Because riding breeches are form-fitting, it’s important to feel full freedom of movement as well as to feel both comfortable and confident in them. There are a variety of types of riding breeches available and finding the right match of the riding breeches for sale with your goals and body type will give you this freedom of movement and confidence.
Although there can be huge variation between how certain brands fit and feel to an individual, there are a couple of types of riding breeches that can help categorize the groups. There is no right or wrong answer in choosing a full seat or knee patch breech to ride in. Many dressage riders prefer the full seat breeches because they like the extra adherence to the saddle. Basic versions of the full seat breech for men include: the Goode Rider Men’s Pro Breech Full Seat or the Shires Men’s Full Seat Breeches. For women, there are brands and styles such as the Horze Women's Grand Prix Silicone Full Seat Breeches or the Irideon Cadence Full Seat Breech Long.
Traditional full seats have leather and the leather saddle gives a nice feeling of balance and security in the saddle, particularly for seated work like sitting trot and canter. Leather full seats are a little harder to find nowadays. Newer fabrics are commonly used, which make them more economical, and often much easier to care for, but some riders feel some of the new fabrics are too sticky for jumping. The full seat breeches are cosmetically more flattering to many body types, particularly for women with larger hip dimensions or women with fuller figures. The contours of the full seat meeting the fabric of the rest of the breech divides the riders’ body up and gives the appearance of a smaller frame. The thicker material of the full seat also serves to hide any cellulite or dimpling that many riders are insecure about.
Knee Patch Breeches
For the same reasons that some riders prefer full seats, some riders also dislike them. They want the freedom in the saddle and they want to be able to get themselves out of it easier. The knee patch breeches are preferable to many riders that jump, but riders on the flat also like a little slip and movement while they ride. Others describe the feeling of “non-stretchiness” across their backside as uncomfortable. Again, many riders prefer that the patches be of real leather and not a synthetic faux leather. They like the adherence of leather on leather. Other riders, however, are content with a very basic breech, of light cotton or polyester and the synthetic leather knee patch. Very economical versions of the basic fabric blends include: the TuffRider Ladies Starter Lowrise Pull On Breeches and the nylon/lycra blend in the Kerrits Microcord Knee Patch Breech.
In terms of figure-flattering styles, it’s worthwhile to learn the brand that looks good on your body shape. They vary immensely, so trying on some brands is worthwhile. Certain fabrics can help hide the cellulite and dimpling that so many women worry about, as well as the dark color. Some riders choose to get a basic, cotton breech for everyday riding in a dark color, and then invest in a better fabric for their light color show breeches.
Breeches of Technologically Advanced Fabrics
Moisture wicking, 4-way stretch and other features rank high in the appeal of breeches made of newer fabrics. There are stain resistant, amazing fabrics that will keep your white breeches white even with significant exposure to dirt, dust and food! These fabrics tend to be cool to wear, breathable, and flattering to the rider in terms of hiding any dimpling on the back of the legs or bottom. They are often very easy to care for as well and are worth the investment in terms of their longevity alone.