Rain, rain, go ahead!
You’ve heard of waterproof jackets, but did you know waterproof pants for horseback riding are also a thing? If you’ve never heard of waterproof riding pants, keep reading because they will change your world!
Waterproof pants will keep you toasty and dry during a soggy trail ride, or while you’re doing barn chores during a complete downpour. Read on for advice on shopping for waterproof pants and our top pant recommendations.
Riding Pants Basics
When it comes to horseback riding, not all pants are created equal. Riding pants are designed to promote rider safety and comfort. Proper pants help you comfortably maintain optimal position in the saddle and can help prevent pinching or chafing. If you’re trail riding, pants protect your legs from a stray branch or tree limb.
Riding pants can be made from a variety of fabrics. Breeches and riding tights are generally made of fabrics that support stretch and rider mobility.
Common materials include polyester, nylon, spandex, and cotton combinations. Silicone is a common feature that helps riders “stick” to the saddle.
Western riders frequently wear jeans for riding. Jeans for horseback riding should have a flat inseam for comfort and wear. They should not have excess material that could get caught on tack. Some companies, like Ariat or Kimes Ranch, make jeans specifically for riders.
Sizing & Fit
Riding pants should fit snugly. Excessively loose pants can cause chafing. Even worse, loose clothing can startle your horse or get caught in something, increasing your risk of injury. Please note, snug does not mean tight. Pants that are too tight could rip. You need some flexibility in your riding pants, especially when mounting and dismounting.
Although pants like yoga pants or leggings may seem perfect for riding, they offer minimal grip and can increase your risk of skin breakdown. Jeans not designed for riding have thick inseams, increasing the risk for sores.
Horseback riding is an athletic pursuit, and you should always opt for clothing that has been engineered with the rider in mind.
Why Waterproof Pants?
The short answer is that no one likes being cold and wet! Horse activities are commonly outdoors, which means sometimes, you’re at the mercy of the weather.
With the right gear, you don’t have to let mother nature rain on your parade. Or your chores, schooling show, or trail ride.
You can also try layering waterproof pants over your regular breeches during the winter for extra warmth.
Pros of Waterproof Pants
- Waterproof pants, designed for riding, can keep you dry out on the trail or in the elements
- Some pairs of waterproof pants are designed to be worn over clothing
Cons of Waterproof Pants
- Pants not designed for riding can get slick when wet
- Not all pants are designed to layer over breeches and can be more challenging to remove
- If the pants don’t have closures around the bottom of the leg, they can ride up and leave your ankles exposed
Best Waterproof Pants for Horseback Riding
|Category||Product||Price Point||You’ll Love Them If:|
|Best Pull-Over Barn Chores Pants||Kerrits Cascade Waterproof Pants||$||You want pants that easily pull over your breeches|
|Best Waterproof Winter Pants||Mountain Horse Polar Breeches||$$$||You live in frigid climates|
|Most Stylish Waterproof Pants||Postropaky Outdoor Snow/Ski/Hiking Waterproof Pants||$||You’re looking for waterproof with a side of style|
|Best Waterproof Riding Pants||Horze Adeline Padded Waterproof Full Seat Breeches||$$$||You need waterproof riding breeches|
|Best Basic Waterproof Pants||Outback Trading Oilskin Overpants||$||You’re not looking for anything fancy!|
Kerrits Cascade Waterproof Pant
These Cascade Waterproof Pants are your perfect chore partner on a cold, rainy day! With side zippers, they can easily be removed without even taking your boots off. Thanks to their wind and rain resistance, you can trust them to protect you from the elements during your next snowstorm.
These pants are a great choice for barn chore comfort.
- These pants have 2 zipper side pockets.
- Offering protection from wind and rain, they will keep you cozy in even the soggiest conditions.
- Engineered with an abrasion-resistant exterior.
- Kerrits also designed these pants to be secured around the ankle so they won’t ride up and leave your skin exposed.
- These pants are not designed to be used in the saddle.
- Black is the only color option.
