Why are riding pants so tight? (Bear with me) - Page 9 - The Horse Forum
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post #81 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
Maybe some of it has to do with posting? Like if a person posts the trot or not? Or maybe it's the style of saddle that has something to do with chaffing?

For instance, I ride western and I can do 5 hour trail rides in stretchy jeans or basically whatever pants I want to sacrifice to the trees and brush and I never have chaffing problems from the pants. Sometimes I will get bruises from scraping into trees and sometimes I have mystery bruises on the insides of my knees, but basically, I can ride 5 hours in the mountains, up and down hills, some trotting and cantering, but mostly walking, and my pants never give me a lick of trouble. I am overweight too, so I think my chubby legs would be more prone to rubbing than most.

On a western saddle, the stirrup fenders kind of move with your leg, but on an English saddle, you have a thin stirrup leather moving over a leather flap that doesn't move with your leg, could that be a part of the problem? That and posting the trot?

This reminds me of some of the threads I've read in the past about gloves. How some people can't hardly ride without gloves and I never use gloves unless it's winter and my hands are cold. But I don't need them to protect my hands.....probably because I ride western and generally ride without contact. But even that doesn't always hold true, because my Fox Trotter can be a real handful coming home sometimes, and I still never feel the need to wear gloves to protect my hands.

I'm sure breeches are comfy. But as I ride western I've never felt the need to try them. All summer long I ride in stretchy jeans. All winter long I ride in sweat pants. If I need more grip or protection from the brush, I wear chinks over the top of them. Now that is a fashion statement........chinks over sweatpants!
I guess everyone just flew past my response (above). Don't you think posting or saddle style must have something to do with it??? Maybe western riders do fine in jeans because we (generally speaking) don't post?

BSMS, do you post?
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Last edited by trailhorserider; 10-19-2013 at 01:00 PM.
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post #82 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 01:37 PM
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The implication that anyone riding in jeans isn't riding at competitive levels is, in itself, a "snob-like" statement. So is the implication that proper seat can't be accomplished by anyone wearing jeans. I have personally watched many well-accomplished National-level trainers, riders, etc. ride at home and at shows in jeans because that's how they're comfortable. They show dressage, Hunter under saddle and over fences, saddleseat, etc. They wear their "show" clothes when it's time to show, but that's it. They still place well and win in their classes from local to National levels. I've ridden in jeans all my life and have had no issues doing well in my English classes, even the eq classes (though I never did like eq classes anyway).

I know many places where they require certain clothes for lessons and that's fine. I took lessons many years ago at a place like that. Wearing breeches didn't do anything for me that I couldn't have done in jeans. Even now, my dressage-based trainer has no issue telling me my hip is locked or that I'm not pulsing with my calf when I'm in jeans as opposed to breeches.

If it's what you're used to, that's perfectly fine. If it's more comfortable for you, that's fine. To imply that someone who doesn't dress the way you do for the same tasks is any less competent as a rider or can't be successful is incorrect. It just is. I fully understand what each article of clothing in many different disciplines is for. That doesn't mean each dislike can only be ridden in one specific type of outfit.

Since I saw someone say that they wear breeches to ride Western, that could be considered just as disrespectful because Western is general ridden in jeans and chaps. How is that any different than saying it's disrespectful to not wear breeches in an English saddle?

Breeches are generally more tight fitting than other pants because of tradition. That's how they were worn "way back when" because the clothing suited a specific purpose. Saddleseat is a great example of English riding with loose-fitting clothing and those riders do just fine on their horses.
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post #83 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 01:40 PM
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Yes, I post. I also ride in 2-point and in a half-seat. I feel free to adopt whatever works well for me and my horse, and that has resulted in my riding with a forward seat and a western approach to using the reins. I normally use my Australian-style saddle, which is based on the English style:



Although she is much calmer, I only use an English saddle when riding in our little arena:



On a trail, I will sit back more. I simply don't have the conditioning to do otherwise, and it isn't a big deal at a walk or easy jog:



Please remember: anyone who WANTS to ride in breeches is welcome to do so. Whatever makes you happy. But yes, one CAN ride an English saddle in jeans or loose-fitting pants. The only loose-fitting pants I own are dress pants, so I don't ride in them - the black dye in my saddle tends to bleed sometimes, and my jeans are all marked up on the calves. I would actually prefer to ride with my legs more forward, so I wish my jeans would make it happen. But my leg position tends to be based on having my butt in the lowest part of the saddle, and my stirrup straps vertical.

Since Mia is much calmer, I've raised my stirrups 4 holes recently. We just are not doing all the sideways jumps we used to 'practice', so a shorter leg makes sense. But raising them 4 holes in one step left me feeling like my stirrups were in my armpits for the first 3-4 rides...

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post #84 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 01:56 PM
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when I first started taking lesson I rode in jeans and it was fine...until I started posting, then the movement made the loose fabric on my upper leg get pulled in to the stirrup leather and pinch my skin, not terribly painful, ut uncomfortable enough for me to get breeches.
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post #85 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 03:40 PM
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Maybe this is about body shape and not about what is proper or stylish.

