore biker shorts under my breeches. Works for current ouchy spots and preventing more ouchy.

    Like

      1. Terrible name, great product: Squeaky Cheeks on Amazon. It’s talc-free and it holds up better for me. Get the essential oil one, it supposedly soothes irritation.

        Also, I like Duluth Trading’s “Armachillo” underwear which are a super-slick cooling fabric. No rubbing, and I’m the queen of the seatbone bruise because I have a super-bony ass.

        Like

  8. I don’t have anything more add, but these comments have been tremendously helpful. Even DQ’s work up a sweat now and then.

    Like

  9. lol Amanda you never fail to bring it with the excellent discussion topics! lots of good ideas already, but i’ll add one more: my friend is a PT specializing in pelvic health (yes that’s a real thing people need physical therapy for) and is actually starting to develop her own line of lubes. she recommends staying away from silicone for the same reason we avoid it for manes and tails – too drying. i think her primary ingredient is coconut oil tho, and she says it works for chafing too. not sure how you feel about all that for a long ride… but maybe worth a shot?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I always learn something reading your posts and the resulting comments — and sometimes, it’s something I didn’t even realize I needed to learn! 🙂

    Like

  11. I second the commando comment. It’s the only thing I’ve found that works. The seams/edges of underwear give me the worst chaffing, and there’s no getting around it. Yes, it’s weird. Yes, it’s sometimes icky. But it beats blisters on my backside.

    Like

  12. I had this issue until I realized that we have hair, ahem, down there for a reason. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT shave your natural protection. Also I second the Smartwool underwear comment. That is all.

    Like

  13. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one getting irritated lady-junk. Sometimes it’s like horse-induced elephantitis of the junk – truly awful, painful, and embarrasing 😉 My friend and I at the barn talk about this all the time. The only thing I’ve found that helps (a little) is cotton thongs, but I’m down to try alllllll of these ideas.

    Like

  14. I get HORRIBLE heat rash – HORRIBLE! I use a variety of techniques, most of them simultaneously.
    1) I rub Body Glide over EVERYTHING – that means every surface, especially butt crack and beneath my underwear edges. It lasts for quite a while.
    2) I POUR AntiMonkey Butt powder all over my underwear before I step into them.
    3) Since I usually do all of this at home, I sometimes need to reapply right before I get on.
    4) Changing out of damp underwear ASAP also really helps – even if I have to do it in the tack room.
    5) This all helps for a 45 minute ride. For shows or times when I need to travel, I do all of it WAY MORE OFTEN.

    I am looking forward to a follow up post because my method only works most of the time. Occasionally, the sweat just does me in.

    Like

  15. https://jellypantz.com/
    Been using this underwear for years. I don’t event, but I do way more than the casual amount of sitting trot. This underwear also stubbornly refuses to ever wear out. I would be raw meat without it…of which I am painfully reminded the very few times I rush out the door to the barn forgetting to wear it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A lot of endurance riders I know go commando. I haven’t done this myself as I haven’t had that issue. I wear Ice-fill tights for endurance riding and they cut down on the sweating enough that I don’t have a problem. I also use Icebreaker underwear which is a type of smart wool. Breathes and wicks sweat. And I second Tonia’s vote for not shaving. I’ve also heard Anti-Monkey Butt powder recommended and RW sells it though I’ve never tried it myself.

    Like

  17. Having experienced this problem myself (to the point where I ended up with abscess – not fun!), I’ve found a few things that help:
    1. Skip the full seat breeches as much as you can.
    2. Proper undergarmets: the Champion Seamless Performance Body shorts with breathable mesh zones (found at Target) are the only underwear I can wear to ride. They are super light weight and soft, with no seams anywhere you make contact with the saddle. They look very similar to the KnixWear that Lainey Ashker uses, but for about 1/3 the price. I could see the fit not working for everyone, but I absolutely love them.
    3. I second the comment of changing breeches/underwear as fast as you can after a ride – sticky sweaty stuff rubs way more.
    4. As soon as you get home, take a soak with Epsom salts before a shower. If rub prevention failed you, skip or go easy on the salts but its the best way to gently clean and soothe.
    (PS – loving your blog – and I’m a dressage rider in CO!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have nothing to really add – this has not been a big problem of mine – but this post and its accompanying comments are the reason for the internet today.

    Like

  19. ahhaha o man, some great comments here.

    things got better for me chafing wise once i stopped erm.. grooming. myself, not the horse.

    im very curious about this smartwool underwear situation!

    Like

  20. These comments are priceless! I have to say the dry dry air here in Idaho may lead to daily bloody noses…but it keeps the chaffing to a minimum. I wish I’d had all these tips when I rode in Florida and Virginia though, the pain was so real.

