Saturday, 24 November 2018

Technical excellence with Derriere Equestrian

Technical excellence


Anyone that has ridden in Derriere riding underwear knows that the garments are comfortable, practical and good looking - so much so that we forget we are wearing such advanced pieces of engineered apparel!

Based in north east Italy, our padding manufacturers, pioneers of technical excellence, are regarded as the world-wide leader in designing and developing insert pads for cycling shorts, and have demonstrated reduced compression in the gluteal, perineal and genital-urinary area zone - that’s our ‘Nethers’, to you and me - when such protective garments are worn. We have embraced this expertise in our horse riding underwear range.

Let’s be honest - who wants compromised blood flow, restricted movement, compression sores, bacterial challenges and uncomfy pants with itchy seams? No one - as horse riders, we want to be focussed on our riding and training, giving little thought to our clothing. 


We tend to only notice our riding wear when it is not fulfilling a need - such as breathability or un-restriction - and with Derriere riding underwear, our customers simply do not notice the excellent job that the under-garments are doing, because these technologically-advanced support-systems are doing all the work for us!


Advanced materials

We thought you may be interested to know that our DerriereEquestrian riding underwear is made from a breathable, micro-fibre fabric made from a Polyamide and Elasthanne blend with multi-directional stretch. Special, high density foam inserts are placed at key pressure points to provide maximum comfort and performance, while the outside edge of the inner pads have extra soft fabric, to eliminate any chaffing.


We are talking bonded, seamless technology with no abrasive edges and reduced stitched seam-lines, for supreme comfort when riding your horse or pony. Our manufacturing experts utilise single jersey electronic circular knitting machines, and when you unwrap your perfect pants, you can be safe in the knowledge that a talented band of textile engineers, chemists, technicians, designers and fabric selection experts have paved the way for your perineal perfection.

The range of Derriere Equestrian products go through more than 50 controls during their transformation in production, so you can be sure of a high-quality piece of sporting apparel that has breathable, bacteriostatic fabric (that prevents bacteria from reproducing). Our under-garments are ideal for flatwork training, horse riding holidays, leisure riding and hacking, and all competition riding, even under tight, light-coloured breeches, when your own derriere will be shrouded in a masterpiece of underwear engineering!


Key words

www.derriereequestrian.com


Thursday, 22 November 2018

Ready for endurance with Derriere Equestrian

Ready for endurance

By Derriere Equestrian Sponsored Endurance Rider Katie Bedwin

Endurance riding is fun, thrilling and addictive. But for some people it can cause some physical discomfort while they are getting used to the longer distances and the adaptions they may need to make to their conventional riding position. This also applies to pleasure rides. Common issues for those new to longer distance rides are tension and pain in the lower back, and fatigue in the knee joints.

There’s an excellent article by American endurance rider Priscilla Lindsey called ‘Equitation for Distance Riders’, whereby Priscilla states that riding in harmony with the endurance horse's movement is achieved by riding in balance ALL of the time. “When the rider is not in balance, excessive muscle tension (grip) is used. This results in rider fatigue, and consequently ‘pounding’ the horse's back. Riding in balance requires only good muscle tone, rather than tension, to keep the rider light in the saddle.” Priscilla explains that the faster trot, gallop and up-hill rides require the rider's centre of gravity to be over the heel, with the rider’s shoulder AHEAD of the vertical line (the one that is drummed into us as beginners as being ‘ear/shoulder/hip/heel’. The endurance rider’s hip, when taking the ideal, forward, lighter seat, is behind the vertical line, counterbalancing the rider’s shoulder. The successful endurance rider’s pelvis in a true vertical position, neither tipped forward (e.g. where the rider has a hollow back) nor tipped backward (e.g. where the rider has a rounded back). If you can easily feel your seat bones, rock back and forth on them in the saddle until it feels like they are pointing straight down at the ground beneath your horse's belly, advises Priscilla in her article.

Once you have honed this adaptability with your riding, you will hopefully find that any lower back pain or discomfort in the knees that you were experiencing over longer distances is reduced as you begin to use your body differently.

