Saddle sores are normal to appear among riders. Wether you spend short or long times in the saddle, it is almost inevitable to experience discomfort that can develop in small wounds in the intimate area. Some riders tend to have irritations and sores due to the friction and continuous pressure between the skin and the saddle. However, this can gradually cause sores and even hair follicle infections.
The good news is that these wounds and sores due to saddle chafing can be reduced by optimizing your position, using the right saddle and using padded underwear with bacteriostatic treatment.
How to prevent injuries due to saddle chafing?
Improve your riding position
The rider's position has a profound effect on saddle injuries, the first step is to get the position right. Make sure your stirrups are in the correct length in relation with your height.
To find the correct stirrup length, sit in the saddle with your feet out of the irons. Relax your leg and allow the stirrups to bump against your feet. The bar (bottom) of the stirrup should hit your ankle bone. If you’d like to have the correct length before mounting, stand next to your horse. Place your fingertips on the stirrup safety bar beneath the flap of your saddle. Now, with your other hand, pull the stirrup leather taut alongside your outstretched arm. If it’s the correct length it should end with the stirrup bar rubbing your armpit.
If you have the oportunity, choose a suitable saddle
Once you have the ideal position and the right stirrups length, if you have the oportunity, choose a saddle that adapts to your body. It is important to know which ones are designed to minimize pressure, there are different types of saddles, padding, curve, wide.
In general, the body requires padded, wide saddles with a flatter upper part to support the bones. If the upper part is too high as some dressage saddles, the friction, presure and impact with the genital area will be much higher.
Wear padded underwear
Padded underwear will distribute pressure between the seat and the skin. Reducing the pressure eliminates the effect that a wound develops due to chafing. Padded underwear is especially important for high performing positions. Some garments cause injuries due to the seams of the underwear, it is also important to use underwear with flat seams.
Chamois and friction creams
These preventive creams can be of great help due to their antibacterial properties, this will help you avoid any irritation that you have on the skin. Anti-friction creams are especially good for sweaty and irritated conditions. Apply the cream directly to the skin where the saddle rubs. There are a million creams on the market that can help you in specific situations.