Deciphering Horse Riding Breeches
- By: Ashley Kantter
You walk into the tack store prepared to buy another pair of breeches. Unfortunately, you soon realize you are not prepared for this job. There are mountains and mountains of different types of breeches with funny names like full-seat, knee-patch, euro seat and extended knee patch. You straight away feel rather overpowered, but come to a decision to sort everything out right there so you can have another pair of breeches.
The Oldie but Goodie Breech
Knee-patch breeches are the most common kind of breeches on the market and they were probably the first sort of breeches you owned. They have a suede patch which covers the inside area of the knee that runs to roughly 5cm above and below the knee. It is most commonly utilized in the over fences divisions because it allows the rider to have some grip, yet still be in a position to get out of the saddle.
The Staunch Breech
If you need to be able to sit in your saddle to steer your horse's movement, then the full-seat breech is the most obvious way to go. It has a patch made from suede, Clarino or leather which runs from slightly below the knee, through the inner leg and back to the seat. It is most well-liked with dressage riders because this type of riding breeches allows them to sit upright and not slide all over their saddle. Eventers use full-seat breeches in some phases, but they are virtually non-existent in over fences classes.
The New Kids on the Block
There are 2 new kinds of breeches making an appearance in arenas near you, the euro seat breeches and the extended knee breeches (also known as the dressage patch and 3/4 seat breech).
The euro seat breech has knee patches, and an additional seam which covers the seat, but does not contain any material to help the rider sit in the saddle. It is becoming extremely popular in working hunter classes, because they have got a reputation of being more relaxed, long-wearing and stylish than the standard knee-patch breeches.
The opposite is true with the extended knee patch breech. The extended knee patch breech is like a full-seat breech without the seat patch. This breech is excellent for multi-discipline use because it gives riders on horses with bigger movement more grip and it gives dressage riders on smaller movers more liberty. Eventers like the extended patch breech because it strikes the ideal harmony between staying with their horses during the cross-country phase while allowing them freedom to get out of the saddle.
You discover that shopping for breeches is a breeze after you have deciphered those different types of breech. You select the breech that best suits your discipline and what you want as a rider. You walk out of the tack store victorious with your new breeches in hand. Now if only you could have someone decode those horse ads for you.
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Ashley Kantter is a longtime freelance author and journalist specialising in subjects linked with horses and equestrian matters. Townend Online is an equestrian clothing store(http://www.townendonline.co.uk/) and tack shop for all competitive riders stocking a range of breastplates and bridles(http://www.townendonline.co.uk/categories/Horse-Tack/Bridles-and-Leather-Range/) and other expert equestrian hardware.