Over the last few years, riding tights have surged in popularity, but what is it that makes them so popular with equestrians?
With so many variations of riding tights out there, we’re here to give you the low-down on these high-waisted wonders, helping you understand their features, how to style them and when to wear them, so you can share our love of this equestrian wardrobe essential.
So, what is all the fuss about?
The main reasons for the popularity of riding tights are that they are an incredibly comfortable and versatile choice of leg wear, two features which are essential for the modern equestrian.
As a general rule, riding tights are pull on, made with stretch fabric and have flat lock seams, making them comfortable for the wearer. The stretch fabric is flexible and easy to wear – fitting like a second skin to give you freedom of movement. Flat lock seams are an essential feature as they won’t rub as you move or feel bulky on your silhouette.
We adore how versatile riding tights can be. They’re perfect for casual riding, yard work and don’t look out of place in an exercise class. Plus, they’re wearable in any season.
The lightness of the fabric in summer allows you to keep your cool and carry on with your daily activities, with certain sportier variants including mesh inserts for added breathability. Once the cold weather arrives, opt for fleece-lined riding tights, or layer any pair under waterproof trousers for added warmth – bliss on a frosty or wet morning!
You’ll look great and, like us, you’ll almost certainly find them an indispensable part of your day-to-day equestrian wardrobe.
How to wear them
On the yard
Wearing riding tights for yard work is great because you can move about, bend and stretch with no restriction. We’d recommend choosing a darker colour of riding tights if you’re wearing them mostly for yard work though to hide those inevitable horse hairs and stains!
Pair breathable tights with a looser t-shirt or polo-shirt for staying cool in summer, or layer up in fleece lined tights, a long-sleeve top, hoodie or quilted gilet and co-ordinated Pom Pom Hat for extra warmth in winter. Also, keep some waterproof trousers handy for adding over the top of your tights when it rains. Wellies or Country Boots can complete the look.
Find a pair of riding tights that suits the style of your riding activity. Most riding tights have silicone riding grips for extra stability in the saddle, but it is always worth double checking and seeing where the grips are placed.
Full Seat: riding tights with a full seat are great for hacking and flatwork as they will offer more security in the saddle and reduce the chance of slipping.
Knee Patch: riding tights with knee grips will keep your knees secure whilst allowing you to move up out of the saddle easily.
If you wear your riding tights out hacking, we’d recommend choosing a pair that comes with a phone pocket. This will allow you to securely take your mobile with you, so you can stay connected during your ride.
Whatever the season or riding activity, try pairing your riding tights with a breathable base layer. Designed for performance, base layers have moisture-wicking properties that will keep you cool. Their fitted shape complements the look of riding tights, whether tucked in to them or over the top.
On warm summer days, a short sleeve base layer with quick drying tights will easily become your go-to riding outfit. In winter, your riding tights and long-sleeve base layer combo can be matched with additional top layers, such as a fleece gilet or padded coat, to create a layered look that is more effective at keeping you warm than a single thick layer. Riding tights work well with both jodhpur boots and chaps or long riding boots, as the fitted ankle won’t ride up or be too bulky.
At the gym
Whatever the activity, riding tights will fit right in. The lightweight, sporty style and quick dry stretch fabric will allow you to be as flexible as you need whilst keeping you cool, even during an intense workout.
The base layer’s flattering, fitted shape will work alongside the riding tights to ensure you stay cool and are able to move with ease. A higher waistband adds support, whilst the mesh panels add an extra element of breathability, so you can feel comfortable and flexible.