Jodhpurs; What they are, where they came from and when you can wear them in competition. Unless you’re an equestrian, you probably don’t know what jodhpurs are. In fact, you may have never even heard the word before! Today I’m going to start by explaining exactly what they are and where they came from. Jodhpurs by definition are full length, close-fitting trousers with reinforced patches between the knees that are worn for horseback riding. These specialty pants are usually made from hyper-flex materials including spandex and lycra blends. You can also get them in a super stretch denim. They’re known for their superior fit, flexibility and durability, even against the rigors of competitive equestrianism. Now that you know a little bit about what they are, let's discuss where they came from! Before there were jodhpurs, there were churidars. Churidars are form-fitting at the calf and ankle but loose and widely flared at the thigh and hip. This was an interesting garment of clothing to say the least. A man by the name of Sir Pratap Singh brought these unique pants to England in 1897 when he, and his entire polo team, went to visit Queen Victoria. The British polo community couldn’t get enough of the churidar pants and quickly adopted the style. The British fashionistas then decided to tweak their design and that's where the jodhpurs we know, and love, today came from. Even back then, over a 100 years ago now, they understood the value of these full length trousers. They quickly became popular because the added length meant people wouldn’t need to buy the very expensive, tall boots in order to have their whole calf covered and protected while riding. Of course, over the years these pants have been improved on! The design has changed to have the rough seams on the outside of the legs to avoid rubbing and chaffing. Reinforced fabric (usually suede or silicon) was added on the inside of the thighs to prevent skin irritation sometimes caused when you legs rub against the saddle and stirrups. With all the improvements made to these pants, it’s no wonder they’re now some of the most popular pants in the equestrian world! These pants are so comfortable they’ll quickly become your favourite thing to ride in! But what about competitions? Surely these pants are far too comfortable to be acceptable in a formal setting right? Surprisingly that’s not true! Show Jumping. Jodhpurs are acceptable in this type of competition! However, they’re generally required to be either white, fawn or cream color. Dressage. The regulations for dressage are much more formal than the rules for show jumping. In dressage, you will be expected to wear breeches and usually in pure white. Cross-Country. This is another competition with a more relaxed dress code. Much like show jumping, competitors are more than welcome to sport their favourite jodhpurs as long as they’re white, beige or cream. There are, of course, many other types of equestrian competitions that aren’t mentioned in this list! But of the ones mentioned, it’s clear that these comfortable riding pants aren’t just for practicing! So don’t be afraid to add a few more pair of these comfy pants to your collection.
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