Like every discipline of sport, horse riding also demands special clothing. It does not mean that without proper clothing of the rider, the horse will not canter, but the tradition, comfort, aesthetics play a crucial role in all disciplines. Especially horse riding, namely a discipline from distant history, has established certain attributes over the years. Breeches are definitely one of them.
Equestrian breeches, comfort, and tradition
Equestrian breeches are special horse riding pants. Because they do not have seams on the inner side of the leg, namely in the place where the rider’s leg meets the saddle, they provide comfort and freedom of movements. Such a way of sewing protects the skin from chafing, allows the rider to properly seat the horse and ride for a long time without negative consequences. Breeches might be tight or puffed around the thighs, like cavalry breeches.
Currently, the most popular are tight models of breeches, however, there is still a large group of people preferring the cavalry model, e.g. saloons or jodhpurs, with straight or slightly widening legs. The last model became popular in the 19th century Great Britain because of Jodhpur maharajah paying polo in such pants.
What makes breeches special?
Breeches are characterized by high waist and grip – short or long. A grip is an additional reinforcement with a layer of suede, leather or silicone that goes to the knees or along the whole leg. It guarantees better adhesiveness in the saddle, however, the model of the breeches is dependent on the rider’s preferences.
Full grip breeches have this additional strengthening on the inner side of the pants on the whole length of where the rider’s body meets the saddle – from the buttocks to calves. This model is especially popular among dressage riders, who prefer to ride at a trot or canter. Because of limited slippage and good adhesiveness, they make it easier to stay in the saddle.
Knee grip breeches have the strengthening on the inner side of the knees. This model is especially popular among jumping riders because it guarantees freedom of movements even at the cost of a lesser grip. It works at a trot and canter in half-seat.
Material for breeches
In order for breeches to be as durable as possible, they should be made of high-quality materials. Fabric is chosen for a given season, so it is properly breathable, isolating, quick-dry, and easy to clear. The fabric should be slightly elastic and maintain its structure even after many laundries.