There is a lot written about the difference between men's and women's anatomy and how it effects riding. So one point of variation may be the between men and women. Seems like it is mostly women who prefer stretch in their pants and a flat seam.

Another could be the wide variation of body shapes. We have no problem acknowledging that our horses have a wide variety of preferences in bits and saddles. Why would we argue that our human friends may have the same issues and need for variation?
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post #86 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
I guess everyone just flew past my response (above). Don't you think posting or saddle style must have something to do with it??? Maybe western riders do fine in jeans because we (generally speaking) don't post?

BSMS, do you post?
It has to do with position. If you have your legs underneath you, you will feel pressure (in jeans) on the tops of your thigh, which may cause rubbing. Even in a chair I feel that pressure. It's more subtle but still.

Also jeans have no real stretch since they're made of denim and denim typically is nowhere near as stretchy as lycra. Therefore it bunches in loose places like the back of your knee, or slightly at the back of the thigh and the ankle. That is very painful to have happen when you are on a horse. It's like someone using a tourniquet on your limbs.

My jeans aren't super tight, or '2 inches above my crotch' but everytime I go trail riding it is very uncomfortable and I usually end up having really bad chaffing, blisters, or feel like I have invisible sunburn.

When someone posts, their hips rise up and forward (so diagonally) then come back down. I don't understand why the fact that someone posts or not would affect it in any way...

The main thing I see is a lot of western riders have more of a chair seat because they have to stop fast or just prefer having their legs infront rather than underneath. If they tried to pull their legs underneath them, I guarantee they'd feel pain and restriction from being in jeans. If you do that with breeches, they move with you, they stretch and give to allow you to put your leg there.

That is my experience.

Also note that I did not bash anyone's riding. I merely stated my observations and did not assign any rating to any individual.

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post #87 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tiffanyodonnell View Post
There is a lot written about the difference between men's and women's anatomy and how it effects riding. So one point of variation may be the between men and women. Seems like it is mostly women who prefer stretch in their pants and a flat seam.
I personally feel that A LOT of men don't wear breeches because they stereotypically feel they'll look like ballerinas or "less manly."

I'm sure that if men looked past that and tried breeches, they'd actually like the characteristics and 'extras' that breeches have to offer.

I know plenty of male riders in both disciplines that rock breeches over jeans. They like the support and 'give' that they offer.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #88 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 06:37 PM
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I love my breeches!

When riding english I will only ride in my breeches...my jeans get bunched up in every place possible, rub my knees, slowly slide down so I constantly have to pull them up so I don't have a "plumbers crack" lol.

Riding western or bareback I will wear anything really. Jeans, pjs, sweatpants, breeches, yoga pants, shorts ect. It doesn't bother me what so ever in a western saddle like it does in an english saddle. Mainly because I'm just doing trails or doing some flat work for 15-20 mins...not long hard rides, so they don't bother me.

Last edited by shellybean; 10-19-2013 at 06:39 PM.
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post #89 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 07:17 PM
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I wear both jeans and breeches. I used to ONLY ride in jeans because I was self conscious about how I looked in breeches. I have since gotten over myself.

It is just a matter of preference. It would be foolish for someone to say 'the best riders wear breeches'.
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post #90 of 155 Old 10-19-2013, 08:11 PM
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BSMS, please tell me where someone has said that if you wear jeans in the saddle you WILL be rubbed bloody no doubt about that??
If you actually cared to read the responses without squeezing your eyes shout, fingers in ears chanting "lalalalalalalalala" then maybe you would have taken note that people have merely described THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES. I have ridden in jeans AND in breeches AND in tracky pants.... and I can say hands down, that in MY style of riding which happens to be your ever hated Dressage, breeches are by far the best type of pants to wear - yes, jeans can and do bloody hurt my legs, and don't go telling me that it's because I must be doing cartwheels on the horse, it is purely because of the design of the saddle and the ideal position to be in for Dressage.
If you're a lucky one who doesn't get rubbed or affected by jeans when you start spending many hours in the saddle each day working hard, not going for a plod on a trail, then LUCKY YOU! Wear them, it doesn't bother me!

As for an "Aussie saddle" - as an Aussie myself, we call them stock saddles and they are a dime a dozen. I've got one myself for riding the 'fun' horses/breakers/trails. I can assure you that their description of being based on an English saddle is very loose. They ride very little like a true English saddle. They have so much more comfort factor, the fenders prevent your legs getting rubbed by a narrow stirrup leather, you are comfortably held into the saddle and yes, I am more than happy to spend hours in these saddles wearing jeans. They just do not hurt like a Dressage saddle does! And yes, I can see where your analogy about wearing jeans in a chair comes from, because it feels like you're sitting in an arm chair when riding in a stock saddle. They're great!!

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