When non-horse people think of English equestrian riding, they usually picture the tan riding breeches. They are specifically made with horse riding in mind. The comfortable fabric less is thin so that less fabric comes between rider and horse. The breeches also allow for every movement of the rider’s leg to be felt by and communicated to the horse they are riding.
Breeches are made to fit snug and to not rub, while also a stretchy material allowing for freedom of movement while riding your steed. This fabric and stretch allows riders to sit and ride more comfortably. In other words, riders are able to concentrate on performing and riding instead of pinching, chafing and sliding all around in the saddle.
Another unique characteristic of riding breeches is that they are designed to fit inside tall riding boots. You’ll often find breeches available in pull–on, fly–front, or side–zip styles. Pull–on breeches have a drawstring or elastic waistband and don’t make use of belt loops. Front–zip riding breeches are the classic style that most people are familiar with; these breeches have both belt loops.
Breeches are Made in Different Fabrics
Breeches are made in a variety of fabrics. Cotton or blends of cotton are the most common because they are so comfortable. Cotton doesn’t absorb moisture well so these breeches will become wet and damp as you sweat. Advanced microfibers are quickly gaining in popularity with riders. These fabrics provide excellent breathability and they wick away moisture from your body, always a plus on hot summer days. Some fabrics are designed to keep riders warm in the winter by providing excellent thermal protection.
Different Seat Styles
Full seat breeches are synonymous with event and dressage riding. They are notable for the contrasting and gripping fabrics from the knee to the inner thigh. The full seat style is chosen because the gripping fabrics create an almost sticky seat which helps them stay in the saddle as they perform their gaits.
3/4 Seat or Extended Knee Patch breeches are typically worn by hunter and jumper riders, these breeches use the same contrasting materials as full seat breeches but the gripping fabric is only on the knee area.
The Different Riding Styles
Eventing – Riders wear white or light–colored breeches.
Hunter Classes – Beige, khaki, grey and other earthy tones are worn.
Jumper Classes – White is the most popular color during jumper classes.
Dressage – There is no specified color but white and light–colored riding breeches are common.
Clinics – It is advisable to wear light colored breeches.
Here are a few of our favorite riding breeches:
Best Schooling Breeches: ARIAT Women’s Tri Factor Eq Grip Knee Patch Breech
Tri Factor EQ Grip Knee Patch BreechAriat’s Tri Factor Breech offers compression fabrication infused with cooling technology to keep time in the saddle cool and collected. Equitation styling includes curved hems at the sides for a flattering fit and a pocket-less seat for a smoother silhouette. Core Control TechnologyÂ provides targeted support for core muscles and slims the silhouette Moisture Movement Technologyâ„ keeps you drier AriatÂ Hex Silicone Grip for optimal grip in the saddle Compression fabric provides sleek fit and retains its shape IcefilÂ Xyltol-based cool system reduces skin temperature Mid-weight stretch knit CFSâ„ Calf Fit System provides custom support at the calf and ankle, alleviating pressure points and friction Euro seat Hunter/Equitation styling Distinctive logo trim
Best Full Seat Breeches: Kerrits Ice Fil Full Seat Tech Tight
The coolest tights—literally. The Ice Fil fabric converts sweat to air conditioning, cooling riders from the bottom up. Even the grip panels are engineered to cool. Breathable, Anti-Slip Kerrit Sticks along the inner leg and seat provide a supple, flexible grip that won’t leave you sweaty. Two convenient pockets and flattering four-way stretch coverage for confidence in and out of the saddle.
Best White Breeches: Kerrits GripTek II Full Seat Breech
Kerrits Griptek II Full Seat was designed with optimal performance in mind. Featuring a hidden zip and snap closure for a quick and easy change whether you are between schooling and showing, or the barn and office. Exclusively made with Kerrits Durable Dynamic Extreme stretch woven fabric that provides lightweight, “no show” coverage that is breathable in nature. Stain and water resistant, you never have to worry about looking like a mess and can simply toss in the wash on cold and tumble dry with no heat.