Experienced riders would agree that buying a pair of new and comfy horse riding pants is one of the best feelings in the equestrian life.
As a new rider, you might be entirely oblivious to the fact that you need a specific legwear when it comes to horse riding.
Horse riding pants, AKA breeches, essentially act as friction and pressure resistors for your legs, minimizing the chances of sores that you get as a result of extensive riding.
Think of it as safety gear that helps you ride more efficiently and saves you from unnecessary scratches or cuts.
Let us discuss how to buy an excellent pair of riding pants. It’s going to be a value-rich journey; you better take notes!
Know Your Apparel
To understand and acquire the skill of buying the best horse riding pants, it’s essential we know exactly what we’re going to buy.
To put it simply, there are three types of riding pants: breeches/jodhpurs, tights, and jeans.
Breeches are the most commonly worn type of legwear for horse riding due to their purposeful design. Their job is to allow as much leg movement and grip as possible when on the saddle. They’re usually made up of cotton, so they’re comfortable and stretchy.
Breeches have two major types: full-seat breeches and knee-patch breeches. They’ve mainly to do with gripping the saddle. Full-seat cover the full seat, and knee-patch cover the knee areas only – how helpful. You can read more about them in the FAQs section.
Coming to the riding tights, they’re different as compared to regular tights and leggings. The riding tights are thinner, sporty, and skin-fit. Even though it’s better to wear tights specifically designed for riding, you may use regular tights, too.
Lastly, riding jeans give you that classy cowboy look that we all crave for somewhere deep inside, and they’re super-comfy given that you ensure that you’re buying the ones that aren’t too tight on your hips. You can check our top picks here.
Now that you have a good idea about different types, let’s talk about buying factors.
Consider These Before Buying Horse Riding Pants
Now we’re going to learn how to buy the perfect pants for horse riding.
Time for a little self-assessment. First, ask yourself, what do you need pants for?
I know you need it for horse riding, but there’s trail riding, there’s sport riding, there’s leisure riding, and then there’re several other types of riding. There’s seasonal riding, and then there’s the artful dressage; where do you fit?
For most riding types, you’ll be opting for breeches or jodhpurs. Jodhpurs are used by children mostly as it helps them acquire a better grip over the saddle.
The self-evident reason for the popularity of breeches is their ability to adapt to almost all types of horse riding. Of course, to enhance performance – only minor detail enhancement – you can always opt for the ones most relevant to your sport.
The only reason why there are several different types and qualities of horse riding pants is comfort.
The first step to ensure perfect comfort is to ensure you measure yourself correctly. Once you have the right measurements, use the size guides on product pages to order the best fit.
Ideally, the breeches are ‘fit’ and not tight around your waist and hips. This means there’s neither extra cloth nor is there a lack of it. In short, you need a pair of breeches that’s like a fabric skin on you.
By the way, comfort is not merely the relaxation of your muscles while wearing the pants. Comfort is also when wearing a specific attire doesn’t affect your typical movements at all.
Also, additional features like the extra pockets on your horse riding pants surely count as comfort.
You chose the right type. You chose the right size, too. Are you all set? Um, almost.
Aesthetics or the minor yet essential details of your riding breeches matter too. For instance, is the color of your breeches regularly worn in your preferred horse riding style?
Or, if you’re a jumper, are you using full-seat breeches or knee-patch breeches? Or, are the seams placed right to give you maximum comfort? All of these are questions you need to keep in mind when buying your best breeches for horse riding.
Not that there would be any colossal repercussions if you don’t, but for best value for money, choose the ones that are not only styled according to the particular horse riding sport but also look great on you.
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Best Horse Riding Pants on the Market
Now it’s time for the much-awaited list of the ten best horse riding pants. The three factors above (purpose, comfort, aesthetics) are criteria for our recommendations.
Here are the best horse riding pants:
1. Horze Women’s Leah Full Seat Tights – Silicone Grip
Horze Women’s Leah tights are more like full-fledged mid-rise breeches than tights. And with elastic waist and knee-patch silicone grippers, they function like full-seat riding pants.
These tights are overall pretty attractive. The silicone is super grippy and doesn’t bunch up. You can wash these daily, and these won’t shrink — and dry up fast. That’s partly because they’re lightweight and thinner, making them one of the best horseback riding pants for summer.
Some customers have reported size issues, but by making precise measurements you can avoid them too. Overall, ten out of ten for these tights — great value for money!