Other areas that affect rider comfort when tackling endurance or pleasure riders is tack and clothing. Gel, foam or sheepskin saddle covers or ‘seat savers’ are very useful, and the saddle itself makes a difference - if you’re not investing in an endurance saddle, a GP should suffice; choose wide stirrup irons to spread the weight distribution across the ball of your foot.



The Derriere Equestrian Treviso Training breeches work in harmony with the Derriere undergarments, ensuring all fabric surfaces come together in a symbiosis that completely eliminates chaffing, abrasions and discomfort in the saddle.






Key words

www.derriereequestrian.com

Monday, 19 November 2018

Material Facts For Equestrians

Material facts


No one can have failed to notice that equestrian riding wear is now classed as athletic clothing. Few of us favour the uncomfy pants, floppy fleeces and shapeless jodhpurs of yesteryear, when there are form-fitting breeches and padded riding undergarments to be savoured!

Here are a few of the materials that you may see in your riding-wear labels - cotton and merino wool are natural fibres. The rest are synthetic fibres, which are more commonly used in active-wear. They are generally based on blends, and sweat is evaporated outside the garment:

Cotton

Ah, beautiful, natural cotton. What’s not to like? Well, we believe it isn’t the best material for active wear when used on its own. Cotton holds up to 25 times its weight in water, so isn’t ideal for sweating, and takes ages to dry. However, it smells less than polyester, so is OK for low-sweat activities like hacking. Look out for blends with Elastane and Microfibre in active riding wear and breeches. 

With underwear being the first layer next to the skin, it is essential fabric selection at this level is carefully selected. Avoid cotton in your underwear and seek fabric blends such as those used is the Derriere Equestrian range, these are all designed to be wicking and have featured fabrics with bacteriostatic properties.

Elastane (Spandex / Lycra)

Elastane fibres are usually branded as Lycra or Spandex - as an extremely stretchy material, it is often blended alongside other fibres for support. Elastane can expand to nearly 600 per cent of its size, and we are big fans!

Gore-Tex

You may spot this material in yard boots and jackets, as it is waterproof and windproof, yet allows the skin to breathe.

Merino wool

This is a nice choice of material as winter approaches - it’s warm, breathable, wicking, and antimicrobial. Perfect as a base layer beneath a heavier jacket or sweatshirt.

Microfibre

This is an all-encompassing name for synthetic fibres blended from polyester materials. Tough and durable, you will see this used in good quality breeches and Derriere Equestrian Underwear.

Nylon

This branded, synthetic fabric dries quickly and is breathable. Often seen in low-cost breeches.

Polyamide

We love Polyamide! A polymer blend akin to natural wool and silk - the brand Nylon is a polyamide. Polyamide materials are light-weight, yet strong. They’re also fairly dirt resistant. Found in good quality riding underwear and breeches. A feature found in the lead products of the Derriere Equestrian range.

Polypropylene

Like polyester, this material is made from plastic; you may see it in base layer ‘long johns’ or thermal ‘under breeches’.



Polyester

The workhorse of active-wear fabrics, it’s durable, lightweight, breathable, and non-absorbent. Keep it washed regularly however, to avoid odours. Often seen in show jackets.

Supplex

Supplex fabrics are breathable and fast-drying - they take the form of a stretch jersey, or thin woven material. They’re actually more commonly seen in stretchy horse hoods, but may be used in items like wrist warmers for riders.

Tactel

Tactel fabrics are fast drying, strong and lightweight. Usually made as a stretch jersey, and often seen in riding socks.

Derriere Equestrian’s choices

Derriere Equestrian riding underwear is made from a breathable, micro-fibre fabric made from a Polyamide and Elastane blend with multi-directional stretch. Special, high density foam inserts are placed at key pressure points in the riding underwear garments to provide maximum comfort and performance, while the outside edge of the inner pads have extra soft fabric, to eliminate any chaffing.

We offer bonded, seamless technology with no abrasive edges and reduced stitched seam-lines, for supreme comfort when riding your horse or pony. Our manufacturing experts utilise state of the art, single jersey electronic circular knitting machines.

The range of Derriere Equestrian products go through more than 50controls during their transformation in production, so when purchasing, you can be sure of a high-quality piece of sporting apparel that has breathable, bacteriostatic fabric (that prevents bacteria from reproducing).


