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Riding breeches

By 11 April 2024No Comments

Riding breeches are more than just pants for horseback riding; they’re a vital piece of equestrian equipment that ensures comfort, security, and performance in the saddle. From their historical roots to the modern features that cater to various riding disciplines, breeches have evolved alongside the sport itself.


A Legacy of Legwear


The term “breeches” originally referred to any garment covering the legs from the waist down, separate for each leg. They were a staple of men’s attire in Europe for centuries before giving way to long trousers in the mid-1800s. However, for horseback riding, breeches remained the preferred choice due to their practicality.


Early riding breeches were typically made from sturdy materials like leather or wool, offering protection for the rider’s legs from the elements and friction. As riding styles diversified, so did breeches. Jodhpurs, featuring a looser fit around the calf and ankles, became popular for activities like hunting and polo. Meanwhile, breeches for disciplines like dressage incorporated a tighter fit for closer contact with the horse.

Modern Breeches: Function Meets Fashion

Today’s riding breeches are a far cry from their historical counterparts. Technological advancements have led to the use of breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics like synthetic blends and cotton with stretch. This allows for greater freedom of movement and comfort during long rides.

Essential Features for the Modern Rider

Grip: Breeches often come with silicone or similar grip panels on the knees or seat. This provides essential stability in the saddle, preventing slipping and aiding in a secure leg position.

Stretch Panels: Strategically placed stretch panels, particularly around the inner thigh and calves, allow for a wider range of motion without compromising fit.

Waistband: Breeches come in various waist styles, from high-waisted for extra support to lower-waisted for a more casual feel.

Pockets: Deep pockets are a common feature, allowing riders to carry treats for their horses or small essentials.

Breeches for Every Discipline

The specific features of riding breeches can vary depending on the riding discipline:

Dressage: Dressage breeches typically have a full-seat silicone grip for optimal leg stability and a close feel with the horse. They often have a higher waistline for a clean, tailored look.

Show Jumping: Show jumping breeches may feature knee grip or full-seat grip, depending on rider preference. They tend to be more streamlined and come in a wider variety of colors.

Eventing: Eventing breeches prioritize comfort and flexibility, often featuring a knee grip and a lower waist for ease of movement across various disciplines.

Endurance Riding: Endurance riding breeches are designed for long rides, focusing on breathability and moisture-wicking properties to keep riders comfortable.

Beyond Functionality: Style in the Saddle

Riding breeches have come a long way in terms of aesthetics. They are now available in a variety of colors and styles, allowing riders to express their personalities while maintaining functionality. From classic beige and black to vibrant blues and even patterned options, there’s a pair of breeches to suit every taste.

Choosing the Right Breeches

Selecting the perfect pair of riding breeches comes down to personal preference, riding discipline, and budget. Here are some key factors to consider:

Fit: Breeches should be snug but not restrictive, allowing for freedom of movement.

Material: Choose fabrics that are breathable, moisture-wicking, and durable.

Features: Consider the type of grip, waistband style, and pockets you need for your riding style.

Discipline: Opt for breeches specifically designed for your chosen riding discipline.


Riding breeches are more than just legwear; they are an essential part of a rider’s connection with their horse. By understanding the history, features, and variations of riding breeches, you can choose a pair that provides comfort, security, and style, allowing you to focus on enjoying the ride.