2. TuffRider Women’s Ventilated Schooling Tights
Made up of 92% polyester and 8% spandex, TuffRider’s ventilated schooling tights are durable and don’t shrink, even after regular wash. They loosen up a bit after everyday use, but that’s great as most users have loved how it becomes their second skin.
This makes them even cooler and breathable, so we’re looking at excellent comfort here; that too, at a very reasonable price. These tights are great for all weathers, unless, of course, you’re living in an extreme climate.
The fact that they have no pockets for mobiles is a bit sad as it hinders accessibility – but these are best for beginners and schoolers, especially, as they’re not used to tighter horse riding pants.
3. HR Farm Horse Riding Breeches for Women
HR Farm Horse riding breeches are made of 65% cotton, 25% nylon, and 10% elastane and are highly stretchable. These mid-rise waist knee-patch breeches have high-quality buttons and zippers, can be washed at home, and come in various colors.
The stuff is praiseworthy; you feel ventilated in summers and insulated in winters. The breeches have tight sock bottoms. They decrease stuffing when you wear long boots, perfect cowgirl attire, right?
HR Farm has caught up with Fashion, too. These breeches have knee-patches with crystal bling. Another exclusively good thing about these breeches are the pockets that are particularly useful, unlike most others where they’re just a formality.
Other than bunching and pinching of the knee-patch occasionally while riding, it’s quite the comfortable pair of breeches a new or an experienced equestrian might be looking for.
4. Noble Outfitters The Original Balance Women’s Riding Tight
These horse riding tights by Noble Outfitters are composed of 76% Supplex nylon and 24% spandex jersey and promise the best comfort. This fabric is excellent at drying moisture quickly, giving you that neat and clean feel while riding in summers.
These tights are very concealing. You can walk around and still feel well covered. Also, the knee-patch is quite extensive, so you feel more like you’re wearing full-seat breeches.
They’ve got a hidden pocket in the back waist and one on the front giving you ample space.
You might find them a little costly, but they surely aren’t overpriced because of the unbelievable amount of value they offer.
5. Horseware Ladies Riding Tights
A decent combo of 90% nylon and 10% spandex make up these Horseware’s tights. They’ve got knee-patch patches made of micro-fiber, so the grip is as good as it can be. It’s got pockets that comfortably hold your mobile phones when needed.
These tights are mostly known for comfort. They’re lightweight, making your legs feel at home and cool, no matter for how long you wear them. One reason for this is probably the omission of buttons and zippers, which are mostly needless.
The only problem here is that the material they’re made of easily catches animal hair. So, if you’ve got pets, you’ll have to be careful.
Rest assured, this is one great pair of tights waiting for you.
6. Wrangler Men’s Premium Performance Cowboy Cut Regular Fit Jeans
A product review without the best isn’t complete. Wrangler is the best cowboy jeans brand out there, period. Wrangler’s promise is durability, and that’s pretty much the most we want from our purchases.
These extremely durable unwashed high waisted jeans come in the classic five-pocket style. The wrist pocket is significantly deeper and purposeful.
If you’re looking for comfort, consider breeches. But, the great thing about Wrangler is that they provide a lot for little money.
These 100% cotton horse riding pants are durable and lightweight, yet highly stylish. If bought with an awesome horse riding boot, the John Wayne in you would come to life.
7. HORZE Active Women’s Horse Riding Pants Breeches
Of all the breeches for horse riding, this one by Horze is composed of 95% cotton and 5% elastane; making them really compelling riding pants. The style, the comfort, the aesthetics, all is there.
These full-seat silicone grip breeches have a front pocket that you can use for horse treats or your phone. These Horze riding pants come in exceptionally soft and comfortable fabric, nice for all weathers except for extremes.
Some users say that their pair of darker colors have been fading a bit after a considerable period of use. But that also depends on the way you care for these babies.
8. FitsT4 Women’s Riding Tights Knee Patch Ventilated Active Schooling Tights
If you want versatile breeches that you can wear for almost any type of horse riding, you’ve got to give FitsT4 a try. Composed of 83% polyester and 17% elastane, these breeches come with awesome knee-patches that provide equally incredible and enhanced grip.
These tights are mid-rise waist, making them super comfortable and attractive. Side mesh panels add to the tights’ beauty and breathability, but they’re a bit see-through, which can bothersome.
These tights don’t have many pockets, except for a single key-sized one on the inside. Still, the fact that these tights don’t have velcro around the ankles make them easy to put on those tall horse riding boots.
