If you're new to the world of horse riding and are now looking for suitable clothing for both riding and shows, you know you need to find good breeches that aren't going to bunch up or slip. But you also have to ensure those breeches both allow you the freedom and provide the security you need when riding, jumping, and participating in other equine events. Breeches typically have patches at various points on the insides of the legs. Some are knee patches only while others span the entire leg and through the seat of the breeches. Some equine events use one style more than others, such as full seat for dressage, but the patches can affect how you ride in general, even just for fun. Here's a look at what each style offers and which may be better suited to you.

Feeling Free

The point of the patches is to help grip the saddle, keeping you on the horse. However, there are times when you need to be relatively free to move, such as when you have to stand up slightly in the saddle to jump. If you like to take the horse through courses that require a lot of jumps, especially ones where you need to respond quickly, knee patches are best. Full-seat patches can make you stick a little too long in the seat, resulting in a bumpy ride if you need to stand up fast for an unexpected hurdle.

Feeling Secure

But that grippiness of the full seat has its uses, too. If you are still getting the hang of just riding, turning, and doing everything but jumping or galloping, a full seat is going to make you feel so much more secure. Full seats are also now available in extra grippy forms for when you really want to stay in that saddle.

Looking Experienced

Unless you're training for a sport that usually uses full seats, like dressage, however, using a pair of full-seat-patch breeches can telegraph to other riders that maybe you need extra help staying on that horse. For true beginners, that's an advantage -- other riders can keep an eye on you and stay out of your way. As you get more experienced, though, it can give the wrong impression. While that doesn't bother a lot of people, sometimes looking like you need help staying in the saddle can be a bit embarrassing.

Becoming Experienced

A very subjective issue with full-seat patches is that, since they do offer that extra help staying in the saddle, you can begin to depend on them. Not everyone experiences this, but it would be a good idea for you to eventually start trying out knee-patch breeches even if you typically train for dressage. Use the full seats for actual training and dressage, but for fun rides, try to use knee patches when you can so that you can get used to staying in the saddle yourself.

If you have other questions about breech styles, patches, and other features, talk to the customer service representatives at your favorite equestrian retailer about Pikeur mens breeches. Since the manufacturers all have their different modifications, the staff at the companies can help you choose a style that's right for you.