Choose the right riding competition pants
If you participate in an equestrian competition, your outfit must meet several requirements. Each competition rider is looking for an outfit that will be efficient and comfortable in order to be at ease on the saddle of his horse and to limit his stress before the event.
Among the elements of this outfit, the choice of competition breeches is important. You will choose them according to your tastes, your equestrian discipline (eventing, show jumping, dressage or even hunter) and according to the level of the event and the applied regulation. Very often, a rider will try to match his competition breeches to his jacket.
Here are some tips for choosing the right product which respect the criteria imposed by the competition regulations while optimizing the rider's performances.
The comfort of riding competition breeches
In a riding competition, the rider's concentration is put to the test. Comfortable riding pants are necessary to maximize performances.The fabric must be flexible and stretchy to give a great freedom of movement and to allow the rider to follow the horse's rhythm. It must also be breathable to limit perspiration. It must also be easily washable and detachable to maintain an immaculate white in each competition.
Finally, to keep a peace of mind, the fabric's quality is essential because the riding competition breeches must remain opaque during the event, even if it is wet by the rain.
Be sure to choose a fabric that is strong enough while maintaining a quick drying. The new materials bring all these qualities together.
The color of the riding competition pants
Color is an important criterion to take into account when choosing riding competition breeches. The competition pants must be of light color : white, off-white or beige, depending on the events. No other color is tolerated in competitions or in racing events, whether for men or for women. Black is always forbidden for competition breeches.
White has long been imposed as a standard color for competition pants, but the rules have been relaxed in recent years and off-white is now tolerated in all events for pros or for amateurs, for men or for women.Even if beige was accepted only in show jumping and only for women, this tolerance has now been extended to all events and to men as well.
However, in competition, riders still respect certain codes out of respect for the traditions. White is still the only color allowed for races, and rare are the riders wearing beige breeches in a show jumping.
The cut of riding competition pants
Each brand generally offers a breeches for men collection and a breeches for women collection. Choose the model adapted to your morphology. Then, depending on your preferences, you can opt for high-waisted or low-waisted breeches. If the waist is high, you will have a better lumbar support because the fabric rises higher in the back. If the waist is low, you will have a better flexibility in movements. There are no wrong choices, but only your preference and experience.
The elasticated and adjusted waist allows a good bearing of the breeches during the movements on horseback. Choose a slightly lowered waist on the front of the breeches to limit pressure on the stomach and also to get a better comfort. Some brands also offer technical details such as scratches on the ankles or an elastic that goes under the foot to keep the breeches tight. Pockets are sometimes present on the front of the breeches, rarely on the back for obvious reasons of comfort on the saddle.
Reinforcements on riding competition breeches
The bottom of the competition breeches is often reinforced to improve comfort by limiting friction on certain leather parts. Two types of reinforcement are available on riding breeches.
Full-seat breeches feature a one-piece fabric piece in reinforcement over the entire seat portion up to the knees and through the inner thighs. This part is often composed of a grip which improves stability during the competition. You will easily find grip breeches. In summer, the full bottom may cause a little perspiration, but it stays warmer in winter.
A riding pant with knee patches has reinforcements only at the knees, so it gives the rider more flexibility, which is appreciated in the jumping events. Grips are often present at the knees to allow an optimal holding of the position on horseback.
The style of a riding competition pant
The jury will be sensitive to the performance as a whole during the competition, and the rider's outfit must be irreproachable. To combine elegance and performance, some brands offer a few decorative elements such as edgings or discreet embroideries which are tolerated on riding competition breeches.
Why do competition breeches have to be white ?
Historically, representations on horseback are inherited from the army's equestrian schools. The competitions and the riders have naturally adopted a uniform that takes up the military codes : a black jacket, a white breeches and black boots.
Today, the dress code has evolved in the equestrian contests and other colours are accepted. Jackets must be dark and the burgundy, the dark gray, the brown or the navy blue are admitted. On the other hand, competition breeches are always white or off-white only. Boots should be dark, whether they are ankle boots or dark brown mini-chaps.
How to maintain a white riding competition pant ?
It is difficult to keep riding pants always white. The friction on the leather parts, the possible falls and the proximity of the horses are as many occasions to make traces on riding breeches. Current fabrics are easy to maintain and can be washed in a machine at 30°. On the other hand, it is not recommended to use a dryer which can damage the fabric's fibers. Prefer instead a natural flat drying to avoid folds. To remove any mud, grass or perspiration stains, rub this stain with a gall soap and a soft brush, before putting the pant in the washing machine with the usual program. With a regular maintenance, you will be able to use your riding competition breeches for many years.