Hey Ladies! Cerice here. I'm taking full credit for this post, since it requires a certain... inside perspective.
Over the past two days at Equine Affaire, I have been watching women of various skill levels and disciplines ride in clinics on some pretty fancy horses, with some very talented clinicians. As a woman, and a teacher I find myself cringing in sympathetic discomfort as I watch women go bouncing past, yes in that way. As a woman with an ample enough bosom, I can speak from experience and say with sincerity, "Save The Ta-tas!"
It doesn't matter if you ride on a trail horse, a dressage horse, a western pleasure horse, or a smooth gaited tolting machine; if you are on a horse your girls need a lot of extra support. Aesthetics aside, there are some very important reasons why all women who are larger busted than an A cup need the most support they can get. We're talking about damage control, center of gravity improvement, better balance, relief of back pain, and making your horse's job easier. All that from making sure your girls are snug and secure!
Even a little bit of bouncing around from the movement of a horse underneath us is enough to cause soft tissue damage. To put it mildly, if they're bouncing enough for you to notice, you are potentially doing damage. A good, and I mean REALLY good sports bra is going to give you enough support that you can ride the most god awful, hollow backed, peg legged, trot all day. You may not have any teeth left in your head, but your girls won't feel a thing.
The right sports bra will also lift your bosom up and strap it in snugly enough to your chest, that your center of gravity will move further in to the core of your body. In essence, you won't be weighted down in the front. This will make it easier for you to open up your shoulders, straighten your upper back, sit deeper in the saddle, and be able to follow your horse's movement with a lot more ease. It's sad but true, that sometimes our choice of bras can really drag us down.
With our two nearest and dearest friends safely and securely buckled in for the ride, this allows for our balance to improve, and may even result in lower back, shoulder, and hip pain and strain lessening. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to relax more in the saddle and not have to reposition ourselves in an attempt to alleviate this or that stiff muscle? It might be just as simple as changing your bra!
With all this improvement in center of gravity, balance, and relaxation we'll also be making it easier for our horse to balance and support us. Every time we shift or get tight in the saddle, we're changing the balance of the horse as well. When we're stiff, we impede their ability to move freely. When we're uncomfortable, they're uncomfortable. Really, it all comes down to this, if you love your horse support your ta-tas.
How do you find this magic undergarment you ask? It really comes down to trial and error. Be determined. Take your best girlfriend with you, and go to the mall or department store. Be resolved to try on as many bras as it takes. I personally have spent hundreds of dollars searching for a sports bra that was comfortable enough to ride in, and that also gave me the support I needed. Now I'm not going to get too personal here, but suffice to say that I need a good bit of support. After trying on, and unfortunately buying dozens of sports bras (some claiming to be specifically for the equestrian woman's needs), I struck gold. For me, the Champion Shape Scoop-Back Full-Figure Underwire Sports Bra (pictured above) does the trick. In the dressing room, it passed the most rigorous jumping up and down I could manage, and in the saddle it holds up (no pun intended) to some really awful bouncy warmblood trotting (no I don't just ride Icelandics). I'm not saying that this bra will work for you, but I am saying find something that does. It is a life changing experience.
Just For You!
Pangaea Equestrian Services provides tips, tricks, and thoughts on care, training, and discussion topics for our friends in the horse world.