Tag Archive: equestrian clothing

  1. Your essential guide to jodhpurs and breeches

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    Need new equestrian clothing? Here’s some handy advice on how to find the best jods (or breeches) for you.

    Jodhpurs versus breeches

    If you are starting out, you may want to know the difference between jodhpurs and breeches — it is length and what kind of boots they are designed to be worn with. Jodhpurs finish at the ankle and usually worn with jodhpur boots and chaps, while breeches finish at mid-calf and should be worn with long boots.

    Knee pads and ‘sticky bums’

    Both types are made of stretch fabric, so they move with you as you ride rather than restrict you, which makes them move comfortable than jeans or any other kind of trousers. And they both have knee pads, either of the same fabric or a contrasting material, such as suede. The knee pads prevent rubbing and wearing, so that the garment will last longer, and they can help to improve your grip. It is also possible to buy the rather charmingly named “sticky bum” jods — they have a dressage seat (also called full seat) insert in a fabric that gives the rider added grip in the saddle. The dressage seat is available in breeches, too.

    Buy jods to fit your equestrian discipline

    Both come in a variety of fabrics, styles, colours and leg lengths, so there is a perfect pair for everybody, no matter what their shape. As to which type you choose, that depends to a degree on whether you intend to compete. For the show ring, you will need to wear long boots, so should invest in a pair of beige, yellow or white breeches — the showing society under whose rules you compete will specify colour.

    Simply for working on the yard and hacking out, darker colours are probably more practical and if you prefer to wear jodhpur boots, you can invest in a decent pair of full or half-chaps. The former cover the whole length of your legs, while the latter cover your lower leg up to the knee and prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing or pinching, protect your legs from scratches or catches when you are out and about, and help to keep your new jodhpurs clean.

    Above all, choose comfort

    Both jods and breeches are worth investing in because the more comfortable you are in the saddle, the more you will enjoy riding, and there are plenty of options to match your needs and your budget.

    How to choose the right jodhpurs for you

    Take a look at Derby House’s range of breeches and jodhpurs

  2. How to buy jodhpurs and riding breeches

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    Like all clothing, jodhpurs and riding breeches come in a range of sizes and cuts, and it is important to find the one that best suits your body shape. If you are uncomfortable in the saddle and feel restricted, you are wearing the wrong trousers! The whole point of these garments is that they give you freedom of movement while you ride.

    Check your measurements

    So it’s worth shopping around, trying on a number of different makes and sizes to find your perfect fit. Try tack shops, speciality equestrian retailers, online stores, eBay and second-hand outlets. Make a note of your waist measurement and your inseam — measuring from the top of the inside of your thigh to your ankle — and take it with you when you shop. Sizes for women start from waist size 24in (roughly a UK size 8) and go up in two-inch increments — 26in, 28in, 30in and so on. Many makes now come in regular or long sizes, for those with endless legs.

    Regular versus low-rise

    You can also choose between a regular style or low-rise, which suit some riders, and some also come with a wider waistband, which many find more comfortable.
    You should also have some idea of budget before shopping, too, as it’s easy to get carried away. It can be helpful to have someone with you, an expert or just a friend who has bought riding wear before. And ask around — equestrian online forums can give you a wealth of advice.

    Try innovative fabrics for better comfort

    As well as different styles, try different fabrics too. Most have some stretch, such as Lycra, elastane or Spandex, and some are have “technical features”, for example breathable material that will keep you cool in the summer. You can also get Polartec-type microfibres for warmth in cold weather. Such special elements will, however, be reflected in the price.

    Read our essential guide to jodhpurs and breeches

    Take a look at Derby House’s range of breeches and jodhpurs

  3. Guide to buying riding boots

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    As every rider knows, riding boots are a simple means of transferring horse muck to your car and your sitting room. But jokes apart, choosing the right boots for your needs is important. Whether you plan to have separate boots for competing, or want an all-purpose product both to wear around the yard and for riding, there are several factors that will influence your buying decisions, including, of course, your budget.

    You do need a proper pair of boots for riding — ordinary flat boots or (horror!) plimsolls will not give you enough control nor protection. Dedicated boots will also give you support and safety, because they have a low heel that can slot into the stirrup and hold your foot in place, preventing it from slipping all the way through. Some come with toe-caps, too — how many riders have had broken toes because their horse has stood on them?

    Different types of riding boots

    Broadly, there are three types of boots available: jodhpur, paddock and knee-length boots. Jodhpur boots are, as the name suggests, typically worn with jods rather than breeches, often with half-chaps over the top. They are easily put on and pulled off and very comfortable because they are supple and flexible. The half-chaps protect both your leg and your jodhpurs.

    Paddock boots are suitable for both riding and ground training. They usually have a rubber sole for grip on rough terrain and sturdy leather uppers but, as with jodhpur boots, you would need a half-chap for riding.

    Knee-length options are either field boots or dress boots. Both kinds look good and protect your leg. Field boots have lacing at the ankle for comfort and fit, which makes them more flexible and therefore suitable for all kinds of riding and jumping.

    Dress boots are, as suggested, most commonly worn for competing or hunting. They are stylish and comfortable, but can be expensive. You can buy synthetic versions, which are cheaper and a lot easier to keep clean, but they are not suitable for competition. Some are pull-on style, while others have concealed zips for ease. Don’t worry if you have broader calves than some — there are options available.

    Once you have decided which sort of riding boots best suit your needs, you can start shopping around for the right deals. It may be that you opt to buy two pairs; perhaps a jodhpur boot for the yard and tall boots for competition or hunting. If you can find both pairs from the same retailer, you may be able to negotiate a discount. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

    Checking your riding boots’ fit

    Most importantly, you must find the right fit for you. If the boots are not comfortable, that rather defeats the object, as you don’t want any rubbing or chafing to spoil your riding enjoyment. So be prepared to try on lots of different styles and makes. Fit is so important that it’s best to try the boots on, at least initially.

    Specialist equestrian retailers are a good place to start; first because they will stock a wide range of makes, and secondly because expert staff will be able to guide you — within your needs and within your budget.

    If you are buying long boots, make sure you are wearing suitable clothing when you go to try them on, preferably riding breeches and appropriate socks. While standard shoe sizes apply, you will need to get a calf measurement for width and height. The former is taken at the widest part of your lower leg while you are standing. For boot height, the rider’s leg is measured from the heel to the back of the knee. You should be standing up, with your knee slightly bent, to get an accurate measure.

    Whatever style that you are going to try on, it is best to wear the clothing you will have on when you are wearing the boots — within reason and probably after a clean!

    Browse Derby House’s well-stocked collection of riding boots for your perfect style.