Ever since I was a little girl being ferried into the Dalby Pony Club while listening to Macca on a Sunday morning on the radio I’ve had an awkard relationship with jodhpurs. Let me explain, I wasn’t a bean stalk of a child like the ‘My Little Pony’, horse loving posse of friends that I had. Side-note: My beautiful grandma, Marnie, used to describe me as ‘big boned’, which I now interpret as a polite way of saying ‘chubby’. So the beige jodhpurs that were prickly and scratchy from horse hair didn’t complement my ‘big boned’ figure to say the least. Fast-forward twenty years, during that time horses (and thankfully my jodhpurs) were sidelined with five years of boarding school, a university degree and a 9 month jaunt to Europe. In my mid-twenties I returned to horse riding and the dreaded beige jodhpurs.
Thankfully, I had slimmed down since my Pony Club days and wearing jodhpurs didn’t expose my lardy bits like they once did. However I’ve never once found them comfortable to ride in. They were either too hot, too sticky, too short, too long or too crotchety! I dabbled in wearing jeans with half chaps but newly washed jeans resemble cardboard, making it incredibly difficult to lift your foot into the stirrup. Not to mention riding in 40 degree plus heat in jeans – you feel as if your legs are in their very own sauna.
There is a happy ending to this tale of woe. When riding and working in Argentina in 2006 I discovered ‘Bombachas de Campo’ which are worn by the country folk of Argentina in particular the gauchos for riding and estancia work. They are the ‘ducks nuts’ in terms of riding trousers and are used by both men and women across Chile and Argentina. The pants are 100% cotton, sit on your hips (No Harry High Pants in sight!) and come in a range of fabric thicknesses depending on what you need.
Trust me: I have a cupboard full of bombachas that suit a range of terrains and climates. I have summer bombachas that are made from a thin, durable cotton that are lightweight and cool, I have another pair made from a thicker thread for riding in Kenya where you need a tougher fabric to fight against the hook thorns and I have a corduroy pair that are perfect for winter. And I play polo in a white pair of bombachas that have polo sticks embroidered above the pockets.
I generally buy the men’s because I prefer my bombachas to sit on the hips rather than the waist and also the women’s style generally have embroidered flowers on them which isn’t my cup of tea.
And the good news is you can buy your Bombachas online through Arandu, a well known Argentinean saddlery. I would love to hear your jodhpur story, feel free to share.