Jodhpur Attire: Not Just for MC Hammer Enthusiasts

The History of the Jodhpur:

The Jodhpur pants originated in India in a region of the same name. They were produced for the horse rider to avoid chaffing around the lower leg and ankles, while allowing for freedom of movement with loose fitting material (usually thick cotton twill) around the hips.

It evolved in Indian men’s wear that never shed its equestrian roots but has long since also been developed for women to attain even better riding ability. The flare at the hips and thighs was a fashion stable of the time in the sub-continent.

The style was adopted by polo riders and other equestrians for its stylish culture and functionality for horse riding.

When the Indian polo team performed at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in the late 1800’s the style spread to British riders, and from there all around Europe and eventually the world.

By the 20th century Jodhpurs were being worn by European armies in the cavalry for better horse riding ability in battle and later the elite as a sign of stature. It was even adopted by Hollywood directors to establish a kind of authority.

Jodhpurs Today:

These days the Jodhpurs have developed into a strategic tailoring of tighter fitting pants with the same benefits of the original Jodhpur riding pants.

When the textile industry was introduced to Lycra the Jodhpur changed its look. Following newer fashion trends like denim jeans and skinny jeans the Lycra allowed designers and tailors to produce tighter fitting riding pants without the flared hips.

They now sport leg seams on the outside to avoid chaffing from rubbing against the horse. There are suede patches inside the knees and outer leg to give the rider more control to stick to the saddle and hold better. The Jodhpur is traditionally white or beige but is available in other colours, especially for children.

The Difference between Breeches and Jodhpurs:

While Jodhpurs reach the ankles and are worn with paddock or Jodhpur boots; breeches end mid-calf (almost like capris pants). The breeches are worn with long socks and high boots to protect the ankles and legs from chaffing.

Jodhpurs are popular with children because it can be looped around the boot with a strap or clasp to ensure the pants do not ride up to expose the skin to irritations caused by friction.

The only attire for riding a horse since the beginning of the last century has been Jodhpurs. Whatever style you choose, make sure you gear yourself for the best horse riding experience with the right wardrobe!

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