What are the best breeches for winter riding?
Posted on 27 October 2016 by Kim
When the weather starts to get cold, the prospect of riding, particularly hacking, can be very unappealing…unless you’re in the right gear. Having the right gear will make you more inclined to ride when it’s cold and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either.
Be prepared for the unpredictable weather that inevitably occurs from autumn through to spring and read our buying guide to find out all you need to know about the best horse riding breeches for the cold weather.
What features do good winter breeches have?
Look for the following features as these are specifically included in horse riding apparel that is designed for riding outdoors or in cooler temperatures:
- Water repellent
- Fleece lined for added warmth.
Why do the breeches need to be breathable?
This is a really good question. And the importance of this feature is often over-looked. Breeches ideally need to be breathable so that any moisture that accumulates on the inside can escape through the fabric. If the moisture, or rather perspiration, cannot escape, when it cools, it’ll leave you damp and you’ll get cold which is not ideal when the weather’s cold!
What are the best winter breeches made of?
The best breeches are made of a high performance material designed to cope with the rigours of the great British weather! This is called Softshell. Softshell breeches are made from fabric with tight layered weaves that’s durable and water repellent. It is this that shields you from the wind, rain and snow. Softshell is perfect for riders as it’s specifically designed to be used physical exertion such as horse riding.
Can I make the breeches I’ve got waterproof?
Yes but do bear in mind that the result will be bulky as you’ll be riding in two layers that are designed to be outer layers. Simply add a waterproof layer over your existing breeches.
What breeches should I look for then?
Considered to be the best of the bunch, is the Noble Outfitters Winter Softshell Riding Breech. This year it's got a silicone knee and comes in a wider range of colours, ie navy, black and beige.
An all time favourite with riders who hunt, is the HyPerformance Softshell Winter Full Seat Ladies Breeches. It ticks all the boxes! They’re water repellent, windproof, breathable and fleece lined to keep you ‘toasty’ when you ride. Suitable for hacking, hunting or competing in cooler temperatures, they come in such a versatile range of colours. What's more they're available for women and men. At great value, they’re one of the most popular softshell breeches that we sell.
If you’re looking for a warm breech in the next generation of legwear, i.e. the phenomena that is the riding tight, Dublin offers Dublin Performance Warm-It Gel Riding Tights. With a full silicone seat, the stretch fabric not only allows freedom of movement, it also keeps you warm. Available in navy, black, fuschia, lake and olive green, there's definitely a colour for everyone.
If you're looking for a winter breech with a bit of colour or a bit of bling, HKM's Norway Silicone Knee Patch Softshell Breeches have both. Available in one of this seasons on-trend colours, the wine red will work basic pieces in your equestrian wardrobe like navy, grey or black.
What can I do if I’m not warm enough even in winter breeches?
Easy! Simply add thermal underwear if it’s really cold. Early mornings can be particularly cold as can hacking out in the depths of winter. Try these Equetech Arctic Thermal Under Breeches. Great value, they're the perfect extra layer of warmth you need. Designed with riders in mind, they’re “seam free” to prevent chaffing when you ride and they also have stirrup foot to prevent them from riding up under your breeches. How good is that?!! The beige ones can be worn under white breeches in the winter when you're out competing and your underwear and cellulite won't show through!!!
If you suffer from chilblains on your thighs or want something made of a natural product, you need the Equetech Thermal Stirrup Underbreeches. These are less bulky than the ones above. Plus they're a seam free design, so they won't chaff your skin.
Avoid the hassle of layering and looking like the Michelin man! Keep the cold out and invest in a pair of winter breeches. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll never want to be without them!