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What is The Difference Between Jodhpurs & Breeches?

25 Jun 2020 |

There is much confusion over what the difference between jodhpurs and breeches are, as they are both created with the same purpose in mind, to ride your horse. To add to the confusion, the words are used interchangeably at times when refereeing to both jodhpurs and breeches. Read on to find out the differences and which one would be right for you.

What is the difference?

The main difference between jodhpurs and breeches are the length. Breeches are often shorter and finish at the ankle or above, usually having a Velcro tab to fasten. These are so that they can sit neatly and comfortably inside tall boots.

Jodhpurs or ‘Jods’ are popular amongst the younger riders, as they are full length. Jodhpurs are usually worn with short boots and make it easier for an instructor to see where the rider's leg sits until they can move on to wearing a pair of tall boots comfortably. Jodhpurs are sometimes preferred by adults too that enjoy mucking out or causal riding in short boots.

Ladies Jodhpurs and Riding Jacket

Breeches are usually used for competition wear, as they have a smarter look to them and are usually a little more costly with more expensive fabrics used for construction, making them the ones you save for best.

Jodhpurs can still be used for competition wear and are available in competition colours (white, canary yellow etc.) however, they are traditionally a little more casual and usually worn for more hacking and casual riding.

What are the benefits of wearing jodhpurs or breeches?

Both jodhpurs and breeches are made for riding with their 4-way stretch fabric, allowing you to move in harmony with your horse and for ease of climbing on board and dismounting. Therefore, riding in any old trousers, won’t be comfortable, as you need that stretch to feel in control and at one with the horse. They are expertly designed to meet this requirement. With fabrics continuously developed to ever improve this issue.

Jodhpurs and breeches are also made of fabric with a smooth and soft touch, as this will protect your leather saddle from wear and tear. 

Both jodhpurs and breeches have reinforced knee patches, as this is where a lot of wear and tear occurs, and comfort is needed. They can have added extras like silicone sections, suede, or just double fabric for grip when in the saddle. – the silicone extras are a firm favourite and only very new addition to jodhpurs in the recent year. They make you stick to the saddle like glue, ideal for when a few cheeky bucks are thrown in!

Jodhpurs and breeches are available in bright and wacky colours, to suit or some safe and sensible options depending on the event.

Should I wear jodhpurs or breeches?

There are no right or wrong choices when it comes to jodhpurs or breeches, a lot of it comes down to personal preference and what you feel the most comfortable in.

Most people tend to have a mixture of the two, having a favourite for different events like casual hacking, dressage, showing, riding lessons etc.

Breeches can have multiple options for the seat. A full seat would provide the rider with much more grip and are usually worn for show jumping or eventing or some just have reinforced knee patches, most jodhpurs just have this option. So, this may sway your decision when looking for the perfect pair of either jodhpurs or breeches.

Children would be best starting out with jodhpurs to begin with as they are more practical for them and a cheaper option whilst they are still growing.

What are riding tights?

Riding tights are a relatively new addition to the equestrian world and can be best described as having all the elements of a jodhpur, crossed with a gym legging. They are much more lightweight and have even more stretch. These are a great addition to your riding wardrobe, along with jodhpurs and breeches. These are especially great for the summer months, as they are much cooler and comfortable to ride in. These are usually used for more casual riding, as they don’t have the traditional fly front and the thicker fabric of breeches. Riding tights have an elasticated waistband and are pulled on, much like gym leggings. If you haven’t at least tried a pair of these on, then give them a go – they may just be your firm favourite!

In conclusion

There are no right or wrong options for any discipline you are taking part in, only the traditional aspects of riding. Breeches are traditionally worn for competition and jodhpurs for more casual riding. It all comes down to what you feel most comfortable in.

Browse our range of Jodhpurs and Riding Tights to find the perfect pair for you

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