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Glossary of Breech Features

Term Explanation What Is Right for You?
Belt loops In addition to the obvious—belt loops hold a belt to keep your pants up—our breech product descriptions mention belt loops. Why? In equestrian sports, belt loops run through with a belt are the most classic turnout a rider can present for schooling, lessons or showing If you will be riding in formal lessons, clinics or competition, your breeches should have belt loops, and they should be threaded through with a belt. If you remove a top layer, such as a vest, or if show jackets are waived due to heat, your riding shirt should be neatly tucked. Empty belt loops reflect poor rider turnout.
Compression Compression fabrics are woven with builtin stretch in such a way as to provide a very snug fit. Breeches or riding tights made with compression fabric hug the rider’s skin and support the muscles, which in turn helps reduce muscle fatigue and swelling, and can smooth out the look of the rider’s legs If you wish to smooth out the look of your skin and curves, compression tights or breeches are a good choice. They are also a smart choice if you will wear your breeches for long periods. The compression will help reduce vibrations in your muscles and thus, help to prevent muscle fatigue.
Covered waistband Inside the waistband, fabric prevents the back of the closure hardware, such as a snap or hook-eye clasp, from touching your skin. A covered waistband could be helpful to you if you have sensitive skin or if you do not wear your riding shirt tucked inside your breeches.
Full seat Faux suede, genuine leather, silicone grip or some other grippy textile runs along the seat, inner thighs and down over the insides of the knees. Most full seats cover the area entirely to provide consistent contact and grip, but some have segmented panels intended to enhance the rider’s freedom of motion. Regardless of the cut, the full seat provides the dressage rider with “stick".

A breech with a full seat is called a full-seat breech.
If you are working in dressage while wearing knee-patch breeches, consider trying a breech or riding tight with a full seat. The extra grip it provides, once you become accustomed to the feel, should help you maintain a deep and secure seat, which in turn helps with the execution of subtle aids. Many three-phase event riders also wear full seats in the cross-country phase for extra grip.
Knee patches A layer of faux suede, silicone grip, some other textile or even self-fabric is placed in “patches” along the inner aspect of the knees. The patches offer grip and/or add durability to the breech for those riders who need to maintain two-point or jumping position.

A breech with knee patches is referred to as a knee-patch breech.
If you are a hunter, jumper or hunt rider, a knee-patch breech is your classic choice. Three-phase event riders also favor kneepatch breeches for jumping. If you enjoy pleasure riding in an English discipline, the comfort of a knee-patch breech or riding tight is also a perfect choice for you.
Pull-On Pull-on styling means the breech has no front zipper, similar to a tight. The elasticized waistband may or may not have belt loops For the comfort of a riding tight and the classic features of a breech, consider a pull-on style with belt loops.
Riding tights The equestrian equivalent of yoga pants, riding tights are exceptionally comfortable, sporty, economical and easy-care. They are available in full seat and knee patch styles and for women, teens and kids. Soft, stretch jersey fabrics may provide moisturewicking, UV protection and breathability. Riding tights can feel so comfortable and unrestrictive you may forget you’re wearing equestrian apparel. If you ride every day, keep to a strict budget, love the comfort of yoga pants or fashion leggings, then riding tights are for you. If you love color, look for the many colorful styles of tights.
Rise Rise refers to the distance from the middle of the crotch seam to the top of the waistband front. It usually ranges from 7"– 11", and it determines where the breech sits on your body.

Rise is important as it can alter your figure visually, making you look your best or compromising your waistline for the worst. Generally, low rise sits below the belly button, mid rise is near the belly button and high rise is above it.

In breeches, the term “modified rise” refers to a low or lower-mid rise that comes up higher in back for complete coverage in the saddle.
Consider your proportions in choosing a rise. If you have an average build and are fit, you can probably wear any rise with success. However, if you plan to compete, you must consider how your show coat will look when paired with a low-rise breech, and most likely opt for a mid or high rise. These rises often work best with the waistline of show coats.

If you are short-waisted or petite, a highrise breech may sit uncomfortably high and work to further shorten the look of your torso. Try a mid or low rise. Conversely, if you have a long torso or shorter legs though you’re of average height, a low rise will make you look out of proportion. Try a mid or high rise.
Side zipper Side-zip breeches (for hunter/jumper disciplines) are somewhat rare these days but are available. As a fashion trend, most breeches have a front-zip closure. A side-zip breech has a flat front and usually, angled front pockets. Hunter/jumper riders have the option to wear a side-zip breech as a matter of personal taste. Both side-zip and front-zip closures are appropriate for schooling or showing in the hunter/jumper disciplines. Choose the look that is most flattering and comfortable on you.
Silicone print A silicone application is applied as a full seat or knee patch on the outer surface of the breech or riding tight to provide grip against the saddle. The print pattern varies according to manufacturer. Silicone is flexible and stretchy, which may provide a feeling of less restriction to a rider. If you are looking for enhanced “stick” in either a full seat or a knee patch breech, a silicone print style is worth a try. The silicone print will give you more stick and more flexibility. Without the layer of extra textile as the seat or patch, the fabric in the area will feel thinner and put you in closer contact to the feel of the saddle—some like this, some don’t. It becomes a matter of personal taste.
Soft shell Soft shell is a woven, matte-finish outerwear fabric that is smooth, resilient and somewhat soft. It sheds light water, but is not considered waterproof, blocks wind and sun and provides stretch for mobility. It is often bonded to microfleece on the inside surface to offer light insulation next to the wearer’s body. Soft shell breeches present and maintain a classic look. For winter riding, soft shell breeches with bonded microfleece inside help keep you warmer. For formal lessons and clinics, soft shell breeches may be your best choice for maintaining a polished look without sacrificing warmth.
Sock bottom Also called sock-style bottoms, stretch cuffs, stretch panels, contour panels and related terms, sock bottoms on breeches are an alternative to the classic hook-and-loop ankle closure. The breech leg hem is replaced all or in part with a stretchy fabric or mesh that conforms to your lower leg and ankle. The design provides a smooth, seamless, bulk-free fit inside boots or half chaps. For some people, a stretchy sock bottom makes all the difference in comfort when worn inside a boot or half chap. It is a matter of personal taste, a sleek fit and functionality rather than fashion or tradition.
Winter tights Riding tights are available in heavyweight fabrics that may block wind and have either a fleece or microfleece lining for warmth. Winter riding tights are a practical, cozy choice when long hours are spent at the barn in winter and for riding in cold temperatures. The fleece serves as insulation and wicks dampness away from your skin.