Breeches are one the most important pieces of clothing a rider could own. Whether it's keeping you safe in the saddle or finding the right style for your needs, there is a perfect pair out there for everyone. In the past riders only had a few options to choose from, think low key tones or the classic white for show day. Nowadays however the options can seem endless. Most riders sport breeches with cool colors, logos, piping and a range of other fashionable add ons. The right pair of breeches can become an everyday staple, yes not only for riding! In this guide let us help you find the ideal pair!
First let’s start with the trimmings
The seat is often one of the first parts you look at when buying a pair of breeches. The purpose the seat serves is usually two fold, it gives the rider support when riding and it protects the fabric from places that are subject to wear and tear. Full seat breeches nowadays are robust and easy to care for, which makes a change from many years ago! Typically favoring a more traditional jean look, our full seat Equestrian Jean is a great example.
These are also a great option for beginner riders as they are reinforced from the seat to the mid portion of the lower leg. The rider will sit comfy, low and steady in the saddle which is ideal for those first hacks. Also experienced dressage riders turn to full seat options as they offer a relaxed seat even when sitting trot and cantering.
Experienced dressage riders may prefer less stick in the seat as they can move their leg that ¼” back and forth to control upper leg moves. Less experienced riders prefer more stick commonly found in full seat styles for more stability in the saddle. See our below sections on more about levels of stick! The type of horse you have can also play a big part in determining your ideal breeches. If you own a large Warmbloods with a lot of movement you will want to go for more stick as they can be a bouncy ride! A Lusitano or Andalusian on the other hand will give you a smoother ride where stick may not be the number one priority, depending on experience level.
Next up we have knee patch breeches, which are reinforced from the inside of the knee joints. We suggest knee patch breeches for advanced riders, hunter jumpers and show jumpers. It holds firm the riders leg position without sacrificing any mobility in the saddle, perfect for those daring jumps. Advanced leisure riders also like the flexibility a knee patch breech provides, as they have a well developed riding seat after years of experience. Many of our full seat options also come in the knee options, check them out here!
Stretchy w/ gripper dots
Recently a Goode Rider favorite has become breeches and tights with silicone seats and knee patches with various patterns. Riders who want ultimate grip in the saddle love these. Gripper dots are also very subtle, meaning riders tend to wear these breeches out everywhere. Whether it’s on the saddle or a day out in town you will not look out of place. Breeches finished with gripper dots are suitable for all riders and many riders have them as a staple or compliment in their wardrobe. Just like your favorite pair of leggings, gripper dots breeches are the equestrian equivalent! But whilst they do have a place for all riders, the sticky grip tends to be favoured by dressage or beginner riders. Show jumpers and advanced riders prefer a less pronounced trim when riding full pelt!
The level of grip can also differ depending on the style of breech you choose. A suede grip found on the Equestrian Jean provides medium grip and is available in both knee patch and full seat. Whereas the Vogue Jeans have a slightly heavier silicone stick in the saddle and offer a lot more grip for those who want maximum stability. Other styles have a thinner application of silicone that allows for more movement in the saddle, something like this can be found on the Posh Jeans. Finally riding tights have several different layers of silicone grip. Some are heavier and some are lighter with patterns also playing a role in how much stick you want. For example the patterns found on our Shaper Tights and Perfect Sport Tights are not as tight as the ones found on the Energy and Miracle Breeches.
The fit of your breeches is something to not be ignored. It is important your breeches do not burden you when in the saddle, follow these steps to get the perfect fit.
As a rule of thumb we always suggest using your conventional clothing sizes. Once you know these refer to our size chart here. Many of our breeches also come in regular and long sizes. Breeches such as the Energy breech are pull ups with a drawcord so you can tighten the waist.. They also give you some more freedom with your sizing as opposed to a traditional breech as the fabric is incredibly stretchy.
Some other important points to look out for are -
- The fit around the abdomen should be comfortable with no cutting in.
- The fabric should be able to pull away from the body with minimal extent
- The knee should be wrinkle free or it might cause chafing
- Movement should not be restricted by the breech, even on closer fitting styles
- If the breeches stretch at the seams and zip they are too tight
- If a lot of wrinkles are visible and the material is loose on the body the breeches are too big/wide
How to find comfortable riding breeches?
It is one thing getting the fit right, but you also want to be comfortable in your breeches. Here is how to make sure you get the most comfort from your riding breeches.
