I'm off to New Zealand in a few weeks and will be doing a 5-day horse trek on the South Island. I normally ride h/j and wear boots and breeches. I haven't ridden in jeans for decades... The advice given to me by the trekking place was to bring jeans as opposed to breeches because the saddles are western style.
I'm thinking my J. Jill jeans are not going to cut it, so I could use some advice on what to shop for in the next week. Someone at my barn recommended Q Baby (by Wrangler)... What are your opinions? Suggestions?
(I'm too old for super low-rise, am on the short side, and could stand to lose 10 - 15 lbs (sigh).)
Thanks for your help!
P.S. I'll be bringing my paddock boots, and could bring half-chaps...
I still wear breeches in my endurance saddle (cut more western than english), but they're breeches that are actually for distance riding (most comfortable things ever!!!!). I usually wear them with half chaps and ariat terrains. If you must wear jeans- try the stretchy pull on jeans from Wally-World- their seams are way smaller than the average jeans.
“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain
I'd get a pair of heavyweight breeches, like corduroy or the like. Jeans are great if you are riding through a lot of tall brush, but I hate the seams rubbing and as tangledweb pointed out, a new pair of jeans is going to be awfully stiff and uncomfortable. Heavier, thicker breeches will do just as well. There aren't any rules that say you cannot wear breeches in a western saddle, even if you might get some funny looks. I'd definitely bring the half chaps as well.
The Q-baby Wrangler jeans are fantastic - and that comes from a girl who would *never* think of wearing jeans to ride for 18 years! They are comfortable, wash great, and are meant for riding.They have an elastic panel on the inside to prevent any 'coin-slottage' in the back. They look good on the ground too. In fact, I've started switching over to Q-babies for my regular, non-barn day activities.
Give them a try. As a strictly English-only girl for 19 years I started working at a barn that was 99% Western. Depending on the western saddle's construction, breeches and western isn't a whole lot of fun. (Especially if the seat is suede. It may stain or rub your breeches...)
I ride in Cruel Girl jeans, they are spendier but I get the ones with some stretch to them. I also LOVE the AURA line from Wrangler. I just bought two new pairs, and once they are a little older I'll use them as riding jeans. They fit real woman, without looking frumpy :-)
I ride in a western saddle in jeans or breeches (knee patch riding tights really). You should at least take the breeches along so you can switch if you are uncomfortable or if one item gets wet (riding in jeans = no problem. Riding in wet jeans = horrible.) With either I wear half chaps, which help a lot when going through brush so you don't get poked and snagged by brambles. The velcro-closure suede half chaps are easy to put on over jeans or breeches, and roll up small to fit in a suitcase.
You can wear them under jeans or over britches, and they make a huge difference. I find that if I ride for a long time (paper chase or xc school, or just multiple horses/day etc) in half chaps, I get bruises where the stirrup leather crosses my leg. These help a lot to prevent both rubs and bruises. Totally worth it.
Thank you all for the advice! This is my plan -- I purchased several pairs of the Wrangler Q Baby jeans and will try one out in the saddle this week. My hunch is they will be fine (the material is already washed and soft, the jeans have some stretch, and there's no major inner seam).
I'll also bring a pair of basic breeches and my half-chaps... just in case.
And, I will be bringing my own helmet (Tipperary -- easy care and super comfy).
The U.S. Cavalry rode in boots and breeches. If it weren't practical and durable, they wouldn't have done it. I personally prefer gear made specifically for riding (i.e., boots and breeches) to jeans with those horrible seams rubbing your legs. Although, when I was younger and DID ride in jeans, it was nice to not have to shave the inside of my legs, as the hair was all worn off.
My husband suggests full chaps over a lighter cottony pant.
He says "cowboys always wore chaps to keep rubs to a minimum." He also says that the most comfortable thing he's ridden in was blue jeans, tall boots, and full chaps. He says it sounds weird but for all day riding it was great. *eta* he was very interested in this thread.... and wanted me to share his opinion with all of you gals. ;-)
I've ridden western quite a bit in just jeans (Silvers usually) and been very comfortable. The only place I've ever gotten a pinch was at the top of my cowboy boot, and I wasn't wearing chaps.
Greytown, New Zealand (a blip on the landscape really :))
What they may have meant - given I live in NZ - is that it will be getting cooler and your breeches may simply not cut the mustard as per warmth. IN a "few weeks", we will be heading into autumn. In the SI, you will be going into what we know as "the high country" (well, the low foothills of the high country anyway ). I would check as to why - as well as dressing the top of you in layers as the temperature can change over quite a wide range. Eg today (it is summer) in the Wairarapa (south North Island) it has ranged from 10 deg Celsius at 5am through 20 deg C (9am), 30 deg C (12pm) and has just (on my temp guage) dipped to 22 deg at 7pm. Inland, away from the sea (which is never that far really here), the temp variation is about the same.
Thumbs up for Wrangler Q Baby jeans. I wore them for all five days of my trek in New Zealand and they were perfect. We did some pretty rough riding and went through thorny brush and had long days in the saddle (Australian stock saddle). My legs were completely protected and I never had even the hint of a rub.
And then they doubled as my every-day jeans for the remaining three weeks of my trip!
Glad you enjoyed it! Good tourists are always welcome down here . So where did you go - ie which of the long treking places?
I ended up doing a 5-day trek with Hurunui Horse Treks. It was really great! I had a lovely Connemara mare who was very keen and very fit. We saw some amazing country and did some challenging rides. The hosts that we stayed with at the two sheep stations were very kind and hospitable and we were fed really well. I had this idea that maybe I could try to lose some weight over the five days, what with spending 5+ hours in the saddle, but not a chance!
Towards the end of my stay in NZ I did a half-day ride at Dart Stables outside of Queenstown. It was a bit disappointing in that my horse was a bit sour, but the guide was great and the ride was nicely fast-paced.