Even as a novice rider, you probably already know that horse riding chaps are essentially worn to shield your legs from thorns while galloping across bushy terrains. Chaps are very important gear for horseback riding and appear as sturdy leather leggings that you can easily buckle on your bottoms. You can also consider getting half-chaps. These are comparatively shorter, reaching below the knees, and can be strapped over your riding boot for a secure grip.
So, you already know what horse riding chaps are, but do you know how to put on horse riding chaps correctly? If not then you are at the right place! In this article, we are going to cover all that you need to know about wearing horse riding chaps! Let’s get started.
How to Put on Western Horse Riding Chaps
Western chaps cover a rider’s leg from belt to boot, offering maximum protection throughout the ride. However, putting them on might be a challenge if you are just starting out. The following steps are going to help you understand how to put on Western chaps:
Put on your tight-fitting riding pants that will feel snug under the chaps. Wearing baggy pants is likely to result in a poor fit for the riding chaps and can result in sores.
Get ready to get into the chaps by unzipping the pant legs and unbuckling them from the front.
Now, there are two ways of securing the riding chaps over your riding pants. You can either secure the waistband around your waist and snap the buckle in place before zipping up the legs, or begin by getting into the leg portion first and then end with buckling the waistband.
This is the trickiest step. Here you have to make sure that the zipper of the left pant leg of the riding chaps is properly aligned with the external seam of your riding pants. Once done, pull the large flaps towards the floor and proceed to the next step.
Next, lift your left leg and wrap the loose flap of material over it, first towards the left and then around the front. In the end, pull it towards the zipper at the back of your leg. The position of the material should be such that its top is covering your thigh from above, whereas, it is secured at the back, below your buttocks.
Zip down the riding chaps by attaching the zipper on the top side of your left leg.
Now that you are done with the left leg, repeat the same steps for the right leg.
For a better demonstration, you may check out this tutorial on how to wear Western riding chaps.
How to Put on Horse Riding Half Chaps?
As obvious by the name, half riding chaps only offer coverage to half of your leg during horseback riding. Hence, it is vital to know your calf and height measurements before putting them on to ensure an ideal fit. Remember, if the riding chaps don’t feel snug in the beginning, they are certainly going to loosen up further while you ride, causing discomfort.
However, if you are clueless about how to go about putting them on, these steps might help you out:
Put on your tight-fitting riding pants and unzip both sides of the half riding chaps.
Pick up the chaps from the area between the lacing and the back of the right side pant. At this point, ensure that the right side pant leg is facing the front.
With your left hand, take the male part of the zipper and pass it between the front of your legs to the bag. Pass it on to your right hand.
Now, hold the female part of the zipper and move it below the thickest part of your thigh from the front. Zip up the right pant leg.
Without pulling the riding chaps over your leg just yet, make sure that the zipper is positioned towards the outer rear of your leg.
Now, take the belt and left side of the riding gear and pass it across your left knee from behind.
Repeat the same steps, as mentioned above, for the other leg.
At the end, simply pull up your half riding chaps, buckle them up, and do a couple of squats to enhance the overall fit.
Take a look at this video for a quick demonstration of getting into half-riding chaps.
FAQs on How to Wear Horse Riding Chaps
Just in case you are still unclear on the importance of horse riding chaps or how to put them on, have a look at these quick answers to some very important queries.
Why do you wear chaps for horse riding?
Chaps offer protection from cuts and sores that could occur while riding. When you spend a good amount of time on horseback riding, you are likely to explore all kinds of terrains and riding styles in different weather conditions. You will most certainly seek protection for your legs from riding sores, chafing caused by stirrup leather, pricks, and discomfort throughout your adventure. This is what half chaps and full riding chaps are used for. Moreover, without putting them on, you are likely to get bruised while riding through bushy terrains.
What way do chaps go on?
Honestly, there is no right or wrong way to put on your half chaps. If a method works for you, keep following just that. However, just make sure that the closures, either zipper or Velcro, are positioned towards the outside rear of your leg.
How tight should chaps be?
The tightness of the riding chaps should be such that when you slide in your hands between your thigh and the chaps, they should not wiggle. Nonetheless, a snug fit is essential for a comfortable ride as wearing loose riding pants will only loosen up the riding chaps too eventually.
Do you have to wear half chaps with paddock boots?
Wearing half chaps with paddock boots is not mandatory. However, it provides an additional level of support of protection if done so. Moreover, pairing your half riding chaps with paddock boots will provide you with the functionality of tall boots while riding.
What are the best half chaps?
The top three half riding chaps that we’d suggest are:
Saxon Adult’s Equileather
A&H Apparel Unisex Adult Leather Half Chaps
Tough 1 Breathable Half Chaps
Click right here for a detailed review of the best half chaps available for riding.
All in all, the best half chaps provide ample protection to your lower leg while riding wearing short boots. They efficiently cover your calves and ankles, saving them from blisters caused by constant rubbing and chafing against the stirrups as well as from harsh weather.
Sure you can wear your casual jeans while horseback riding, but just make sure to snap on riding chaps over them for added comfort and safety. Horse riding chaps not only prevent you from getting riding sores, but they also keep your legs and pants unharmed by thorny bushes.
Moreover, if you are seeking maximum protection from the weather and environment during horseback riding, full chaps are advisable. Whereas, half chaps are an inexpensive alternative that saves the rider’s lower leg from getting pinched by the stirrup straps. Also, it is generally easier to find a pair that feels perfectly snug on your leg.
Furthermore, if you want to ensure your utmost comfort while wearing the chaps, make sure to do five to ten squats after putting them on. This will stretch the riding chaps out, hence improving their fit.