Julie, a fellow blogger who runs the the fabulous Riding Aside blog will be doing an entry on riding corsets this week and coincidently after speaking with my side saddle instructor, Lili Brooksby, about riding in a corset yesterday, I thought I'd share a riding corset that I had in my antique corset collection...
"c.1878-1880. A black sateen corset altered for riding. Although specially made riding corsets were available all through the 19th century, they were very expensive. Less wealthy or spendthrift women often had old, broken in corsets cut down and remade into comfortable riding corsets.
Originally, this corset would have had a deep, curved abdomen and came well over the hips keeping it in style with late 19th century corsetry. To renovate it into a riding corset, the front and back was cut away and the hips completely cut away to allow for the correct sidesaddle position and leg movement during riding. The side steels were removed completely when the hips were cut away and the busk was cut shorter for comfort during riding.
The corset is boned with watchspring and is lined in white cotton. Diamond patterned yellow flossing decorates and reinforces the bone casings on the flared bust line.
Measurements: Bust 37", Waist 28", Busk length (as it is now), 10"."
Not mant people know that in 2006- 2007, that I had to wear a corset everyday due to a prolapsed disc (L5/S1) in my lower back. I didn't wear a medical corset (which tend not to fit as they are designed for men with no hips) but instead wore a Victorian reproduction corset made by my friend Melanie Talkington of Lace Embrace Atelier.
I mucked out, rode, did housework, everything in my corset painfree! The corset supported my body and let my discs heal without stress and prevented me from overexerting myself by accident.
Although I don't need to wear a corset everyday now, I still wear them occasionally when my back flares up to let my discs settle down.
I never rode in my antique 1870's riding corset as I do not believe in wearing antique corsets due to their age, rarity and fragility, I did try it on and it was VERY comfortable!