Key words





Sunday, 18 November 2018

Shhhh.....it’s personal

Shhhh.....it’s personal

Can we get personal with you? It is the unspoken element of horse riding... ‘personal discomfort’ in the saddle.

Many of us with such discomfort may be sitting in the saddle in a certain way to avoid this displeasure; for example, if you can feel a pressure in the area of your tailbone or coccyx, you are probably tipping your pelvis too far back in an effort to free up the area between your thighs - if you’re a woman, this will almost undoubtedly cause your shoulders to ‘hunch’. If you are compensating at all in your posture, you may experience misalignment of the spine and pelvis, resulting in an ineffective riding position.
Let’s look at the horse rider’s seat:

Many trainers refer to a three-point seat when riding horses and ponies, which is the triangle formed when you sit on your seat bones with the pubic bone at the front. It is important to bear in mind that ladies have wider seatbones than men, a much wider pelvic girdle and hip sockets, and a shorter coccyx that tips backwards a little. The ‘classical’ lengthened riding position is physiologically easier for men, as they can flatten their backs more when tilting their pelvis. When a man is in the saddle, he’s closer to being balanced evenly, e.g. in the middle of his seatbones - a woman tips more naturally forwards. If she hyperextends or hollows her lower back, she tips even further forwards, and downwards onto the crotch area. Ouch!! There’s your personal discomfort.
Dr. Deb Bennett speaks eloquently about male and female anatomical rider differences in her paper ‘Who’s Built Best To Ride’, for anyone who is interested in reading further. In her articles, Dr. Bennett talks about men’s ability to ‘slouch’ down into the saddle - typically seen in the riding position of male polo players on their ponies, when men ‘sit on their pockets’. Women are generally unable to sit in this way on a horse, with a straight or rounded lower back. (Which is no bad thing, as it can result in rounding of the shoulders, and that undesirable ‘chair seat’!)
Image with credit to chronof horse

So in summary, without going into too much anatomical detail, personal discomfort from horse riding in women is often caused by a hollowing of the back, or a general immobility in the lower back, which causes a forward-tipping motion, and rubbing; while for men, it can be caused by an unexpected tipping forward onto the genital area (e.g. a horse spooking), or a lack of balance (or even too much ‘bracing’ of the back) that causes rubbing or bruising. In both cases, it may also be caused by wearing underwear with stitched seams.

If you are suffering from personal discomfort when riding your horse or pony, there are options. Look at your saddle - do you need for example a larger saddle seat, or one with a narrower twist (the width of the section under your thighs); could you benefit from a leisure activity like Pilates to aid mobility and core strength; or would riding lessons help you to mobilise your pelvic area, and achieve a better riding seat? Consider padded underwear like the Derriere range; remember - when the rider is comfortable within the saddle, there is less likelihood of compensatory misalignment of the spine and pelvis, e.g. altering the body position to avoid pain to the sensitive crotch areas. And a comfy ‘personal area’ means a more effective partnership with the horse!

www.derriereequestrian.com



Key words - Saddle, crotch, riding position, rider, rider’s seat, three point seat, horse, pony, underwear

Friday, 5 October 2018

Is your horse lacking ‘throughness’; is your lower back immobile, or weak-feeling? You’re not alone...

Is your horse lacking ‘throughness’; is your lower back immobile, or weak-feeling? You’re not alone...


It’s no coincidence that sometimes as a rider, if we are experiencing back pain, our horses may also exhibit gait, back or soundness issues at a similar time. It can become something of a vicious circle, in that neither horse nor rider is completely mobile and comfortable, so we both start working defensively, and become ‘tight’ or rigid.

This can feel as if we’re riding against the motion of the horse’s gait, rather than with the horse; and the horse will feel this restriction, too. A common problem for riders is a combination of tight hip flexors and poor abdominal strength, which often leads riders to develop a forward pelvis tilt; both in and out of the saddle. This can ‘block’ the horse’s hindquarter energy, and ‘thoroughness’ through his back. (The United States Dressage Federation has produced a nice booklet called ‘Loosen up’ about rider back-care, which is a great read!)

