Breeches – types, materials, functionality

A rider’s most important piece of clothing is the breeches. Breeches provide a rider with a comfortable and safe feeling in the saddle. There were once a few models, but today there are hundreds to choose from.

What are the different types of breeches? Which breeches are best suited for whom? We will help you understand the differences and help to make a decision.

How are breeches made?

It is important to choose the right cut for your riding style and equipment when choosing a pair of breeches. For competition riding or leisure riding, two types of breeches are popular: jodhpurs and breeches.

The breeches are close to the body, similar to skinny jeans. It is possible to wear riding boots, riding ankle boots with chaps because of the skin-tight fit. Dressage riders wear breeches as well as show jumpers and events, but many leisure riders wear a combination of riding boots and breeches.

Jodhpur breeches are straight-cut and slightly flared at their trouser legs, unlike breeches that have boots. These breeches can be worn with riding boots. The breeches are secured by an elastic ankle strap. They would otherwise ride up because of the large trouser leg. The majority of jodhpurs have full seats throughout. This allows for the securement of the saddle flap at all times. Jodhpur breeches have a lot of popularity in the leisure sector. They are particularly popular among trail riders and Icelandic riders.

Riding leggings are the current fashion in children’s and women’s breeches. They are similar to sports leggings because they are made from stretchy material. These leggings are extremely comfortable and can be worn by riders who have a heavy training load to ensure comfort. These riding leggings are ideal for summer, as they are made of a lightweight material. However, there is also a thermal version for winter riding leggings.

What type of seat is best for riding breeches on?

Girls in different types of breeches
Girls in breeches

When buying breeches, the seat is an important part. It protects the fabric at places that are most susceptible to wear and tear and provides the rider with the support they need when riding. The seat used to be made from real leather in the past. The seat of most breeches is now made from easy-care imitation leather.

Full seat breeches have reinforced sides and bottoms. For beginners, the seat in the saddle allows for a more stable and low-slung riding position. Full seat breeches are also a benefit for experienced dressage riders. They allow for a more relaxed sitting position even while cantering or sitting out.

The knee breeches, as the name implies, are only reinforced at the knee joints. This type of breeching suits show jumpers and advanced riders best. It stabilizes the leg position and does not restrict mobility in the saddle. This creates the ideal conditions to overcome jumps. This allows advanced leisure riders to enjoy the flexibility of the saddle, even if they have a good riding seat from their training.

Grip breeches

The trim of Grip breeches is a recent innovation. It is typically made from silicone and can be applied in liquid or by using a special roller. The grip version is preferred by riders who want more grip in their saddle. The grip of each model varies. Some breeches “stick” to the saddle, while others are more flexible. You should try on breeches by riding on the saddle block. Grip breeches can be worn by all riders. However, a stronger grip will work better in dressage and for novice riders. A less prominent trim is recommended for show jumpers and advanced riders who have a trained seat

What breeches are best for what purpose

Riders have many requirements due to the variety of disciplines and options offered by equestrian sport. The requirements for riding breeches are also different. You should ask yourself why you are buying breeches. English riding style, or Western? Are heated riding areas available?

Competiton riding requires that riders adhere to a certain dress code. A classic look includes a jacket and shirt for competition riding, as well as light-coloured competition breeches with dark riding boots. Although elegant white is the preferred choice for higher classes, lower class riders can compete in lighter colours such as Ivory and a light beige. Check the specifications with the show organizer if you are unsure. They are the same as traditional breeches for leisure riding, but they come in different trims and fabrics.

It can be difficult to keep the white competition breeches clean from the beginning of the competition due to the preparations involved. Unsightly stains can result from horse grooming, saddle-up and feeding horses. It is best to wear old sweatpants under your show breeches in preparation. These can be easily removed just before the event.

Some horses cannot be accommodated in stables with heated indoor arenas. Others have to live without one in winter. Training in these conditions can be difficult due to the extreme weather and temperatures. Along with warm jumpers and functional winter riding jackets, winter riding breeches can make it more comfortable to ride in cold temperatures. They look similar to “all-season” breeches, but are made from a water- and wind-repellent softshell material and a softly roughened inner that insulates against heat. The pull-on model allows you to wear the traditional breeches underneath

Western riding jeans

Riding breeches may look very different depending on what riding discipline you are using. Western riding jeans may not be as easily recognized as traditional riding breeches at first glance. They are not the same as your everyday jeans. The western riding lifestyle is now being reflected in the design and manufacturing of riding jeans. The most important features are a high stretch content, flat inner seams that prevent chafing, and a comfortable waist without the trousers slipping in while riding. Your choice of riding jeans will also depend on how you wear your western boots. Most riders wear their western boots under their pants. Here, you can choose a bootcut that has a flared leg to ensure the boot fits under your trousers. The trend for close-fitting cuts is now established. In this instance, the western boots can be worn over the trousers.