The fabric should not cause any irritation and should feel comfortable against your skin. If at all you feel scratchy or restricted the breech is not right. Watch out for firmer materials common in jean styles, they often provide great stability but can restrict movement and cause the rider discomfort, especially on long riding days. Our jean styles are made with a cotton/nylon/elastane blend to ensure you are not feeling restricted. Further to that jean styles typically come in either a one way stretch or a super bi-stretch jean material. A traditional one way stretch can be found in our Equestrian Jeans. Jeans made with super bi-stretch provide more of a legging feel as they are made with more spandex, for riders who prefer this checkout the Vogue Jeans or Posh Jeans. Other nylon styles are lightweight and comparable to a cosy pair of leggings. They fit like a second skin and offer the best of both worlds, great riding experience, functional and can be worn anywhere. Something like our Perfect Sport Tights are a great example of this.
High rise v Mid rise
This refers to where the waistband will sit and many breeches fall into one of these two categories. “Rise” is defined as the distance from the middle of the crotch seam to the top waistband. A good way to determine your ideal rise is to go off your torso height. If you have a long torso and a higher waist, high rise breeches will be your best option. A shorter torso and lower waist, a mid rise option will suit better. Also worth noting the waistband width can play a big role in the desired fit of your breeches. Some prefer a thinner traditional band whilst other women prefer a wider waistband that gives a forgivable and comfortable fit. Think more hold and mold! Goode Rider breeches also come with a contoured elastic band inside the waistband for an even more comfortable and flattering fit.
Some breeches can be ‘overdone’, meaning too many details are added and the breech loses the feel in the saddle thus having no use outside the barn. Many breeches are often a large investment hence why we produce breeches that give the rider a large number of use cases. Riding, running or just relaxing, Goode Rider breeches have your back. Practical pockets are also a plus, to keep your phone handy when riding. Thigh pockets are popular and keep your belongings nice and tight, as seen on our Perfect Sport Tights or Shaper Tights. These pockets tend to fall on the leg in addition to smaller pockets around the waistband. Pull up breeches like the Energy breech also give the rider flexibility and great convenience. A stretchy pull up style ensures you can wear them all day long.
Which breeches for your riding requirements?
Equestrian sports offer many different disciplines, meaning rider requirements can vary quite a lot. So as you may have guessed, finding the right pair of breeches for your use case is important. Before investing in a pair of breeches it is useful to ask yourself what purpose you need them for. Do you ride for fun or are you a competition rider? English or Western? Arena or trail rider? Do you do any other sports outside of riding? These are all useful questions to ask.
Let’s start with competition riding. Typically riders have to follow a traditional dress code which usually comprises a competition jacket, show shirt and light/white colored competition breeches. When riding in higher classes white is a must, something like our white Miracle Breeches. Riders competing in lower classes have more freedom with colors but tend to still stick with more low key tones. All in all competition breeches do not differ from breeches you will find on a leisure rider, you still have flexibility with the trim and various details, such as the bling on the Miracle Breeches!
Note - keeping bright white competition breeches clean can prove to be very difficult. Most riders keep them specifically for show day. Even keeping them clean before the start of your competition is challenging, in between horse grooming, saddling and feed. To avoid any unwanted stains pull up a pair of jogging bottoms or loose fitting pants and slip them off after completing all your prep.
Some riders have the luxury of an indoor heated arena, which can be a massive help in the winter. Depending on winter conditions it can make training impossible and just not practical. But for the most part a great pair of winter breeches matched with a sweater/jacket can help against the elements. The Posh Jeans are ideal for winter conditions. Whilst at first glance they do not differ from regular full seat jean breeches, they have subtle changes to make those winter conditions a bit more pleasant. The Posh Jean is made with hybrid denim with a fleece like inside and thermal insulation to protect against cooler wind. The fluffy fleece inside also stops heat loss, keeping you cozy even in the winter. To complete the winter outfit riders tend to go for a functional riding jacket, that can double up as your go to jacket for the winter.
For more sports
Nowadays a big trend has shifted towards riding breeches/tights that can be worn for more sports outside of riding. Like we mentioned before, tights finished with silicone gripper dots are perfect for this. They are subtle and do not interfere with your everyday life. Perfect for the active rider who also enjoys other activities such as yoga, cross fit and much more. The second skin feel will be akin to a cozy pair of leggings, whilst still giving you the performance of training tights. Something like our Shaper Tights of Perfect Sport Tights fit the bill here.
There you have the must know knowledge when purchasing a pair of breeches. Don’t be fooled by the everyday look of breeches, as the wrong pair for your needs can cause a lot of hassle! For a full range of full seat/knee patch breeches and riding tights check out the Goode Rider collection, we will help you get the perfect pair!