Jodhpurs In The History Of The World

November 8, 2015 | Author: | Posted in Exercise

Jodhpurs are known primarily as riding pants, but they began as traditional garb in oriental countries and India. Since their introduction to England in the late l9th century, these pants have been used for riding, as military uniforms, as police uniforms, and as high fashion wear. Hollywood movie directors used to love them, and they are still the most practical wear for child equestrians.

The traditional jodhpur was roomy at the hip and tight-fitting from knee to ankle. It’s a good cut for riding, as it provides freedom of movement for hip and thigh but helps to give a good grip for the lower leg. Modern stretch fabrics have changed the need for the flared hip, which has totally gone out of fashion; today the styles are form-fitting.

The distinctive pant spread to England in the late 19th century, when Sir Pratap Singh of Jodhpur brought his polo team over for the Queen’s Jubilee and won many contests. The Indian team wore their traditional riding pants, which caught on with novelty-loving, trend-following English players. They came up with breeches, which had a flared hip but stopped at mid-calf and were worn with tall boots, rather than the low shoes worn in India.

This adaptation was adopted by the rest of the equestrian world, especially after the 1920s when women began to ride astride. It became a familiar look for military staff officers in the west, in Nazi Germany, and in the USSR. Tall boots were part of this sartorial symbol of authority. Motorcycle police also stomp around in tall boots, but the fact that the flare was retained until recently made many think that they were wearing jodhpurs.

True jodhpurs, with a long, tight leg and cuffed ankle, became wear for children and for more informal occasions. Instructors like the fact that leg position can’t be hidden when paddock boots are worn instead of taller ones, and many strict people think no child should wear black boots and breeches. The longer pants are better for working around the barn, too.

The long pants can be used with half-chaps or leggings, which cover the lower keg and strap under the paddock boot. This helps prevent rubbing against the stirrup leathers and give a neat look to a rider when mounted. The practice of wearing informal clothes for training and exercising saves expensive, highly-polished tall boots from excessive wear.

The pants are made with knee patches, both for protection and to help the rider grip the saddle, and with the seams on the outside of the leg to minimize rubbing. More modern styles often have seat patches as well, again for better grip, and may have the whole seat and inner leg lined with non-slip fabric fabric or leather. Seams need to be very strong to withstand the stress of vigorous equestrian exercise.

Jodhpurs in all colors are acceptable for informal occasions, but competition usually requires traditional beige or white. Saddlebred show riders wear a special style with a flared cuff that comes low over the heel, always in dark blue or black.

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