Originating from the Spanish word, “chaparreras”, chaps for horse riding can be defined as a leg garment worn while riding a horse.
Now, if you’re someone who spends a lot of time on the saddle, you are probably aware that the purpose of wearing them during horseback riding is to protect the rider’s legs from thorny low bushes in a bushy terrain. Couple them with some good riding boots (these are our top picks), and you’ll be safe, sound and comfortable riding on a difficult terrain.
Chaps are like sturdy leather leggings that usually have a belt attached to them. The gear doesn’t come attached with a seat, unlike trousers, hence, can be easily buckled on over your bottoms.
Another variant of riding chaps are the half-chaps. These come in shorter lengths, reaching right below the knees. They have a strap at the bottom that goes over the boot to ensure a safe grip. Half-chaps are usually attached with a zipper, hook, or Velcro running along the calf for closure.
Best Horse Riding Chaps
Generally, horse-riders wear chaps for protection not only against bushes but against harsh weather, too. In fact, chaps also keep riders protected from getting pinched or bruised by the saddle when they are wearing short riding boots.
Let’s explore three of the best riding chaps for sale to make your selection easier.
1. Weaver Leather Shotgun – Best Full Chaps for Horse Riding
Weaver Leather Goods is a well-reputed company in the US. It has a history of manufacturing hand-crafted, high-performing products, including chaps for horse-riding. Their shotgun-style, full, all-around riding chaps come with full-length zippers which make them easy to take on and off and also provide increased protection.
Constructed with top quality, split leather, makes the Weaver Leather Shotgun Grain Work Chaps extremely durable and fit for hard riding. They even come with closures in the back as well as the front.
- Rugged and flexible leather
- Perfect for riding and work on the ranch
- Can feel a bit snug on the thighs
2. Saxon Adult’s Equileather – Best Half Chaps for Horse Riding
Saxon is an English brand known for its high quality yet cheap equipment for riders and horses. The Equileather Half Chaps are practically one of the best leather half chaps available and flaunt a classic, high-cut Spanish top.
A YKK zipper runs along the entire length making them easy to wear. The placement of the zipper on these half chaps makes them easily wearable for people with wide calves, too. In addition, they are lined with soft felt, are sturdy to wear, and work well in wet conditions while you enjoy galloping, jumping, or trail rides.
- Felt lining adds to the comfort
- Easy on the pocket
- Synthetic leather cleans easily
- Snap closure at the bottom gives a snug fit
- Looks like full-grain leather
- Great for beginners
- Zipper at the back can be uncomfortable as compared to a side zipper (If you prefer side-zippers with a full-chap, then go with option number 1 on this list.)
A&H Apparel is widely known for manufacturing high-quality leather apparel. They have successfully developed leather apparel, including Western riding chaps for the mid-line market.
The half chaps by A&H apparel are constructed with pure cowhide leather. They come equipped with stretchable calf panels making them easy to wear for both male and female riders.
These Leather half chaps have an extremely trendy look and have a sturdy YKK zipper at the back that runs along the length.
- Snug feel gives a perfect fit
- Extremely comfortable
- Suitable for warm weather too
- The zipper and under strap are in a different color which makes their color pop a bit more than you’d want
What to Look for in Horse Riding Chaps?
When purchasing horse riding chaps, you need to keep the following factors in mind, no matter which brand you are considering:
The biggest concern when buying horse riding chaps, especially online, is whether or not it will fit well. Half chaps for horse riding are of no use if they fail to slide over the calf for a snug fit. They will sag or wrinkle down as a poor fit means that there’s not much to hold them upright. This obviously looks bad, but what’s worse is that loose horse riding chaps are likely to twist in the rider’s foot, causing discomfort as well as rubs on the horse’s side and rider’s leg.
Similarly, tight horse chaps are not viable either. Make sure you check the size charts thoroughly before buying a particular pair of chaps for horse riding.
There are a few different materials in which horse riding chaps are available. These include leather chaps as the most common ones, followed by synthetic leather and suede. Which one you should pick entirely depends on your personal choice, budget, and how frequently you intend to use them for riding.
Your comfort matters most when you’re choosing chaps for horse riding for yourself. Undoubtedly, you won’t be able to enjoy horseback riding like you should, unless your chaps fit you perfectly, are durable enough to sustain rough weather and terrains, and provide the utmost comfort during long rides.
Pick chaps that stay up as they should, regardless of what your horse is doing – trotting, galloping or jumping.
For those who like to flaunt style while horseback riding, there are various colors, features, and styles that horse riding chaps are available in. You can find chaps with fringes, giving a more cowboy touch to your horse riding attire.
So, whether it is Ariat Kendron half chaps, Tredstep half chaps, Tredstep Deluxe half chaps or any other style from best half chaps 2020, you can browse through them all and make your pick accordingly.
Once you have determined how often you will be using chaps for horseback riding, the next important thing is to analyze the durability of the half chaps you intend to buy. More frequent usage means that you will need horse riding chaps that are robust enough to last longer, and also sustain the harshness of tough weather conditions. They should also be suitable to ride on rough terrains, and capable to keep your legs warm and dry.
Just in case you still have some queries in your mind regarding this important piece of attire for horseback riders, keep reading to find some common answers!
What are chaps for horseback riding?
Horse-back riders wear chaps, a horse-riding gear, for protection against bushes as well as rough weather conditions. The garment also provides a firm grip on the saddle while simultaneously preventing the riders from suffering pinches by stirrups straps.
What are half chaps for when riding?
During horse riding, half chaps help in covering and protecting the lower half of the rider’s leg. The attire serves as an affordable and flexible solution for keeping the inner lower-leg safe from stirrup strap pinches and chaffing. They also provide a great grip on the saddle and are comparatively easier to fit than tall boots.
Can you wear paddock boots without half chaps?
A lot of riders prefer wearing paddock boots over tall boots. They are an affordable investment for beginners and are easy to break-in. However, since paddock boots do not offer leg protection, one should preferably wear half chaps along with them.
How do I know what size chaps to buy?
Measurements to determine the right size for adults and children’s chaps are almost the same.
For half chaps, one should begin by measuring around the widest part of the calf. Next, measure the length from the inside of the leg from the top of the calf to the ankle bone. Then add 4 cm to this measurement to get the right size for children, and 6 cm for adults.
On the contrary, when taking measurements for full chaps, you should take measurements of the thigh first. Next, you need to measure the length of the inside leg till right below the ankle.
Difference between horse riding gaiters & equestrian chaps?
The primary difference between horse riding gaiters and equestrian chaps is that gaiters are mostly worn in competitions and shows. They are mostly available in leather and give the impression of tall boots.
Although they resemble half chaps (style-wise), they are more famous for shows because of their polished appearance.
Gaiters also have a zipper running at the back instead of on the side like half chaps. And unlike equestrian chaps, you can certainly wear gaiters for everyday riding. However, since they require high maintenance, wearing riding chaps is always a better idea.
Chaps for horse riding go over the rider’s pants to prevent chafing and discomfort while riding. They are usually made from leather or other durable material that ensures ample durability and protection.
Each of the pair of riding chaps in the list above is made with great quality leather and has a classy design. They are equally good for both riding and ranch work. They also provide excellent protection from bushes, brambles, and dirt alike. Besides, as rugged and sturdy as these chaps are, they’re extremely flexible, too.
Make sure you find your right fit to make your horseback riding experience smooth and comfortable.