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Equestrian breeches – special pants for horse riding. Types, grips, difference between breeches and leggings

When you decide to begin your journey with horseback riding, you should be properly prepared. In this sports discipline, not only the helmet counts but the whole outfit, too. Knowing the nomenclature and how to dress will allow you to achieve higher comfort. You must remember that an equestrian outfit shouldn’t be just comfortable but also esthetic and safe. You’ll need another outfit for competitions and another one for training. One of the crucial elements of an equestrian outfit are breeches.

What are breeches

Breeches are equestrian pants. They are characteristic for their lack of seams on the inner side of the thighs, preventing chafing. They also allow for better adhesion. Their high waist protects the back while riding. It is a necessary part of horseback riding. One pair would be suitable for training, another – more elegant – for competitions. More and more popular are equestrian leggings. While choosing proper breeches, you should consider your needs and what kind of grip would be best for you.

Types of equestrian breeches

We can divide equestrian breeches by the type we use them. The kind of breeches you will need depends on what function they should serve.

Breeches with a full grip

Breeches with full grip

They have a reinforcement on the inner side of the thighs, knees, and buttocks. The grip allows for better adhesion and protection in the saddle. Full grips in breeches may be made of various materials. Available, you will find grips made of the same material as breeches, only with a double layer in the places of connect. Silicone grips come in the form of small silicone points gripping onto the saddle. There are also suede and leather grips that are very durable.

Breeches with a knee grip

Breeches with knee grip

Knee grip breeches have the grip only in the knee part. Such a grip protects the knees while jumping. It may be made of various materials, just as the full grip. For some people, breeches with this kind of grip may feel more breathable as they have less material used.  

Same Kingsland breeches model with different types of grips

Equestrian leggings

This type of equestrian pants is made of thinner material than the classic breeches. They are sort of a combination of leggings and breeches. They fit tightly to the skin, at the same time not causing pressure. You will find available models with full and knee grips. The material may be thin, excellent for summer, or with padding, better for colder days.

Differences between equestrian leggings and breeches

First of all, they differ in the applied material. Leggings fit tightly to the body, while breeches resemble pants, just better for horse riding than a casual pair. Leggings are more breathable, which may come in handy in the summer, but the thin material might not protect you from injuries. However, in the winter, leggings may not be enough to protect you from the cold. For people who love long winter rides, softshell breeches seem like a much better choice. The close fit of the leggings to the body allows for better adjustment to any shape. In the case of breeches, a wrongly sized pair might squeeze or irritate. What is more, leggings have no zippers or buttons. They will be comfortable for a whole day spent in the stable, where comfort is a priority. Whenever you need to look elegant, you should dress in properly colored breeches. Both types of equestrian pants are available in many colors. Picking a particular model depends on your individual preferences. Both types have their pros and cons.

Types of grips — use

As mentioned before, there are two types of grips available in equestrian pants – full and knee one. Each type is better for a different kind of activity.

The full grip breeches will be perfect for people who are just beginning their equestrian journey as it allows for better safety, decreases the risk of injuries, and provides excellent adhesion. It would be the better choice for people training dressage and those who spend more time in a full seat.

The knee grip breeches
protects only the knees. It is keenly chosen by people training jumping through obstacles. It does not keep you so stable in the saddle, allowing for a better range of movements, at the same time protecting your knees that are very vulnerable to injuries while jumping.

The color of the breeches matters

When choosing your training or recreational breeches, the color doesn’t matter. Of course, there are people who always prefer dark colors because of their versatility. However, for equestrian competition, there is an official dress code that each participant must strictly follow. The clothing regulations refer to the whole outfit, namely: helmet, hairstyle, the upper part of the outfit, gloves, shoes, and breeches. The type of particular outfit depends on the equestrian category. The outfit must be elegant, this includes e.g. white shirt, show jacket, white gloves, proper shoes, breeches in a given color. While participating in dressage competitions, only white breeches are allowed. In the case of jumping competitions, you can choose either beige or crème breeches. It is forbidden to wear dark breeches. Only in field trials can you allow yourself for a more “casual” outfit.

Choosing breeches depends on individual needs, however, if you want to participate in equestrian competitions, you need to match your outfit to the regulations.

Anja Benjamin

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