Now used by millions of women all over the world, equestrian breeches are a fundamental product for experiencing the emotion of riding in maximum comfort.
Comfortable, practical and sturdy, modern equestrian breeches provide women with far greater performance than any other type of trousers not explicitly designed for riding. Today these breeches are available everywhere and can even be purchased online with a few clicks from specialized eCommerce.
But was it always that way? What has changed compared to the past? What measures and technologies have been introduced in recent years? The purpose of this article is to provide a complete overview of equestrian breeches and in particular of women's models.
From the history to the prices of some products, we will try to deepen the topic by addressing the known and less known aspects of an essential item of clothing for those who practice this discipline.
Let's start with a brief introduction about the history of women's equestrian breeches, to understand how we came to the definition of the current garments taking into account the cultural evolution that occurred.
A woman riding sidesaddle, late 19th Century (image from vintag.es, unknown author)
The mythical figure of the Amazons is undoubtedly the most famous antecedent of women and horses. Wrapped in legend, the Amazons have left a deep mark in the way of riding "like the Amazon": yes, because women, until the beginning of the '900, it was certainly not allowed to ride with their legs apart.
From the point of view of the etiquette of the time it would have been a scandal, not to mention that women's clothing – especially that of the noble class but not only – would have hampered the straddling position adopted for centuries by man. The "Amazon-style" ride, with both legs on the same side of the horse, would, therefore, remain the only alternative allowed until almost the threshold of the twentieth century, when, in 1930, the first regulations appeared to enable women to ride freely.
It is at this point that the story of modern horse riding begins for women and, at the same time, the story of technical clothing, including women's breeches.
The massive entry of women into sports-related horseback riding has led to the birth and development of a wide range of dedicated clothing.
In addition to the breeches, we need to mention the Leggings, the Show Jackets, the Show Shirts, the Leisure Wear, the Outerwear and the numerous Accessories. Significant weight has been played and still is played on the materials, once exclusively natural, for fifty years now also synthetic.
The transition from the leather used for the patches to silicone was emblematic in this sense, a passage that allowed to obtain more comfortable and lasting paddings and protections.
Today there are as many types of women's breeches as there are categories of riding disciplines, so the characteristics of jumper breeches will be slightly different from those of dressage breeches, and so on.
There are currently five main versions used by women:
As the name suggests, these pants go down to the middle of the calf and are suitable for pairing with knee-length boots, or with half shoes and short paddock boots.
Employed mostly in dressage competition, these breeches feature a tight material in the inner part of the thigh and correspondence to the buttocks. Their contribution is significant in terms of saddle grip and noise reduction during the race.
Made of light white fabric (generally nylon), the jockey breeches have the lower part of the legs elasticated for greater comfort during riding.
The distinctive feature of these trousers is the length of the legs, which are extended to the ankles. Here the jodhpur breeches end up with a small ring that fits the top of the boot. They are often worn by children and girls.
The "Kentucky" jodhpur breeches, originating in the state of the same name in the USA, are full length riding breeches, fitted from the waist to the ankle and ending with a flared bell-bottom that fits the "jodhpur" ankle boot.
As far as materials are concerned, the market has been mainly oriented towards the use of synthetic fibres, above all polyamide and spandex. The first is a synthetic polymer, for example, the base of nylon products.
The second is a type of elastic polyurethane fabric that can increase the adaptability of the trousers to the circumference of the legs and buttocks. The percentage of the two materials is usually around 90% for polyamide and around 10% for spandex.
The result is a comfortable and breathable material, excellent for facilitating movements during training or competitions without suffering from high temperatures and the discomfort of sweat.
It should also be noted that some breeches have special silicone inserts to cushion the backlash of the saddle and protect from falls.
In addition to materials, women's riding breeches include a number of technical features and various innovative technologies aimed at increasing quality and performance in all conditions.
We must keep in mind that the riding takes place mostly outdoors, in all seasons of the year, from hot summer days to cold winter days, with clear skies or heavy rain. The materials alone, however, sought after, would not be enough to meet the needs of the most attentive riders.
This is why cutting-edge technologies have been designed and implemented, such as zip closure with hook buttons, push-up effect, integral adherence with FH grip system.
All to enhance the riding experience before, during and after, from the transport of the uniform in the bag to the time of washing the pants and drying them in the shortest time possible.
At this point, it is worth mentioning some of the many models of women's equestrian breeches that boast the characteristics mentioned in the previous paragraphs.
These are selected products, made 100% in Italy, Available in various colours and sizes. The price is the same as for the online purchase as reported in the respective cards.
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