What are Breeches? All About English Riding Pants

What on earth are breeches? You may hear the term breeches being thrown around maybe at a horse show, a tack shop, a riding school, or online. But what are breeches? What is the difference between breeches and other pants? And are there certain styles of breeches for certain styles of riding? Here is everything you need to know.

Breeches are a type of pants worn mainly in the English style of riding. With the signature color of breeches being tan/beige, you can also find them in many other colors. Breeches typically have some sort of gripping material (usually silicone or suede) on the inside of the knee, or sometimes the whole seat to aid the rider in staying on their horse when riding.

Are There Different Types of Breeches?

Yes!! There are so many types of breeches to choose from! There are your typical tan breeches with suede grips, or your colorful riding leggings with gel/silicone grips. In the world of breeches, you have so many styles to choose from!

Breeches With Suede Grips

This is the most popular style of breeches by far. These breeches most commonly come with knee patches to help you grip your saddle when riding, though there is a full seat design as well. They usually have belt loops around the waist to let you wear a belt with them too. The most common color for these breeches is tan/beige, but you can also find them in grey, black, white, blue, and loads of other colors too.

The tan/beige or white colored breeches of this style are the most popular breeches worn in competitions and horse shows.

The style where breeches have a full suede seat is less common than having just knee patches. More common are the silicone full seat breeches.

The full seat design with these breeches ensures a good grip on your saddle and helps to hold the rider on better.

My personal favorite design for breeches with suede knee patches is the TuffRider brand. Not only are they affordable, but the grips work fantastic, they look nice, and they are durable and have lasted me ages.

If you are looking for a pair of breeches that is a little bit better in quality, I recommend the ovation brand. I have their tan/beige pair and they have lasted me for over four years now and I wear them almost weekly!

Breeches with Silicone Grips

With suede grips being the most ‘traditional’ form of grips on riding pants, silicone is definitely the latest and greatest material for grips. Some are even arguing them to be more effective!

Whether you like silicone or suede, that is totally up to you to decide. Regardless, silicone is becoming increasingly popular.

Breeches with silicone can come in two designs just like most breeches. There are knee patches and a full seat patch. Full silicone seat breeches are likely the most effective in holding you in, as there is more area for grip than the knee patch design.

Riding Leggings

Riding leggings are exactly as they sound like they’d be. Leggings, but intended for riding! Riding leggings most commonly come with silicone grips rather than suede, but there are exceptions.

Like your traditional breeches, riding leggings can come with either knee grips or full seat grips. Whether you prefer suede or silicone grips, or having the grips on your knee or full seat, is just a matter of personal preference.

Like most other pairs of breeches, this style can come in multiple colors with the most common being navy blue, black, and beige/tan. If your leggings have silicone grips on the knees/seat, they tend to be transparent and blend in to the fabric color of the breeches.

Depending on the brand and style of your riding leggings, you may or may not have belt loops around the waist. Whether you want belt loops or not is up to you, but I personally prefer them. I just have always liked the look of a belt in English riding.

One of my favorite pairs of riding pants is actually a pair of black riding leggings. They have suede knee patches that work wonders to help hold me in my saddle, they have belt loops, and they have side pockets which makes keeping my phone on me when riding super easy and convenient. Click here to check them out!

What Colors can Breeches Come In?

Breeches can come in virtually any color. The most common colors are:

  • black
  • white
  • beige/tan
  • grey

But, they can also come in:

  • blue
  • purple
  • green
  • red
  • yellow
  • orange
  • pink
  • brown
  • patterns!

Do I Need to Wear a Specific Style of Breeches When Showing?

When showing, you will need to look at the class dress code rules to see what color is required for your class. In most jumping, hunt seat, and dressage classes, white and/or tan/beige will likely be the required colors for the class.

Are There Other Names for Breeches/Riding Pants?

If you hear any of the following names, just known that all of these mean riding pants:

  • breeches
  • jodhpurs
  • riding leggings
  • riding tights

Hailey Sipila

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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