The importance of buying properly fitted riding breeches

If your jodhpurs or breeches feel tight and restrictive, it naturally follows that you won’t feel comfortable in your saddle.  Ill-fitting breeches or jodhpurs don’t only affect your ride it can make you feel really miserable.

Jodhpurs or breeches?

Ask any rider if they prefer jodhpurs or breeches and they will have their favourite.  Whichever you prefer to wear, your riding pants need to be a perfect fit, if you are to feel comfortable and relaxed in your saddle when you go out for a ride, or compete.

What’s the main difference?

They are very similar, but one of the key differences is where they finish when it comes to the rider’s leg.  Both are designed to be tight fitting (snug fit).

Jodhpurs finish around the rider’s ankle, while breeches finish around the mid-calf area.

Whilst breeches can be worn with long riding boots, they tend to be combined with jodhpur or paddock boots, combined with chaps or gaiters.

Jodhpurs tend to be worn with long riding boots.

fitted breeches

Competition rules

Jodhpurs and breeches come in a variety of different colours. Generally speaking, you will find that specific competitions state that more conservative colours should by worn by riders, ie: white or cream.

If you are in any doubt, check your rulebook for advice. For general sessions, the colour of your riding pants doesn’t matter.


Many younger children prefer jodhpurs, given they encourage the correct leg position and grip.

Here are a few things to consider when buying a pair of jodhpurs or breeches:

  1. Try on different pairs and brands to see which one is most comfortable and the best fit.

  2. Darker colours hide the dirt and are, therefore, a good practical option.

  3. Most competitions will require cream or white riding pants, so make sure you have a pair in your closet.

  4. Microfibres and some cottons provide a higher degree of breathability.

  5. In cooler winter months, Polartec-type microfibres provide additional warmth.

  6. Breeches and jodhpurs are low maintenance, but make sure they are machine washable – some may not be.

  7. Make sure you measure yourself before you buy a pair of riding pants – don’t guess your size.


Many riders prefer Horbury Breeches, for both ladies and men. These breeches feature a flat front with front pockets and popper detail.  They have a full seat design with elasticated lycra cuffs at the bottom of the leg to reduce bulk under boots.

John Whitaker and the Whitaker family are well known in the equine industry, particularly within the show jumping circuit.  The exclusive Whitaker brand of equestrian clothing and products, including Brogini riding boots, are available through John Whitaker International (JWI).  Combining superior quality with exceptional performance,  the Whitaker brand has earned the respect of both amateur and professional riders across the globe.

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