The rider’s seat

The horse rider’s seat, in terms of an aid to riding, as opposed to literally our derrieres, is made up of the pelvis (including the pelvic floor and seat bones), the abdominals, and the lumbar area. (‘Lumbar’ refers to our lower backs, where the spine curves inward, toward the stomach. The lumbar region connects with the thoracic spine at the top of the back, and extends downwards, to the sacral spine.)
So, why is back pain common? For all of us, it’s multi-factorial; and stress is (perhaps surprisingly) a factor. Also, many horse owners have been riding for many years (and may have old injuries); most have had office jobs at some stage, or roles involving sitting at a desk; around ninety per-cent of us are right-handed, and drive cars with right-side dominance; and the majority of us actively carry out repetitive tasks (e.g. mucking out or carrying buckets, all with a dominant hand or side) regularly. Unfortunately, the majority of horse riders will suffer from back issues at some point in their lives.

Eighty per cent of adults experience lower back pain

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders states that about 80 per cent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes. The Institute states that men and women are equally affected by it, and that the majority of acute lower back pain is mechanical, e.g. there’s a disruption in the way the components of the back mobilise. Interestingly, stress can be a factor in back pain, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. ‘Stress (and worrying about a bad back!) is ironically the main cause of back pain; the best thing to do to reduce the pain is to go back to work, get out and about, and exercise,’ a CSP representative told the Express Newspaper, in a no-nonsense fashion.

(The Guardian newspaper reported that lower back and neck pain is an increasingly expensive condition, costing  America $88bn a year. There’s seemingly no comparable figures for the UK, however studies indicate that back pain is a leading, global cause of disability worldwide; meanwhile, around a third of all long-term UK work absences are caused by musculoskeletal disorders.)

How can we reduce the likelihood of back pain affecting our horse riding?


So, given general probability, and also our propensity to carry out repetitive tasks one-sidedly, there’s a fair chance that horse riders will (at some point) experience back pain. So, how can we reduce the likelihood of back pain affecting our riding?


Muscles that are too loose and weak, or too tight, are said to cause the most muscular and skeletal injuries. So, aiming to improve our posture, core strength and back health is key.

In the United States Dressage Federation’s ‘Loosen up’ booklet, dressage rider, Pilates instructor and health coach Lisa Carusone says that when she corrects her own positional problems, her horse always benefits, and she feels the difference. “[A common problem for riders is tight hip flexors, and], there can be any number of reasons for hip tightness. Long hours spent sitting in cars and at desks can cause hip-flexor muscles to shorten and tighten. [For example], extended periods of sitting (or standing) or holding a toddler on your hip can contribute to hip issues and tightness. Everyone’s hip joints are constructed slightly differently. Your hips can rotate, move forward and back and from side, but remaining in the same position for long periods of time causes soft-tissue tightness, and stiffness. As the old saying goes, move it or lose it!”

Athletic Grace

Equine Wellness Magazine has some great tips for riders (and specific exercises) in its 2017 article, ‘Why rider fitness and posture are so important’. The title advises focusing on rider stretches, to build strength. ‘Muscles are technically stronger than bones, and act as the body’s pulley system, manouvering and affecting the bones.... if you slouch, your muscles will pull the bones into that position, eventually shortening the muscles, creating the constant slouching position. It will take time to make shifts in the body’s muscle memory in order to change it back [e.g. correct poor posture]. The ‘too strong’ and likely ‘too short’ muscles need to stretch and relax so we can maintain good posture. This will enable us to ride with balance, ease of movement and athletic grace,’ the article states. (Do check out the exercises it suggests.)

We hope these tips and links are useful to you, if you’re experiencing back pain or hip tightness! Please do remember that when the horse rider is comfortable within the saddle, they can move more easily with the horse’s gait. Comfortable ridingunderwear and riding breeches are a must, and the Derriere Equestrian range of riding underwear is designed for both men and women; the DE Performance Padded Shorty and the Performance Seamless Shorty, for example, both excel at their job, offering exceptional comfort and performance to horse riders, to help us ride with that ‘athletic grace’ we all desire!

