Both jodhpurs and breeches remain popular with equestrians of all ages and experience levels. Made from stretchable materials such as Lycra or spandex, jodhpurs and breeches provide more comfort when riding versus jeans or other everyday pants. The tight fit reduces chafing in the saddle while the addition of reinforced patches at the knees and on the seat provides padding and grip. While jodhpurs and breeches share important aesthetics and features, there are certain differences that will influence which pair of pants you choose for your ride.
The main difference between jodhpurs and breeches is length. Jodhpurs end at the ankle and can include a stirrup to prevent the leg from riding up. Even with the stirrup, jodhpurs can bunch up – this can cause discomfort when worn with long riding boots. Instead, most riders prefer paddock shoes or short boots known as jodhpur boots. Due to their versatility, jodhpurs work best for children and during training sessions – you can even wear chaps or gaiters with them. In the show ring, breeches reign supreme. Ending at the midcalf with button or Velcro closures, breeches can only be worn with long riding boots to prevent your leg from exposure. Because breeches offer more comfort when paired with high equestrian boots, most competitive riders prefer them to jodhpurs during shows or other sanctioned events. If you are selecting pants for competition, always review the rules first – most shows strictly limit color choices, but there could be other stipulations as well.
- Photo Credit Roland Vidmar/iStock/Getty Images
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