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Tips for the Rider: Choosing Schooling Breeches
TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR SCHOOLING BREECH
Schooling breeches are ones that because of style or color could not be worn in the show ring. Other than that, they often share many of the features of the Competition breech.
Schooling breeches now come in more styles, fabrics and colors than ever before - so how to choose?
The breeches that you choose for schooling should be chosen with a number of factors in mind:
What kind of riding are you going to be using these breeches for? If you are a dressage or event rider, then consider choosing a full seat breech. If you are a hunter/jumper rider, then a knee-patch breech would be more appropriate. Some schooling breeches come with an intermediate sized patch that is extra long - great for if you put heavy wear and tear on your breeches, or if you would like a little more traction that a knee patch might give you.
Schooling breeches come in a variety of styles that can be chosen to best suit your figure and your budget!
Pull-On Tights are available in full seat or knee patch styles and are usually the least expensive and come with a comfortable elastic or elastic/drawstring waistband. Many do not have belt loops, some come with belt loops as an optional extra, and a growing number now come standard with belt loops - and even a faux fly, giving the fully featured breech look at the lowest possible price.
Front-Zip breeches have the Classic look and invariably come with belt loops and often a change pocket.
REGULAR RISE OR LOW RISE?
All a matter of how you look! The Low-Rise style has continued to be the most popular breech style, long after everyone thought that the trend would go away! We have seen some nice modifications, however, with designers opting for a low front, with a higher back - that helps keep shirts tucked in and avoid any glimpses of underwear! You might also see a hybrid breech that fits right below where the waistband of the regular rise breech ends. This modified low-rise is often chosen by the more mature rider who wants a very current look without the challenges of some of the more extreme low rises.
The regular rise does still have a lot of fans - especially when worn with a shiny or sparkly belt to set off a small waist. For the plus sizes, either the regular rise or the modified low rise work well.
Fabric choices will be influenced by budget and climate. The standard cotton/lycra breech is a perennial favorite - low tech, often low price point - most riders will have at least one pair in their riding wardrobe. They do come in a multitude of colors, but over time colors can fade. Cotton absorbs moisture, so although it is a "natural" material, it will get damp with perspiration.
For riding in the heat, when you want moisture to wick away from your skin so that you stay cooler and dryer, then choose a microfiber or a microfiber with a DriLex or CoolMax lining. Some even come with an antibacterial element to keep you fresher too. Microfiber breeches are a little more pricey, but colors will stay true, the breeches will maintain their shape better and you really will be more comfortable.
For riding in the cold, choose one of the many thermal, polar fleece schooling breeches. Some come with a Wind Guard element and are virtually waterproof. Most will wick away the moisture from your skin, leaving you dryer and consequently warmer before, during and after riding.
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