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WWW.DERRIEREEQUESTRIAN.COM



Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Sitting to the trot By Derriere Equestrian sponsored eventer Daisy Berkeley


Sitting to the trot

By Derriere Equestrian sponsored eventer Daisy Berkeley

It was plain to see at the eventing dressage element of the Olympic Games this year that some riders are able to ‘sit’ to their horse’s trot better than others. Obviously there would have been many factors influencing this fact, such as the rider’s level of experience and the horse’s breeding, but it is clear that a soft, connected riding position in sitting trot does little to hinder the gait and performance of the horse, while a braced back and less flexible pelvis leads to a stilted movement.

A recent British study conducted by Hartpury College using a riding simulator looked at rider asymmetry during sitting trot, at fast and slow speeds. “Asymmetry is perceived to limit performance within equestrian sports,” the researchers proposed.

They sought to determine whether the speed of the trot influenced the degree of rider asymmetry, and used young women in their study, who all rode a minimum of five times per week, and held a competitive record.

Results showed that the riders’ left shoulders were positioned lower than the right during slow sitting trot, and that in both fast and slow sitting trot, the right ankle joints were positioned lower than the left. The slower trot speed produced greater asymmetry within this population.

“If a rider is asymmetrical, then in addition to hindering the horse’s balance and straightness, instructional signals could be misinterpreted by the horse. Training problems deemed as behavioural problems could be the result of rider postural asymmetry, while rider injury and back pain may also occur as a result of postural asymmetry,” researchers concluded.

Significantly in this study, all riders were right handed, as are around ninety percent of the population. Are many of us subconsciously dropping our left shoulder and right ankle when attempting sitting trot?

If we are subconsciously leaning into the right stirrup and lifting our right shoulder when taking sitting trot, this sounds very much as if our left hip is collapsing. All of these subtle asymmetries will affect the horse to a degree, and could well be influencing our dressage marks!

My suggestion is to work with your riding instructor to identify any asymmetries in your riding, and perhaps have some lessons on a riding simulator. Invest in some comfortable breeches and riding underwear, to be sure you are not offsetting your position due to personal discomfort. Remember, when the rider is comfortable within the saddle, there is less likelihood of compensatory misalignment of the spine and pelvis, e.g. altering the body position to avoid pain to the sensitive areas. Bear in mind also that a good sports bra is essential.
The media recently reported that female horse riders who fail to wear a sports bra could be causing distress to their animals, according to Portsmouth University researchers, as riding without a sports bra can lead to poor posture that’s sensed by the horse. If you are particularly dominant in one hand, using your right hand to lift water buckets and hay bales for example, you could try a programme of strength building and exercise, to strengthen your left side.

Key words

Eventing, dressage, riding position, sitting trot, gait, rider asymmetry, equestrian sports, rider, rider back pain, riding instructor, dressage marks, riding simulator, breeches, riding underwear, sports bra


Saturday, 1 September 2018

The Benefits of Layering

Lots of layers

When shopping for outdoor or equestrian clothing, most people will have heard a lot about utilising a layering system. Layering your clothing can help you to keep warm, dry and comfortable through varying conditions, allowing you to add or remove layers, depending on how you feel and the conditions you’re in.

As you’d expect, layered clothing is a term which describes dressing using many garments that are worn on top of each other; these layers have different functions. The concept of layering is that two thin layers can be warmer yet lighter than one thick layer, because of the air trapped between layers, creating thermal insulation. Thermal insulation involves the principles of three different kinds of heat transfer; conduction (exchange of heat through contact), convection (movement of air), and radiation.

Air has a low thermal conductivity, but is very mobile. There are thus two elements that are important in protecting from the cold:

1.) Stopping the wind from penetrating and replacing the layer of warm air close to the body.

2.) Setting up a layer of still air which serves as insulation, by the use of fibres found in clothing.

By using a layering system, clothing layers are able to transfer moisture, provide warmth, and protection from the wind and rain.

At the most basic level, the layering system will consist of three layers:

1) A Base layer - worn next to the skin to help to regulate your body temperature and wick away moisture from your skin.

2) Mid-layer - used to trap the warmth your body generates. Depending on the weather, this can be a Fleece or a Softshell jacket.

3) Outer Layer - usually this is your protective layer. For example, a waterproof jacket to create a barrier from the wind and rain, or a high visibility or fluorescent jacket to ensure you are safe on the roads during winter.

