Riding Apparel.... Help with Pants!!
I'm seriously debating giving English riding with my boy another go. I bought the saddle and bridle last year, and while I haven't touched the saddle much, it came to my attention that my horse carries himself more naturally as an English horse that a Western Pleasure Horse. His head is naturally more high-set and I figure it might be fun showing him in English.
So I asked a friend what I need to get started and she said Breeches, Boots and Chaps. So I wandered over to Greenhawk and started looking. And immediately I was nearly blown over by the prices! My cheap side came out and I was immediately wondering why anybody would want to spend $40 (on sale!), $60, up to even $200 on PANTS. I hadn't even gotten to the other two pieces of clothing. So I thought about going over to ebay and buying there (I love eBay). But then I started reading the sizing and they are completely different from regular pants..... I'm a size 10-12 in regular jeans... but English Breeches are labeled in weird sizes like 24L, and 36L..... I'm so lost!! lol.
What is the equivalent to size 12 in Breeches?
And then there's the terminology. Pull on, Riding Tights, Side-zip, Knee Patch, Full Seat..... All I want is to learn the dang riding style.... lol :P But being the cheap person I already stated I was, If I'm going to spend any kind of money on special pants I want something that I can show locally in also. .... All I know about our local shows is that the pants should be tan or lighter coloured.
Can someone help me demystify these pants?
The strange number 24, 30, 36 etc. is the measurement of your waist in inches.
So if you look on your jean's label it *might* have the measurement on there already or you can just take fabric measuring tape and get an approximation. Just keep in mind some blends will shrink. R is regular, L is long (in regards to length of breeche
Pull on has no button or zipper, you just pull it on and it's very elasticy at the waist. My primary riding pant.
Riding Tights are usually thinner material and more like skin hugging yoga pants
Side-zip open from the side rather than the front.
Knee Patch is a patch of suede on the insides of your knees to help with grip
Full Seat is a suede patch on your butt to help with grip.
Keep in mind the bottom is just as important. Some have "hook and loop" closures which is velcro. If you wash these in with the rest of your clothes, the velcro will stick to everything and ruin quite a lot of things. So keep that in mind.
Hope that helped :)
Tee hee, given it's English riding we're talking about I might mention that 'pants' in the UK are underwear. $200 would be very ridiculous!
Whatever you do, get real suede seat ones especially if you plan on doing plenty of sitting trot, the synthetic suede ones I find wear out in the crotch area very quickly. I prefer knee patch to full seat myself. And agree, Sky, velcro is a pain!
White breeches get dirty really quickly, especially where saddle contact is made, and some are not a good idea with dark underwear LOL
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I ride English in jeans and tall boots. Just saying :) I would get one or two pairs of decent quality breeches for showing if you plan to. Dover often puts nice breeches for sale for $20 each
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The equivalent of a size 12 is a size 32 in breeches and jodhpurs. As someone else already stated, L is long and R is regular length.
If you're going with breeches, you'll need tall boots if you're planning to show. You can't show in paddock boots and breeches unless you get half chaps that match your boots, and give the appearance of tall boots.
I prefer jodhpurs to breeches because I like to ride in paddock boots and the jods actually come down to the top of my foot, unlike breeches that sit mid-calf. Plus, they have those nifty straps that go under the boot and keep the pants leg in place.
Pull on, side zip, front zip, are all self explanatory. Low and high rise are also fairly self explanatory. If you want the waistband of your breeches to sit on your hips instead of at your waist, buy low rise.
Full seats aren't necessary unless you have a very reactive horse and want a little more sticking power. With full seats you might want to go up a size, since I've found they have less give than regular seat breeches unless you buy the European style full seats.
I would just get a pair of riding tights, especially for summer. I find some of the cheaper breeches are, well cheaper, and don't fit well for me. They stretch out as I ride, get baggy in the crotch, which is weird. Kerrits has pretty good tights. You may check on the close out sections on Dover and Smart Pak's websites, I get a lot of stuff there.
I just bought some Devon aire breeches that feel really cool & comfortable and would pass OK in a show too - who's really looking at what you have on your legs? I've bought 3 new pairs since I got to the US and they are all a different fit even though they are all the same size, one pair are quite tight and feel very stiff but actually better to ride in than I expected - just have to stay off the cookies (biscuits if you are in the UK!!). I school & trail ride in half chaps and they dont fit so well over jodhs, I find jeans really uncomfortable for riding english in - just dont 'give' enough though the stretch ones are OK, currently now its warm I'm riding in grotty old cut offs with half chaps - my horses dont seem to mind!
I loved the canary breeches/jods we wear in show classes in the UK with tweed jackets but they dont seem to have caught on in the US, in fact the whole 'english' show style over here is very different to UK showing, I wish someone had explained to me that reverse (on the rail) meant turn around and go the other way and not rein back - Oh well, we live and learn lol
I didn't read the other replies so I apologize if someone else has already answered this, but there are multiple subsets of English riding each with their own rules pertaining to tack and attire.
For example if you want to show dressage than white full seat breeches are the way to go. If you want to do hunter than you cannot wear full seat breeches, at least where I live. I'm going to assume that you want to do hunter or jumper in which case tan knee patch breeches will be best for showing. The GreenHawk brand, Elation, are pretty cheap and surprisingly very durable so I would have to recommend them.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do want to show hunter you will have to invest in some tall boots. Most competitions will mark you down for wearing half chaps, unless of course it's a schooling show but still kind of frowned upon. Showing in English can be costly and I feel your pain for being cheap. Most people at my barn have rather wealthy parents and dropping $900 for tall boots is not an issue. I work hard for every minute in the saddle and it's aggravating when people who don't have to work for lessons get the nicest tack, attire and then talk to me about it like I have the same opportunity as they do.
Just make sure you try on everything. The breeches should be tight but not too tight to be unflattering. Definitely no muffin tops or camel toes, I cringe every time I see someone with them. As for why people pay $200+ for breeches, it's more or less brand names and what their friends are wearing. I'm wearing $100 breeches that friends confuse with $300 top of the line Tailored Sportsman's. If you're on a budget, once you know your size, eBay can be such a great place to get bargains! :)
One other thing that I initially didn't pay attention to, is that cheaper / lower quality pants often have really rough seams at the back (large and floppy, that you'd need to sort of fold to one side). My daughter is very sensitive to how clothes fit, and she can't wear those at all, unfortunately.
Also, if you have wider feet and ankles, the velcro closure makes it more comfortable to put them on / take them off. HTH.
I'm with you on the prices. Winter / lined tights (?) are $98--for a kid!
Ebay is a place for schooling breeches, Greenhawk is on the pricey side but they do sell quality stuff. I paid $80 about 10 years about for breeches from there, still wear them and they still look good. I bought a pair from ebay, looked ok, within a year the suede knee patches started to come off, I got them sewn back, and now I see it's happening again. $200 is for their top quality show breeches which should essentially last you the rest of your life, I know mine better.
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