Mountain Horse Polar Breeches
When you live in cold climates, you need pants as tough as you are! The Mountain Horse line of clothing packs a punch with these pants. They are both wind and waterproof. An added benefit? Customers rave about this product!
These pants are virtually guaranteed to become your new winter favorite.
- These pants have seams that are sealed to keep pesky chilly drafts at bay.
- You’ll be happy to learn that the 2 front pockets are lined with microfleece to help your hands stay toasty on a cold day.
- The pants are lined, making them an excellent option for cold, windy days.
- Imitation leather full-seat feature makes them an acceptable choice for riding.
- The unisex design means they may not have as optimal a fit as pants specifically designed for either sex.
- Black is the only color option.
Postropaky Outdoor Snow Ski Waterproof Hiking Pants
Although not exclusively designed with equestrians in mind, these pants are a solid choice for barn chores or running your horse-related errands on a frigid day. They are useful for a variety of activities, which makes the investment in waterproof pants a little more attractive.
Plus, they are tried-and-true in a variety of conditions and situations.
- These pants come in 4 fun colors.
- Designed with 4 separate zipper pockets.
- A zipper around the ankle ensures a secure fit around your boots.
- According to reviews, these pants are known for their exceptional durability.
- Not designed for riding.
- The slim-fit design may make pulling them over your riding breeches difficult.
Horze Adeline Padded Waterproof Full Seat Breeches
If you’re looking for waterproof pants that are great around the barn and in the saddle, you need the Adeline pants by Horze!
With these silicone full-seat breeches, you can be assured that you will stay secure in the saddle regardless of the weather.
- These pants are waterproof and windproof.
- The Adeline breeches are also lined to keep you extra cozy.
- Anything machine washable is always a plus!
- Boot cut fit means these may not go over tall boots, potentially exposing your feet and legs to moisture.
- Only comes in the color black.
Outback Trading Oilskin Overpants
This basic pair of waterproof pants are cotton-treated with oils and waxes to create a waterproof exterior. They are a great option if you’re looking for a no-frills waterproof pant option.
This style is especially popular in Western and ranching environments.
- Reviewers comment on the durability of these pants.
- The style lends itself to Western riders.
- Unisex pants that are both water and windproof.
- Only comes in the color brown.
- Not designed to be worn while riding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are jeans or leggings better for horseback riding?
Both jeans and leggings offer challenges when it comes to riding. Many jeans have thick inseams, which can easily cause sores to your inner leg with repeated friction and moisture.
Leggings are usually made of slippery material, which also increases friction on your skin.
That said, jeans and leggings have qualities that make them appealing to riders.
Many companies make equestrian-specific versions of both jeans and leggings to promote rider safety and comfort. These will be your best bet for time spent in the saddle!
Q: What is the difference between jodhpurs and riding tights?
Riding tights are a cross-over between today’s popular athletic wear and the specific needs of equestrians. Jodhpurs are generally made of a slightly stiffer material and therefore require a button or zipper.
They often have silicone or leather patches along the inner leg and/or buttocks to help the rider “stick” to the saddle.
Q: Are breeches or jodhpurs better?
Jodhpurs and breeches are very similar but differ slightly in length. Jodhpurs are longer and designed to be worn with short boots, while breeches go best with tall boots.
Jodhpurs are generally made for younger riders while breeches are more typical of teen and adult riders.
Q: What to wear horseback riding in the rain?
A rain jacket, helmet cover, waterproof riding pants, and waterproof boots are necessities if you plan to ride in the rain. You should also consider synthetic versus traditional leather tack, as leather and water do not play well together!
If you do decide to stick with your leather tack, make sure you plan to take the extra time to dry, clean, and condition it.
When working with horses, encountering rain is not a question of “if.” It’s a question of “when.” Be proactive and get the gear you need to stay cozy and dry, regardless of what mother nature unleashes on you!
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
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- Chill Out: Roeckl Winter Gloves Review
- Winter Horse Care: A Helpful Beginner’s Guide
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- Ariat Heritage Lacer II Boot Review
- 9 Best boots for western horseback riding