Women's Riding Tights - Jodhpurs vs Breeches, which should I wear?

Meet Beth Mallinson, Head of Apparel Design at Harry Hall International. She gives us the low down on breeches vs jodhpurs, if the perfect pair really can improve our sitting trot and just what in the name are… riding tights!


Let’s be honest, there are so many different options of legwear on the market, all promising to make us ride like Charlotte Dujardin it’s easy to get confused when looking to purchase that perfect pair. It’s almost as stressful as, dare I say it…. Jean shopping *shudders. We’ve all had a meltdown in Topshop changing rooms let’s be honest!


So, before you have a shopping induced meltdown and panic buy something entirely unrelated to what you first logged onto HarryHall.com for, grab a cup of tea, practice your slow breathing (the one your riding instructor always reminds you about) and read on.


I get asked a lot of questions about ladies jodhpurs, ladies breeches and ladies riding tights so I’ve compiled a few of the most popular FAQ’s to help you out. Consider me your fairy shopping godmother.

First up. What even are women’s riding tights?

When designing a new range, we take a lot of inspiration from other performance sports markets. The riding tight was very much inspired by the sports legging. The athleisure trend which isn’t going anywhere has made it totally acceptable to wear sports leggings outside of the gym. Hurrah! Chances are if you turned up to a cinema date with your friends 10 years ago in a slouchy jumper, sports leggings and trainers, you would have been redirected to the nearest sports centre under the assumption you were totally lost. Not anymore! You see them everywhere in one form or another and I mean absolutely EVERYWHERE. We decided we wanted in on the action, therefore the riding tight with added equestrian details were born. Take a look at one of our inspiration boards below from the exciting development process!

Fabric is key when developing the perfect pair of riding tights. A high elastane content ensures the tights have amazing recovery properties - meaning no baggy knees or saggy bums! It also gives the tights excellent compression qualities meaning your muscles are supported but not restricted during exercise. Don’t worry comfort and unrestricted movement does not = thin fabric. All our tights pass the ‘squat test’ so you can be confident your knickers are not on show during your jumping lesson.

All design features have been carefully considered so you feel secure and confident in the saddle. Strategically placed stretch silicone prints or knee patches help to keep you in place when your horse is having one of them days, high waistbands are super flattering and supportive. While concealed pockets help keep your phone and keys safe. I could go on and on about all the variations and benefits our amazing range of riding tights offer but I have a few more questions to get through. The short answer? Life is simply too short to wear uncomfortable pants. Give them a try, you won’t regret it. Check a tiny selection from our range below.

jodhpurs vs breeches

What’s the difference between ladies breeches and ladies jodhpurs?

In a weird way you could look at the breech and the jodhpur as sisters. Kind of similar but totally different at the same time. The main difference in a nutshell is the breech has a close contact stretch cuff below the knee which sits neatly and oh so comfortably under your long riding boots. We’ve all been there and tried squeezing our beautiful long boots over some bulky unsuitable bottoms and 9 times out of 10 it ends in tears … or worse a stuck zip, a sweaty red face and the prospect of having to live in your boots forever and ever.  Jodhpurs generally feature the same fabric all over and are great worn with short boots.

jodhpurs vs breeches Harry Hall


There are so many different varieties of jodhpurs and breeches, it’s kind of overwhelming. Let's simplify...


Rise. This relates to where the waistband sits on your body. As a general rule -

  • Harry Hall jodhpurs
  • Low-rise sit on or below your hips
  • Mid-rise sit between your hips and belly button and is probably the most popular choice
  • High-rise sit nearer your natural waistline and are super supportive and flattering


Knee/Seat Options. There are generally three choices available –

  • Silicone. Can be applied to the knee or full seat. If you have a horse who likes to keep you on your toes or your instructors favourite form of torture is hours of sitting trot, this is definitely the choice for you. Silicone is applied as a print onto the fabric and is super effective at helping you grip to the saddle… and if applied to the full seat anything you sit on for that matter. Slightly maybe avoid plastic chairs whilst wearing. That’s all I’m saying!
  • Self Fabric knee patches are sewn onto the knees and act as a reinforcement at key pressure points.
  • Suede. This can be applied to the full seat or in knee patches. We use a synthetic suede as it has more stretch and can be washed compared to real suede. Again, this helps reinforce on pressure points and helps to assist grip.

 jodhpurs knee styles 

Fabric. You could say we are slightly obsessed with fabrics. The design team at Harry Hall travel all over the world sourcing and developing the very best technical fabric for our range. There’s so much to talk about here but I will try my best to keep it brief.


Woven or knitted fabric.

jodhpurs vs breechesThis refers to the way the fabric is constructed. Woven fabrics are made by weaving yarns over and under each other at right angles. Woven fabrics are super supportive, flattering and tend to have a longer life span.

Knitted fabrics are made by creating a series of interlocking loops with the yarn.

The way the fabric is constructed affects the way in which it behaves. Knitted fabrics are super comfortable, have massive amounts of stretch and are naturally breathable.

jodhpurs vs breeches


  • Technical finishes. There are so many options here and allow us to add amazing properties to your legwear including anti-bacterial, water repellancy, UV and wicking. Look out for these throughout the range.


Phew, we made it! Hope you have found this blog helpful and now feel fully prepped to browse our amazing legwear collection with confidence. Whichever style you decide upon, you can be sure they have all been lovingly designed with you in mind here in the UK by the Harry Hall design team.

Until next time!

Beth x