Why are riding pants so tight? (Bear with me) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Why are riding pants so tight? (Bear with me)

Okay, so this is a SERIOUS question from somebody who doesn't ride.

Like I've said elsewhere, I am a (female) college student with several (female) friends who ride english quite avidly.

My question(s)?

Why are the pants so tight? What is the purpose as opposed to baggy? (especially in girls) And I guess as a follow up, are they comfortable? Like do they feel tight?

(I can't think of any other sport where I've heard the participants so concerned about underwear lines either haha)

Sorry if this sounds like a really creepy or weird question, but I'm genuinely curious!
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post #2 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:11 AM
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Would a swimmer want a loose swimsuit?

Would a ballerina want a loose leotard?

Would a football player want their uniform pants loose?

Would you want your pantyhose loose?

So I guess it just makes perfect sense to me that English riding breeches would be tight. There's no reason you would want them loose. They feel no different than if you wore skinny jeans, or leggings. Perfectly comfortable.
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post #3 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:11 AM
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Loose fabric creates friction, which can create rub burns and blistering.

Breeches don't have to be skin tight, but they need to be tighter than regular clothing because of the rubbing they do against the saddle and leathers.

They're made of a combination of cotton and spandex so yes, very comfortable as long as you get them in the correct size.
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Last edited by Speed Racer; 10-18-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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post #4 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:12 AM
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I'm afraid I don't know the ACTUAL answer, but I can intuit that it is for unrestricted movement.

For example, I was working out the other day. While I typically opt for yoga pants or shorts, I happened to be wearing a pear of baggy sweat pants. They just got in the way. I'm sure it's the same reason.

I'm sure that aesthetics also play a role--there is a certain look required for the english rider, and the pants help to provide that.
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post #5 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:14 AM
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I don't like wearing anything tight on my lower half. I find it too restricting and uncomfortable. I have breeches that fit me well, but I still prefer my jeans or loose yoga-style pants.
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post #6 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:23 AM
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It is for looks. Notice the skin tight pants worn by the US Cavalry?

Yeah, I missed it too. What about Ronald Reagan's skin-tight breeches?

Do you think Reagan was worried about underwear lines? Or "friction burns"?
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Last edited by bsms; 10-18-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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post #7 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:24 AM
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Yes, properly fitting breeches reduces your chance for seam rubs on both you AND you saddle! Loose clothes are more likely to bunch up and make friction burns....ow!
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post #8 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:31 AM
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No bsms, it ISN'T for looks.

I've ridden English my entire riding life, and can tell you from experience that loose fabric = rubs/burns, while tighter fabrics mean less of them.

Very few people look good in breeches, so you stating it's all for looks is ridiculous. When I wear breeches my butt looks like two overweight bulldog puppies fighting under a rug, so I hardly think it's because I look fabulous.

Those flared breeches were a lot tighter than they looked, by the way.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #9 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
It is for looks. Notice the skin tight pants worn by the US Cavalry?

Slightly off topic, but I love how the horse looks ten ways of ****ed off and isn't standing square in the first pic, then in the second pic he's alert, happy, perfectly squared...well-played, Cavalry. Well-played.
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post #10 of 155 Old 10-18-2013, 11:36 AM
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I was always told it was partly the rubbing issue, but also a safety issue because loose clothing can get caught in tack
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