I am not alone when I say that the quest to find the perfect riding knickers is one well-trodden (or well-sat upon) by many riders. Comfort is everything but who really wants to be wearing granny knickers on a daily basis?
In a quest to tackle the problems of chafing, soreness and not to mention the dreaded VPL the founder, designer and MD of Derriere Equestrian®, Claire Galer, has launched a ground breaking product. Claire has 20 years of experience working with both horses and riders. By qualifying in 2004 with diplomas in holistic massage, sports massage and equine sports massage Claire has followed a career pathway which has led her to treat 25-35 horses per week and also makes rider assessments. This background has enabled her to use her expert knowledge of posture and use of seat when developing her range of underwear.
With the tagline “Lasting Comfort for the Perfect Seat”, Derriere Equestrian has developed a range of underwear for men and women, some with integrated padding and some without, plus a range of specialist breeches. The Derriere Equestrian® concept is driven from years of research, experience and exploration of the use of underwear within equestrian disciplines.
Claire observed how the equestrian marketplace had moved forward in many ways with development and advancement in the technology of riding clothes — but the world of equestrian underwear was left behind. When looking into cycling, rowing or spinning, the wealth of products available to support these athletes is extensive. Many research trials have been undertaken to ensure these sporting athletes are supported and comfortable while enjoying their chosen discipline so this research has been applied and developed for the equestrian market.
So what makes Derriere Equestrian riding underwear so special?
For a start it’s manufactured from breathable, comfortable, wicking fabrics. The products are designed to encompass seamless and bonded manufacturing processes, leading the way in non-chaffing, abrasion free, padded, stylish equestrian underwear. Derriere has worked closely with CyTech — their Italian manufacturer which is a worldwide leader in the cycling padding industry, with its brand Elastic Interface® — to develop the padded support system. With a really thorough approach they have designed, prototyped, trialled and thoroughly researched the requirements necessary for a comfortable and non-bulky padded riding undergarment.
With an endorsement by Carl Hesler who speaks highly of the brand and some very on trend, dare I say it, fashion centric advertising; the brand has sparked a lot of interest with riders who are seeking comfort and style with a contemporary look.
The bottom line – what we thought of Derriere
Being a bit of an underwear addict and often found perusing the likes of Agent Provocateur and Selfridge’s lingerie department we gave the job of reviewing Derriere to our Fashion and Lifestyle editor Nikki. So what did she think of this ground breaking product?
‘I was sent a pair of Derriere Equestrian Ladies Performance Padded Panties which came in some high end packaging with some useful information about the tech behind them. They came in a black fabric with a soft yellow branded waistband. They certainly looked like a performance product and initially I was slightly taken aback by the depth of the padding. Within the equine world we aren’t used to this scale of design. The knickers looked more like a cycling style at first glance and I was keen to try them on and see what they felt like. The fit was brilliant, the cut was great under breeches and they were a high enough rise, but not enormous. This product has clearly been thought about, tested and tweaked as there was nothing I could fault with the design or style. In fact it was refreshing to see a product with a contemporary, sporty look.
Now for the big test… the ride! I first wore my Derrieres during a long dressage lesson which I thought would be a great test. They felt great under breeches and there was no sign of VPL! When I first got on my horse and started the session I was slightly ‘thrown’ by the feel of my seat bones. It took a while to adjust to this new ‘padded’ sensation. I say a while… about 10 minutes of adjusting to comfort. I really noticed the padding during longer sitting trot and canter sessions. I think having the padding made me notice my seat more which was a good thing.
Because the knickers are made of wicking, hi tech fabric you don’t get hot, despite the padding. They are also easy to wash and quick to dry. Coming in a non-padded version and a shorty padded and non-padded style, plus men’s styles there are lots of options for riders. I think they would be brilliant for riders schooling multiple horses but also those hunting and spending long periods in the saddle. Priced at £34.99 for a padded pair Derrieres aren’t the cheapest brand out there, but no brand comes close to what they offer. So in this sense I think they are great value for money. They are well made so will last, I also like the strong colours of black and purple which are available as well as white for competition wear. I will be buying more pairs and look forward to testing them during events, where I am in the saddle for longer periods.
In sum, Derriere Equestrian has provided a great solution to a perennial problem. It is really refreshing to see style, tech and practicality combined and I hope more equestrian designers look towards this model when designing new products for the market.’
For more information and stockists visit www.derriereequestrian.com