Horse Riding And Compression Garments

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Stretch breeches are pretty unforgiving to figure flaws, and the white show breeches that dressage and jumper riders wear can be particularly unkind. The idea of a garment that will smooth things out a bit for riders is appealing. We found two: SmartPak’s SmartSlim and Carousel Action Wear Long-Line Underwear at Equestrian Collections in their 1824 collection that specializes in plus-size riding apparel.

At the same time, we looked at a selection of light compression garments available in the general market but didn’t see any with a long-enough leg or a crotch design that would be suitable for riding.

The good news: SmartSlim and Action Wear both smooth out some of the bulges and lines visible when wearing breeches and jeans.

The bad news: There just isn’t enough compression to reduce the number of inches in tummy and hips. Breeches don’t fit any better.

Your satisfaction will also depend on the fabric worn over them, the day’s temperature, and how long you’ll have them on.

We found these work best under breeches or jeans that are a bit loose or that are made of cotton/cotton blend. If you’re wearing stretch breeches that already have some compression, they’ll rub each other.

This is a particular problem with SmartSlim, which has a textured fabric, and we just couldn’t pull up tight full-seat breeches. The Carousel underwear has a smooth texture, which eliminated that resistance.

While both products weren’t too warm for riding (worn by us in 60?° to 80?° weather), they became uncomfortable when we continued to wear them for barn chores. While they both wick moisture from the leg, the dampness is held in longer by the outer garment.

Bottom Line.Don’t expect a miracle. SmartSlim gives a noticeably smoother line under jeans and breeches because it runs the full length of the leg, but it can cause rubbing under full-seat breeches. Riders who want a little smoother look with full-seats may want to try the Carousel underwear.

Article by Associate Editor Margaret Freeman.