Claire Madden our gorgeous ambassador AND winner of many HOY awards AND owner of BrigideneSporthorses provides her experiences with sports bras and riding.
Why is it important to wear a good sports bra while riding?
After all, all we do is sit there right? Or so people think.
As a show rider it is all about the look, so while you want it to look like you are just sitting there, believe me we aren’t! We are constantly scrutinising our horse, are they forward enough, are they collected enough, do I have enough bend, where is the rouge horse in the ring compared to where I am, then there is the self-assessment, ok eyes up, shoulders back, heels down, don’t drop the outside hand, what the heck is my left leg doing?!?!
But the one thing we can now easily control is the dreaded bounce.
The good news is there are more and more effective and good quality sports bras on the market these days that are actually comfortable! Gone are the days when you need to strap the girls down with 2 or 3 bras and sports bras to make riding bearable and then spending the rest of the day dealing with the consequences of restricted breathing, underwire rub or pressure spots.
There is nothing worse than beginning your classes for the day and you can feel things bouncing, and wiggling and jiggling. Not only is it not a good feeling for you, but it is also not a good view for the judge, steward, spectators etc.
Sadly the dreaded bounce can really ruin what could have otherwise been a great overall picture.
These days the likes of Shefit and Enell have brought out bras that almost completely eliminate the bounce and both have front zips and closures for ease of use so for people like me with not quite fully functioning shoulders where becoming a contortionist to get into some sports bras is not an option. The added benefit of the Shefit is that it is customisable to the individual’s shape.
For me, I wear mine comfortably during the day, at work etc and then when I get home at night to ride (or just before I go in the ring to compete) I adjust the shoulder straps to ramp up the control level of the bra and off we go. Not only do I give the Shefit the tick of approval for horse riding (even while doing sitting trot) I have also tested it for indoor netball, touch and running up the stairs.
So far no black eyes!