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