How to Select Ideal Horse Riding Pants: 10 Tips for Beginners
If you’ve browsed online or in a store, you know there are many different types of horse riding pants. Some equestrians wonder which pair to buy. All horse riding pants evolved for a specific purpose and discipline.
First, a glossary of terms:
Breeches: These are English riding pants that end at the midpoint of the calf and Velcro snugly around the leg so that they can be worn with tall riding boots.
English Riding: English riding is closer contact, with a lighter weight saddle. It evolved for jumping horses over fences, racing, or dressage – a discipline similar to ballet.
Jodhpurs: Jodhpurs are very similar to breeches, except they extend all the way to the ankle and are usually worn with short jodhpur boots. Children often wear jodhpurs and many equestrians enjoy the versatility of wearing jodhpurs anywhere.
Western Riding: Western riding evolved in the western part of the United States as people worked cattle and rode over tough, rugged terrain all day. Western saddles are bulkier to help the rider hold a calf and stay comfortable in the saddle all day.
Now, how do you select the ideal horse riding pants for your next adventure? Here are 10 tips as a guide for horse riding beginners, organized by the criteria we use:
Sizing and Fit of Horse Riding Pants
1. Sizing varies. You may have noticed that you wear a size eight pair of jeans from one brand, but a ten from another. This happens with riding pants too. Read the reviews, check the manufacturer’s sizing chart, and be prepared to size up or down as needed.
2. Keep it snug. Riding pants are tight to protect your leg from rubbing and causing saddle sores.
Intended Use of Horse Riding Pants
3. Form helps function. While western riders can wear jeans, you can find western riding pants that are similar to English riding pants. They have the same snug fit, and will help keep you secure in the saddle with their knee patch.
4. Full-seat or knee patch? Some of this is personal preference. Many breeches and jodhpurs just have a knee-patch, but full-seat gives you added security. Either option is fine.
5. Winter riding breeches are your friend. Seriously. There are so many different styles of winter riding breeches that can keep you warm and help you enjoy the ride. My personal favorites are fleece-lined.
6. Summer riding pants help keep you cool. During warmer months look for a lighter weight fabric that will help keep air flowing.
For Any Pair of Riding Pants Are:
7. Try them on. I always try on a pair of riding pants before I buy them. When possible I shop in person. If online, check the return policy with the company before you order.
8. Amenities matter. A lot of riding pants come with pockets that fit your cell phone. There are low and high-waist pants, boot cut, and may other styles to let you individualize your look.
9. Watch for chafing. Areas of concern include at the knee – especially if you’re purchasing breeches and wearing them with tall boots, and around the ankle if you’re going to use your tall boots with jodhpurs. Make sure they won’t cause any fit issues with the horse riding boots you selected.
10. Comfort is your top priority. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your riding pants, make sure they’re comfortable so you can enjoy the ride.
You can find the perfect pair of equestrian pants since there are so many styles to choose from. Once you have the fit and style correct, you’re ready to get out there and on a horse.
Enjoy the ride!