Breeches
When choosing your training breeches in winter, less can be more! Look out for a product that offers optimal warmth and comfort as well as performance, so you don’t need to wear bulky layers beneath your breeches. The Derriere Equestrian Treviso Training breeches are designed to promote work in harmony with the Derriere undergarments, ensuring all fabric surfaces come together in a symbiosis that completely eliminates chaffing, abrasions and discomfort. They are made from a blend of Cotton, Microfibre and Elasthane that regulates body temperature beautifully.


Warming up
We all warm up our horses, but should we ‘warm up’ ourselves? Usually we can gain benefit from ‘warming up’ our own muscles as the horse warms up - lots of arm circles backwards to release the shoulders, as well as gentle head rolls to loosen the neck muscles. Let your legs hang loose from the stirrups in walk, and rotate the ankles inwards, to loosen everything up!

DE PocketSkin

The DE POCKET SKIN provides all round upper body support, comfort and climate control technology to enhance performance. An essential item for everyday riding and competition. The DE moisture wicking, all-way stretch fabric provides UV protection, keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold, ensuring thermoregulation is maintained during exercise without compromising on fit, support or moisture management.

All DE fabrics are high end wicking sporting fabrics, which let the skin breathe preventing discomfort caused by overheating. DE moisture wicking fabric draws sweat away from the body to the surface of the garment where it evaporates to keep you dry.

Moist skin can easily become irritated, which is why the ability to transport moisture to the outside is such an important characteristic in our fabric choice. The fabric finish combines high pulling and abrasion resistance with excellent breathability and a soft feel against your skin.

The DE POCKET SKIN provides a long sleeve, round neck comfort design. The style featuring a discrete mobile phone pocket, with earphone wire slot and a discrete POCKET closure, providing the wearer with a comfortable, stylish fit and finish. Seam technology focus, ensures our flat locked seam presentation for ultimate comfort. 

Couture, professional sports design together with Derriere Equestrian branding finish. The DE POCKET SKIN features the Derriere Equestrian wrap around equestrian design for the stylish, dynamic equestrian.
  • Upper body support, comfort & climate control technology
  • Moisture Wicking
  • All way stretch fabric
  • UV protection
  • Thermoregulation
  • Flat locked seams
  • Discrete mobile phone pocket, earphone wire slot & discrete POCKET closure
  • High round neck
  • Long sleeves
  • Wrap around equestrian design
  • Derriere Equestrian brand style
  • Unisex design
  • Small, Medium, Large & X.Large
  • Colours: White, Turquoise, Coral


DE ZipSkin

The DE ZIP SKIN provides all round upper body support, comfort and climate control technology to enhance performance. An essential item for everyday riding and competition. The DE moisture wicking, all-way stretch fabric provides UV protection, keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold, ensuring thermoregulation is maintained during exercise without compromising on fit, support or moisture management.

All DE fabrics are high end wicking sporting fabrics, which let the skin breathe preventing discomfort caused by overheating. DE moisture wicking fabric draws sweat away from the body to the surface of the garment where it evaporates to keep you dry.

Moist skin can easily become irritated, which is why the ability to transport moisture to the outside is such an important characteristic in our fabric choice. The fabric finish combines high pulling and abrasion resistance with excellent breathability and a soft feel against your skin.

The DE ZIP SKIN provides a long sleeve, round neck comfort design. The style featuring a discrete mobile phone pocket, with earphone wire slot and a discrete zip closure, providing the wearer with a comfortable, stylish fit and finish. Seam technology focus, ensures our flat locked seam presentation for ultimate comfort. 

Couture, professional sports design together with Derriere Equestrian branding finish. The DE ZIP SKIN features the Derriere Equestrian wrap around equestrian design for the stylish, dynamic equestrian.
  • Upper body support, comfort & climate control technology
  • Moisture Wicking
  • All way stretch fabric
  • UV protection
  • Thermoregulation
  • Flat locked seams
  • Discrete mobile phone pocket, earphone wire slot & discrete zip closure
  • High round neck
  • Long sleeves
  • Wrap around equestrian design
  • Derriere Equestrian brand style
  • Unisex design
  • Small, Medium, Large & X.Large
  • Colours: White, Turquoise, Coral

For all your riding needs, visit:
www.derriereequestrian.com