The Difference Between Jodhpurs and Breeches

Karen Brain and VDL Odette” by Nikki is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For many people, including those new to horse riding, the difference between jodhpurs and breeches will be completely unknown. The two types of riding trousers are so similar in appearance that to the untrained eye they may appear pretty much the same thing.

However, there are some fundamental differences between jodhpurs and breeches that make them more suitable for individual riders and more suitable in certain situations. So let’s have a look at what makes jodhpurs and breeches different and some benefits to choosing each of them.

Whats the difference?

One of the main differences between jodhpurs and breeches is the point at which they finish on the rider’s leg. Jodhpurs are full length riding trousers, finishing around the rider’s ankle. Breeches on the other hand finish around the mid-calf. They fasten with a touch and close fastening in order to get a comfortable and snug fit around the calf.

Another difference between jodhpurs and breeches is the footwear that they are designed to be worn with. The calf length fit of breeches is ideal for riders to wear with long riding boots. The snug fit around the calf also lends itself for boot wearing, as it won’t ride up above the top of the boot. Jodhpurs can be worn with long boots but it is more common for riders to wear jodhpur/ paddock boots and chaps/gaiters.

Rhi and Sorrell-1” by Dave Kirkham is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What are the benefits?

While you can wear jeans or other trousers while horse riding, it is highly recommended that any regular or serious horse riders invest in several pairs or jodhpurs or breeches. This is because jodhpurs and breeches are designed and shaped to fit comfortably and snugly and can also come with extra features to make you as comfortable in the saddle as possible. While jeans or other trousers may rub and chafe, a pair of comfortable jodhpurs move with your body and won’t rub against your skin.

Many breeches and jodhpurs have an element of stretchiness allowing them to move with you and enhancing the comfort of wearing them whilst riding. Knee patches can also be added if you are particularly hardwearing on that area. As the knee area can sometimes rub on the saddle, knee patches can also protect your skin from rubbing.

Household Cavalry Open Day” by Nicki is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Want to achieve the “horsey” look?

Jodhpurs and breeches are not only practical and functional they can be an expression of your personality and even a fashion statement. With ladies jodhpurs and children’s jodhpurs in a range of colours and styles there is a perfect pair for every rider. Jodhpurs and breeches are more widely becoming available in a range of colours, some even designed to flatter the figure. The style and fit of your pair of comfortable jodhpurs is very important as while some may prefer the breeches to sit on the hip, others may feel more comfortable in a pair with a higher waist. The fit, style and colour of your jodhpurs or breeches is entirely up to personal choice and with a wide variety of styles to suit any rider, you can find yourself a pair for every day of the week.

Whether you choose to invest in a pair of jodhpurs or breeches is entirely down to what makes you feel more comfortable. Horse riding should be enjoyable, not uncomfortable. So unless you are competing you are free to wear whatever you are most comfortable in. Not all jodhpurs and breeches brands are alike so don’t be afraid to try a few different brands till you find your perfect fit. Just like finding the perfect pair of jeans; finding the most comfortable jodhpurs may take a few tries.

Are you a confident rider? What equestrian wear to you like to sport?

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  1. beautyqueenuk
    November 6, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    I haven't ridden a horse in absolute years and I do kind of miss doing it x

  2. Charli Stewart-Russon
    November 7, 2015 / 6:01 pm

    Breeches fit better under competition boots when doing dressage – these tend to be incredibly streamlined and bulky jodhpurs don't fit well under neath. I've always preferred breeches myself!C

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