9. Wrangler Men’s 12MWZ Cowboy Cut Original Fit Jeans
Another fantastic piece for men is the 12MWZ by Wrangler, our favorite. These cowboy pants genuinely are the best bang for the buck on this list.
These pants are high-waisted and cowboy cut – don’t confuse them with the regular fit, though. Cowboy cut jeans are tighter around the waist and hips, unlike the regular ones. If any one of you has well-built glutes, these are for you.
Since they’re 100% cotton, they’re relatively rigid as they aren’t pre-washed. So, make sure you wash them with cold water before wearing to soften them a bit.
By far, the best thing about these Wrangler jeans is that they’re budget horse riding pants while offering premium quality. Wrangler is the Nike for horse riding pants, except that their prices are close to a bargain.
10. Kerrits Ice Fil Full Seat Tech Tights
Lo and behold, the Ice Fil tights by Kerrits. Made up of 80% nylon and 20% spandex, legend has it that riding breeches can’t get any better.
Kerrit’s ‘Ice Fil’ technology is their flagship feature. Their breeches material converts sweat into coolness and this has made Kerrits so wanted in the riding world.
These full-seat breeches have amazing grip and side pockets that can comfortably carry your mobile phones. While wearing, they feel more like yoga pants and are extremely easy to pull on.
The UPF 50+ sun protection feature is what seals the deal and truly makes the Kerrits Ice Fil the best horseback riding pants for summer.
FAQs Related to Horse Riding Pants
Before bidding farewell, let us answer some of your most asked questions regarding horse riding.
What kind of pants should I wear horseback riding?
The bottom line is, you need a pant that places you on the saddle perfectly.
With that in mind, we have a huge number of different types and different styles within these types of riding pants. Most commonly, you’ll be exposed to breeches and riding tights. Other types include jodhpurs (a synonym to breeches), and jeans.
To judge which type is best for you, first explore your type of horse riding (dressage/leisure/trail). If say, you’re in it for leisure, you’ll be needing highly comfortable breeches – a little self-assessment would help you best!
And once you’ve narrowed down the kind, ensure you buy it from a trusted brand. To ease it up for you, almost all of the products on the list are from best riding breeches brands that have properly established themselves as an authority.
What is the difference between jodhpurs and breeches?
You would have read it online quite often that jodhpurs and breeches are the same, but in the eyes of an established equestrian, even the tiniest of changes matter.
Although the terms ‘jodhpurs’ and ‘breeches’ are used interchangeably, Jodhpurs are full-length trousers worn with short boots. Whereas breeches are short and only extend till above the ankle. They’re comfortably worn with longer boots by experienced riders.
In horse riding schools, new students are often recommended jodhpurs due to their better grip over the saddle for beginners.
Are jeans OK for horse riding?
Of course, they are but choosing to wear them or not depends on your comfort preference. If you feel comfortable with seams like that of a jeans’ and significantly cowboy cut jeans, then you’re a vet, I believe.
Most people prefer breeches due to their functionality — keep you comfortable and cool.
Although the original cowboy used to wear heavy woollen pants, in the early 1900s, this changed, and the cowboy translated into more of a jeans-wearing one.
In pop culture, hardly anyone would remember a cowboy wearing anything but those rugged, dusty jeans. So, they’re pretty cool, style-wise, but if you’re a comfort lover, you might want to consider fun riding breeches or tights.
Are leggings OK to wear horse riding?
Wearing regular leggings shouldn’t be a priority as they’re relatively frictionless on leather saddles, but yes, if they’re sports leggings or have friction, you can use them.
Frankly, breeches are specially designed leggings with grips to accommodate your grip over the saddle. The type of saddle you use surely plays a part, but if you pick the right ones, you can rock any horse, regardless of the saddle.
If you think your regular leggings are giving you the comfort and grip over your horse that you should have, you sure can continue.
What is the difference between full seat and knee patch breeches?
Full seat breeches are the ones with contrast material (aimed at gripping the saddle, made of silicone nowadays) that extends from the knees to the inner thighs and hips — basically, all the area that’s in contact with the saddle when you’re riding.
Knee-patch breeches, though made for the same purpose and in the same way, are only limited to the knees (unlike full-seat breeches). Knee-patch breeches are used by jumpers and hunters mostly.
Horse riding is all about having fun, and sometimes, our riding pants can hinder our chances of thoroughly enjoying ourselves in the field. What’s safest for you is to buy breeches – any type, be it jodhpurs, tights, or leggings.
Just be sure your pick has the best aesthetics and the best comfort. As long as you’re vigilant, your journey will be awesome!