What's the difference between jodhpurs and breeches?

Difference Between Jodhpurs and Breeches

Jodhpurs and breeches are two fantastic pieces of equestrian clothing that are perfect for riding in but do you know the difference between them? Often the words are used interchangeably which makes it very confusing at times if you’re not sure of exactly what the difference is. Read Kim’s blog to find out more …

What are Jodhpurs?

Jodhpurs or ‘Jods’ as they commonly known, are tight-fitting trousers that reach to the ankle where they end in a snug cuff that is generally rolled up. They’re usually worn over close fitting, ankle high jodhpur or paddock boots making them more versatile for everyday use.

Jodhpurs tend to be worn by young riders because wearing them helps children get the correct leg position and grip. It also allows the instructor to clearly see the children’s leg position and correct it when necessary. Some adults do wear jodhpurs but it only tends to be for casual use, such as hacking, or in-hand showing.

What are breeches?

They are very similar to Jodhpurs. The only real difference on the point at which they finish on the rider’s leg. Breeches tend to finish around the mid-calf and have touch Velcro fastenings or latterly elasticated cuffs at the bottom for a snug fit which allow them to be comfortably worn with long boots.

Breeches are usually used for more formal riding, such as schooling.

Benefits of breeches and jodhpurs

You may be wondering why you need to buy a pair of breeches or jodhpurs at all.  Admittedly you could wear your jeans. However breeches and jodhpurs have been designed specifically for riding. 

Here are some of the main benefits that come with a good pair of jodhpurs or breeches.

Most breeches and jodhpurs are designed to stretch and are made of stretchy fabrics that do this such as Lycra or some other stretchy fibre that is incorporated into the fabric. This means that your jodhpurs or breeches will naturally cover and fit your body closely. They move with you when you move and they don’t restrict your movement in any way.

Both breeches and jodhpurs have reinforced patch on the inside of the knee area. This bears most of the wear that occurs in this area and the key benefit of this is that it is cut in such a way to give you massively more comfort than say a pair of jeans.

As well as adding extra comfort breeches and jodhpurs allow you to add your own style to your riding attire. You can get brightly coloured ones which are great for kids.  Adults might want something more conservative! Darker colours can not only be practical as they don’t show the dirt, they can also be slimming and flattering.

If you want to be comfortable and, more importantly, give yourself the best chance of riding well, you really do need to invest. Keep an eye out for our next article about technical and fashion breeches. If you can't wait until then, why not take a look at our collection of women's riding breeches or our collection of women's riding jodhpurs here.

This is part of a series of articles about riding breeches. The first one was about the history of riding jodhpurs and the next one is about how to buy riding breeches.  Take a moment and read them today!

Shop Breeches, Tights and Jodhpurs


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Anna Brazier posted on February 19 2016 at 05:02 PM

    Hi Kim
    The problem I seem to have with jods is that I have a large tummy but skinny legs and I can’t find anything that fits properly! Your pull-on cord ones look tempting but I have had so many disasters ordering on-line.

  • Kay Fothergill posted on October 29 2016 at 10:10 PM

    I have been a devotee of jodhpurs for years because I like to wear paddock boots and chaps rather than long boots. Many breeches are too short so you have a gap between them and the top of the boots which is uncomfortable. However I recently tried on some cavallino marino breeches which were longer and had a snug cuff at bottom so I may try some of those.

  • Shevonne Birkla posted on April 14 2018 at 04:04 PM

    Interested in your news about horses and tack also clothing

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