    Like

  21. As a current endurance rider I use I sheepskin covered saddle seat cover , padded pants-saddlebums, and lots of body glide. Commando didn’t work at all and it was too painful to ride after that experiment for some time…

    Like

  22. Tbh, I came for the post and stayed for the comments. I’m just now working on getting myself and my mare back in shape and we’re gonna start with long walks and short trot sets but those long trot sets are coming up and this is a problem I hadn’t even considered I might have! Now if I do end up having issues with the lady bits getting angry, I’ve got some ideas in mind on how to handle it! Thanks everyone. Learned way more than I wanted too but now I can’t un-read it. 🙂

    Like

  23. #1: get a pair of riding tights without a central seam for conditioning work. I know they aren’t fancy, but there is a reason endurance riders wear tights versus breaches.

    #2: a lot of endurance riders go commando. I don’t because I think it feels worse but you may want to try it.

    #3: try the boy shorts style underwear. Under armor thin Lycra ones that have no seams are the best.

    #4: I find powders turn into a paste if you sweat a lot so I avoid those. Body glide is fantastic

    #5: get a wool seat saver to use during conditioning days. They are amazing and well worth the money.

    Good luck! I made it through 100 miles without chafing in tights and bikini briefs but I had a seat saver.

    Like

  24. I wear the Victoria’s Secret Pink No Show cheeksters, and they are amazing (Pink because it’s cheaper than VS brand no show’s). Can’t do thongs. Hate them.

    Like

  25. Boy, I just hadn’t lived until I read “Coco-v!” (I think we’d all like to see the look on Bobby’s face when you run THAT by him 😄) Excellent advice, all. I used to suffer from this issue although it was more bruising than chafing. Solved that with a new wider-twist saddle. Now I rely on cotton or Cool Max undies, tights instead of breeches and yes, “natural protection.” That’s a train I flatly refuse to board anyway, so being a rider just gives me another good reason!

    Like

  26. I ride 50 and 100 miles at at a time…
    1. Try Commando
    2. No Lady parts grooming. It’s there for a reason…
    3. Tights, absolutely. NOT breeches and no full seats. If you’re worried about Henry pinging yu out of the tack without full seats, both Kerritts: http://kerrits.com/womens/kneepatch/ice-fil-tech-tight and Performa: http://www.jojubisaddlery.com.au/shop/for-the-rider/performa-ride-lara-riding-tights/ do lightweight tighs with sticky patches.
    4. Two point… Let the air flow.
    5. Change AS SOON AS YOU GET OF THE HORSE. You’d do it for running or cycling – same applies to riding.

    Like

  27. I had never experienced this unfortunate issue until my last horse shopping trip… riding 15-20 horses a day for 3 days nearly killed me. I’m sure you’ve tried it, but desitin (diaper rash cream) is what saved me! Yes, it’s sticky and smells like a baby, but it stays on no matter how much you sweat and made me 10x more comfortable within minutes of applying

    Like

  28. I was all “I don’t think I read Amanda’s blog today, I wonder what she is up to” and then ” so many angry hoohas in the world. Now I know”.

    I was not prepared. But I learned so much.

    Like

  29. So more TMI….strip it. And no I don’t mean go Commando. I mean take up the carpets. Hardwood floors create less friction.
    If I don’t do this, I’m constantly unbunching, unscrunching and somehow trying to subtly haul or scratch things out from areas no-one should see someone haul or scratch from.
    Then find the panty shape that fits your bum best.

    Like

    1. Lol reading the other replies now, I’m going against the stream here. I used to be of the No grooming mindset, until I did a um full groom…never turning back. But DON’T shave – it’s the regrowth of shaved hair that causes issues…wax on, wax off. And get it professionally done.

      Like

  30. If my IT department checks my browsing history they are in for quite a surprise. And I may have to answer some awkward questions. But these comments have made it completely worthwhile!

    Like

  31. I haven’t experienced this discomfort yet but I can empathize with with all the ladies out there with sore cupcakes!
    Thanks for posting. Can’t wait to go shopping for summer appropriate riding underpants.

    Like

  32. As a fat woman who has thigh and sometimes lady bits chafing problems, I fully stand behind sudocrem, or diaper rash cream. I don’t use it prior to chafing (I probably should) bit do use it after I’ve chafed if I need to keep doing whatever caused the chafing (usually nylons and riding are the culprits, never together.

    It adds a nice soothing barrier and definitely can get you through the first painful hours and night. Decidedly unsexy, its thick and greasy, kinda so don’t apply it with clothes you love.

    It’ll also work immediately for relief post ride. If you can discretely smear it all over your effected areas.

    Also, I feel a bit odd commenting so late in the game, but I read the blog weekly more often than daily.

    Like

  33. Now this is something I can talk about. I had a similar problem when I started sitting trot. And it’s always worse in summer when it’s hot. I tried everything. Spanx are a BAD IDEA! They have a very harsh seam in the crotch area that will cause undo harm. Thongs, cause some of the ladies wear those…um NO. Basically, I went with a flat seamed nylon/spandex boy short that seems to work pretty well. I haven’t screamed in the shower due to this issue in over a year!

    Like

  34. What a way to start my Sunday lol!!

    So my only tidbit to add would be A and D diaper cream or Desitin if chafing occurs. Mixed together they should take care of the pain/ sensitivity/healing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s